I received this beautiful e-card from my “godsister”. I know there is no such a word in English (at least not in the Collins Dictionary) but I think its connotation is quite obvious. I mean.. just think about godparents, godfather or godmother in Christian sense...
This card reminds me of my late godfather, Lucius Duki Mandadi. I was baptized in St. Peter Cleaver’s Church at my home parish, Ranau. I didn’t know exactly why my father chose him to be my godfather except that he was my father’s good friend. In fact, my father and he went to college together. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to know him closer partly because soon after I was baptized, my parents moved to Semporna (a small town about 8 hours driving from my hometown) due to my father’s working commitment. Only some 15 years later did I came to know that he was my godfather.
“A man with a smiling face” I would describe him.. He never missed to talk to me whenever he saw me, sometimes just a small conversation but always with big smiles on his face. There were few occasions I would never forget about him... the first was when I met a car accident in the year 2000, he happened to pass by with his white van and took all the troubles to help me. Sometimes later he invited me for his daughter’s wedding. I promised him to come but I never turned up.. I felt so bad about it when I met him the next day but he simply grinned, couldn’t be bothered at all about it.
I would also never forget him for his zealous involvement in the parish organizing committee for my ordination. In one of the meetings, somebody proposed that, being my godfather, his name should be up in the ordination booklet but he humbly declined it. I regretted not to insist. But most of all, I remember when he was in agony in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.. I came to give him the Sacrament of Anointing. He was all on oxygen mask, obviously in extreme pain yet he still tried to smile at me.
I heard about the demise of him three days after he was buried... too late to attend his funeral. I remember sitting silently behind the Blessed Sacrament.. unsure what I should say for him in the prayer. I just felt so bad for many ambiguous reasons.. one thing for sure was in having taken for granted the irreversibility of time.
It has been two years now.. or was it three years ago? I must thank my godsister for being so thoughtful to me this Christmas. I guess she doesn't really realize how much this card actually mean to me but I’m sure her late father aka my godfather does.
Merry Christmas to you, godfather.