Tuesday, January 18, 2011

tough week

Last week was a tough week for us.  I was torn whether or not to share because this is primarily a decorating blog with the occasional recipe thrown in.  As I read other blogs I love, others have shared the occasional personal story of what is going on and I'm told that writing and sharing can be a healing process.  So, I tried to write about the week in which two major events happened in our family...and this was hard to write...but here it is.  I may have to break it up into two parts since part of it centers around one of the oldest members of our family while the other part centers on one of the youngest.

Does anyone still designate people as official "godparents" for their children anymore?  When I was little, I knew a lot of people who had godparents but now I don't hear so much about it anymore.  When I was christened as an infant, my parents stood before the minister holding me and praying I would have a blessed life.  Next to them stood their best friends who were asked to take on the role of godparents to me and later to my younger sister.
My mom is holding me and my dad is to her left.  My godmother is to her right
and my godfather is the tall guy in the back.  The other folks are grandparents.
(Yes, my mother was quite the fashionista)
My godmother never had children of her own and my godfather had a daughter from his first marriage.  So, my sister and I became the little apples of their eyes just as we were in our parents'.  My godparents spoiled us...rotten.  We spent weekends with them and they spent every holiday, birthday, special event with us.  It was a special time and created such a wonderful childhood for me.
my godparents and me
My godmother, Linda, passed away unexpectedly when I was in the 8th grade.  It was a traumatic event for me.  It was the first time I felt such sadness.  But my godfather, Robert, lived on and continued his role as godfather.  If something would have happened to my parents, he would have taken us on as a single parent.  My parents never asked anyone else to fill this role. Thankfully, my parents lived long enough to raise us to adulthood until we were on our own.  

My father passed away first and my mother was devastated and really couldn't function for awhile.  Robert stepped in and helped us through that time.  He guided us through the financial situation, the funeral arrangements, and anything else we needed.  Several years later, my mother passed away.  It really doesn't matter how old you are when your parents are gone, you still feel like a child whose a little lost for a bit.  Robert took his godfather role seriously and even though I was almost 40, he guided me and advised me and helped me to cope and plan and deal with the funeral, the estate and whatever else came along.  We continued to spend all of our holidays and family events together.  He was one of the first family members to hold my son when he was born.
Robert holding me
Robert holding my son
On Monday of last week, I got a phone call. Robert had passed away at the age of 82.  He had been ill but it was still a bit unexpected.  My son really knew him as sort of a grandfather figure since my dad had passed away before my son was born.  My son is the same age I was when my godmother passed away.  It's been tough losing him.  He was a rock; a sort of foundation of the family.  I still have a lot of family: aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews but my godparents were special.  They volunteered to potentially take on so much just because they loved my parents.

So I wonder, does anyone have godparents anymore for their children?  I hope so. My son does.  We asked my best friend Jennie and her husband when my son was born and they said yes.
I can't imagine not ever having mine in my life and I will miss them.

...and that was just the first part of the week.

My apologies to everyone who has left a comment recently that went unanswered and 
for not visiting and commenting on your blogs very much.


  1. i am so sorry for your loss... my godmother was my mom's closest sister. like your godmother, she never had her own children, and she treated me as such and spoiled and loved me. she died from suicide my sr yr of high school but for my entire life, she took her role seriously. i now have 2 children who have godparents and they also take their roles seriously and i am so thankful to have them in my life. robert sounds like a remarkable man and you were so lucky to have had him in your life.

  2. Gina, I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through a rough time. It's always hard losing someone so close to you. I am coming up on the one year anniversary of my father's death. It's still not easy. I hope the memories you have with him will bring you comfort. And yes, I have a godmother. My godfather passed away when I was very young. My kids all have godparents which are all my sisters and their husbands.

  3. Oh Gina, I am so sad for your loss. Robert sounds like a truly special and remarkable man. I think you were both so very lucky to be in each others' lives. Thank you for sharing him and this story with us. Sending you all my love ~ Tina xx

  4. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like such a rock and a very special person to have always been there. I know there is a terrible empty hole in your heart. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

  5. I am so sorry that you lost such a valuable member of your family.

    When I was a child I collected "family." I let my parents friends in willingly.
    But, My mother taught us that a child can never be too loved.

    The custom of God Parents is a great one though it is not a custom in my family. But, I think it is a good one.

    Whenever children are loved by more people everyone wins. :o)

    I am so sorry for your loss.


  6. thanks for sharing gina. my godmother passed away in the spring of last year. she and my godfather were very special to me. (he died several years ago) i wasn't able to go to either funeral as they lived in florida...which makes me sad but i always let them know what they meant to me

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. I can sort of understand it. I didn't have godparents, but there was a couple who we were very close to. They were at every party, every big event, they sent cards and letters when I married and moved out of state, even came to visit once. Sadly, they have let some things come between the families, and no longer wish to have contact. It has hurt a lot, I lost the one person who I could go to about the things I didn't want to talk to my mom about. I still love them very much, and think of them often. I still read the letters they sent, and appreciate the advice they gave. I miss them a lot. Again, I am sorry for your loss, I know that doesn't help a lot, but I am sorry.

  8. Oh I am so sorry, Gina. Hugs. Big big hugs. That would be just as painful as a close grandpa. Man. I can't even think about losing all the older generation who loved you. (Really, I can't think about it-- I even think about one day losing my dad and I flip out).

    I'm also really sad to see that this is the first hard part of the week. Praying for ya.

  9. I send my love to you sweetheart. My children did NOT have godparents although my husband and I are godparents to our nephew and have loved that boy like he is our own, he just went off to college and lives closer to us now than his parents so I told him, if he needs a home cooked meal to come on over!
    sending you my hugs and prayers,

  10. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure he's smiling down on you as well as your godmother, and parents. I truly believef that. I will pray for the Lord to bring you peace and comfort in this difficult time.

  11. Gina... I'm SO sorry. Wish I would have known... praying for you all... ~ kim

  12. Oh, Gina. I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds like your godfather was a very profound presence in your life, so I know the loss must be a big one.

    Don't worry about visiting blogs, or commenting. We'll all still be around when things are a better for you.

  13. I'm so sorry for your loss, Gina. As Catholics, we do have godparents in our family. I'm godmother to 2 of my neices, I'm still their aunt anyway, but their special aunt.
    My children also have godparents and again, there is a special relationship there.
    Your parents were very wise to choose such a wonderful couple to be your godparents. It sounds like you enriched their lives as much as they enriched yours. How beautiful!

  14. Oh lovely lady, I am so very sorry for your loss of so wonderful a person.

    But still, I am glad you had him in your life for as long as you did.

    And your blog, you write what you want. You have a community of people here who care about you no matter what your write. And when you need a place to share words, this can so be that place.

    Love to you, dear one.

  15. Gina...I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I also lost someone last week and know what it feels like to miss them. I am the Godfather to 18 month old twins. I was honored to be asked and although they live in another state, I work at communicating with them a lot. Your story has inspired me to know that as a Godparent, I can play a significant role in their lives. God Bless.

  16. hello, i am sorry for your loss and i must tell you that i too lost my godfather this past week. he (and his wife) also were best friends of my parents..(many many years agao..1956)..i hadnt seen either of them in a while (she was also my godmother, and she passed away a few years ago.) but it still a strange feeling. They were in my life since the day i was born..but i do have to say, yes people do still have godparents. i am god mother to a neice and a nephew, and just last month my grand neice was christened....with wonderful godparents present.
    blessings to you.

  17. Gina,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how meaningful Godparents can be. I lost my Godfather two years ago, but my Godmother is still alive. Fortunately, both of my parents are still alive. I do have Godparents for my daughter and will also have them for my son (who I'm currently carrying and due in March). I wish you peace and comfort in this time of loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and please don't worry about visiting blogs right now. We all understand!

  18. Oh Gina I am so VERY SORRY for your loss....My eyes are filled with tears as I type while I remember my own Godparents....VERY SPECIAL people as were your SWEET Godparents....You were so FORTUNATE to have Robert with you for so long....I'm sure as he watches you all now from above he will be thinking the same thing....!!!!!

    Take care Lovey,
    Tamarah xx


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