“I became my own person, but only after a lengthy apprenticeship,” says Sean Patrick, author of Patrick's Corner. “When people referred to one of us, it was usually collective. I used to think that we lacked individual identity . . . but it really didn't matter.”
Most people born late in the birth order of large families understand what Patrick means when he talks about his struggle for self-identity and the drawbacks of hand-me-downs. In this his first book, Patrick writes about his “comin' up” after World War II in a world where family life, neighborhood interdependence, and nurturing environments were the norm. “In retrospect,” says Patrick, “our apartment was a prime example of survival in spite of all of the obvious things working against you.” The story of the Patrick family is “not unique for their closeness . . . Or their open affection, one for the other.”
“I felt the people needed to be reminded that family life, neighborhood interdependence, and nurturing environments exist, too. We see too much of the negative and need the reminder that the family has always been the basic strength of America.”
Patrick is active in family and youth activities. He and his wife have raised more than twenty foster children. He is a scout leader, religious education program principal, and he and his wife are lecturers on parenting skills. Patrick has written a monthly column in Catholic Digest for four years.
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