I'm proud of my Irish ancestry on my mother's side of the family. My maternal grandmother instilled that pride in me as she was 100% Irish American with O'Toole and Connors parents. My grandmother loved to give us Irish blessings and she encouraged us to count our blessings daily. During COVID, I've been counting my blessings even more rigorously.
My maternal grandmother's grandfather arrived in the United States from Ireland, probably fleeing the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852), in the 1840s. My mother's paternal grandmother was a Ryan and a Kiely, which are also Irish surnames; her parents arrived in this country about the same time. They were all hard working Irish immigrants who ended up in Alton, IL.
Norm has a wee bit of Irish in his blood too. We both have a kindred spirit with Ireland, even though we have not been there yet. We even chose a Celtic knot for our wedding bands. Over the past year while we've all had plenty of time to fantasize about our next trip abroad, Norm and I keep thinking about Ireland. The emerald countryside, the lively music, the world-class literature is calling us. We're looking forward to a pub-to-pub bike ride through Ireland soon.
Don't we all want to be Irish, with a twinkle in our eye and a wee bit of luck? In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'm sharing Irish blessings with you this month.
May you have warm words
on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way
to your door.
Here's health and prosperity,
To you and all your posterity,
And them that doesn't drink
That they may be damned
for all eternity.
A soft pillow for your head,
May you be forty years in heaven
Before the devil knows you are dead!