I share a funny little tale of Birthdays, immigration, Ellis Island and family.
Yesterday Jan 8th was the day we used to celebrate my deceased mother Ann O'Donnell's birthday. The reason we celebrated it on Jan 8th was long forgotten until we were discovered and contacted by our cousin Sharon in England.
We were contacted through the Internet as it appeared my mother's youngest sister was still alive in Ireland. Well we began to compare notes and try to confirm if we were the missing O'Donnell kids. The first problem that arose was they believed my mothers birthday was Aug 8 not Jan 8. As that was told to me by my niece it triggered the memory of how we came to celebrate my mother's birthday on Jan 8.
Well the story begins when I was maybe six years old and together with my nine year old brother we were on a treasure hunt in the back room of our apartment. We were searching through my mother's trunks. Great stuff for budding pirates. My mother was out shopping for food. Well we discovered my mother's passport for Ellis Island and we started to read it and they had her birthday listed as Jan 8. We had always celebrated it in Aug up until that point. Anyway when my mother returned we showed it to her and argued with her that she most be wrong and the passport right. I guess she decided it was easy to placate her two hard headed sons and give in to celebrating in on Jan 8. So this long forgotten fact helped clarify that we were the long lost O'Donnell kids and helped to reunite us. So now I remember my mother's birthday as August 8th but she will always have two birthdays and I will always smile on Jan 8th and remember how she dealt with her two hard headed boys.