Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Godmother

I’M trying to find my godmother.

I was baptized in Germany. I remember it was a really huge ceremony. There were so many of us girls and boys dressed in frilly dresses and pressed shirts. We had to bring these really big candles we decorated ourselves and the girls had to wear white flower crowns. I still have the crown and candle at home.

My godparents were my father’s best friend and his wife. The memories I have of them were largely of tight hugs, food, and lots of treats. They loved giving hugs—I remember being smothered in them.

I loved getting visits and playing with them. At that time, they had no children of their own, so they spent most of their time with me whenever they could.

I remember being told that they were Greek. For some time I never really understood what “being Greek” meant. The German of “Greek” is “griechisch” and to me it sounded a lot like the German word of crawling (kriechen). Once, I asked if people in Greece liked to crawl, to which they laughed before smothering me with more hugs.

We ended up rolling around on the floor instead.

I remember my godmother being really extra and chill. She’d come in white cardigans, big-rimmed eye glasses and classy slacks. I’d watch the grownups relax on our balcony for summer weekend barbeques. My godmother would sit in a particular way, lean back in her chair, lounge around, and hold a wine glass in her hand. She’d laugh and wave when I would stare at her.

I got lots of hugs and kisses on summer weekends, too.

When we moved to the Philippines, my godparents came to visit us. They loved it here: summer all year-round, away from the bustle of the city, and San Miguel Pilsen. I had the best time taking them to the beach.

As I grew older, we sadly lost touch. We welcomed our new life in the Philippines and phone calls and letters came few and far between.

When I booked my trip to Germany, I knew I had to find my godparents. Sadly, my dog Kiki ate my father’s only address book (where he wrote down everything!). A couple of weeks ago, I tried Googling them to see if that would dig up some leads. It did.

I found an obituary that my godfather passed away two years ago.

I was pretty bummed at the discovery. His wife posted the obituary in the local papers. I would have loved to see him again. The past weeks have been dedicated to trying to find contact details of my godmother, which surprisingly, despite the power of Google, has been quite a challenge. I found a phone number recently, which I’m hoping to call.

I hope it’s hers.


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