Spring holidays are times to make memories, not forget old ones

For me, the rollout of spring holidays starts with Valentine's Day. Then St. Patricks, followed by Easter and Passover, then my own birthday and my sister Mary's, and then Memorial Day. That's quite a line up.

As I've said from time to time, I think it's always healthy to decorate for and celebrate each holiday, and to keep up holiday traditions when bereaved. For me, it's a great way to generate happy memories. I know everyone doesn't feel that way, but it works for many, including friends and family.

So on the recent St. Patrick's Day, March 17, I "wore the green" and went to our nearby Irish pub, Rosie O'Hare's Public House, for corned beef and cabbage. Baheej and I used to go there on St. Patrick's Day, and to the East Dundee parade, which is held the Saturday before and starts at Rosie's.

Rosie's is a very welcoming place, and it won the 2023 contest for the best corned beef and cabbage in the area - an honor it has won before. The restaurant smokes its own corned beef, brisket and ribs out back.

Anyway, I went for lunch on the 17th about noontime, and Rosie's was already packed! It had opened at 11 a.m. and the parking lot was already full so I had to park two blocks up a side street.

It was a cold walk and overcast but it was worth it. Glowing lights, music and warm inside, full of happy people enjoying themselves.

This is what holidays are all about, or should be, I believe. Hopefully they are another way to lift spirits and give cheer to those around you. So, I keep my Easter decorations up a bit longer because the Western and Eastern Easters are a week apart because different of calendars.

Now onward to enjoy the spring. Next in line for me are birthdays and Memorial Day. Each in it's own time. I keep one of those Dutch-style "birthday calendars," which are perpetual calendars - day specific not year specific. I use it to list all the anniversaries and dates to remember. This is something we discovered on many trips to Holland. The calendar allows you to glance on each new month to remember special dates. Between that and the regular calendar with current holidays on it, all set!

The point is: There are lots of reasons and occasions to celebrate, even when bereaved. There are lots of opportunities to join in community or family celebrations. I've always thought my beloved and all my loved ones who are not here anymore would want for us to find little times of happiness or enjoyment to soften the blow, and it doesn't mean we stop remembering them.

We will not forget.

• Susan Anderson-Khleif of Sleepy Hollow has a doctorate in family sociology from Harvard, taught at Wellesley College and is a retired Motorola executive. Contact her at or see her blog See previous columns at

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