"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

gratituesday : godparents

not everyone has godparents.  it's kinda a religious thing, i think.  i like the idea, but lots of churches nowadays don't "appoint" them.  anyway, actually, not even nowadays... always i guess.  the catholic church does... because they have an infant baptism ceremony.  lots of the churches that perform a ceremony at shortly-after-birth (like a REAL ceremony... a religious one, not just a generic), will also appoint godparents at that time.  some don't though. 
anyway, when i was born, my family was going through a transition of churches.  they were moving from the presbyterian church, to the episcopal church.  i'm fairly certain that both of my older brothers were baptized as infants in the presbyterian church and, i believe they both have godparents. 
i could be wrong, because honestly i can't even imagine who they are... but anyway, on to my imaginative story that i might be making up:
i was baptized in the new church, the episcopal church, and was not appointed any godparents (to my later life dismay).  and then, for whatever reason in this possibly made up story, my little sister WAS appointed godparents at her infant baptism. 
so, at about age... i dunno... 7, or 8 (it's my story, i could just pull any number out)... i found this information out and felt REALLY LEFT OUT!  i mean, if my parents were to die and i was left an orphan, ALL of my siblings would have godparents to look after them and take them in, and i would be left out on the street to fend for myself!!! 
so, at that time, i found out who got picked for each of my siblings, and i asked my mom if i could pick out a set of godparents for myself... since she and my father had neglected to do so 7 or 8 years ago when they should have.  it was then that she told me this story (above stated) that i vaguely remember and might be making up and asked me who i would like to have as godparents. 
well, it wasn't a horribly hard decision because i think three of my aunts and uncles were already taken... (and this lead me to believe that a god parent must be an aunt/uncle).  but, i had a favorite aunt/uncle.  (sh... don't tell anyone though.  because that just wouldn't be fair for all the others!)  my large family was fairly spread out.  i didn't know all of them equally, but i did pick favorites nevertheless. 
i told my mom, that i wanted ---hm, what should i call them on this blog, to protect their innocence?  how about "aunt connie" and "uncle john"--- to be my godparents.  i'm sure it was to her delight, because "aunt connie" (as we'll call her) was her only sister.  and, since now i'm an adult with kiddos, and have an only sister, i know how special they are! 
anyway, my mom encouraged me to write "aunt connie" and "uncle john" a letter and ask them if they'd be interested in adopting me as their godchild.  and i did.  and ironically enough, we saw them the next weekend and i handed them the envelope and was very very embarrassed about it.  i was embarrassed that i had to pick up the slack -as a 7/8-y-o, where my parents had fell short.  i was also embarrassed though because i was such a shy little twirp.  i actually chickened out and asked my mom to give it to "aunt connie" for me.  and then, she (my mom) told "aunt connie" the WHOLE story, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME...  i was super humiliated because they kept looking at me and smiling like, "oh isn't she just so cute and/or precious!!!"  like i was some sort of baby... 
anyway, "aunt connie" and "uncle john" opened up my little letter and read it, while i ran off to the other room because i just couldn't take any more humiliation.  then, "aunt connie" came and found me and hugged me and told me she'd be de-LIGH-ted to be my godmother and that "uncle john" would also be de-LIGH-ted as well.  and then she told me how much they loved me and hoped that nothing would happen to my parents, but now, just in case, they would make sure that i was taken care of. 
i felt SO relieved.  and SO happy that they didn't deny my request (talk about embarrassing... how embarrassing would THAT be?!)
anyway, since then, i've always felt a little closer to "aunt connie" and "uncle john"... and i'm thankful for that special bond.  i suppose their godparent roles have pretty much come to a close since i'm all old and stuff, but i'm so grateful that they were willing to protect me and take care of me. 
thank you, "aunt connie" and "uncle john"!  thank you, God, for placing such a wonderful couple into my family and into my life. 
now, since none of my kiddos have been baptized religiously as infants, and we don't belong to a traditional religious denomination that appoints godparents... i suppose i should look into that for my kids.  so they don't have to be traumatized at age 7/8 to where they make up some fantasy story in their heads that would leave them orphans out on the street...  perhaps i'll look into it.  but for right now, i'll just take the gratitude approach and be everly thankful for God's placement of people at the right time and right place.  always.  He's so good!!!  his love endures forever!!!!!

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


troybee said...

What a great grateful story. I didn't remember that. I think my godparent is "Aunt Deborah". I don't know for sure at this minute. What I do remember is that there was talk when you were about the age of this story about Pam and Steve Smith taking care of us if heaven forbid it ever came to that.

Anonymous said...

Your story is a mixture of fact and fiction. The boys were baptized in the Presbyterian church where they don't appoint Godparents. Thus, they have no Godparents. You were baptized in the Presbyterian church as well, but we were in transition to the Episcopal church. We didn't know which church to pick. But since we picked the Presbyterian church, there was no "godparent" to choose. By the time Telcia was born, we were full blown Episcopalians and in the Episcopal church, you must choose a godparent, who vows to take care of the spiritual aspect of raising the child in the event that the parents cannot do so. We chose Aunt Deborah for Telcia's godmother and I don't think she had a godfather. We picked Pam and Steve Smith to be the parents of all 4 of you children in the event that daddy and I died at the same time and they agreed to do so. I sort of remember the incident with AC & UJ but just vaguely and I think you just wanted a godparent because Telcia had one. lylyly, M

MamaT said...

so there ya go folks... that's the truth in the matter. this is the first account of me envying my little sis. --it SURELY wasn't the last! ;)

bonniebee said...

All of our little ones have godparents. All were baptized as infants in the Episcopal church. And Mommy is right, by agreeing to be a witness at the baptism, they are agreeing to look after the spiritual well-being of the child. But that being said, everyone in the church takes the same vow at the same time and so by having this ceremony, you have a whole church helping you as you navigate a spiritual life with your child (awesome, right?!). As far as making sure that your children are taken care of in a physical sense if, heaven forbid, something should happen to both parents, i suggest that you look into creating a will.

on a side note, i bet you were so cute when you were little. and i bet that you would have blushed so red when mommy started telling your story right in front of you! too cute.

Nicnic said...

great stories! I liked both the one you thought was real and the one that was :)
Ila has Godparents, and we are super thankful for the peace of mind it gives us. Knowing that if Trent and I went to be with Jesus, Ila would have people around our age to bring her up is great. It's a good thing to have figured out for sure, just like your parents figured it out for you (even though you didn't know it at the time!).
I would have loved to see the interaction with Aunt Connie too, super cute!

Kimberly said...

We are godparents to our niece but our kids don't have godparents. It's way out of the comfort zone for us Baptists. :)