Sunday, May 13, 2007

Maternal Irish Bloodlines

I was always very close to my mother's side of the family. They were not only my blood line - they were my life line too. I suppose some would say our family is quirky - but they are the finest people in my world . I am very proud to have their blood in me - and proud of the lives they lived. Simple lives filled with family - tragedy as well as triumphs. Good as well as bad. We always manage to get through. The wonderful photo at the top is is my maternal grandmother. Her name was Thea Elizabeth Kavanaugh Ellery. Her mother's maiden name was Boyd, and Great Grandmother Boyd was an O'Malley. My grandmother was about 16 when this photo was taken in 1914. I think she is a knock out ! She had the long red hair that seems to be prolific in our heritage. My mother and her three brothers had it too - as I do. Thea was always my hero. We used to spend lazy Saturday nights together eating tuna sandwiches and Entenmens cake - and watching the Saturday night fights !! She was always there for me, always supportive of me and I miss her every single day day.

Below are a couple of other very early photos. On the right is my great grandmother Boyd - the photo taken in the late 1880's. My mother is below her as a little girl - such a little cutie ! My Grandmother and my Great Aunt Ellen (for whom my mother was named) are the babies in the middle photo. Thea is in the hat. That photo was taken circa 1899. The other photo is Thea about 1912 . Her look seemed so happy and carefree - and I suspect she was then!

The last photo below is my mom - a few years before she died. Yes, she is probably responsible for my feline fixation ! She had three in a New York City apartment ! The cat in the photo was named 'Haska' (after an artist friend of theirs named Ray Prohaska) and he was a marmalade kitty..another red head.

I don't think that that there are many perfect families - except in TV Land. We all get handed our shares of sorrows and issues to grapple with. None of us gets a free pass here in this life. We all, I believe, try to do the best we can at any given moment. Sometimes outsiders looking in might think that our 'best' is not good enough - but it is - for that moment - just right. We all share love and suffer loss. I would not be the person I am today without the love and strength imparted to me via the bloodlines of these remarkable women. I look forward to seeing them again one day - and hope they will still be there to show me the way home.

Mother was also one of my heros. She died at 46 when I was 21. I wish I had gotten to know her more as an adult, but am grateful for the years we did have. She was a best friend and the best mother she could be,


sandra wyman said...

What a beautiful and moving Mother's day entry - and what amazing physical resemblances. By coincidence I come from a long line of strong women too and appreciate how important that must be to you.

jenclair said...

I love the photographs and the tribute to your Mom.

I've tagged you for the 7 things meme, but only play if you want to, don't feel obligated.

Deborah said...

Hi, I am dropping by from Jen's blog. I had some strong women in my family too. My mother had 6 sisters. All but one lived with blocks of us. I love your pictures; I have been scanning our old photos & posting them from time to time. How lucky we are to have them. I lost my mother 2 years ago, on New Year's day. But, they are always with us. Thanks for that lovely tribute to your mother.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm the son of the artist the kitty was named after, Ray. My name is Tony P. I'd love to know more about your mother. You can find more about my father and about me, online,
using google.

zquilts said...

Tony- please let me know an email address - you are anonymous on Blogger. The coincidence seems even more odd since I lived in the Hamptons for years before moving West !

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