Godma loves me, this I know

We celebrated my Godma’s birthday this evening. She is 72.

I teased her just as we started dinner, “So Mama… what do you want to be when you grow up?” 🙂

GM: (In Mandarin) “I’ll never grow up!


I watched her this evening, and wondered what it would have been like to be her.

She’s always been around, as far back as I can remember. The story goes that when we were all very young, she was hoping for a niece or nephew to be her godchild. In the most sensible fashion, she went down the birth order, starting with my oldest cousins. With mischievous smiles, they all ran away at the question.

All, except me.

The anti-climatic version of the story says that I said “Yes” in exchange for a new warm bottle of full cream milk. The romantic version says we had a special connection.

I don’t remember my life changing dramatically after that day (I most likely fell asleep after that bottle of milk, as was my usual practice), but it was probably a day she would remember for a long time to come.


Fast forward to our growing-up years.

Godma seldom fully understood what I was doing (or not). I would try to explain, in deplorable Mandarin and even more laughable Teochew (I wondered why I bothered. It was hard enough in English). She would give me an “errr…” look, cough out a laugh and boom with a huge grin, “Never mind. As long as you are happy. And healthy.

To the people who love you, you are never what you do. You just are. 

Whenever she learnt of anything that I liked, you could bet your last dollar that our home would be filled to overflowing with the stuff. Hence, the overlapping eras of bak kwa, tang or (chrysanthemum leaves) and most recently, boon tong fish. The annual Lunar New Year this-is-the-hotpot-that-doesn’t-end reunions would have extra portions of my faves. All these, I learnt to appreciate more as I grew up and saw more clearly how little my Godma had/has. Working as an office lady with a firm in Chinatown, she still does a 2nd job part-time.

The people who love you, give from and of their very selves. 

I have to admit, Godma doesn’t have the friendliest disposition. You wouldn’t want to be in her bad books! Or cross her path on a stormy day. I know, because I’ve seen and heard her express her displeasure. And sometimes… when she sits by the window with the night breeze, blowing out smoke clouds tinged ever so slightly with loneliness. Bitter, hard memories?… But I’ve also seen how the darkness gives way to light – every time I call or visit.

The people who love you, never cease to be delighted to see you. 


Tonight, at dinner, I gave Godma a very red, crisp ang pow (red packet). I do this every year, and I’m thankful to God that somehow, I still managed to do this regularly during the past year when I was on unpaid leave from work.

GM: Aiyah, no need lah!

LB: No, no, no… You don’t want? Never mind. We leave it here on the table. If later, we accidentally throw away with the rubbish, then too bad lor… 

GM: You keep lah… You do business now, it’s very hard to earn money. You better keep the money for yourself.  

LB: Ok. But I choose to keep it here with you, ok? If business really very bad, then I come back and you can pass the money back to me. :p

GM: Hahahaha… 

Although my Godma doesn’t know Jesus like I do (yet), in many ways she has shown me the love God calls us to.

Is this why she’s called “Godmother”?

Like stars that shine in the heavens
A godmother’s endless love
Lights the way for her godchild,
As the Lord gives a nod from above
She was chosen because of her goodness
And too, for her gentle side
But also because her godchild,
Could view her with love and pride
For she is a perfect example
Of all that a person should be
A kind and a caring guardian
Standing by for eternity!
© 2012 Pimmi Nag

Will you be my godmother,
and wrap me in your prayers,
Ask the Lord to keep me
in His gentle, loving care.
Will you be my godmother,
and take my little hand
and help me walk with Jesus
and follow His commands.
Will you be my godmother,
for although I’m still brand-new,
I know I couldn’t have
any better Angels on Earth than you!

So I have a special favor to ask 
It might make you nervous and scared
But until I am big and all grown up
Will you watch out for me, just be there?


I pray for the strength, capacity and faithfulness to love and guard. Just like my Godma.



About lilac butterfly

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. Write. Draw. Colour. Blend. Play. Dream. Cry. Reflect. Pray. Sing. Worship. Bake. Cook. Rest. Give thanks.

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