An Irish man will pass on
The man who brought me into this world has passed on to the next. He covered me in shamrock stickers moments after he gently brought me from the safety and warmth of my mother’s womb and into this crazy, beautiful world. I am deep into the southern realm of my life, now, following the path or living my dream. I strive to return to my birthplace to wear a bright hat with my cousins and aunts to sing an Irish hymn in celebration of our leader; to raise my glass with the dozens of Martin’s and others whom my Uncle Dan touched during his life. To be there with them, all of the efforts, struggles, loves of our ancestry, releasing our uncle to the next journey. Not until now, have I ever felt so homesick.
He was the anchor, the strong man, our rock in so many times of uncertainty. His children are some of my most favorite people on this Earth. They always looked after me, from across the cul de sac on Reauville. Once, during the fire of my adolescence and the end of my parents’ partnership, I spent Christmas Eve at Uncle Dan’s, or Buddha’s house, escaping from my dysfunction amidst the laughter and Irish ale on the other side of the neighborhood.
His children, Cathy, Danny, Johnny, Michael and Sarah are gold, always around the corner with a clever punch line or witty observance. They are loving and charming; his wife, Mary Lou, gracious and tender.
His soft eyes and gentle grin, created a space for those around to feel welcome and worthwhile. Never bending to the pressures of taking sides or telling the tales of others; sitting there at Christmas Eve dinner at Aunt Nellie’s house, our profiles the same; our inheritance of the ‘Lavery Nose’. He, like our Nana, and my cousin Catherine, carry the Lavery name to the next. My Uncle Dan, with a huge shamrock painted on the backboard of the basketball hoop in the driveway. He, who sings us proud Irish songs with Uncle Jim. The Patron Saint of the Warson Woods Martin-Lavery Clan leaves us with salty eyes and wide grins.