It sounded like a scene from one of those sappy romantic movies from the 90’s. The boy and girl grow up on the same street in Ireland. Too poor for lessons, they used to peek in through to see people play old Irish tunes. She taught herself how to play the accordion, and could play any song just by hearing it once. Alas, the girl moves away to the United States to find better opportunities. A few years go by, and she adjusts to her new life in the busy downtown New York. One day, the doors open on her morning trolly ride to reveal a familiar face. The driver is her old neighbor from Ireland. Reunited, they resume life together, and eventually marry. They have a beautiful child named Loretta who grows up, marries, and has a child of her own named Jacqueline. Jackie, as she is called now is also grown, also married, and also happened to have a child who just happened to be me!
I’ve never met her, but the stories my Nana (my mother’s mom) tells about my great Grandmother are so fascinating that I wish I had. Since it is impossible to meet my happy, accordion playing Irish brogue accented relative in this life, though, I’d love to find out more about her. Someday, when I am rich and successful, I will go to Ireland and walk the farms where she used to live, explore the parts of New York that she made home, and ride a trolly car, just like in the stories, making my family history feel more alive.