Did you know?
Yes, I am.
I like being Irish. Although my great grandfather was quite typical of Irish men, if stereotypes are true. He was a drunk. A fighter. A singer. A gambler. After his wife died, he abandoned his children. He lived in a little shack somewhere in the woods of Oklahoma. And in a drunken fit one night, he may have killed a man. As the story goes, one of his girls had to take him away to another state to hide him for a few years. But I’ve only heard those stories. The little old man I knew was Papa. And I loved him.
He was quite broken down by that point in time. He died in his eighties so I only knew him for the last ten years of his life. He stayed with my grandmother some of the time, until he needed to be in a nursing home. But, thankfully, that was close to her home, so everytime we visited, I was able to see Papa.
I loved going to the nursing home to visit. I loved talking to the people there. It may have been my red hair…or freckles…or Texas accent. It could have been how loud I was…yes, I was very loud. It may have been my stature (read: tiny) or the pixie cut. It could have been my love for singing and making new friends, young or old. But the nursing home was just the place to have others smile at me. I felt significant when I walked into that place. I felt loved.
My mom would tell me, “Be very kind. Old people love little kids. So don’t be afraid. And smile. Always show them you care about who they are.” I remember my parents singing for them. My mom played the piano and my dad sang tenor. She harmonized beautifully with his lead. They were heroic…in my mind.
Where did all that come from?
This Irish blessing I found today:
May you see God’s light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.
I really love being Irish.
(The title was originally, “Blarney Spoken Here” but considering the name of my blog…somehow it just didn’t fit!) 😯