My father was fiercely proud of his Irish heritage, but was not a fan of the commercialized St. Patrick’s Day festivities. As I grow older, the more I appreciate the culture of my Irish ancestors: resilient, creative, and brilliant storytellers who can tell the funniest of jokes and sing the saddest of songs and care deeply for family and country.
Of course, there is a darker side to every culture and I witnessed my father struggle through what he called “black” moods of depression and over-indulging in alcohol. I touch upon this in my book, The Reluctant Caregiver. But his love of his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland and his hopes of a united Ireland never wavered. In fact, in the last conversation I had with him just a month before he died, deep in the fog of dementia, he told me he wanted to go to Ireland.
So I will raise a toast to Dad with some Irish whiskey tonight and continue my exploration of my Irish heritage.
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3 responses to “Celebrating the Irish spirit”
Happy St. Patty’s Day, Joy. Your dad grew up in Ireland, right? Today is my dad’s birthday. Not even a hint of Irish in him. He’s all American and all Italian.
Yes, my father grew up in Belfast, N. Ireland. Happy Birthday to your Dad!
I’ll bet he had a nice accent. 🙂🍀