My Irish Cousins
It was so moving to be halfway around the world from my birthplace, and be greeted with hugs at the doors of my unknown, distant cousins. Family roots are deep and strong.
First, there I was sitting in a little coffee shop in Aughancloy, waiting for Tom to arrive. “Are you the lady from America?” And he gave me a hug hello. Then I followed him to Clones and met his wife, Mary who was as open as they get. Another dear. We had dinner at their home together. (And lively pup, Mollie, loved having a new person visit the house!)
After our meal, we went to their son and daughter-in-law’s house, Thomas and Carmel, and we all chatted through the evening before I turned in for a cozy night’s sleep.
During our driving tour of Country Fermanagh the next day, Tom took me to meet Manley Clan relations. He had called ahead to say we’d be coming, and again, it felt remarkable to be so warmly received. Maggie and her daughter, Sabohan, greeted us, and then Maggie’s son, Gary, came by and joined the conversation.
From there we drove to the home of “little imp”, Lily, who had married Gerard Manley. She and I had a playful, teasing banter from the very start. (We’d probably have a lot of fun together if we lived closer by.)
Here’s a picture of young Lily on her wedding day to Gerard.
Lily’s got a sign saying “Crockawaddy” on the front of her house (although she no longer lives at the farm). She and Tom strike a pose.