Mom was 89 when I took this picture and 90 when I interviewed her in 2014.
Do you want to chat with me?
I’ll chat with you sure.
Would that be nice?
That would be wonderful.
What is one of your favorite memories in life that stands out the most to you?
The birth of my children and the day I got married.
Tell me about the birth of your children; was it different each time? Why was it different?
John was the first, they gave me epidural/Tommy was in a hurry to come out/Robert – they rolled me down the aisle just in time because he wasn’t going to hang around too long (she says with a wry smile)/you were good; I wasn’t in labor too long with you/gave me the epidural and when they told me I had a girl I was shocked. (Mom’s expression is wide-eyed as though she is back in that moment).
I didn’t think I was going to have a girl, I was shocked because I had three boys and didn’t think I was going to have a girl until the Blessed Mother told me I was going to have a girl. The Blessed Mother told me I was going to have a girl.
The Blessed Mother told you that you were going to have a girl? Tell me about that.
Well it was a dream; I was in bed picking out boys name because I figured I had 3 boys and figured I’d have another boy and I got tired and told your father I’m tired I’m going to bed; I’ve had enough.
So, wait a minute, you were looking in a book picking out boys names?
Yes, through the book of boys names from a to z and I was doing this with dad in the bed and it got late, I was tired and went to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night with the Blessed Mother kneeling at my bed holding my hand and she said to me, “Name your daughter Ann Elizabeth,” and it was sooo real I could picture it until today. (Mom was steadfast in her belief in this vision as she recanted it to me/she was the epitome of faith in action.)
Oh my God!
I can still picture it till today. (She says this with a faraway look in her eye.)
And she was holding your hand?
Yes, she was holding my hand and she said, “Name your daughter Ann Elizabeth,”
And she said name your daughter Ann Elizabeth and I woke up with such a start. I thought it was just a dream but it came to be a reality and so that’s why I named you Ann Elizabeth because the Blessed Mother told me to.
And who are you to argue with the Blessed Mother right?
Now way/no way (Mom is shaking her head adamantly). She was the boss and she gave me a girl and I gave her the honor naming you Ann Elizabeth.
Do you know what those names mean? Ann and Elizabeth?
They mean grace.
They were saints from the Blessed Mother and it was just so real.
So what did you do? Did you tell dad?
I woke him up yeah right, he said, “Okay, okay,” and he went right back to sleep. (Mom is smirking at the thought).
I couldn’t go back to sleep after that. And until the time I gave birth/at that time they didn’t know if you were going to have a boy or a girl; that’s why I said it can’t be – I had three boys
They didn’t do sonograms?
They never said, no. that’s why I said it can’t be; I had three boys, boys run in the family.
Were you hoping and praying for a girl/what were your thoughts?
I was hoping for a girl – enough boys in the family – for a change I wanted a girl/I had six brothers/I got my wish thanks to the Blessed Mother. (Mom nods her head in satisfaction).
Did you tell Grandma?
I told Grandma the next morning and she said that was a revelation and probably means you are going to have a girl and sure enough there you were my little bundle of joy.
Both Mom and I are smiling now; what a memory that must be for her; to have waited for so long after having three boys (and, although she didn’t mention it, she miscarried a set of twin girls before me too).
Our elders have so much to share from their wisdom to their faith; what a blessing indeed.