Slice of Life


As we walked through Kilmainham Gaol, Chris pointed at a cell on the other side of the yard.

“Hey, does that say Hickey?  Like you great grandmother’s last name?”

“Whoa, it does!”

I made my way over to the cell that had the name engraved over the cell door.  As my fingers traced the words that had been scratched into the cement sometime between 1750 and 1924, I imaged the possibility that a distant relative had spent time in this very cell.  Was it during the the potato famine, when being in jail at least promised 3 meals a day?  Or maybe during the Irish civil war in the early 20th century?  Was it a male Hickey or a female Hickey?

“You should get a picture for your Dad,” Chris said. “He’d love this!”

“Yeah, you’re right.  Let me just get in the doorway.  Make sure you get the name in the frame,” I replied.

I stood in the doorway, waiting for the flash that would signal the picture was done.  A doorway where one of my relatives had possibly stood a hundred or more years ago.  What an amazing idea, an amazing possibility.