They say it is better late than never and for cousins, Hanna and Dennis, never was there a truer adage. The Irish cousins were reunited on September 6 in Boston, MA after 86 years of absence.
"I didn't want to leave Ireland. I was too young," recalls Hanna, who was seventeen when she set sail for the U.S.
She was taken to the ship by her cousin Jeremiah Moynihan and his four year old son Dennis.
"I don't remember anything about it [the boat journey], except walking to the boat and holding Denny's hand. I don't remember it. I guess I didn't want to" Hanna said.
After two weeks on the ship she landed in New York, where she was met at the port by her siblings.
"It took me a year to get used to it," admitted the Kerry native.
However, Hanna met and married the love of her life, Kerry-man Michael Lovett, in 1939 and they went on to raise their seven children in New York.
Despite numerous trips to Ireland in the intervening years, the cousins never met again until late 2013, when a then 103-year old Hanna talked face to face with a now 90 year old "Denny" for the first-time online via Skype.
"We were both excited, after all the years," said Dennis.
"I had a lovely photograph of Hanna and the President of Ireland on her 100th birthday (then President Mary McAleese) and she looked exactly as she was in the photo."
Dennis married a local lady and moved to County Waterford, where they reared their seven children. A reunion in Boston would be the perfect excuse he needed to travel to America for the first time. He admitted that at 91, a trip across the Atlantic was something, "I thought I would only ever dream about."
Despite a lifetime of catching up to do, the pair who share 195 years of worldliness between them, had time to dispense some pearls of wisdom to The Irish Emigrant for living long and prosperous.
"Hard Work," Hanna says in a soft Kerry lilt, "I worked from I was 13."
"Family and friends.....and lots of laughter," she added was important too.
Dennis admits that they "both got lucky as we have good genes" as he recalled his great-grandmother who lived to be 103 and his grandfather who was almost 100 before he died.
However, he adamantly believes that "keeping active" has helped him remain healthy and happy for so long. Dennis loves to dance and, until very recently, could be found ballroom dancing up to three nights a week. Laughing, he also shared that the odd glass of Baileys never hurt and the jovial grandfather's best piece of advice for anyone hoping to last the pace is "everything in moderation."
Hanna, who at 104-years-old still enjoys good health, is pretty content with her lot but when pressed on what she hopes for her future, she chuckles and says she's "eager to just keep going for as long as I can."