March 17 - St. Patrick's Day and Much More

So, it's St. Patrick's Weekend. It is a great time to celebrate with our friends of Irish heritage. There will be parades, green beer, Irish soda bread, and of course, cabbage and corned beef piled up like Thanksgiving turkeys in the local grocery stores. It amazes me how we love to celebrate. No one celebrated St. Patrick's Day more than my family.

No, we are not born of Irish heritage, quite the contrary. We were Polish, but we celebrated as though it was a high holiday along with our Irish neighbors. We still celebrate it because my dad was born on St. Patrick's day. He felt that it was lucky to be born on this day. Some would look at his life and think that this man had a hard life. If he were alive today, he would say,"I'm the richest man in the world. I have a wife who loves me. She is a great cook and baker.  I have six children, twelve grandchildren, and ten great-great grandchildren."

I could fill pages about my dad, but the best story is about the night my second sister was born. It was St. Patrick's day. My dad took the day off to take my mom to the doctors. She was close to her due date.

I was in first grade and we were having a program that night at school. My dad dropped me off and said that he would pick me up after the program.  My mom stayed home because she was tired. After the program, it seemed like a lot of kids left really fast. Then, there were only a few of us left, so Sister Lillian told us to put our heads down on the desk and wait until she would call our name. She turned off the lights in the classroom and let the coat room lights on. I fell asleep.

In the meantime, my dad never made it through the program. A neighbor got dad at school and told him my mother's water broke. The neighbor drove my dad and mom to the hospital. I was sleeping in the classroom. Later that evening my dad returned home to find out that no one picked me up. So at midnight, he was ringing the convent doorbell until someone answered, woke the janitor, and walked down to the classroom and called my name. "Daddy, it's very dark out. "I answered. "I was sleeping hard. I am really tired what took you so long?"

My father laughed and said, "Have good news! You have another little sister. She was born during the school program. Let's go home and sleep in our own beds."

So each year we celebrate my dad's birthday and every year since we celebrate my little sister's birthday. St. Patrick brought my dad a healthy child on his birthday while keeping another child safe.  Ligeann se a! (Let the party begin!) Party on America enjoy the day and if you stop by my place the corn beef is cooking. The cabbage is simmering and we'll toast to my dad contributions and to my sister's health with Irish whiskey.


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