We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

27
Sat, Feb

Tools
Typography

To the survivors of Christmas past, welcome to the New Year. We made it through Thanksgiving although one of my Chicago colleagues reported her elderly parents drove to her home and remained in the safety of their automobile. The things we do out of fear, the weight of anxieties piling up by a deadly exploding virus that abuses and kills. This Christmas represented the second time in my life I skipped traditional festivities. I gave thanks on December 25th 2020 as the skies darkened and we were finished with this most sacred, super commercialized holiday. Fast on its heels the New Year rang in quietly, bereft of traditional fanfare with the exception of invincibles shunning masks, demonstrating in protest of government ordered shuttered restaurants. These hooligans played a significant role spreading the deadly virus. As the Irish drawled: Covid’s too bloody good for them!

The first event in my life skipping Christmas was giving birth to Janet, my first daughter, late in the day on Christmas Eve 1960 at a Boston Catholic Hospital.

Staffed by nuns, my spouse invited to join me for Christmas Dinner, billed for two dollars and ninety-nine cents. There was little festivity on the plate, or perhaps I wasn’t in the mood!  I began breast feeding the next day when an elderly nun approached, her speech riddled with spittle for a drenching effect, declaring that only the Irish breastfed their children. Ironically this was confirmed weeks later by the Catholic Pediatrician who warned again malnutrition. On that Saint Stephen’s Day, late in the afternoon an army of cleaners directed by nuns commenced to vacuum, wash, polish the hospital floors in a rigorous and rushed manner. I learned that Archbishop Cushing was arriving to welcome and bless the first baby born on Christmas Day presenting the parents with a hefty check.

As soon as I Iearned that baby was born two hours after mine, I felt the onset of postpartum depression!  

Life has been upside down, BAM on computers and IPhones, socialization, dinner parties, lunch and business breakfasts fading to memory. Will we grab our lifestyle back at the conclusion of this bitter dangerous time? Workers may continue working in their home while children are off to school. If sufficient employees remain at home, working while caring for young children, It could herald an end to expensive daycare services for babies and young ones, curtail automobile travel, end the one martini lunch, or has that been extinct since women entered business life full force? Will men and women ever be  equal in the work place, or does the question remain a pipe dream as the wage gap manifests in every paycheck?

I sat alone on Christmas, family spread across Boston, Kentucky and Florida. Yes, we opened presents on Zoom, absent was the traditional Christmas breakfast/brunch, being together, our animated  conversation, deciding a time to serve a festive Christmas dinner. For me it was the most wretched holiday season of my life.

However in fairness I admit this Christmas Season had a few things to offer. Highly effective coronavirus vaccine was launched on trucks, and we watched TV in awe, experiencing a spirit of hope and the expectation of the pandemic wind-down in this New Year.

Trips to the United States Post Office spurred anxiety, masks mandatory, folks in long lines reading the well placed notifications: No Christmas Stamps, No Freedom Stamps, No International Stamps, No Money Orders.  Postal clerks suffered verbal abuse, took it in stride, although when only one clerk was in service he/she appeared strung out and fragile. It was hell for them and double hell for customers who feared Christmas gifts would not arrive on time.

I dutifully placed a wreath on my front gate, the total extent of Christmas decorations. I asked myself what was the point? Christmas lighting in high end shop windows blinked on and off  without an audience confirming the absence of seasonal joy. The virus surged, deaths mounted, covid tests in full demand, news reports cluttered with dire predictions of death and tragedy. One headline sounded the alert that more Americans died from the virus than perished in the Pearl Harbor attacks. Multiply that by hundreds. Every single day, newspapers published the ugliness and cruelty in the national political rhetoric flowing with fevered pitch.

We were rarely  spared. Five million Americans expected to perish from the coronavirus and I felt the privilege that none in my family was stricken. We reminded each other daily, texting, phoning, e-mailing, to wear masks, stay indoor, avoid crowds etc. I personally suffered receiving photographs of my six month old first granddaughter Emma, drinking in her lovely little face, her eyes, her growth, unable to see her in person and above all to hold her. I anticipate she will be walking and talking before it is safe to board a plane eastward bound to her home in Boston.

Like the death of President John F. Kennedy all of us will remember this Christmas, where we were, what we did, the loneliness we experienced.  The New Year dawned, a lone resolution emphasized the approaching end of a pandemic, financial help for the poor and indigent, shops and restaurants back in business, the emergence of a new president, some type of normalcy being delivered. Time to think about climate change, a long awaited thaw between Democrats and Republicans and a return to hope and peace in our American society. Until that happens, Bah  Hamburg!
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join the Irish Book Club!

Become a Book Club Member

Chicago irish Film Festival 2021

N-17 Song Done Differently!

SUBSCRIBE: Buy 1 get 2 - Buy 2 get 3! - Buy 3 get 6 years!

SUB SPECIAL

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

February Linked Edition

January Digitally Linked 2021

 

December 2020 with ad links

Irish Ann

Irish Book Club

Advertising Rates 2020

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecare
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY

Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans
CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServices
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville Aug 7-8 2020
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

O'Connor's Market

Winston's

HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
Dreamtown - Patrick Carney
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
Authentic Irish Tours
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
Shay Clarke - Inter Trav Corp
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group