Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fiction Friday March 18th -A Saint Patrick's Day Miracle

Today is Fiction Friday hosted by Joanne Sher @ An Open Book
Stop by and read the great stories or post one of your own.
My story today is a dust off of a previous short story I posted over @ faithwriters.
My story is about Saint Patrick's Day.... I know it's a day late, but yesterday I posted four blog posts.

A Saint Patrick's Day Miracle

I blew off  the dust from Gram's bible. When she died, the family bible was handed down to me. I remember the first time I laid eyes on the ancient family bible.

It was the year I turned thirteen. It was a magical time. It was me first trip to Ireland and the first time I would meet my beloved Maimeó.

My transatlantic flight took me from Chicago's O'Hara International Airport to Belfast International Airport. Because I was a minor and flew alone, I had to wear a special name tag. My name PATTY O'SHEA was plastered on ugly white tacky paper in big bold black letters . I felt like a baby.

After what felt like a lifetime I finally arrived in Belfast. My gram lived in the historical city of Londonderry in the North West part of Ireland, about an hour from Belfast. I had to take the bus. I paid my fare to the driver
“Welcome aboard Patty O'Shea,” the bus driver said with a thick Irish brogue.

I was puzzeled. How did he know my name? He pointed to the hideous name tag I forgot about.

The Irish countryside was magnificent, breathtaking. I couldn't believe I was actually in Ireland,the birthplace of my parents,of my grandparent's.

I remembered the stories my parent's told me about growing up in Northern Ireland. They told me how they were blessed to have been born in a beautiful country, full of rich history, but also sometimes violence and fear. They immigrated to America about two years before I was born. For a better life,they said. Gram wouldn't come with them. She said, “I was born in Ireland and I'm going to die in Ireland."

I couldn't wait to finally meet her. It was the day before Saint Patrick's Day, the day before my birthday. I happened to be born on March 17th and Gram said it was a sign from Saint Patrick himself.

I didn't believe in “miracles”, but if Gram said so, it must be so.

I arrived in  the town of “Derry”. That's what grams calls it anyway.
When I arrived the towns people were getting ready for the huge Saint Patrick's Day celebration. My cousin Declan met me at the bus stop. He had a gigantic sign with my name written on it.I was so embarrassed.

“Patty O'Shea?” I could barley understand him.

"Yes, I'm Patty O'Shea."

"Well, Patty O'Shea. I'm ye cousin Declan O'Shea."

"Where's your car?"

Declan burst into laughter.

"I don't have a car Patty O'Shea."

Declan didn't drive? We would have to walk to grams cottage. I was tired and hungry.I made Declan carry my luggage.

Gram was waiting when we arrived at her cottage. It was small, but quaint.

Aroma's of bacon and cabbage waifed passed my nose, making my mouth water.My Maimeó  greeted me with hugs and kisses. I couldn't believe how much I favored her. The red hair, the emerald eyes....
“Me dear Garinion”, she hugged me again. “Me prayers have been answered. Blessed Saint Patrick has answered me prayers and sent you to visit ye Maimeó.” She was crying.

I unpacked,we ate, we talked, we slept. The next day was Saint Patrick's Day and a big day for me. It was the day I became a teenager.

We got up before the crack of dawn, ate an “Irish” breakfast of Black and White pudding,eggs and tomatoes,with toast and tea. It was delicious. I'd never had Black and White pudding, which is actually pork.

We got dressed, Gram insisted I wear a “traditional Irish dress ”Gram said I was a beautiful lass. We left for the festivities in town. I had a great time.

Gram didn't want to stay long, she tired easily. When we got back she made me a traditional Irish chocolate cake.

I didn't get a birthday present,instead she told me a beautiful story of the miracle on Saint Patrick's Day.

She pulled the family bible from her cedar chest and let me touch it. She said,"my beautiful Patty before you were born I prayed to Saint Patrick for a miracle and he answered my prayers."

She opened the bible and written inside was her prayer to Saint Patrick.

"Blessed Saint Patrick,

I write me prayer down in me bible so only ye

and the Lord know what I pray for.

I am getting to be an old woman and I

pray that ye see fit to bless me with

a Garinion."

"You see me dear child, me prayer was answered.You were a blessing to ye parents but ye were a miracle for me."

I closed the bible and put in back in grams cedar chest  to one day pass on to my Garinion.


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