On St. Patrick’s Day, my mother always comes to mind. Today, Father Martin joins her in my memory. Almost 40 years ago, Father Martin’s “Chalk Talk” was THE movie used to teach about alcoholism. In it, Father Martin stood in front of chalk board and talked about the disease and his life. There are no actors, sound effects, or animation. It is just this priest sharing his experiences in the hope of helping others. At one point in the movie, he says his drank because it was Easter Day, someone’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. The he laughed. That is what I remember today, Father Martin laughing and making light of the way his mind worked when controlled by alcoholism.
During my childhood, my mother celebrated St Patrick’s day making a treasured recipe of corned beef and cabbage for supper then topping it off with a good bit of drinking. St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t much fun for me in those days. But I am a lucky daughter because my mother’s sobriety and recovery allowed us to become close. While celebrating sobriety, Mom embraced St Patrick’s day with gusto. She wanted to go out, to be with the Irish and to join in the celebration. She came home with hilarious stories like managing to get a photo with a handsome man wearing a kilt and always a memory or 2 of her Danny O’Shea. Mom was in college during WWII and Danny owned a pub in the college town. These were hard times for everyone. Danny took her under his wing, nurturing her with humor, tales of Ireland, corned beef and cabbage, and devotion that her father couldn’t give.
Mom celebrated St. Patty’s day with joy, laughter, and gratitude.
Sometimes, laughter is a good way out of darkness.
Happy St Patrick’s Day. 🍀