My paternal great-grandfather and great-grandmother left Ireland as children. I imagine their parents were young, poor and full of hope in the life they would live in America. They brought their hard work, faith, and love with them. My great-grandparents lived a long life and I was privileged to know them as a child.
And I was raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where being an Irish American is a point of pride. I’m talking seriously proud enough to throw one of the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country. The day…week… is over the top green, beer-drenched, hilariously funny, and full of delicious corned beef and cabbage. Those not familiar may be inclined to see only the silly and superficial (I can’t explain green beer, for example.) Those in the know understand that a good joke, a rousing sing-a-long, and a cold brew with friends have carried many a people through hard and dark times.
Every year for St. Patrick’s Day, I’m glad to set aside the challenges of life to remember where I came from. I’m grateful for generations of my relatives before me who sacrificed to benefit me and my children. We remain connected in a mysterious yet tangible way. I’m proud of my heritage and if that means wearing green, going to a parade, throwing a party, singing Clancy Lowered the Boom, and making Irish soda bread, then that’s exactly what our family will do. Dear St. Patrick, and all who hand down faith, hope, and love, a mighty cheers to you!
Do you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? What is your favorite way to celebrate your heritage?
I invite you, as my friend, to be Irish for the day. Enjoy 🙂 ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc