A Year of Thanks

1 post a day for 365 days showing gratitude

an irish blessing (of sorts) June 14, 2011

Filed under: family fun,friends,kids,kindness toward me — courtsbrogno @ 8:44 pm

I have always loved the famous Irish blessing:

In this same spirit, and after having a week of many blessings, I’ve created my own Irish blessing for you. Well, an Irish blessing of sorts.


May there always be preschool graduations. Because they are just so damn cute. My niece Cate graduated from preschool this past week, and seeing twenty 3 year-olds on stage singing and dancing, some enthusiastically and some frightened,  is akin to God smiling on every person in attendance.

And, during the course of a preschool graduation, may you have a son who has no self-awareness nor inhibitions; thus,  while Cate is on stage said son screams, “Hi Cate. That’s Cate. Hi Cate. Hi Cate,” while frantically waving his arms.


May you live in a town with many places to hike and surround yourself with nature. I know it may seem redundant that I always hike, perhaps even boring, but it’s the one thing I love second to my kids. And I’ve been exploring different treks lately, stepping out of my norm.

May your hikes be abundant with foliage, trees, wildflowers, beautiful views, and cows close enough to pet!

May you always have a good friend to hike with, like my friend Leslie.

May you have a good-natured daughter who will begrudgingly hike with you because even though she hates the exertion to reach the top, she loves the accomplishment and the descent.

May you always, always, always push to the top no matter how much you want to give up. Because it’s always worth it.

And may you never, ever be proud and arrogant when encountering poison oak and exclaim with pride, “I never get poison oak.” And then rub it in to all your friend who DO get poison oak. Because the universe is funny that way and even though you may have trekked through poison oak many a times, you will be kicked in your prideful ass when luck catches up with you and you awake one morning to find your ankle covered in poison oak. You will be humbled and shamed and incredibly itchy.


May you have a good friend, like my friend Mel, who has a HUGE backyard and invites you over so your kids can play. I mean, I love Mel, but I really LOVE her backyard.


May you always take time from your week to spend some one-on-one with your kids. Like walking downtown with Luke to get ice cream on a warm day and then going to the bookstore. Happiness on every level.


May you have a friend who needs a date to a wedding and asks you. Cause then you get free food, free drinks, some dancing, and generally just have a great time. But more importantly, you get to witness a couple starting their lives together with hopes and dreams of being better together. I’m a cynic when it comes to this, but let me just say, this couple was not only cute, but seriously in love and committed to each other and their families were supportive and the speeches made me tear up. Thanks to my friend Adam for bringing me along.


May you have incredibly intelligent friends in your life to make you feel smarter just by being around them. Tasha, my dear, dear friend whom I miss daily (daily!) came down for just a few hours and I got to see her for just a short hour, which was not enough. The reason she drove all the way down from San Francisco though is because her Master’s thesis won Outstanding Thesis of the Year award!!!! That is amazing, especially since she lived with me the whole time she was writing it, and I still couldn’t tell you exactly what it’s about (feeding cells, feeding cells is all I understand and even then I just picture Pac Man). I told you she was smart–off the charts!


May you never have a friend who battles cancer, but if you do may your friend be like the indomitable Colleen!

Colleen left this week for Seattle where she will be having another round of radiation on her brain at a metropolitan hospital that specializes in this. She will be surrounded by a team of neurosurgeons and oncologists, and I have complete confidence that this will be the last treatment she will need and will finally kick this cancer in its ass. But, let’s be honest, the last time she did radiation, it wasn’t bad at all, but she was also at a level 2. In Seattle, her radiation will be at a level 18. So send prayers, whatever your religion or faith, for an easy treatment and an end to this cancer.

Because Colleen and her family will be in Seattle for almost the entire summer, Colleen’s friend Katrina arranged a surprise birthday party for her daughter, Scarlet (Scarlet’s birthday is in July). Keeping a secret with this many moms and kids seemed impossible, but Colleen was surprised!!! Our good friend Matt was in town and since he’s a singer/songwriter of children’s songs, he played for all the kids. The party was a great success and a good way to send Colleen off to Seattle–with lots of love and support.


May you have people in your life that love your kids almost as much as you do and support you in every way imaginable. And may you always cook them dinner in return. Like I said, my good friend Matt popped into town and I had him, Steve, and my sister over for dinner. It’s obvious how much my sister does for me (A LOT) and it’s also pretty clear how much Steve is a part of our lives, but since Matt moved away, we only see him about twice a year. Which is definitely not enough, but I’m still thankful for it. Because when he’s here, he’s hanging out with my kids, downloading new music on my computer, singing songs, and generally trying to cram in a year’s worth of love in just a few short days. My God, do we just love him. And Steve. And my sister. I’ll cook them dinners for the rest of their lives for all they’ve done for me. With friends and family like this, I never feel alone.


May you have a couple of guy friends to drink beers with and eat greasy food and tell amazingly funny stories when you really should be grading but can’t focus and need to take a break. That’s right, I couldn’t stand reading one more essay and so I went out for beers with my friends Joe and Tim. We had a good time. they had good stories to share.

And if you decide to keep the party going, and wander over to a friend’s house, a friend who likes to be called, “the nicest guy in town,” and whom I like to call “ONE of the nicest guys in town,” and in the middle of a conversation you feel the slight churn of your stomach and you silently count how many beers you had and realize you may have had ONE too many, and then have to bolt, mid-sentence, to the bathroom to vomit…
…may you have  friend like mine to hold your hair, pat your back, flush the toilet, give you his toothbrush, and tell you that there is no shame in puking, for that’s what toilets are for.

Oh, but yes, there is shame in this. I’m pretty sure I walked home with my head hung low. But in my friend’s own words, “You puked then made an instant recovery. No tears, no loud yodeling exhale. You’re a natural. You should do it more often.”

I did make an instant recovery and bought him a new toothbrush, but I also learned an important lesson:

May you know your limit.


Finally, may you have a job that rewards you in a million little ways even when you’re cursing all the late nights and busy weekends and low pay. A job like mine. Where the biggest reward is finishing grading, pleased that everyone passed, and then getting emails from a few students wishing me a good summer and thanking me for the class. All the hard work, all the hand cramps from writing comments…it all seems so worth it in the end.

Oh, I lied. The biggest reward is having summers OFF!

And not having to look at this:

Let summer begin!


An Irish blessing, like any other blessing, only holds as much fortune as we allow, but this week has been so full of blessings that I feel like every minute made an impact on who I am; perhaps more who I’m becoming.

Becoming me. Becoming myself.

Comfortable and happy.

Now, for another real Irish blessing. The best I’ve ever read:

May your joys be as bright as the morning, and your sorrows merely be shadows that fade in the sunlight of love. May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet, enough trials to keep you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to keep you happy, enough failure to keep you humble, enough success to keep you eager, enough friends to give you comfort, enough faith and courage in yourself to banish sadness, enough wealth to meet your needs and one thing more; enough determination to make each day a wonderful day than the one before.


7 Responses to “an irish blessing (of sorts)”

  1. Jen Says:

    Super cute post!
    And I won’t say a word about you barfing.

  2. --ginger. Says:

    I read every word.

    Loved them all.

  3. Denise Says:

    I won’t say anything about the barfing either.

    I love that last blessing. It is amazing. And I love you so much!!!! Miss you and the kiddos.

  4. tasha Says:

    Your so amazing. I miss you so much every day!

  5. Diane Walsh Says:

    You are inspirational. That happens when passion and love exudes through writing, you inspire. Thank you for posting. I hope you do not mind, but I will share this with my cousins and siblings, a long line of Walshes (the irish equivalent of Smith). Best, Diane

  6. Florina Benoit Says:

    That was such a special blessing. I hope your friends, Mel, Steve, Colleen and the rest are doing well.

    Florina from India

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s