Loyal Like a Cub Fan Monday, Oct 31 2016 

The Chicago Cubs baseball team has brought exhilaration to a city that’s seen its struggles in recent years. Even non-sport fans, such as myself, have been tuning in to the World Series and riding the fever of excitement. The play-off games have been competitive and stressful to watch, but when they win like last night, it is life at its best.

The highlight of the game for me was seeing the relief and joy with the final score on the faces of the crowd. The win unites fans citywide and families separated by distance and even life itself. How many signs have we seen that read, “This one’s for Grandpa,” or hear people talk about how much their deceased parent would have loved this day?

Cubs fans are noted for their loyalty. Win or lose they stand behind their team, filling the bleachers, cheering, and ever-hopeful. When there’s a loss, sadness is deep. But they never give up on tomorrow.

Such loyalty is harder to find today. We no longer live in a town our whole life or work at a company our entire career. The connection and obligation to protect each other’s back has switched to every-man-for himself. And nothing is more hurtful then when that close friend or relative not only isn’t there when needed, but outright causes harm by speaking against us or sabotaging our happiness.

Since Roman times Irish mothers have handed down their Claddagh ring to their daughters in hopes that their children find true love. The ring symbolizes friendship, love, and loyalty. These are the most prized characteristics of every relationship.

It’s easy to be there when friends and relatives are fun, have money to share, and are happy. True friends and relatives are there when we struggle, they share that never-give-up spirit. They are like Cub fans, loyal and supportive in good times and bad.

Go Cubs, Go!

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In a Different Time Saturday, Jun 27 2015 

 

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One of my life’s blessings was to meet a group of friends in High School that are as dear to me today as they were then. Mary Ellen, Sally, and Susie are intelligent, witty, courageous, and compassionate women who’ve stood strong with me through thick and thin.

I recently came across a book, If for Girls, written by Jean Kyler McManus and Illustrated by Liselotte Malnar, that these friends gave me on my sixteenth birthday. It’s a sweet, palm-sized book with delicate pastel drawings and text in cursive.

It’s written in verse with each page beginning with “If you.” The book begins:

If you can live each day

with the assurance

That “A girl” is something

wonderful to be

 

If you can find a way

to meet your problems

with courage and with

true maturity

The book goes on by suggesting “girls” reject vulgar style and what is worthless, guard one’s principles, and not complain. It encourages standing up for what’s right, comforting those in need, and making firm decisions. It concludes:

If you can practice all the

Arts of living

With real integrity

You’re bound to be a

Happy person, always

And the lovely woman you were meant to be

I’m not sure how many teens today would encourage their friends to live such principles. I’m fortunate my friends did and have followed their own guidance. They truly are the lovely women they were meant to be.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

Friendship, Love, and Loyalty Saturday, Mar 14 2015 

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Shamrocks are perhaps the most common symbol of the Irish, but Claddaghs can’t be far behind. Americans from all nationalities are familiar with the intricate design, most often seen on rings, but it’s doubtful many know what it represents, much less how to say it.

The word Claddagh, pronounced klah-duh, is rich in meaning and tradition. The full Gaelic name actually is fainne Claddagh and symbolizes elements of a long-lasting relationship, specifically friendship, love, and loyalty. With these three qualities, all else, such as respect, compassion, patience, and understanding, are sure to follow. Since Roman times Irish mothers have handed down their Claddagh to their daughters in hopes that they find true love.

The Claddagh is comprised of three elements: hands which represent friendship; a heart for love; and a crown for loyalty. How the ring is worn also is symbolic:

  • If you are available and looking, the heart points toward the world and away from you.
  • If your heart has been taken, the ring’s heart points toward you.

The story is that the first Claddagh ring was designed by a young man in ancient times from the village of Claddagh, Ireland who was separated from his beloved when he was captured and sold into slavery. While in captivity, he stole small amounts of gold from his master until he had enough to fashion the special ring. When the two were finally reunited, the young man was delighted to find his lady had waited for him. He gave her the ring as a sign of their enduring love.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

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