A Reflection on This Year’s Saint Paddy’s Day


Of all the things in my life that the coronavirus has altered, my family’s little St. Paddy’s Day traditions are one thing that have not been shaken. On Sunday, we got our green on, went over to my grandparents’ house for corned beef and cabbage (my grandpa’s favorite), and listened to some great Irish music on my grandma’s record player. On Saint Patrick’s Day itself, we watched Mass from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Boston and had my grandparents over for dinner with homemade Irish bread for dessert (yum!). Even though our ways of celebrating may be more Irish-American than authentically Irish, I still enjoy them because I get to spend quality time with my family and remember the great culture that I come from.

My great grandmother immigrated here from Ireland in the 1910s when she was a teenager, probably younger than I am. She met my great grandfather here (who had also immigrated here around the same time), and they had four kids, who today are filled with stories about their childhood that they are always eager to share. I love hearing their stories about visiting all their cousins in Ireland and their memories of their parents. Even though they grew up in the United States, they still practiced many of the same traditions as they did in Ireland. 

I was lucky enough to visit my grandparents a couple of times before it became too much of a risk to see them. Even though I won’t be seeing them for a while, I’ll still be contacting them frequently — not just for their sake, but for mine. One thing that the past few days has taught me is that even though I won’t be able to see many people in person, that doesn’t mean I have an excuse to stop fostering my relationships with loved ones. If I can recommend one thing to everyone, it would be to call or text (depending how tech savvy your relatives are) your grandparents or aunts and uncles, and keep up those connections strong. Now is as good a time as any: our days are less structured, and we spend less time in our classes. There is plenty of time, and even a quick text or a five-minute phone call can make their day as well as yours!