Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day ode to my Irish ancestry

As an Irish-American, I feel like St. Patrick's Day tends to be more of an Irish-American than an Irish holiday, and as an Irish-American New Yorker, I sometimes feel like it's even a more narrow holiday than that! :)

But today, when all my friends "become" Irish, when they join me in celebrating my heritage, even if they don't know what they're celebrating, even when they think it's about a shot of good Irish whiskey and a glass of good Irish beer, the experience of everyone coming together in the Irish spirit reminds me to be proud of my Irish ancestors who came before.

So today I'd like to thank all those Irish branches of my tree both known - the Gorrys, the Corrs, the Horgans, the Murphys, the Tormeys, the Prendergasts, the Donnellys, the Cronins, the Caseys, the Enrights, the Collins, the Donohues, the Cullinans - and possibly forever unknown, for all your struggles and trials and tribulations, for making it through the potato famine, for living in a time when your country was not your own but belonged to the British, for braving the unknown journey to America so that your children might have a better life than you did and then struggling in the tenements of the Lower East Side barely making ends meet, for continuing on as your husbands and parents and children died early and cruel deaths, for believing in yourselves, for believing in each other, and for believing in the future, and therefore, believing in me.

And today we all say, "Erin go braugh!"  "Ireland forever!"

(And later we'll all say "Sláinte!")

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! :)

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