A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Today, every one is wearing something green.  People are celebrating any hint of Irish they have in them with green beer, parades and Shake-Your-Shamrock parties.  And that is fun and great and all.  But today, it is my honor to celebrate something more.

Today I am celebrating selflessness, compassion, creativity, un-ending love, grace, beauty, laughter and dedication.

I am celebrating memories of waking up on this famous holiday to little green leprechaun feet taped to the floor, right outside my door.  Feet that would lead me to the breakfast table, where I would find green eggs and ham, green milk and gold-wrapped chocolate coins. It was always a day full of wonder, excitement and lots of green.  Even when the focus should have been focused on her she made the day, really every day, about fun and laughter.

I am celebrating someone who isn’t afraid to get down and silly.  This woman has an uncanny knack at making babies giggle.  Children of all ages love her silly jokes and warm hugs.  The way she reads a children’s book is nothing short of captivating.

I am celebrating the dedication it took to raise three children, all with different needs, passions and challenges.  Yet each of us knew exactly how much we were loved and valued.  In our different paths through life, she has stood by each of us, cheering us on, encouraging us and picking us up when we stumbled.  In my own journey, one that has led me far from her nest, she has never once tried to steer me anywhere other than where my dreams have led me.

I am celebrating being raised in a home a faith and love – where every day we were told we were loved.  Every day we were provided for.  Every day we were challenged to be the best we could be.  A home where love wasn’t just taught, it was modeled.  Where faith wasn’t just a Sunday dress, it was a way of life.

I am celebrating a woman who called our Saturday errands, “Adventure time” – turning mundane tasks into scavenger hunts.   Someone who helped foster our creativity by expressing her own.   When a story was written or a song sung or a masterpiece was drawn,  it drew instant and sincere praise.  When I was first learning to play guitar, I thought my dad would be the obvious choice to learn from.  One day, sitting in my room, on the floor, frustrated with my lack of skill, she walked in, sat down, and strummed a few easy chords.  I had never known she could play, but she was willing to share with me, teach me, coach me, encourage me not to to be too hard on myself.

I am celebrating someone whose selfless acts of love have carried our family through hard times.  When my dad’s father passed away, my mother was there for the family, opening her home, her kitchen and her arms – even though she had just had major surgery.  When her own parents passed, mere weeks apart, she was there, coordinating details, making sure everyone could be home to celebrate their lives.  She has spent countless hours caring for the people and things that we were left behind.

I am celebrating someone who taught me that tears are healing, and strength is found in our vulnerability.  Whatever trials I have faced or put myself through, I have always known who I can depend on to listen, to give advice, to pray for me.

Yes, today I am celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  I am wearing my green.  I am eating anything remotely connected to Irish cuisine.  And I am always on the hunt for that pot ‘o gold.  But I am also celebrating my most favorite of the Irish:

Today, I am celebrating my mother.

Happy Birthday Mom!   I love you!

2 thoughts on “A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

  1. Elizabeth,
    I am blown away by your kind words (you made me cry). This is one of the best birthdy presents a mother could ever recieve. I love you so much and am so proud of you. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute.
    Love you!

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