It’s Risky Out There


West of Kilkenny, in the heart of southern Ireland, is the little town of Galmoy, the birthplace of my great-grandmother, Mary McCormack. A few years ago, during a visit to the Emerald Isle, my wife and I journeyed to the small thatch-covered home where Gandy, as we called her, was born.

Other than her thick Irish brogue, my memories of Gandy are vague. She died when I was 10 years old. Yet as I peered through the windows of the humble little dwelling, I felt strangely connected to her. I was moved with the profound recognition that, at great personal cost, had she not taken the risks that she took, I would not exist. ...

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