Circles of Life

My grandmother’s grandmother died on this day 129 years ago. Sarah (sometimes known as Sally) married a man named James Callinan of Peterswell Co. Galway in about 1847, during horrors of the Great Famine. Despite those hardships, Sally survived and had many children.

Obviously I never met her but I share her DNA. It’s staggering to realise that all these years later, Sally’s other descendants number in the hundreds and are mostly unknown to me. They now carry surnames like Callinan and Fallon; Meade and Muldoon; Kennedy, Furey, Ford and Healy; and many have ended up far from east Galway, where Sally was buried in 1891.

I’m thinking of Sally today and the hard life she led and what she might have to say about living through these dark times. I imagine her telling me that Life can be tough and cruel, but humans have always found ways to survive and thrive.

Her scattered DNA proves it.

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