Today is St. Patrick’s Day. While I am not Irish, we celebrate this day for another special reason in our family. It was the date when my parents were married 70 years ago. I wasn’t there of course, but my aunts and uncles told me that the wedding was nice. (smile.) Soon thereafter, the kids all came along, all 15 of us over an 18-year period.
My Mom and Dad were always very romantic on their anniversary, and it showed. Dad would put a record of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” on the phonograph. He would then dance with my Mom to the tune while she listened to his attempted singing. It really was very sweet, watching them celebrate their very special day.
Us kids would get into the act by making green things. Cupcakes, cards, and even one year we found green dye and dyed our shirts (and ourselves) green. We had green all over the house for weeks following, much to my mothers pretend angst, but amusement was lightly always in her eyes, along with a tear or two.
Mom would make corned beef & cabbage for us to eat while Dad would take my Mom out to dinner. Just them. They would make a night of sharing their anniversary with each other, and without all of us rug-rats tagging along. At first I didn’t like that arrangement, but then I realized that this was their day and we had them the remaining 364 days of the year.
After my father passed away, we were timid about recognizing St. Patrick’s Day, knowing the memories that the day held for my Mom. But she would make the best of it, and enjoy our green things all the more. She would say, “you know, this is a special day and if it weren’t for your father, you wouldn’t be here.” Of course, she was right. We would all give her a card, and prepare a special meal for her with a green-frosted cake and green ice cream (and our green shirts.) We would play her favorite tune, sing along, and smile, thinking of our Dad.
Both of my parents are with each other in Heaven now. I think of them often, but most especially on “their day” — St. Patrick’s Day.
Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad. We all love you.
Life is short: share happy memories. That is how your loved-ones remain alive, even if they have departed this Earth.
Addendum: Rising early, I got busy in the kitchen and prepared 60 cupcakes tinted with green food coloring and green icing. My ever-resourceful partner found nifty decorative plastic containers that will hold four cupcakes. I wrote a heart-felt message on 15 cards and taped one to each of the 15 containers of sweets. A friend will pick me up today and (shhhh… don’t tell my partner)… she will take me with her to deliver the packages to senior pals who made me casseroles, visited, and called often during my lengthy broken leg recovery period. While I will not be able to get out of the car to deliver the sweets myself (as I still have a huge cast on my leg and can’t walk very well), I will be happy to know that I was able to do something to demonstrate my thanks to my friends who cared for me during my time of need.