Godparents. Compadres in the hispanic world. I’m not too sure about Paul but after having our firstborn I took the title very seriously. When choosing Alejandro’s Godparents, we could have gone the easy route and chosen an aunt and an uncle but we both agree not to. After all, an aunt or an uncle already had a nice job and title. So we decided to go the friend route. And since I was being very picky about our Godparent choices, our options were a select few as we didn’t have many friends that were practicing Catholics so when Paul agreed to choose Alex and Adam, I was relieved and excited.
At the time, Alex and Adam were not yet married but had been dating for a very long time and I knew that Adam would eventually pop the question. Over a Tex-Mex dinner one evening Paul asked our friends if they would be our son’s grandparents. No, that isn’t a typo. Either Paul was nervous and flustered or he really wanted a new set of grandparents for his kid. We laughed and Alex and Adam accepted.
Alex and Adam fit the role perfectly. They spoiled Alejandro in a good way. They treated him beautifully. They won his trust over from the beginning. As Godparents, they put Paul and I to shame. When Adam finally asked Alex to marry him, Alejandro was chosen to be the ring bearer. The child was only 18 months old and could not follow instructions to save his life. But Alex and Adam could care less. They loved our child as their own. They disciplined him as their own. They bought him clothes and toys as their own.
When Alejandro gained a baby brother, Alex and Adam embraced Joaquin as one of their “honorary” Godson. What they did for Alejandro they did for Joaquin. And so it was no surprise that when Joaquin went in for his last open heart surgery, Alex was there. She was there for Joaquin as much as she was for Alejandro. Although Adam had to work, they were concerned for both of our children.
When things seemed somewhat stable with Joaquin, Alex left us to go back to work. Two days later, our lives came crashing down. Sadly, it turned out Joaquin wouldn’t need us anymore and our attention was on Alejandro’s impending heartbreak. Because we, along with our parents and siblings, were so distraught with the news about Joaquin I wondered who would be there for my child while I was broken?
It was late when I called Alex and Adam and broke the news. I told them I needed one if not both of them immediately as Joaquin would soon be taken off life support. They asked no questions. And before I knew it, several hours later, she was there. The waiting room was lonely and quiet. It was late but Alejandro was thrilled to see his “madrina”. Before heading to her hotel room, Alejandro finally got to see his little brother. We covered his incisions as best we could and Alejandro was over the moon thrilled to see him. So much so that he didn’t want to leave. But he listened to madrina and went with her to finally go to bed.
Poor Alex. As soon as they had left, it was time for Joaquin to go. And I wanted Alejandro there. To this day I won’t know if that was the right thing to do or not. But Alex asked no questions. She simply dressed my child at 3AM and brought him to the hospital to be with his family of four one last time. When I met him in the waiting room I hardly noticed Alex. She just stood quietly in the background. Waiting. Not once did I wonder what the poor girl was going through. She was alone and yet stood strong and steadfast for Alejandro. She and Adam loved Joaquin as much as they loved Alejandro. But they put their sorrow aside to be strong for their Godson.
When the funeral came around, Alejandro woke up mad. He didn’t want to go to school. He wanted to see his baby brother one last time. We allowed him to and he did beautifully…talking to his best friend and placing toys his casket. I had warned him that some people may be sad, but he was unprepared when others began to wail. I was scared. Confused. Mad. Paul and I had held it together so well for him and all that hard work was taken away in one split second when someone failed to notice my child rocking back and forth, afraid. Again, I turned to Alex and Adam and gave both of them a look of despair. I asked them if they could please take Alejandro to Peter Piper Pizza. Not a minute went by before they swooped in, wrapped their arms around him and happily, amidst the sadness and tears, asked, “Wanna go get some pizza and play some games??” My baby boy jumped at the chance and took off. I don’t even remember if he said bye to Joaquin at that point.
I had calmed down on our way to Joaquin’s funeral mass and felt so peaceful when we sat down in the front pew, next to Joaquin’s casket. After his beautiful mass, Paul and I walked out hand in hand. The chauffeur opened the door to our limo and I slid in. I put my head on Paul’s shoulder and reached for my purse. When I took out my phone, I noticed a text message with a picture from Alex. It was as if God was telling me that at the very moment, my children were well taken care of, Joaquin with Him and Alejandro with the parents God would have chosen for him had He not chosen us.