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I wear this bracelet every St. Patrick’s Day.  It makes my Irish-Catholic-rooted heart sing out loud all day long.

This little reminder takes me back to growing up with my firecracker of a Nana – Catherine McClain Hermann.  I was lucky enough to live with her just a staircase away for my whole childhood.

St. Patrick’s Day will forever remind me of Celtic jigs playing on my parent’s hi-fi; of a bright green derby she made for my dad when he married into the family; of always room for one more at the table and always room for one more in her heart and fierce, no-nonsense love always…of grace with a capital G. 

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When I wear this bracelet, or I look at this picture, or any of the many photos of her in our house, I am reminded that her tenacity, her work ethic, her hospitality and her boundless love still lives. 

It lives in her four children, in her 14 grandchildren and now 41 great-grandchildren that still come together several times a year with too-much food and too-loud story-telling and too-much toasting and lots and lots of crazy love. 

 

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When we come together like that – I know she’s there too.  She’s watching this gaggle of crazies that she spun out into the world.  And I know that this was the most important work of her life. 

This is the most important work of ALL of our lives.  To love well; to show those closest to us a way of compassion, of acceptance, of always enough to go around.  For the love and influence of Catherine McClain Hermann, and for all those rosary-praying, port-drinking, joke-telling Irish women that came before her…I feel lucky today.  I feel blessed.

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Speaking of blessed, I can’t sign off without this:

The Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – now I’m going to tuck my independent, stubborn, amazing oldest daughter into bed.  Her name? Catherine. ; )

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