When Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, ’tis like the morn in Spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter You can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, All the world seems bright and gay. And when Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, they steal your heart away.
Happy first day of spring. My daffodils have all opened for a spectacular display of color at my front entry. It is rare for my early spring flowers to open in March. But, Southeastern Michigan has been kissed with several consecutive days of blue skies, sunshine and summer-like temps.
This weekend my family and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. My husband doesn’t really get into all of the hoopla. But, my children and I do. My late grandparents on my mom’s side are both Irish. In fact, Issa and I just studied my grandma’s ancestry for a presentation she gave at school, today. We learned my grandma’s great grandparents migrated to the United States and to Oceola Township, Mich., in 1849. This time period would have been toward the end of the Great Potato famine. While we are confident my Grandpa’s Irish heritage, his ancestry is a little more complicated to trace.
My mom and legion of aunts/uncles never miss celebrating Ireland’s national holiday on March 17. Each March they all migrate to Melbourne, FL where my Aunt Gerry and Uncle Jim treat everyone to a spectacular corned beef meal, spirits, March Madnesson every TV and sing-along sessions. Due to scheduling conflicts I have not attended since 2004 when Issa was just a year-old.
While the spectacular blue skies and summer-like temps in Michigan had my crew hankering for grilled steaks, I treated them to a corned beef feast, which included my infamous Nutella cookies with green M&Ms. I didn’t hear any complaints. But, I did drink a couple Smithwicks while the corned beef roasted.
Within the previous 24 months, I have experienced the death of many family members and friends. I have lost two grandparents, two uncles, an aunt, a long-time family friend and the toddler son of a cousin. The death of so many woke me up. I realized my time on this planet is limited; and the time my family members and friends have is limited, too. During the holidays, one of my aunts included the following with her annual letter …
HOW DO YOU LIVE YOUR DASH?
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone from the beginning to the end. He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following date with tears. But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For the dash represents all the time he spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth, For it matters not how much we own — the cars, the house, the cash — What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard — are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be arranged. If we could just slow down long enough to consider what’s true and real. And always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more. And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile. Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy’s been read with your life’s actions to rehash. Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?
This reflection resonates with me because I believe its message is a common theme playing in current happenings around our globe.