The other night my husband and I were watching one of our favorite movies, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Such a great movie - full of fun, laughter and beyond words - almost a picture of some of the oddities that it is to be part of the Gartlan clan.
The were 4 Gartlans that survived from Patrick and Mary. Anthony & Joan died young and are buried with their parents in the cemetery at St. Patrick's in Louth. Uncle Maurice had many children, as did my Auntie Gertie, my Daddy and my Uncle Michael. I listened to "Toula" from Big Fat Greek lamenting as to the amount of first cousins she had, and could not help but stop and laugh...There are alot of Gartlans. We are spread across the globe. Very few countries are safe from the raucous Irish Gartlans and all pratical tricks and odd sense of humor that has been inherited down the generations.
I don't want to leave anyone out, so here it goes: Patrick, Brendan, Nuala, Hilda, Paul V., Louise, Michael, Brian, Cormac, Ann, Paul M., Katie, Michael B, Peter, Anthony, Paula, Gabriel, Terrence, Laurence. Whew. I think I got them all. Then there are these cousins' children: too many to count. We're all over the place - South Africa, America, Canada, Ireland, Australia. And with each and every Gartlan, comes a wealth of information on anything you might need to know about banshees, fairies, leprechauns, rainbows, black sheep, lone bushes in fields, lone rocks in fields.
We also are a close knit group. I suspect that if there was ever an opportunity to get all of the cousins into a room together, either world peace would be solved, or we'd run dry of cigars, irish whiskey and jokes. Well, actually, a true Irishman never runs dry of quirky little stories about nothing in particular, but are able to salvage those stories into prolific tales. Suffice it to say, when you have a few of us in a room, good craic is sure to follow. The bottom line is that we all love each other. Sure, siblings have disagreements, and sure, we do not see eye to eye on everything. Some of my poor, misguided cousins actually think B. Hussein Obama is a great guy. Go figure that one.
The aunties and uncles are all gone now, and sadly some of the cousins have passed as well, but this great family of Gartlans continues to grow. What a great legacy we are molding for the future generations. The next generations will inherit the stories, fables, craic, love of life, humor and all that was and remains great about being part of the Big Fat Gaelic Gartlans.