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IRISH HERITAGE

With a maiden name like O’Kelley, I am proud of my Irish heritage. My Dad instilled a sense of honor in my two sisters and I from an early age. We grew up making sure we knew how to spell our name correctly with an “ey” and not just a “y”. I can still hear my rendition of telling someone how to spell my name as a child – “O-aposophe (intentionally misspelled) -K-e-l-l-e-y” emphasizing each two letters especially the second “e.”

One of the sweetest memories of my Dad was when he decided to take the entire family (including our husbands) to Ireland to visit the land of our ancestors. His health would not allow him to enjoy each new unexplored site along with us but he took great joy in watching our delight and hearing our conversations as we piled in and out of our chartered van. My Mom had planned a full island itinerary minus the pub outings much to the dismay of our driver. I can still visualize how green the rolling hills were separated by low hand-built rock walls, the herds of sheep as they wandered in the pastures and across the roads and how we laughingly hollered “sheep” every time we came across them, and the mossy, old, mysterious stone castles that dotted the landscape. We even participated in Irish dances and ate Irish stew, lamb, and blood pudding.

Needless to say, I am fond of Irish blessings. They often recognize the gifts of God to be showered upon the reader. More than once I’ve used the following Irish blessing when speaking or corresponding:

May God give you . . .
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial,
for every problems life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

The truth is, God does, in fact, do all of those things: give rainbows, smiles, promises, blessings, faithful friends, songs, and answers to prayers. Sometimes we don’t recognize them. Or maybe we just aren’t accustomed to receiving blessings. We are more accustomed to giving blessings. I wonder what we may be missing out on. We tend to focus on the “storm, the tears, the problems, and the sighs.” Isn’t that more the way we are geared – to lean towards the negative? Why don’t we instead try to focus on the “rainbow, the smiles, the blessings in each trial, the faithful friend, the sweet song, and answers to our prayers.” I bet it would lighten our load and brighten our mood. I dare ye!

Karen Allen

2 Comments

  1. SHARON ATWOOD on January 5, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    The blog really helped me to look on the bright side. It reminded me to focus on the bless not the mess!

  2. KATHRYN on January 5, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Well said, from your heart.

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