Irish Immigrants

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Mary O Donnell finished cooking the Sunday night dinner. She had spent the entire Sunday afternoon peeling the potatoes, washing the vegetables and preparing the meat. The Sunday night dinner special because it was the only meal the O Donnells spent together. The children, Jonathan, James, and Catherine, returned late from St. James Parochial School and Mr O Donnell, Shamus, worked in his office until late at night. Only Mrs O Donnell stayed at home and painted oil paintings. Coming, Mom! chanted three voices from the top floor. Soon afterward the family was seated at the old table in the candle lit dining room waiting for Shamus O Donnell to say grace.
Bless us, O Lord, for these gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ Our Lord, Amen. After everyone had eaten and conversation started to build up, Shamus O Donnell suddenly interrupted: Catherine, Jonathan, James, listen up. Your mother and I have something important to tell you. Do you remember Uncle Edward and his wife, Anne? Well, they are coming to New York this fall. Conditions in the part of Galway where we come from have become worse. They have decided that they cannot live there anymore and since we, their relatives, live in New York, the choice was easy. I don t know for sure, but they are scheduled to arrive in New York Harbor in about two weeks, and I suspect the immigration at Ellis Island will take another day or two. her dad replied.
Great, I am really looking forward to speaking to somebody from the old country again, remarked Jonathan.
Yes, I am, too. Well, it will be a long day for me tomorrow, and I think it is bedtime for you too, children. Yeah, Goodnight, Mum; goodnight, Dad. After the children had been put to bed, Shamus O Donnell and his wife cleaned up the dishes. I hope Edward and Anne know what awaits them here in New York. The children seem to have forgotten all the hardships we went through until we made it this far, remarked Mary.
Well, Mary no reason to be miserable. If we could make it, they can make it, too. Besides, they have a great advantage we did not have, said Shamus.
Mary looked at him with a surprised look on her face: What would that be? Us, their relatives and friends. We did not have anyone to help us out, and we still made it. Just be a little bit more optimistic. Two weeks went by, and the O Donnells had not heard from their relatives yet. Another three days passed and in the afternoon the doorbell rang. Mary thought the children had come home early from school and would open the door with their key. The doorbell rang again and again and again. Suddenly it dawned on Mrs O Donnell that it might not be the children who were trying to get her to open the door. She rushed out of the kitchen and swung the door open. There was a tired looking couple standing in the door with dirt on their faces and their belongings in two suitcases.
Anne, Edward, is that ...


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