Monday, March 17, 2008


Kiss me, I’m Irish. Yes, I’m part Irish, English and Cherokee, but on this day if you are a little or a lot, it doesn’t matter if you want to celebrate. My maiden name was O’Neal, so I'm all Irish today. St. Patrick used the shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity and placed the Irish symbol of the sun onto the Celtic Christian cross. You can see it on my bible in the picture. He was a missionary to Ireland where most of the Irish worshiped nature based pagan Gods. He shared the “good news” of Christ and converted many to Christianity.

My father was buried on this day, 36 years ago. Unfortunately, I was not there for the funeral, for reasons that I won't go into here. I did see him about 6 weeks before he died, and it was a very tough visit with a small toddler on my skinny hip (at the time, okay, lol!)

One good thing that came out of this visit was that he and I knelt one evening in his bedroom, and he prayed to receive Christ as his savior. This still brings fresh tears to my eyes now. I don’t credit myself for this. I was merely the instrument God chose to use. I feel like that was the purpose of my visit, because I knew that I would not be able to come back. At the time I was okay with that. But after a few years, I came to realize that I did not get closure—if there can be any—because I wasn’t able to be there, to grieve with my family or to say a final goodbye.

Now 36 years later, I still wish I could have been there because I needed my family’s support in loosing a father that I loved so much, even though for the most part he was an absentee father.

Today, as I have my coffee, I set an extra cup for my father as a tribute to his memory. He gave me my first taste of coffee, while sitting on the back porch steps in his undershirt after work. He would pour me a sip in the saucer, and I would eagerly devour it before mama would catch us! Pretty much the same way that I have done with my own granddaughter. My father was a kind, gentle soul. He never raised his voice that I can remember. He called me Baby, never Brenda. I can understand why my mother loved him. He was handsome and sweet.

Enough of all this blarney…So here’s to you, John Samuel O’Neal…I miss you still...


Paula said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you.

BTW, I'm Cherokee, English, and Irish, too. With a little Choctaw, French, and black Dutch thrown it. :o) Okay, I'm Hinds 57--but share some similar roots.

Maggie Brendan said...

Thanks, Paula. I'm sure there's a few other nationalities thrown in the mix but I don't know what they are. Hehe.
I've been trying for the last hour to insert a updated photo on my blog but I'm not suceeding!