She married young, had four children, and was widowed at age 32. I, the oldest was 13, Tom 9, Mary Anne 5, and Jane 16 months, then her struggle commenced. Pa (our Grandfather) died two years later. He had lived with us for years and his passing meant the loss of his income.

Whatever money he had went into probate and it was contested by relatives in Ireland. It went on for a number of years and was eaten up in court costs. Although he lived with us for years and was taken care of by Mom, there was nothing she could do to hold onto whatever finances were available, although she did have the house on Carpenter Street.

Following this, she had no choice but to go on "relief" (now known as welfare). It was slim and just enough to get along. Whatever valuables were available (Pa's watch, my electric train set, etc.) disappeared mysteriously. I accompanied her on many trips to the Local Loan Company, and waited in an outer office while she did business with them.

She had never worked, but she was able to obtain a job as a switchboard operator at Modern Laundry not too far away from us. She was happy with the job and worked several years for them.

The dominant figure in our lives was our Mother. She had been baptized Anna Marcella Heeney but for some reason was known as Marcella (or Marce to most people).

In their younger years, she and her sister Frances, often went to the beach because we lived near South Park Avenue and the water was handy. "Fran" almost lived in a bathing suit when she was young.

Papa's death was a shock to all of us, but mostly to her and Pa. It was quite some time before she got over it (if at all). For quite some time she would experience light headedness and become ill - we now associate this with hyper-ventilation - and resisted going anywhere where there were crowds of people.

She went through some very trying times and was hard put to make ends meet, what with four children in her early thirties. She was very devout and her faith saw her through many hard times.

Mom was famous for her "malaprops" in her speech. For instance, when someone asked where she got a cold she answered "Oh I slept near the window with my head open" or when asking for the price of something, she would say "how much costs it".

Her sense of humor was keen and despite all her problems, she could always laugh. She was a good Mother to all of us and taught us many things about life and living happily.