I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Grandfather from Ireland

Crystal Miller said something on Facebook yesterday that reminded me of a post I wrote a couple of years ago. She said that she was planning to write about her Irish ancestors this week. My mom’s father immigrated from Ireland, so in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and in honor of my grandfather, I’m borrowing Crystal’s idea and re-posting my grandfather’s story:

I had dinner with my mom the other night and we got into a conversation about her parents that blew my mind. I’d always known that her dad came over from Ireland. And I knew that he married a nurse, but that was the extent of my knowledge about them. Mom told me that her dad came over with a friend. They both wanted to get out of Ireland because of the many social problems and they’d heard about the beautiful weather in California, so that was their intended destination.

So, at the age of 28 or 29, my grandfather hopped on a ship with a friend and sailed for the United States—leaving everyone and everything else behind. My grandfather went with his mother’s blessing. Like all good moms, she just simply hoped for a better life for her child. My mom isn’t sure how my grandfather made it from the east coast to Nebraska, but she does know that when he and his friend reached Omaha, he had terrible stomach pains.

He went to a hospital in Omaha and when his friend found out that my grandfather was going to have to be in the hospital for an extended stay, he left for California on his own and left my grandfather here. I’m not sure if he went with my grandfather’s blessing or not. But while my grandfather was in the hospital he became rather attached to his nurse, so much so, that he ended up marrying her and settling down in Omaha. (Maybe I should have paid a little more attention to the cute nurse who took care of me while I was in the ER a month ago, huh?) If my grandfather hadn’t become ill when he did, I wouldn’t exist.

Here’s a picture of my grandfather, my grandmother, me, and my oldest sister from 1969 (my grandmother died in 1974 and my grandfather died in 1978):


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