Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Paddy's Day Pickings.

I may be married to a Dutchman, but my roots go back to England, Scotland and the beautiful Emerald Isle.  I have never visited there, but my sister and I dream of one day going and visiting the Irish coast, the small quaint towns and rolling, rocky green hills our ancestral tree sprang from.  After all, my name is Coleene, although my mom chose to spell it with an extra e at the end.  It is pronounced COE-Lean as opposed to CALL-lean, but still meaning "girl" in Irish.  My sister likes to dabble in genealogy and she uncovered that my Mother's maiden name (which I won't print here), was changed when the family immigrated probably back in the 1600's from McGregor to a more non-ethnic sounding name.

Fisher Street, Doolin, Ireland 

Recently, while reading of a family whose little baby son suffers from the same kidney disease as our son Timmy, I Facebook friended this young mother.  After a few chats on-line, I would find out she lived in County Clare, Ireland.  This was just the coolest thing in so many ways.  After sharing our lives and sons, we both feel that God is definitely involved in this long distance relationship. Jayden is 14 months old and recently just started walking.  Twice a week, Nuala takes him to the hospital where he receives an albumin treatment through a catheter in his chest.  This is to replace the protein he does not process because of his kidney disease. Jayden will need a transplant in the future when he is about 5 or 6, but I pray that a cure could be found to reverse this disease before that time.  

I thought I would add a little history..(.just a little OK...) about Ireland.   Ireland was once divided up into five parts.  They were called the five -fifths.  (of-course).  The Celts were people that lived in these lands that stretched from the British Isles  to the Middle East.  Most of the information gathered from these tribes is  from archeological sights, for they did not keep a written record.  The Romans eventually drove the Celts North and to the West.  The Celts considered the death of King Arthur in the Crusades, "an end to true civilization".  The Celtic people were considered to be educated and knowledgeable.  Many Romans employed them as their teachers.  

In the months that followed my son's passing, I was in an art class with my student.  The teacher, Ms. Hunt, presented a section on Celtic knots.  I found this very interesting.  These designs are a familiar sight on many crosses and architectural motifs, jewelry and other metal pieces across Ireland. Recently they have become popular as well for  "tatoo" designs.   These knots are eternal coils, no beginning, no ending.  The continual movement of the lines over and under, around and through represents love and faith in life.  

The art project was to design your name using Celtic knots of different designs, and creating as well a little of your own personality into the design.  Well, lucky me, I got to do art along with my student and I chose to do Tim's name.  

 I had so much fun doing this kind of silly drawing, in which you will see golf balls, tulips for his dutch heritage, rose representing his life, an  Iron Cross that was in a lot of the style of clothing Tim  wore. There are  some knots done in different colors to represent different things...then his last name, like a vine entwining the whole picture.  I need to get this framed someday.  

Last, but not least, today would have been my dog's 15th birthday.  "Lucky" Chance was born on St. Patrick's Day and I have a fantastic story about our life and this Dog, but I am getting ready to send it off for possible acceptance in the  "Chicken Soup" series,  about pets and  I do not  want to spoil anything by "pre- or self-publishing" it here.  Just know that we were blessed to have this special dog grace our lives.  His ashes are now in a cedar box right next to Timmy's on a special shelf in our living room.  He passed only a few months after Timmy.   If any dog deserved Heaven,I would like to think our wonderful Lab is snuggled up with Jesus.  


So Today, we  celebrate St. Patrick,(who actually is from Wales) a missionary bringing the Gospel of Christ to Ireland.  One of our music leaders at church reminded us of this poem written by St. Patrick and I am glad to share it with you here.  

St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer

I bind unto myself today

The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the Cherubim;
The sweet 'Well done' in judgment hour;
The service of the Seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.