Here is a song I sang growing up.
If you’re Irish come into the parlour,
There’s a welcome there for you;
If your name is Timothy or Pat (or David)
So long as you come from Ireland,
There’s a welcome on the mat,
If You come from the Mountains of Mourne,
Or Killarney’s lakes so blue,
We’ll sing you a song and we’ll make a fuss,
Whoever you are you are one of us,
If you’re Irish, this is the place for you!
I am in Toronto to see Ava, my son David and Jacquelyn’s baby. I am staying at Jacquelyn’s parents home. I am enjoying the change of season here. I took a walk and took this picture.
David our son, was welcomed into the heart of Jacquelyn’s immediate and extended family. David has been fishing with Jacquelyn’s dad, brothers, uncles and and grand dad. They caught many fish and had a great time. He has been to hockey matches, plays tennis and soccer, been on a visit to Washington to see extended family, and sightseeing at the Niagara Falls.
Maureen, Jacquelyn’s mum spent all Sunday cooking dinner for friends who wanted to come over to meet me. It was Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the one day.
Maureen likes the windows open. I like a cool room too! She loves roast potatoes and Irish wheaten bread, which she bakes on the weekend. She had someone from Ireland she could share with. It was her mum’s recipe. Her mum grew up in Belfast. We celebrated her mum. Her memory lives on.
Jacquelyn was particularly fond of her and misses her. Her baby is wearing a cardigan her granny knitted for her.
Maureen’s aunt called by the other day. She brought a beautiful Christening robe, an heirloom. Her sister had hand knitted it and gave her for her children. Now it was being given to Jacquelyn for Ava’s christening. She told us how she loves to make soda bread just like we get back in Ireland. She has here fridge full of it ready to give as a gift to anyone who calls or comes into her parlour.
I am being made to feel welcome and part of the family. I don’t have to cook, clean or shop. I am available for babysitting when Jacquelyn needs me. It’s not hard work nursing a warm, cuddly, baby girl. Oh the joy of being a grand mother. I don’t have to do the hard work of feeding, dressing and changing.
It is lovely to see my son caring, protecting and treasuring Jacquelyn and Ava. A whole new world for him.
When Brendan travelled to North America twenty years ago he was welcomed with open arms, celebrated, loved and accepted. A big shock to the system when back home in Northern Ireland there was war. The Irish were rejecting each other.
I went to England 35 years ago to have my own daughter. I was welcomed by the Irish community as a long lost relative. They were from Kerry and I was from Derry. But we were all Irish in another country.
The words of the song above are true. Brendan, David and myself have been welcomed into people’s parlours.