March Madness

March has long been my second favorite month, it has all sorts of fun things, Pi day, the basketball tournament, First Day of Spring, the Idea of March for the word nerd in all of us and of course, St. Patrick’s Day. Now, anyone who knows me in real life knows just how much I love St Patrick’s Day. It might even by why I married in to a Irish family, to help legitimize my love for a holiday that I love for all the tacky and drunken and commercialized reasons.

Because how can someone not love a holiday that ended it after years of commercialization to be about beer, meat, parades and drunken shenanigans? And potatoes. I love ALL of those things. And I rocked many a St Patrick’s Day through my 20s.

And then my mom ruined everything.

We found out my mom had cancer the same September (2006) in which my husband left for 6 months of intensive job training. Throughout the fall, my mom was still highly functional. I went over for dinner a few nights a week. By the beginning of 2007, my mom was no longer driving, so I ran all of her errands, drove her to all of her appointments and we had dinner every night. By March, she had declined further, had been in and out of the hospital, but was still living on her own, with my help with anything outside of the house.

I decided to take St Patrick’s Day off from mom duty. Rebellious, I know. One day. I normally went over for lunch and dinner on the weekend, this Saturday, I did neither. I decided at the last minute to go to a friend’s house for an early dinner and had skipped a lunch time visit because my mom was napping,

I went to my friend’s house and had an amazing, relaxing time. Ate good food, talked about things that weren’t chemo and needles and errands and wigs. It was awesome. I only had one beer, but it was festive green and delicious. I packed up and extra plate of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes to share with my mom the next day and headed home at a responsible 9;30.

At 10:30 that night, my phone rang. It was my mom, calling to tell me she felt dizzy, had shortness of breath and trouble breathing. I asked her if she thought she could walk to my car, with my help. She said no. I told her to call an ambulance and that I would meet her at the ER. It seemed too early for the ER to be packed with drunken revelers, but since it was a Saturday night, an ambulance arrival would certainly speed our passage through the ER process. The doctors said it was dehydration and lack of food that were causing the problems at decided to admit her. At 2 am, they sent me home.

That was my mom’s last hospital stay. That was the hospital stay where the resident told her that she had a good run, but there was nothing more to do. That was the hospital stay where my mom lost all hope and died three days after discharge. So. Needless to say, there is a cloud hanging over my beloved St Patrick’s Day.

The next year I wallowed in whiskey and beer. The next year I was pregnant with Spencer and didn’t celebrate at all. Last year, I dressed Spencer up in a parade of green diapers and amused myself. This year I am shaking off the cobwebs and celebrating again.

There is corned beef and cabbage to be cooked, maybe some Irish soda bread. There is beer to be sipped and toasts to be made. After all, in 2011, I am bringing back the happy.


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4 Responses to “March Madness”

  1. The death of a loved one is so hard. I’m glad that this year you’ll be able to celebrate a little, even if the sadness is still fresh.


  2. TMae says:

    I hope you have a corned beef filled St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy it! Bring back the happy!


  3. Suzanne says:

    I’m so sorry about your mom. I’m also sorry you like corned beef, because seriously, that stuff is WEIRD and people who look forward to eating it are weirder.

    I do enjoy a good green beer though.


  4. […] Making a black and tan is easily done at home, but it does require a little practice. In honor of my favorite holiday. St Patrick’s Day, we made some […]

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