It’s been a while, and this is perhaps not my best story to date. It came about from my musings about what it must have been like for Irish immigrants to leave their homes because of the potato famine. \
Eileen Donovan watched the rocky coastline slowly recede from view. She knew that she would never look upon it again. In a way, it was a relief. The home that had once held such joy had become a stark reminder of all that they had lost. All that everyone had lost. So many hard years… So much death… She had stood at the graveside of each member of her family, save one. It had taken everything that they had left, just to secure passage on the ship. They were lucky, most couldn’t even afford that.
Even so, there was a small part of her that felt sad to leave the only home that she’d known for the past 17 years. Eileen’s fiery hair, emerald eyes and porcelain complexion made her the image of her late mother. She wondered briefly if anyone would put flowers on her mother’s grave now. Truthfully, it was not so much Ireland that she would miss, but her family. At least she would carry their memory with her to America.
Pulling her shawl close against her to fight the damp sea air, she turned from the last glimpses of her past to face the open sea. It was a great unknown, this future that they sailed towards. It wasn’t a guarantee, but at least it was a chance. A chance to make a new life. A chance to build something of their own in this young country so full of promise. She thought about the Israelites, journeying to the Promised Land. Were they as scared as she was right now? Nevertheless, God had provided for them, as he would for Eileen and her brother. It was for her to trust Him.
Connor approached his sister and put his arm around her shoulders. He was a year younger, but topped her height by a good eight inches already.
“Missing home?” he asked quietly.
“Missing those we left behind,” she answered honestly, “But I keep reminding myself that the memories are going with us.”
“Aye,” he nodded seriously, “Are you worried about the journey?”
“No,” she shook her head firmly, “God goes with us Connor. I need not worry.”
He hugged her petite frame closer for a moment. From that point on, neither sibling looked back again, only forwards. Their future waited. One filled with struggles and hardships to be sure, but also one that held great joy, and many blessings. Through it all, God would be with them.