The Lives They Loved from New York Times
As part of the magazine's annual The Lives They Lived issue, publishing in print on Dec. 29, we invited readers to contribute a photograph and a story of someone close to them who died this year. Additional stories will be added in the coming days.
Ruth Corrigan Mundschenk b. 1918
My mother claimed to hate being photographed which was tricky for me, her daughter, a photographer. But it helped me develop patience and in her last years with us, she cut me some slack. She left us early this March at age 94, no doubt in a hurry to get to heaven and celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the man himself. She was a proud Irishwoman, quick to remind everyone that her maiden name was Corrigan. Quick to pull out her box of Irish buttons and jewelry to wear and share with others on her favorite holiday. Quick to pour some Baileys Irish Cream and have a toast. Or two. Quick to go the casino with her friend Virginia and her stash of gambling money for their St. Patrick’s Day party. Quick to giggle and share a private joke or some gossip. Quick to forgive my many misdeeds. Quick to share her friendship and cookies and to lend her ear to listen and counsel. And as the end neared, still quick to light up and smile as her favorite priest would sing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” into her ear at her bedside. I love and miss you, Mom.