The Luck of the Irish

Updated: Mar 27



I looked at these photos with awe and amazement. John Leddy, my great grandfather, dragging a horse drawn plow across the field while smoking his pipe against the backdrop of the rolling hills of Ireland. His overalls are visibly worn, patched, oversized and belted. I can only imagine daily life was literally lived from sunup to sundown; most of it farming, harvesting and cooking. Ellen Newman was his bride. Together they had four children, Mary, Rose, Kathleen and Patrick; my grandmother, great aunts and great uncle. All but one child immigrated to America, Kathleen stayed behind. As adults my grandmother and sister Rose returned to visit their hometown of Cavan; photographed happily sitting in the ass drawn cart grandma spoke about often, no doubt reminiscing their childhood days.


St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the Irish culture, a day when we eat corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and drink green beer. For me it’s a day of gratitude. A day to absorb the magnitude of the lives of those who came before me. Ancestors who endured the day-to-day chores of survival and those who were brave enough to immigrate to a new land and begin again. St. Patrick’s Day magnifies the meaning of my presence here today. So, this day, I’ll reflect, give thanks and maybe even raise a glass to the many before me who seemed to have always landed on their feet. The luck of the Irish? Maybe, but I think we are a people who make our own.


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