Sunday, March 2, 2014

Luck of the Irish

Two weeks ago tomorrow, my daughter Bethany was coming home late from her dietitian job at a nursing home. The drive is mostly country road with a few sharp turns, and runs past a prison*. [*Not important to the story, just giving some local color.] On that particular Monday night, there was another Cleveland area winter storm brewing and she was encountering intermittent white-outs. As she was driving through a squall, there was an abrupt turn in the road, and as she applied her brakes, the anti-lock system took control of her vehicle and flipped her 5 or more times down a ravine. She landed with wheels up.

All her airbags deployed and most of her windows were shattered. Hanging upside down, she tried to reason, "How do I get down?  Where is my phone?  Can I get service?  How do I get out?"

Unaware of whether the side doors of the van would open due to trees or mechanical failure, she headed for the back, and was hindered by seats hanging from what was now the ceiling. She unhinged them and folded them into the floor. Alas, the clearest, widest route to escape had no door handle!

As she scrambled up the snowy hillside in her dress heels, she remembered the words of her mother,  "to always be prepared in case of an emergency....dress for the weather in case you are stranded."

Other drivers had stopped and were already contacting the police and fire rescue squad, who even though they hoisted huge working lights to ready the area for the tow vehicle; the scene was nothing but BLIZZARD.

Last week, as she was searching for a new vehicle, she returned to the crash site for some closure, and to see what the area looked like in the non-snowy, daylight. Amidst the broken glass she found two items that had fallen out of her van. The first was a Despicable Me firefighter minnion...[Thank you to all firefighters for their valiant service]

...and the other, was one of my Irish Flag pins, that I handmade/carved to sell for St. Patrick's Day last year. 

Each had an Irish quote inside, and Bethany's read:

"May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you. 
May the blessings of St. Patrick behold you."

Our family has always had a special love for St. Patrick. When the kids were growing up, we attended or marched in every Cleveland St. Patrick's Day parade, (much to the wrath of their teachers). Our youngest is named Paddy. Alisa's Claire was born on the 16th, and instead of passing out cigars, all the docs and nurses she worked with at the Cleveland Clinic (where she is still the BEST nurse) got handed a corned beef sandwich, as they paraded in to see her new offspring.

There is a prayer called St. Patrick's Breastplate, that is like a shield of protection against harm, the crux of which is this:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, 
Christ when I sit down, 
Christ when I arise, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I thank the Lord for sparing my child; for allowing her to walk away without a blemish. Her vehicle has already been replaced in almost a replica of the former one. And, in solidarity with her old van, did not start when she tried to leave for work today. Ouch!

I am still making and selling my Irish Flag pins which are handcrafted out of recycled wood. They are all sizes and textures. Some have nail or worm holes and each are unique as to the wood used. They are carved, sanded, hand painted, distressed, aged, glazed, and poly coated for durability, and to be "bleed-free" on clothing. All the pins have a safety clasp. They are reasonably priced at $5.00 each, or 3 for $10.00. This year, for each one that I sell, I am donating $1.00 to St. Malachi's Back Door Ministry, for purchase of peanut butter and jelly and bread. St. Malachi's is the on other side of the bridge from Downtown Cleveland, and the gateway to the Flats. Its ministries are legend, from feeding the poor, teaching them skills, keeping them "dry", and, when they are dying, caring and loving them to their Maker. Once upon a time, I worked for them doing just that....

There is still time to mail the pins before March 17th. I would only charge what postage I have to pay.

I am embarrassed to say that this is my favorite of the 20 or so quotes that I put with the pins. I know that He would admonish me at the thought of wishing someone harm. Maybe that is why "I" limp!

As ever,
La Verne

PS Happy Birthday Meredith; and Magee in Heaven


  1. We sang The Lorica of St Patrick for Mass on the Eve of St Paddy's Day - beautiful! The angels were caring for Bethy!

  2. I will have to look it up and hear how it sounds.