The 3rd Coyote Is Irish!

IT’S OFFICIAL! I’M IRISH!

… Well, a naturalized Irish citizen at least …

I went up to Dublin to declare my loyalty to the State and fidelity to the Irish Nation. I was guided by a spectacular sunrise and surrounded by people from 120 different countries!

The ceremony started with a concert by the Irish Army Band. I smiled ear to ear as it reminded me of all my years in various marching bands with the stiff polyester uniforms, those military hats and white gloves. Those white gloves that the woodwinds would have to cut holes in them so our fingers could get a better grip on the keys.

My memory started to wonder back to when my Mother had gone to her citizenship ceremony to become a U.S. Citizen. She wore navy blue polyester bell bottoms. Fitting attire for the mid 70’s. A corresponding polyester blouse, white with navy polka dots and frills on the short sleeves and waist.  She also wore high heeled platform shoes that brought her over 5 ft tall, possibly 5’3”. To me she looked like she grew into the clouds. Her hair hung in a jet black mass around her waist. I think I was 4, maybe 5? My younger brother played with a toy car under the folded chairs we sat in. My Father dressed in his Air Force blues.

I remember the speech that was given before they pledged allegiance and took their oath. Not word for word mind you, I was only 4 or 5 years old! I do however remember these words; “You are NO LONGER Oriental, African, Mexican or South American. You are an AMERICAN now!”  Even at such an innocent and tender age, I found those words horrifying! And they haunted me up to this day, but no longer …

I half expected a similar speech of “… Forget who and what you were in the past your are Irish now!…” No, no… It wasn’t like that at all… The first thing the Minister of Justice said was to NOT FORGET your old country, it’s history, it’s culture & traditions, but to embrace them and let it become part of the Irish legacy as  the Irish legacy is now part of ours and will be part of the generations to come. The Judge asked us not to deny our children the legacies and histories of our original countries but to teach them so that they know how it all came to be… I was AMAZED!

Growing up I was constantly told how I had to forget about that savage, despicable country I was born in. How I needed to become an American. I wasn’t allowed to learn the language, the culture or even learn how to cook it’s food… I had to learn all that on my own practically in secrete. I was sent to the principal’s office for bringing seaweed to school with my lunch. I was literally beaten and brutalised for not being American enough. No matter how hard I tried it was never American enough. The people that you are supposed to count on blew me off and couldn’t be bothered to even try to pronounce my first name. “You’ll just go by ‘Kim’.”  … But that’s not my name …

So when I heard those words of embracing my legacy I got all teary eyed and choked up. I could barely say my declaration of fidelity to the Irish Nation and loyalty to the State:

“I The3rd Coyote of my house, Cork City, having applied to the Minister for Justice and Equality for a certificate of naturalisation, hereby solemnly declare my fidelity to the Irish Nation and my loyalty to the State. I undertake to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.”

When I came to Ireland it was the first time in my life that I felt accepted, first time in my life that I felt the warm embrace of community and that feeling that you can go to sleep and rest because you’re HOME now. I rarely ever saw my Mother smile. One would think that she was a very unhappy woman. But when it came time for her to stand and say the pledge of allegiance, with her hand on her heart she smiled and she looked beautiful! When I made my declaration, I smiled and for the first time in my life I felt BEAUTIFUL!

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1 Comment

  1. cinnabari said,

    April 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    🙂 Congrats.


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