TM is an accountant who was born in Sunnyside, WA and now is currently living in Bothell, WA. He descends from a heavy Irish and Italian background which have influenced much of his culture growing up. His grandparents were the ones to teach him the most about his culture through their traditions and common sayings.
Is there any sayings that your grandfather used to say a lot?
TM: In his house, he hung multiple sayings that were mounted or framed and were old Irish jokes or sayings that he often practiced in conversation. Many of them were very witty or sarcastic in a way that could make anyone laugh.
What was one that you remember?
TM: This one is a nice one, a blessing he used to practice; ‘May the roads rise to meet you, may the wind be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again… May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.’ That is an Irish blessing he often said to his siblings and my dad and uncles. He was adamant about telling those to the people he cared about.
Were there any specific times he would say it to others?
TM: He would say it when saying goodbye to someone or he would say it to my father before he went to bed. He may even have said it at family events or holidays when he says some of my relatives that weren’t around as often. He took pride in expressing how much he cared about others by the quality of conversation and blessings he gave them.
Blessings and prayers were important to Irish Catholics. It was very important to say prayers for others and bless the less fortunate. It was part of common consideration to say blessings for those you loved and cared about. The specific blessing was one known by many and often varied slightly from person to person. Major holidays in the Catholic religion such as Easter and Christmas made these blessings and prayers more frequent.