Thursday, March 17, 2011

A St. Patrick's Day to Remember

Laura and Linda (I'm the on the right)
 I am proud to be of Irish heritage and don't hold back on St. Patrick's Day. It is an annual tradition for my sister and I, to go out to lunch for corn beef and cabbage. We go to our local American Legion for our favorite Irish meal. Jack, the chef there, starts cooking the corn beef at about 4AM and you can tell. The meat just falls apart on the fork and melts in your mouth. The inexpensive meal at $8.95, comes with plenty of food as you will see in the picture. The menu is: Corn Beef, Cabbage, Red Potatoes, Cooked Carrots and Raisin Soda Bread. You can't beat this price for all the food you get. If you are able to be part of the clean plate club, there is usually a nap following the eating experience.

St. Patrick's Day has a lot of meaning for me. I was diagnosed in 2004 with lung cancer (I never smoked) and had surgery to remove the tumour on this day. I can't believe that was already seven years ago. Wow, it seems like just yesterday I was going through surgery, chemo and radiation. I am so glad that is behind me, but take this day as a reminder. Love life and every day that you are on this earth as none of us knows when we will leave our loved ones. Be grateful, love eachother, don't hold back on telling people what they mean to you, don't spend time with people that don't treat you well, smell the roses, slow down, don't take the little things so seriously. These are just a few gems I have learned since my diagnosis.

This St. Patrick's Day has yet another special meaning to me. I will be with many of my loving Irish relatives. My late father's sister and husband, or my Aunt and Uncle, passed away recently. Philly and Dick had been very sick for the past couple of years. It makes sense, with their deep love for eachother, that they passed away, a day apart. They will be having their wake and funeral, side by side, just as they were, here on earth.

They were wonderful role-models to all of their nieces and nephews and other family members. One of the examples of their remarkable character and love for family, was back in 1972. This was the year my beautiful mother passed away from complications related to alcoholism. My father was also struggling with alcoholism and put himself into treatment right after the funeral. He knew he had five children counting on him and was ready to get help for his problem. My Aunt Philly and Uncle Dick took all five of the Rogers clan in, during the Christmas season. They gave us love and security and a Christmas we will never forget. This is an amazing act of kindness and christianity in itself, but understand that Philly and Dick had eight children of their own. Can you imagine the work that went into that Christmas with all those children. That is what they believed was the right thing to do for family. Take them in at their darkest hours and show them understanding, compassion and love.

I will never forget you Aunt Philly and Uncle Dick and I thank you for being there for me and my four siblings. You will be given a special place in heaven for all the love you gave your childen and extended family. I look forward to celebrating your lives with the rest of my relatives this evening at the wake and tomorrow at the funeral. You are forever in our hearts.

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