Photo of my mother

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
My mother
My mother

This is a very old photo of my mother holding me as an infant. Our family came over on the ships with the Mayflower from Ireland, from generations and generations of McNamara's. My mother and hers lived where they landed, in Worcester, MA and then my mother traveled here occasionally for vacation. She met my father at an amusement park where he worked when they were teenagers. She tells the story now with a hint of annoyance, but he used to jump on the rides as they spun chaotically and when he jumped onto her cart, their eyes locked, and a little magic led to me. Unfortunately, their lives soon became riddled with trials, arguments, and bridges burned but my mother never faltered. With Irish strength, she rose with a smile on her face every day and taught me kindness, compassion, and a thirst to live a life fulfilled no matter what. Her indifference towards pain made me angry and I resented her for a long time. I felt like when she smiled each morning, she wasn't being real to herself or to me, or to the world. When I'm angry, I show it. I wear it on my face proudly. I couldn't understand why she hid it every day. Come to find out, she passed me a lot more than Irish blood, but a mood disorder; one she tried desperately hide. I believe that is why this photo means so much to me; I love how real she looks here - stressed, drained, yet still somehow chalk full of love. Like joy, pain is impressively strong and exceptionally important. There are endless lessons in the moments that break us and in this photo, she is the strongest and most beautiful that I have ever seen her. 

Place(s): Myrtle Beach, SC

– Stormy Cannon

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant