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Ch 3: The Irish in America
Published Apr 25, 2012


Written By

oldmember_lucianna88

Storyteller
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(Part 3 of my 'Irish in America' story, please read the other two first or this one won't make sense) :)

Another Wednesday evening in New York finds young Rosie Delaney and her Grandmother, Violet, together in eachothers company again, "tell me the rest of that story, Grammy" Rosie says, "about how you got to America.....".

Her Grandmother gladly continues where she left off last time....

(Part 3 of my 'Irish in America' story, please read the other two first or this one won't make sense) :)

Another Wednesday evening in New York finds young Rosie Delaney and her Grandmother, Violet, together in eachothers company again, "tell me the rest of that story, Grammy" Rosie says, "about how you got to America.....".

Her Grandmother gladly continues where she left off last time....
We had arrived in America, finally, but here we were- stuck on Ellis Island- facing deportation if someone didn't come to get us, we had 2 days left until that happened. We awaited my Father's arrival, but at the days passed we had to accept that he likely wasn't going to show up. We were disappointed and hurt.

Yes we knew we'd soon be on our way back to Ireland unless some sort of miracle was to happen. We couldn't bear that, after travelling for so long, dreaming and hoping for so long, planning our new lives for so long. I looked on, devastated, as other immigrants came and went, greeted by loved ones or taken of to their new life by their sponsors of employers. Everyone it seemed was getting out of there, everyone but us.
Just as we had almost lost all hope, and we possessed little of it by that point, a tall firey red haired woman entered the room. She was to be our saving grace, her one small act of kindness was to change our lives forever.. She introduced herself as Alice McKitrick, the child she held was her niece, Molly. The pair had travelled from Edinburgh to reunite with Alice's brother who had immigrated to Brooklyn a year earlier and was now running a successful business. They weren't allowed to leave Ellis Island until the next day as it was evening now and the ferry had stopped running until tomorrow- a fortunate twist of fate that led to us all meeting. She brazenly described us as the ''most miserable pair of faces'' she'd ever seen. My Mother told her our story of how we'd been abandoned, "with all due respect, Miss McKittrick, we have good reason to have a pair of miserable faces" she said solemnly. "My husband hasn't shown up, now we can't leave. All I wanted was a better life for my child, and for her children someday, and those children's children, now it seems I'm being denied that" "That's me, right? I'm those children's children, aren't I grandma?".

"Yes, dear, you are" she replied. "You see immigrants didn't just seek a new life for their own sake, they did it for the generations after themselves too, that includes you. Now, where was I..."
Oh yes. "Now, now" the lady said, sitting down on the end of the bed as she'd known my Mother all her life.....then she began to offer up her kind words of wisdom in the way that only Alice could do. Over the course of the following hours an instant friendship was formed. They confided in and comforted one another and talked throughout the night. Years later my Mother told me she knew she was going to be friends with Alice forever as soon as she sat down on her bed that night, she just knew somehow. Some friendships are like that, just as there's love at first sight, there are also friendships that work that way- they have an immediate bond right from the beginning. It was a bittersweet moment the next afternoon when Alice was informed that her brother was on his way to get her. My Mother hugged her goodbye, wished her well in her new life and promised she would write to her from Ireland when we got back there, she had to accept now that we were most certainly going back "No, you won't write to me from Ireland" Alice announced, "because you're not going back there". My Mother was intrigued, as was I, but we assumed she was just trying to be optimistic for us. "What? What do you mean, Alice?" she asked. Just then a man burst through the doors and made towards us, "there she is!" he beamed, "there's my little girl". He was ecstatic to be reunited with his family.

"This is my brother, Martin" Alice explained to me proudly.
"Martin, there's two people here I'd like you to meet. This little girl and her Mother cannot leave here, unless....". "Unless what?" he asked, curious now. "Unless we take them with us". She pulled him aside and explained our predicament in whispered tones. He went to my Mother, and with the most sympathetic eyes he offered her a solution. "Okay Ma'am" he said "I will tell the staff here you're my wife, you can leave with us then go on your own way" She looked at me then back at him, and then again at me. To my astonishment and everyone else's she answered him "thank you, sir, but no thanks". We were speechless. "This is my daughter here you see, and I can't start our new life out on a lie. What example am I setting to her if I enter this country through deception...?" A huge smile spread across Martin's face then, I was perplexed. "Don't then" he said, "leave this place through honest means- come work for me- I've been looking for a trustworthy and moral person to take care of the money management aspect of my business for months now, all I've got so far is thieves and crooks. What you just said proves to me that you are a person that can be trusted. So, if you're willing, and I think that you are, then you're very welcome to leave here with us this very minute" "You won't regret this" my Mother answered. Within the hour we were in mainland New York and on the train to Brooklyn. I was so excited, my Mother was so relieved. We considered ourselves the luckiest people on the earth that day, and we were. We were on our way to the new world and better days lay ahead of us now...

(The end of chapter 3. Thanks for reading. More to come..)

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#1fabrizioammolloApr 29, 2012

This is a really lovely story. \:\)

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