|Thomas and Cheryl O'Donnell
If I could choose a location for this brick, I would make it the keystone.
The dictionary defines the keystone as "The central stone bearing the pressure of other stones in an arch." Without a strong, solid keystone, the arch would crumble into a confused pile of individual pieces.
That's a good metaphor for the role my mother has played in our family.
Jacqueline O'Donnell is the keystone in the lives of her children her husband and many others.
Although she raised 14 children, she treated each of us as individuals and made us each feel special. She continues to be the keystone as we've grown into a far-flung, disparate group. Mom has become a sort of clearinghouse of information on our whereabouts and activities.
The keystone has borne up through many tests over the years. First life as a homemaker, tending to a huge house and a huge family. Then through work as a postal clerk, rising before dawn to sort the mail.
Most recently the test has been caring for her own mother as Grandma slowly slipped into the clouds of senility; and for her husband as he fights the effects of Parkinson's disease.
Somehow Mom has survived with resourcefulness and nearly inexhaustible patience. She has instilled in her children an appreciation of hard work, a sense of humor, a love of nature and a head-on, can-do approach to the burdens of life.
Mom has been the rock the source of our strength. We thank her for it; we love her for it.
Written by Thomas O'Donnell for Louise O'Donnell, Mary O'Donnell, Michael O'Donnell, Daniel O'Donnell, Margaret O'Donnell, Jacqueline Mobley, Robert O'Donnell, Charles O'Donnell, Josephine Raynor, Patrick O'Donnell, Yvonne Raes, Alphonsus O'Donnell, and Cole O'Donnell.