By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Irish Eyes
Senior Corner 3-9-22

St. Patrick’s Day has always been special to my family. Both sets of my Mother’s great-grandparents were born in Ireland. Even though she had never gone there, she always had a heartfelt attachment to the beauty and mystery of her ancestor’s homeland. On her 80th birthday we had an Irish musician come to her house and serenade her along with a group of her friends. Later, she said that was the best birthday that she had ever had. As I observed the different levels of my mother’s aging I listened to her reminisce about her life. A lot of the time her stories had to do with her fantasy life in Ireland. Of course, I knew these to be things that she had never experienced. She insisted to all of us that she had mastered Irish dancing at some point in her life. My parents loved to jitterbug and occasionally entertained us with their talent but Irish dancing was never part of it.

Towards the end of her life, I heard her tell someone that she was born in Ireland and she was not. My mother was a very honest person with a great sense of humor. So, at first, I thought she was kidding until I heard the seriousness in her voice. She always lived in her reality and was very aware of life in general so for her this was unusual. We never questioned her when she said these things because we could see that with her health issues and her aging she found comfort in believing all of it to be true. It became very obvious that it gave her much joy to fully embrace her love of Ireland, if only in a dream.

When I think of her, I remember her face when she recounted the stories of her imagined Irish birthplace and I could once again see the light in her eyes and the joy in her smile. These dreams were a gift to her and well deserved. Her Irish eyes were smiling!


An Irish blessing:

May your heart be warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day in every way

And forever and ever after.


Tina Jensen is a member and one of the coordinators of activities for the Escalon Senior Fun Bunch. She contributes a monthly column for The Times.