Although all of our celebrations have looked very different this past year, I think we can all agree family, friends and connections with others is very important to our mental and physical sense of well-being.
St. Patrick’s Day observes of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking and a whole lot of green.
Did you know the first St Patrick’s day parade was held in America? According to history.com, the first parade was held on March 17, 1601 in a Spanish colony in what is now St Augustine, Florida! To me and my family it is a national holiday and always will be.
Family, Food and Fun!
Coming from a large Irish Catholic family my dad was always into celebrating our heritage. Growing up, St Patrick’s day with the downtown parade and festivities was always a way I could connect with him. Participating and watching folks celebrating all the good stuff – being alive, being Irish – instilled in me the importance of family, tradition and a sense of community. When I became a father, I knew that I wanted to continue to pass along those feelings and memories to my kids.
My fondest memory with my dad on St Patrick’s day is from about seven years ago. My dad was suffering from Parkinson’s and his dementia was pretty far along. I was driving The Cleary Company van. Me and my dad in the front seat. My girls were passing out candy to children along the parade route.
It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining. As we made the turn onto W Broad St, I looked over at my dad, wearing his St Aquinas jacket and Irish cap and he had the biggest smile on his face. He looked to me to be having the time of his life waving to all the folks along the street. Then he asked me, “Who are all these people and why are they waving at me?”. With a sad smile on my face I said, “Dad you’re a celebrity, they want to wave to the guy in the letter jacket!” and he responded, “Really, huh, feels good.”
Whether I was watching or participating in the parade with my dad and my kids, those are memories I will cherish forever. Slainte! George
May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more. – Traditional Irish Blessing
Click here to check out these 7 surprising facts about St Patrick’s Day!