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my irish eyes are smiling

March 17, 2010

“So is that all the green you wore today?” a coworker asked eyeing my colorfully patterned blouse with hints of green.

“It is.”

“Come on!” he exclaimed.  “I know you own more green than that!  How many times to I walk by and ask if you’re cheering for the Spartans with all that green?!

I shrugged.  “I know I have a couple of shirts with more green than this one, but I don’t like wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.”

“And why is that?”

“Because I don’t have to wear green to prove that I have ancestors from Ireland!”  I explained emphatically.

“Nope!  Your feistiness – what that just was  – is proof enough!”

I wasted a lot of breath over the years attempting to prove my Irish heritage to those who insisted it was impossible.  Their refusal to believe my claim ignited my feistiness and made me more determined to convince them of the truth.  Time and time again, they would dismiss my facts by saying, “Yeah, yeah!  Everyone claims to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”

I came to realize arguing with such disbelievers was pointless.  I don’t have to prove anything to them.  I know the truth: I am a descendant of Prince Hugh O’Neal (Shane’s Castle, Antrim County).   I even have documentation.  My grandpa has a binder that once belonged to Grandma.  It chronicles our lineage all the way to Prince Hugh and many generations previous.  It reminds me of the Bible as it lists who begot whom: Hugh begot William; who begot Abija, who begot; who begot; and so on… (or were William and Abija brothers… I don’t remember, but Abija is one family name I am not going to use!)  It doesn’t really matter whether or not random people choose to accept the truth.  Their skepticism doesn’t change the fact that I am of Irish decent.

I don’t have to wear green on St. Patrick’s day to prove anything, nor do I have to carry around the O’Neal Family History.  It no longer bothers me if people refuse to believe my lineage.  I am honored to have a rich Irish heritage, and that is enough for me.  Knowing my ancestors came from the country of Ireland makes my heart swell with pride and my Irish eyes smile with joy on St. Patrick’s Day and every day besides.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosario Rodriguez permalink
    March 17, 2010 1:36 pm

    I’ll drink to that! ;)

  2. Cecilia2 permalink
    March 17, 2010 1:50 pm

    You do remind me of a leprechaun…

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