This was a constant hanging on the wall of my Irish childhood. This is the actual plaque that still hangs on the wall of my mom’s house today. I asked her to send me a pic of it because I’ve always loved it – and because it’s St. Patrick’s day, a celebration of a heritage my family has been proud of for generations, a family that I am always so far from. Her message with the pic asked if I wanted the real thing because, if so, she would send it to me.
After everything she and I have been through that this plaque has bore witness to; as enemies, as two stubborn minds that don’t understand each other, and as mother and daughter connected by an inseverable bond who have reached a point that we can be friends who support, accept and are kind to each other – as those two women who have traveled their own paths and somehow met in the same spot – we now have the ability to talk on the phone for 3 straight hours sharing big ideas, out-there beliefs, worries and frustrations, and knowing advice because we know how each of us ticks.
This is the Irish way. We are loyal to those we love and will deal with shit being wrong for the rest of our lives. But sometimes, it isn’t wrong anymore.
I don’t want the plaque yet. I could have lost her 13 years ago to pancreatic cancer, before we had this chance. There’s still plenty of time before that plaque bares witness to the next generation mother-daughter duel.
“Riamh a thabhairt suas.”