Thursday, March 17, 2016

Erin Go Bragh!

Our Irish name came from Dad, but our Irish identity came from Mom. She was proud to say she had as much Irish blood in her veins as someone from the old sod. And as a matter of fact, she did — she hailed from three generations of inbred Irish stock.

Long before everyone wore green to celebrate the day, Mom would pin a ittle velour shamrock on my school uniform (which was, conveniently, a green plaid). I was the only one of my friends who wore such a thing. (And this in a school of Bryants and Welches.)

But it got the point across: We were Irish — we were passionate people, impractical people, people with heart. We loved a good tune, though not so much a good pint. We loved the green hills and  fields of Ireland; we liked to think we embodied its soul.

Later on, I would learn that had we some of the less attractive traits of the island nation: a certain clannishness and suspicion. We would live through a punishing family feud.

But still, on St. Patrick's Day, and especially on this one — the first without Mom — I raise my glass to the spirit of the place we came from. Erin go Bragh!
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