When people say Genealogy is boring they just don't get it!
When I trace my family tree I give recognition to all those who have gone before me;
I discover the stories of the shoulders I stand upon,
I find my place in the tapestry,
I see my life as part of the never ending chain,
I leave a beautiful legacy for those who will come after me.
I honour those who lived short lives but were much loved.
I find those who were lost and reunite them with our family.
When I sit with someone and help them begin their family tree I am telling them by my actions
'your life matters'
'your memories matter'
'your struggles matter'
'your courage does not go unrecognised.'
Maybe I will even help to bring them home,
maybe they will find a map of the land,
or a picture of the tumbledown house
or even long lost family.
Other times I will walk with someone through a painful secret,
sometimes I can be a witness to a reconciliation made possible by the passage of time.
At all times, there is the possibility that just around the next corner or on the next page I will find something or someone who will help me to make sense of past family events. With Genealogy life is never boring. With Genealogy, I learn that human beings are frail and make mistakes but most of them did the best they possibly could at the time. Many faced hard choices and felt forced into actions that they later regretted. Through Genealogy, old family feuds can be ended and peace can come between descendants. With Genealogy comes patience and compassion, and who wouldn't want more of these....
An afternoon among the women poem
Growing up in a white world
When people say genealogy is boring
Anger and Truth
Where do you come from?
The House on an Irish Hillside book review
Mammies for Mariage Equality
Aw go on, say YES
Homeless in Ireland
When wide sky opens poem
I love my work
Celtic New Year
This small house
Rhythm & Rest poem
The Hidden Self
The Lonely Road
Kerry Pride 2013
Letting the Light in after Loss
Letting go is hard
Pick up the phone
Her name was not Magdalene
Do what you love doing!
My small granny
Praise the child and boil the dishcloths
My invisible brother Michael
I don't want to be Irish anymore
Alone on Valentine's Day
I love my country but I am not blind
Truth no. 2
How we tell the Truth
From Clare to here
Mother's Day is bittersweet
I will not be part of that
No Blacks No Dogs No Irish
Thank you for the days
Baby Marion Howe
My Irish Identity
When my Mam was dying
Violence against women
Take back your power
Draw the line
My small granny and other stories