From our cousin Jackie (whose grandfather Fred Fitzpatrick was a brother to our grandfather, Sheldon Albert Fitzpatrick) after she visited OurMother, and my response to her:
Very depressing! Death is inevitable, its sad but true. The minute that we are born, we know that death will come. When and how or where we don't know. Get as much information from your Mom on her memories now while you can. Its important. Ask her about her mother and father, grandparents etc.
I know what your going thru! God bless you all. My mother had such a bad childhood and would not talk about it until the near end, when she would answer the questions that I asked her. Stella and her two sisters were put in the Poor farm in Hallock until they were 18 yrs old. They were put in their by their Uncle Ward Finney. Their mother wanted them to come to Canada to be with her and her sisters. But that would have been to much trouble to get the birth certificates of the girls so they could go there.
They were born all over while Ella followed her husband on the railroad. They were molested by the man who ran the home. Her grandparents would not except them, as there own.
I believe only Hannah Fitzpatrick Fox came to visit them. They were in a loveless invirement. She said that Mom Anderson was the only real person who loved and cared for them.
When the girls reached the age that they could work then their father Fred Fitzpatrick would have them come to Detroit to work. The only one who stayed in the area was Kay Fitzpatrick she went to work for a Doctor in Fargo and she was the only one that finished school.
Ask your mother about this, will you? Tell her I think of her often, and hope she is happy.
Thanks for replying so promptly, and for your reactions. Also, I really appreciated your sharing about your mother more. From what I can tell, there were very hard decisions made (sometimes unnecessarily so as you indicated, if someone had cared enough to bother) by both sides of my mother's family, the Fitzgeralds AND the Fitzpatricks. As you may or may not know, my Grandma Fitzpatrick, whose maiden name was Fitzgerald, had two younger brothers who were put up for care after my great grandmother died. Their father, William Fitzgerald, was such an alcoholic, it was probably for the best (he died only 5 years later ran over by a train while intoxicated). I remember my mother saying that her Mom, their sister, would have taken them in, but she had only just gotten married herself, and things were very tight. It was definitely a different time then...