My married name is German, but my heritage is Irish on my dad's side. My maiden name was Frawley and my dad and his brothers were the 3rd generation of our branch of the Frawleys in America. They were of that Irish stock with dark, dark hair, blue eyes and fair skin. Then there was my Uncle Jimmy, red-haired and freckle-faced!! Each of the Frawley boys had at least one red-headed child. I was my Dad's, although I was never really a carrot top red like some of the others, but more of a dark auburn brown. I did have the blue/green eyes and freckles though!!
Looking back in our family tree, almost every male bore some combination of the names John, James, Edward, Patrick, Michael, Joseph or Richard. My dad was John Edward. My uncle was James Patrick. My brother is Patrick John, and so on.
St. Patricks Day was celebrated at our house with the wearin' of the green, corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and green beer (Kool-Aid for the children). The passing of a family member was always marked with a wake, where the men would share stories of the dear departed between shots of Old Bushmill, often at the gravesite, where for each shot imbibed, one was dumped on the ground for the deceased.
Today, I will make corned beef and cabbage. Honey won't eat it. Neither will any of my kids. My daughter-in-law has never had it, and said she would like to try some. So I'll have it for my dinner, and probably lunch for the next couple of days!! But I can't let the day pass without honoring that part of my heritage. Some things you just never let go.
And later tonight, I'll call my brother Pat, who lives in South Carolina and wish him a Happy St. Paddy's Day. And an Irish Blessing to all of you.
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!