Why were you inspired to do this?
I was asked by my cousin to be her son's godmother, which was a huge honor to me. She is my closest relative, she's only four days older than me and we have always been the best of friends. We come from a very large Irish Catholic family -- we are two of 30 grandchildren in the Hennessy-Donaghue clan -- so our faith has been handed down through the generations, supplemented by 12+ years of Catholic schools and the uniforms, too. We are not a hugely religious family but faith was given to us as a gift, faith in a greater plan, in each other and in ourselves. We sat through Mass together as children, week after week, often getting in trouble and being separated in the pew by our grandparents. In retrospect, we were so lucky to share our childhood and to be taught the significant principles of our religion, and in this moment when she asked me to be Brendan's godmother, I felt gratitude, to be part of his moral upbringing and stability.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
I gave a lot of thought to what it meant to be a godparent. In the practical sense, in my family it means that if something happens to the parent, you take care of the child. It also means that as a godparent, you help the child grow as a person, to learn to be kind and to live a meaningful life.
I had to dig out the family christening gown, because my daughter had been the last to wear it. A beautiful hand-made Irish linen gown and cap, I handed it down to Brendan with pride.
I went to the ceremony in the same church where my whole family had been married and christened, and I held my godson as the priest poured water over his head and anointed him with oil. He cried very little, he was such a good baby. Even as he has grown, he has a smile that lights up the whole room.
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
I was immensely proud and felt the positive weight of responsibility, promising to love and direct this baby boy's future. As a parent already, I knew how emotional it can be to hold that little helpless bundle and want everything for that child. Brendan will always hold a special place in my heart, the little boy in my life, my godson.