By this time of morning he would have already donned his green suit and emerald tie, with perhaps a green-tinted rosebud on the lapel. And he would have started drinking. Whiskey with his coffee, perhaps. Liquor, for sure. A steady imbibing that would continue through the day until he passed out, very late. St. Patrick’s Day was never fun for the rest of the family.
Still, I have the luxury of remembering Papa fondly. He loved his roses and in the summer would always head out to his garden to select a bud for his lapel, to wear to Mass. He’d give me one to wear or carry also. The scent of warming roses and the Colorado sun on my skin is entwined with my memories of him. As is the opposite end of the day, the gloaming when we’d walk after dinner, following the path along the Highline Canal.
I think about Papa still, both the good and the bad.
Offering up this St. Patrick’s Day toast for him.
May those who love us love us.
And those that don’t love us, May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts, May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.