Last night, at the reception after Meredith’s baptism (which is worth writing about, because it was “bling” Sunday – gold vestments, a procession with the monstrance at the end of Mass, and a baptism thrown in (the pictures will be GREAT!), and not to mention the music and the family and friends), one of her godfathers took a moment to hand me the gift he had made her. It was so touching and profound and beautiful that I had to share it here.

But first I have to give you the story that goes with it.

Meredith has three godparents (and so does Miss Muffet), because I can’t bear to have one spouse of a married couple. It seems, well, not right. However, for both of our girls, the married godparents haven’t been practicing Catholics, and so, because we value both the special relationship of godparenthood and the responsibilities, we have been blessed to include a single Catholic in the godparent lineup. With Miss Muffet, it was a dear friend of mine. With Meredith, it was our priest, Father Pat (or, in Miss Muffet’s earliest translation of Padre, “Wobby”).

When Padre handed me a frame last night, I thought he had purchased a lovely religious poem, because I saw typing. And then I read it.

I have reread it three or four times at home, and each time, it brings tears to my eyes and makes me say a prayer of thanksgiving for this amazing man.

He told me last night how many godchildren he has.

Now, mind you, this man could have been a dad in the married-with-kids sense. He almost was, but God had other plans. And I’m so, SO glad that God did, because he has been such a gift in my life, and now, in my children’s lives.

He has one godchild: Meredith.

And so, something that was sort of the solving of a problem (we wanted a single practicing Catholic) becomes a great gift from God – for all of us.

Here’s what Padre wrote to his goddaughter:

Before you were born, your mother and father asked me to be your Godfather. Since I am 64 years older than you, I may not be around when you are in need of spiritual wisdom. Keep this for a time you’ll want to remember some important lessons.

Two hours after your birth, I held you in my arms and asked God’s angels to watch over you. You had just come from God as a gift to all of us. If you had been able to talk you could have told us of the wondrous God who made you and sent you as a blessing to us.

You are a gift from God

As you grow older, other memories will push that knowledge of God’s love further back in your mind. It will always be there, but harder to recall at times. Other voices will overwhelm the sweet whispers of love and may even distract you or discourage you. Listen to your heart and hear God’s eternal “I love you, Meredith!”

You are God’s Beloved

You came into the world filled with a potential known only to God and yourself. You will have to rediscover that giftedness as you grow. The more you seek to know God’s gifts, the happier you will be.

You are a Special Child of God

I will continue to pray for you until we share eternal life. When things seem difficult or unfair, God’s grace will be waiting to help you. You have many people who love you. Listen to your Guardian Angel.

May you be in Heaven a long time before the devil knows you’re dead.