This 12,000 word eBook describes the journey I underwent after Hannah was born still.
It is the plain unvarnished truth and includes diary entries written at the time.
It was not easy to write and may not be easy to read.
But it is the truth of my experience.
Some things are easier to let go of than others.
The hardest thing I ever had to let go of was all dreams of mothering my daughter Hannah.
Hannah was born and died in 2004.
To read more click on the title or the picture
It's hard to let the light in when we are blaming ourselves for the death of our babies.
The secret that we all share is that we all do it.
'Maybe my baby would still be here if I hadn't lifted that box/taken part in that exercise class/eaten that soft cheese/had that glass of wine/had sex that night.....'
I haven't met a Mom who hasn't asked herself these questions......
...one of the most fruitful questions in life 'What matters to me?'
What matters to me may not matter to you.
It may be illogical.
Some might even consider it childish.
But none of that is important.
If something matters to you (or me) then it is important.
Even as a very small child, I always wanted a brother. He would have been wise and strong and would have stood up to the bullies on the playground for me. When I was in my twenties I discovered that I do indeed have a brother. It was the first I had ever heard of my invisible brother Michael.
From my Irish kitchen
Photo by June Bourke A cottage, Islandeady, Westport, Co. Mayo National Heritage week competition 2012
almost everything I have ever learned that mattered, I learned in an Irish kitchen. Over a year ago, I started to write them down. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I sincerely hope you will find something useful as you read, something that will warm your heart and give you hope. There is much to weep for in our world but there are also bright rays of light and love. My grandmother was one such ray of light and love and this blog is inspired by her. In it's pages you will find stories and songs as befits this thoroughly Irish woman. You will also find information about how to trace your Kerry roots.
I would love to hear from you if you have the time.
I gave thanks on Paddy's Day...
She strode into the classroom, her long robes making a snapping sound. Her face was white and pinched. Everyone fell silent. It was going to be a hard day with Sister Mary. As the day went on, tension choked all sound. She asked one of the orphanage girls a question........
We have all had times in our lives when everything felt just right.
Times when we felt that everything fitted together.
Everything made perfect sense.
I invite you ......
To have work that we love matters so much.
But we also need balance in our lives.
We all need to know when to work ... and when to stop working.
Click on the title to read more.
A young boy in rural Ireland was told a story that he never forgot.
His neighbour said 'Do you see that jug on the dresser? Well that came from Mrs. O'Connor's house... Click on the title or the photo to read on.
the only thing
and the life
is a decision?
Blogs of specific interest to people with Irish Roots
A gift from my father
It's family time
My small granny
Stuck in Grief...
Remembering my daughter Hannah
Sticking my neck out
Finding Uncle John
Duty and Choice
People leave Ireland for a reason
Cillini, burial of the unbaptised
What would the neighbours say?
Being Homesick isn't cool
"Don't want to be Irish anymore"
I am not blind
Justice for baby Marion Howe
An open letter to survivors of institutional abuse
The Rose of Tralee
GREAT BIG Book SALE
Letting the light in after loss!
Many of you know that I wrote a little book.
But what most of you don't know is that I have been holding onto it.
Four boxes full of books!
I don't know why I was holding on so tightly.
(And they are certainly not serving anyone as they lie in dusty boxes in the attic.)
But I do know that it is time now to let go....
I remembered my small granny telling me when I was little that 'a person can only sleep in one bed.'
I felt her words of wisdom sink down into my bones in a new way.
Even if I own ten beds, I thought to myself,
I can still only sleep in one.
I can only drink from one mug at a time,
wear one set of clothes,
live one life.
If you have family roots in Kerry, drop into Kerry Snippets where I will be posting information found along the way as I volunteer with Ireland Reaching Out
I will never be six feet tall and I will never not be Irish...
Click on the title to read on.
What if it is true?
What if it is true that 'your soul knows the geography' as John O'Donohue says.
If your soul (and mine) knows the geography then we need have no fear.
I yearn for the sun ...
It struck me once again today how much of my life I spend replaying yesterday and rehearsing tomorrow.
I cannot change yesterday.
I cannot control tomorrow.
If there is one skill that we need in life,
it is the ability to draw the line.
Have you ever just sat and watched the water of a spring or a small river? Have you noticed how it meets an obstacle and just flows round it?
Yesterday, I felt tired after a busy week.
You know that kind of good tired of a job well done,
of goals met and attentive work.
I knew I needed to refill my energy bank...
No lasting change can happen in our lives unless we begin to have compassion for ourselves. This world is full of people who do not know how to be kind to themselves. Compassion begins like everything, with small actions...
Most people try to run away from their broken hearts.
And it just doesn't work.