Saturday 21 April 2018

'My godparents were there when I lost my mum and dad'

Beyond the call: Jessie Gurr with her Aunt Gladys and Uncle Ken
Beyond the call: Jessie Gurr with her Aunt Gladys and Uncle Ken

Jessie Gurr

"From an early age, I knew my Aunt Gladys and Uncle Ken were my godparents. They treated me to fun days out at the zoo and came to visit lots, bringing lots of presents at birthdays and Christmas. But it wasn't until the age of seven that I came to fully appreciate their importance in our family.

That was when my mother passed away. Gladys and Ken were among the closest relatives we had and they quickly stepped in to take care of us. Throughout quite a traumatic year for the family, they took care of myself, my younger brother and sister. They brought us to school, made sure our everyday lives continued and essentially did everything they could to ensure we were safe, loved and secure. It wasn't until our father passed away six months later that their roles became even more significant. It wasn't that we were particularly religious, but due to a very close relationship with my parents, they took it upon themselves to provide for us.

I will never forget what they did to make sure we were taken care of through a situation that children should never find themselves in.

In later years, it's got me thinking about godparents and what that role really means. Of course, we'd want to think that such terrible things would never happen. But in the same way as we get life assurance and car insurance, why wouldn't we want the absolute reassurance that a set of responsible, caring adults who appreciate your values would be in place to take the responsibility of caring for our children?

Needless to say, it will be a very important decision I make when I come to have children myself, and I will base that decision on people I truly trust to take care of those I love the most, when it really matters."

Irish Independent

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