Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In my world, St. Patrick's Day is, with the exception of Christmas, undoubtedly the most beloved day of the year.

My life is overflowing with Patricks, one Patricia, one Patrice, and not one, but two, beloved family members born on St. Patrick's Day. You could liken our family to the George Foreman clan - my mother would have every one of her children and grandchildren named "Patrick" if she could. While all of these Patricks make for a little confusion, it's worth the effort for the cumulative effect of so many wonderful personalities sharing the common tie of "Patrickness"...

Before I begin the litany, let me apologize in advance to anyone who might be mistakenly forgotten - I'm getting old and forgetful...I almost hesitated to pay individual tribute, lest I turn out like that Academy Award winning actress who remembered to thank everyone but her husband!

Patricia - As best I can tell, the string of Patricks in my family began with the naming of my beloved paternal grandmother, Patricia. Coming from a family of French decent, I'm not sure her parents had St. Patrick in mind when they named her, but in doing so they set in place a long line of Patricks. My grandmother is, without a doubt, one of my greatest heroes. She raised seven rowdy children, all of whom revere her to no end. To me, she has always been a model of all a mother should be - both grace and playfulness. If I could grow up to be just like her, I would consider my life well lived!

Patrick Wayne I (aka "Daddy") - I'm willing to bet, as the eldest child in his family, that his naming was in tribute to his parents - Patricia and Wayne. My family is Irish, but not 100% so...that never stopped my Daddy from partying big time on St. Patrick's Day. My Daddy has the faith and eloquence of St. Patrick, and the party attitude (although thankfully not the stature) of a leprechaun.

Erin Patrice (aka, my sister!) - Long before I was ever born, I had a name: you guessed it, Patrick! Family legend has it that when my Daddy found out I was a girl, he was so disappointed that he did not purchase my baby pictures and I went nameless for a few days. When my sister Erin was born, Daddy might have started giving up hope for a boy and named my new sibling "Erin Patrice". Erin Patrice must have been a daddy's delight - adorable, with a head of gorgeous red hair. Growing up, I was always envious of Erin's strawberry locks, her gorgeous blue eyes, and her diminutive stature. Today, Erin is the perfect combination of "Patrickness" - like my Grandma Patricia, she is a devoted mother. Like my Daddy, her red-headed personality fills any room she enters - if you're at a party, you want Erin on board! If you need a lawyer, her skill and expertise are unmatched! She brings a special something to the Patricks in our family.

Patrick Wayne II (aka, my brother!) - My brother Patrick, number three kid in our family, must surely have been my daddy's favorite the day he was born! After so many years of waiting, Daddy finally got his precious namesake. Patrick is another one of my favorite people. He evolved from being the pesky little brother when I was a teen trying to date, to one of the finest men I know. This Patrick is a mixed bag too! Like Daddy, he's fun to the maximum and has seen his fair share of parties. But today, he is a family man and a devoted father and husband. Last weekend, I had the joy of watching my brother Patrick care for his little son in my home for a night. Watching him bathe, read and sing to his son brought tears to my eyes. I'm not sure why I'm so surprised at what a great Daddy this Patrick is - he learned from the best!

Brady Anne (aka, my sister!) - Why is there a Brady on the Patrick list?! Guess what, today is her birthday! When my sister Brady's arrival on scene was delayed, my parents were given the option of having her birth induced. Daddy selected St. Patrick's Day for her birthday, thus ensuring a future devotion to this special day. My parents asked for sibling input on Brady's name, and she was supposedly named after our favorite television program at the time: the Brady Bunch! While she isn't formally named Patrick, in my book Brady Anne has always been the queen of St. Patrick's Day and the first person I pray for when my eyes open on March 17.

Adam Patrick (aka, my son!) - Adam is part saint, part leprechaun. My beloved eleven year old exudes his faith through his daily actions and his lovable personality. But like those sneaky little green guys, he's always got a few tricks up his sleeve. Named in tribute to his Grandpa, this Patrick is my sunshine, one of the lights that fills my life.

Patrick William (aka, my nephew!) - When my sister Brady learned that her firstborn was going to be a boy, we all referred to him as Matthew in the months prior to his birth (after his daddy). God had another plan in mind though, and Brady gave birth to her son on her own birthday - St. Patrick's Day!!! The precious new baby was named Patrick William, adding a new Patrick to the family tree! This Patrick is a pretty awesome one too. As a first grader, Patrick is a bundle of personality and energy. He's the best baseball player and crocodile rustler in all of Mississippi. I'd give anything to have one half of this Patrick's style and imagination, not to mention that incredible smile!

Patrick Wayne III (aka, my nephew!) - My brother Patrick and his lovely wife welcomed a new soul into our world in July - our newest Patrick!!! This little guy is such a love. His smile lights up the room and he's a definite Daddy's boy. This baby gives off an aura of complete contentment 99% of the time - he is such a sweetie, and with a mommy and daddy like he has, I know he's going to do great things in his life!

If you've made it this far, you now know why today is definitely one of my favorite days. I've shared before that I love the seasons that fill our liturgical calendar. St. Patrick's Day, for me, is a day to celebrate all that is good in my life. I'm blessed with a strong faith modeled for me by my parents and a confidence that God really does love me as a person. On top of this, today I celebrate all of the special Patricks, Patricias, Patrices and Bradys that fill my heart and my life. To each of you, I send a virtual hug and a happy feast day. I love you!

Our favorite Irish priest offers a special Celtic prayer during that blessed meditation silence following the Eucharist at mass. I share Father's prayer with you today:

A hundred thousand welcomes,
oh Jesus, oh Jesus

A hundred thousand thanks for everything that we are and have,
oh Jesus, oh Jesus

A hundred thousand acts of love in return for the love that you’ve showered upon us,
oh Jesus, oh Jesus

A hundred thousand acts of sorrow for our sins and the sins of the world around us,
oh Jesus, oh Jesus

A hundred thousand “ gimmes”, things we need, we ask for your glory for our own salvation,
oh Jesus, oh Jesus!

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!


Anonymous said...

Darling Lisa ----- This, like your fine self, is a masterpiece! I loved every line of it. Thank God for Brady being born on this day: God's double blessing to keep me from killing myself by overpartying on St. Patick's Day and to thereby remain alive to enjoy her birthday, which we are going out to celebrate this evening along with Birtday Boy Patrick. Love and Misses, Dad

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa
Just wanted to share with you my connection with St. Patrick's Day and the name Patrick. I'm Irish, by birth, born to an Irish born mother who emigrated to Canada in the 1950's. My oldest sister was born on July 12, Orangeman's Day, much to my mothers chagrin so she was named Patrice. (More on coincidences with her later) My mother herself has a birthday straight after St. Patrick's Day, the 18th (yesterday). My youngest sister is on the 16th and my aunt (Mum's sister (my second Mum) passed away on the 15th of March (Ides of March) So the week of St. Patrick's is special to my family from the 15th to the 18th, and especially this year as it is the first year without my dear Mum who passed away at age 73 last June. My birthday is also on the 18th but of October which I share with my Irish uncle and cousin. Patrice who was born on Orangeman's Day shares this birthday with my stepdaughter, Jenny, and she shares her wedding anniversary with the exact day my oldest stepdaughter was born, (Lisa, like you). Lisa and Jenny both do Irish dancing at the urging of my mother many years ago and they love it even though their now both in their twenties. Patrice's daughter, Tara, shares a birthday with my father-in-law and on it goes....there are even more coincidences which I won't bore you with. Glad to hear you enjoy St. Patrick's Day too!

Anonymous said...

Although I'm late - I did read this on Friday, but didn't have time to comment - I want to thank you for your beautiful thoughts...NO - there can never be too many Patricks. They are all so special, each in his/her own way. Hope you all had a wonderful feast day. Love Mom