Monday, March 12, 2012

Memories of March by C.H. Admirand


I love early Spring and its temperature swings from mild and sunny to downright chilly. One of my favorite Spring flowers was my grandfather’s as well…he called them Jonquils, but I always think of them as Daffodils. Here is a picture of the Daffodils my darling hubby gave me for my birthday.
  
March is one of my favorite months because right in the middle we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the one day my grandfather Purcell made sure to remind my brother, sisters, and I of how lucky we were that his father made the long journey over from Ireland when he was just a boy. He was so proud of his Irish roots.

But was it luck or good detective work that had me deciding to try a different spelling of his last name while searching the passenger lists at ancestry.com. Either way, I was delighted when I found his name on the list of the ship Calabria arriving in New York on June 19, 1871 from Ireland with his mother Ann Leach Purcell and confirmed the fact with a Census from 1930 where my great-grandfather noted on the form that he came over from Ireland in 1871!

I have a long way to go to find the town my great-grandfather came from in Ireland, there seems to be a family disagreement and depending on which relative you ask, the answer will be Dublin, Tipperary, or Cork. But they all agree that Loughmoe Castle in Tipperary is the ancestral castle of the Purcell family. Here’s a picture that used to be on the homepage of my website…and may be again soon…


March is the month my grandfather was born, March 9th, 1903, and the month in which he died March 19th, 1981. The last time I watched The Quiet Man with my grandmother was March 17, 1981, the family had all gathered after my grandfather’s last stroke—all except my one uncle who couldn’t get there until March 19th—the day my grandfather died. We all believe he waited to speak to his oldest son one last time. I like to watch John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara fall in love a few times a year, but definitely as St. Patrick’s Day draws closer, and when I do it feels like a hug from my grandparents.


Life’s memories should be both bitter and sweet, how else would we recognize the bitter without the sweet? Life isn’t for the faint of heart, and as my mom likes to remind me, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Thanks, mom! LOL!

Do you have any memories of March..bitter or sweet?

13 comments:

  1. Nice post, CH! Some of my family came from Ireland, the Hawthorns and the Welsh, although I'm certain they moved there in early times because neither are Irish names. But my grandfather's family married a Kelly, like Smith in the US, so definitely Irish. Welsh could mean he was from Wales, or it's also known as foreigner.

    I love learning about genealogy roots! As to March? That's when my mother died, so a really sad time for me.

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  2. Great post. Love learning about roots. Just this week my sister was digging into the Quaid roots on our side of the family. Amazing.

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  3. I love daffodils! March is one of my favorite months because the weather in Texas is usually so nice. It's also the month when I got married!

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  4. I'm also a March baby (hence I was doomed to be a Patrick or a Patricia when not publishing romance novels), and as a kid, that was a fine time to celebrate something. I watch The Quiet Man too--helluva story, terrific acting and when I wanted to admonish my daughter, for years it was, "And NO pattyfingers!!!"

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  5. How sweet. I have wonderful memories of my grandparents. I grew up under the same roof with them, because they had an in-law apartment in our home.

    One of my sweetest memories is of watching them sitting side by side in lawn chairs in the backyard, holding hands and looking out at my grandmother's gardens.

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  6. Hi Terry, thanks. Apparently Purcell is a lot like Kelly or Smith over there, too. :)

    I'm sorry about your mom, but know that you'll have wonderful memories of her to outweigh the sad. It's what I keep trying to do with my dad since he passed.

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  7. Hi Carolyn - thanks! It is fun, isn't it?

    There are so many twists and turns, and misspellings even in the Census forms that were filled out all those years ago.

    Good luck in your sister's quest to find out more about the Quaid side of your family. :)

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  8. Hi Shana! They're so bright and cheerful, aren't they?

    I'm envious of the more temperate Texas weather...even though we had a very mild winter for the first time in years up here.

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding anniversary!

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  9. LOL, Grace! I know!!! I loved using that line with our kids too.
    Happy March birthday!

    It's a tradition here to watch The Quiet Man, Darby O'Gill and the Little People and in the last few years we've added The Matchmaker and Leprechauns...seeing Roger Daltry as the king of the faeries is such a hoot!

    While babysitting Jack I had Darby O'Gill on and he was captivated by the leprechauns on horseback :)

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  10. Thanks. You were very lucky, Ashlyn. I know because my grandparents lived two doors away and my great uncle and great aunt right next door.

    I love the image of your grandparents holding hands admiring your grandmother's garden.

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  11. Lovely post! That John Wayne movie gets me every time. Thanks for sharing :)

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  12. March has mixed impressions for me...both my spouse and I have birthdays in March but my mom passed on my hubby's b-day last year so it's also a bit of a difficult date for me.

    I also enjoy seeing the jonquils bloom and the other signs of Spring that are coming even though our weather is more temperate than many areas.

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  13. What a great post, CH. And happy birthday!

    I've always loved jonquils, too, but when I was little, we called them buttercups. My new favorites are Lily of the Valley. I'm not sure if they grow in the South, which is where I grew up. :)

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