Brooks & Crowley September 2017

Review Brooks & Crowley

September 2017


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts


As many of you know, I returned to Ireland this summer for my cousin’s wedding. Although my parents both immigrated to America from Ireland, the majority of our family remains in Ireland. We always have a lot of people to see whenever we take the trip back, and a wedding was the perfect opportunity to do just that. It was a fantastic experience and a real eye- opener for my daughters. They had visited before, but they were too young to grasp the significance of the trip. This time, as teenagers, they were old enough to really appreciate the Irish wedding experience. They got to see where their family is from and meet many members of their extended family. A few years back, I had the opportunity to hear a well-known author speak, and he said something important about family: “You are your history,” he said. “And you have a responsibility to tell that story to your children, for better or worse.” I wanted my daughters to learn their own history, because our family back in Ireland is a part of their own story. At the reception, they went around the room and

met everybody they could. I helped them fill in the gaps as to how everyone fit together, but they did me proud as representatives of our side of the family. They made important connections so that they, too, can return someday on their own. Of course, technology has changed how people stay connected. My parents used to love it when they would get a handwritten letter or a Christmas card with a picture in it from Ireland. In contrast, since the wedding, my kids now follow some of my cousins (including the bride and groom) on Instagram. What a difference! The wedding and reception were a lot of fun. The priest kept things light, without detracting from a beautiful ceremony in a gorgeous location in Kildare. The speeches at the reception were incredibly entertaining, with a lot of ribbing and joking, especially from the best man. Then came the food, singing, dancing, cake-cutting, and all the other parts that make a wedding special. The party exhausted the girls, and they went to bed long before it was over, which was in the wee hours of the morning.

I feel that it’s my duty as a parent to bring my daughters into the family fold, and this wedding gave me the opportunity to do that. After the big wedding, we visited London for a few days, and we enjoyed our time there as well. My elder daughter had taken a world history course in school recently, so she was brimming with information about London and its place in history, from the Roman era to the present day. During visits to the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, she knew which kings and queens were related to the others (by Roman numeral!) and what they were famous for. All in all, we had a great time and learned a few things. I’m looking forward to our next family trip, and I know my daughters are as well. Some of my cousins are coming to Boston around the holidays, so we will see them again soon. Of course, now that our daughters know their relatives, they can plan their own trips to Ireland when they’re a little older. I’m glad we were able to go, and it was a memorable and meaningful experience that none of us will soon forget. – Neil Crowley


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