Ah miss me God-Mother for Christmas
Ah dwelling wid God-Parents foh Christmas; masculine God-father feminine God-Mother or Nenny. How does one qualify
to be ah God-Parent? It’s ah simple but responsible role way one agrees to stand surety for an infant in the rite of Baptism. De Priest or Pastor would ask: “Do yuh promise to encourage the God-child to grow in faith and commit to helping them understand how to live their life in a Christian way?” And like how dey do it at ah wedding, all present would answer: “We do!”.
Ah remember long ago at Christmas, how God-parents uses to be de next best person after Santa Claws. Whereas Santa like he was afraid to get ambushed, house locked down but he uses to sneak by after mid-might, meking sure everybody sleeping and doh ever get to see him drop off yuh gift, not so wid God-father or Nenny, s/he passing by bright and early Christmas morning wid yuh present and even have ah drink wid de family. But den as yuh got older, yuh didn’t wait foh God-father or Nenny to bring yuh Gift. So early o-clock on Christmas morning, yuh visiting dem yu-self, “to see what dey got foh yuh.” If even dey forgot you, dey was always an envelope wid ah $5.00 and an excuse like: “ Yuh getting so big dat God-father or Nenny figure yuh would prefer cash.” Five dollars was plenty!
De pro-took-all is foh parents to select God-parents. But luck ran my way, I was not christened wid all dat pomp and splendor. Of course my Grand-parents would have blessed me from de moment ah survived de Labour Love pains. But when ah was about 12 years old, ah told dem ah wanted to be christened at de Met-dis Church. Rev Brooms was de Superintendent, and ah asked Tommy Saunders, who was my Head Teacher at Richmond Hill Primary, to “stand God-father for me.” On reflection ah think ah made my God-father’s day. He was speechless, probably asking himself: “What de hell have I done or not done to be singled out from among so many males in de family circle?” This story sounds familiar suffice it to say dat Tommy gave me ah head-start in Music, ah was leader of de schools Harmonica Band, ah novelty in its day. He treated me like his sons, my God-Brothers: Chesley, Keith, Ronny and Adrian (Chief Justice).
CHOOSING YUH OWN GOD-PARENTS
But dey’s ah new Pro-to-all foh God-father. It’s called “Adopt ah God-father!” He is very important when yuh apply foh ah wuk in de Go-venom-mint departments. You are told to bring ah letter from yuh pull-it-tek-all Rep who better be your Adopted God-Father, recommending you foh de wuk. Dis topic we will leave foh another time.
However, very early in my life, my Mom explained dat Margaret “Mags” Minors was her best friend, to address her as Aunty Mags, dat she was my God-mother. Aunty Mags was de greatest. She loved Christmas, every Day was Christmas day foh her. Beginning every year, as early as January, part of her monthly grocery shopping in town was to start buying Christmas gifts foh December. If foh example she see ah shirt, and in her mind dat shirt looks like it will fit Bassy, she buys it, wraps it nicely, labels it ‘Bassy’s Christmas Gift’. Needless to say, come Christmas Day, dat shirt would fit like if it was specially tailored. At her home she had a special room (under lock’n’key) to store her Christmas presents and no one dared to search her room. She also made ah wicked Black Cake ah Special at Christmas.
Had she been still around, she surely would have won “Best of SVG” foh Black Cake. She did everything wid love and patience. In January also, her Black Cake ritual began wid de purchase of her fruits and “Gonsalves Black Wine.” Dat early, she puts her fruits and her other secret ingredients to soak or cure in ah hell-have-ah- Jar till September, dat’s when she and Sister Carol/Narnah her regular helper, would spend days mixing and baking her cakes foh Christmas. Some of those Black Cakes were carefully packed with gifts and sent to her relatives and friends living all over de Globe, from B’dos to T’n’T, and even as far as Canada, de USA, England and Italy.
By December 15th every year foh over 65 years, my Christmas present and Black Cake was delivered. Even after I got married, a gift came for my wife, me and she couldn’t remember de kids names she would address dem “Bassy little Boy” and “Bassy Little Girl”. All now, Aunty Mags is some way up dey making Black Cake Foh Jesus’ Birthday Party. She is gone 15 years now, and every year ah revisit her loving kindness, her simple present and most of all her Black Cake. “Ah miss me God-Mother foh Christmas. And wid dat is gone ah gone again’
One Love Bassy
Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.