Ireland . some parting thoughts and images

My nanny, my mom’s mom, passed away a few weeks before Christmas. I bought a last minute ticket to Ireland, packed a small back, and hopped over the ocean to hug my mom, help with arrangements, and pay my respects. Ireland has always been a part of me. It was my mom’s birthplace and home, the little island where her mother lived, the place where her extended family were buried. The first time I set foot on the rocky coast and patchwork quilt hills, a part of me felt at home. It’s hard to describe how or why a certain place can exist within us, as a part of us, when we’ve never been there. Somehow without ever living there, I carried that salt water in my veins, that landscape in my DNA. The text I receive from my mom every time I land reads, “welcome home!”

Flying out over those hills after the funeral, I realized it was the first time in my life I had no real reason to have to return. There was no nanny there waiting for me to come stay, come have a cup of tea and a tray of treats, and tell stories about the boys and how we’re getting on. Even my mom would be coming back to the states soon after all the loose ends were tied up. (She’s currently on an airplane over the ocean flying back to the US.) I feel a certain bittersweetness to it all. I love that rugged Island and the simple way of life in those green hills. I love the memories I’ve made there, the “home” feeling each time I land, and the millions of wild and unique stories my mom has from growing up and living there.

For now, maybe for always, a chapter has ended. The reality of my family’s life in Ireland is ending, and now that existence becomes a memory. I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate and mourn with some images I made from trips to Ireland. These roads and hillsides became dear to me, but none as dear as my precious little Nanny.

show hide 2 comments

ash parsons thanks, steph!
It’s always wonderful to hear the stories of how this special island impacts every person who comes in contact with it. I love that you’ve been there twice. it really is a dear home place. xo, ashJanuary 23, 2017 – 2:18 pm

Stephanie Lyell I love Ireland. I have been there twice with family. I can’t imagine how amazing it must be to have it as place that has a “home” feeling to it, you are very lucky. I hope that you get to make it back, maybe with your boys! These photos are lovely and do the island justice 🙂January 17, 2017 – 7:50 pm

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