By Jim Hagarty
I have been to Ireland six times.
People assume we have family there. I have always told them we don’t and that is true as far as I know.
But on my second trip in 1994, my wife and I found the farm our family left during the Famine years in the 1840s and 1850s. Incredibly, the old stone farm cottage they had lived in was still standing. We became good friends with the family who now owns the farm and went back there several more times over the years.
In 2013, Barb and I returned, this time with our son and daughter. The farm owner and matriarch of the family was in hospital when we arrived. Against her doctor’s wishes, she checked herself out of the hospital to be with us.
“I have to go,” she told the doctor. “I have family coming.” We had a joyous reunion.
Now, when I am asked if we have family in Ireland, I always say that we do. The best family our family could ever wish for.
Fate saw to that.