"The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood." — Thomas Francis Meagher, the concise history of Ireland.
The young, Protestant man comforts his wife as she strains in labor. This will be their first baby. Irene was born on a calm night in Killaloe, Ireland in the one thousand nine hundred and eighteenth year of the lord.
When Irene was a young girl, her father decided that the family needed to emigrate to the United States. Irene continued to grow into a beautiful young woman then in her late twenties she met a handsome and eloquent man with the most beautiful blue eyes. With his family belonging to the Lutheran church, Irene's father gave his blessing when Edgar proposed marriage. In 1948, their son, Dale, was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Beckie was a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the mid-sixties. She was a person that enjoyed living life to the fullest. Her maternal grandmother moved to Pittsburgh following the exit of Slovakia from the Austro-Hungarian empire and merging with the Czech Republic. Beckie grew up within a Slovak community and attended the Byzantine Catholic church in Latrobe but once she graduated high school, her parents decided to move to South Jersey. A very Italian and Roman Catholic area.
Beckie was introduced to Dale by one of her art school friends. Dale was a high school graduate, a couple years younger and thinking of joining the Marine Corps. Combat units had just started entering Vietnam and Dale figured that enlisting was better than being drafted.
The Fall of 1966 rolls around and Beckie is fighting a battle of her own. She does not enroll for the third year of college because the rabbit done died and her life was about to change. Dale and Beckie's wedding was planned for December. She would be six months with-child and Dale just completing bootcamp.
Irene was furious and would not condone such a blasphemous union. To her, her only son was betraying the family. Edgar wanted his son to do the honorable thing but he could certainly understand his wife's anger. Irene refused to attend the wedding and out of duty and respect to his wife, neither did Edgar.
Edgar loved his granddaughter. They were best friends and Edgar happily assisted Beckie whenever she needed him; which was frequently since Dale was off fighting the war and her parents were hours away. It wasn't until Edgar died from heart disease, Dale was heading back to Vietnam for a second tour and Beckie gave birth to another daughter; that Irene welcomed the children into her home. She could not deny these innocent girls especially the older one who had the most beautiful blue eyes.This story is fiction based upon family history as I know it and yes, I have my grandfather's eyes.