Page 39 - Murdena Marshall: Mi'kmaq Godparents
ISSUE : Issue 60
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/6/1
son's godparent, who's also my first cou? sin- -I'd see him drive down his driveway and go right into our house, and just point to him. You know, "Come." And my son would drop everything and go with him. And then he's getting counsel? ling while they're out. And sometimes, I guess, just having someone to talk to without being subjective. Like a godparent is able to listen to your side of the story for once, and doesn't make the judgment. When things happen in the house? hold, of course, you're splitting--"No, that's his fault." "No, they started that." You know. But a god? parent is not present and is unaware of what's happening in the household. But is able only to listen to what the kid has to say. And from there they work together. It's unbelievable. It's ac? tually unbelievable. I want you to come to Eskasoni and look at Goli-Vision. And just you'll see from the Goli-Vision how evi? dent the presence of godparent is in the community. (And Goli means?) Goli means Albert (Julian)--he runs the thing! (Do we have stories tied to the godpar? ent?) I don't know, really. I don't ima? gine we do.... But they're so evident.... They're so real--godparents are so real that they haven't been able to be put in a legend. Because if you can put something in a legend, then you start off with the words ke'skw a, which means a long, long time ago. But godparent--the concept of godparenting is well and alive. So you couldn't put it in that context. Could never put it in that context. See? I have not heard any legends about godparents. Because they're here, they're here.... See, most godparents knew your parents in a positive way. I mean, a parent wouldn't pick a person who they're in conflict with in any way, shape, or form. So first of all, the relationship between a parent and Murdena at 2, with her mother, Elizabeth Sylliboy Stevens a godparent has to be very smooth and good. So that smoothness and goodness just continues with the relationship with the child. There's no conflict--there's no room for conflict of any sort. No differ? ent beliefs--knowing that you're on the same track all the time as your par? ents are. Godparent is al? ways on the same medium as your parents are. (It's the fundamental idea that seems so important. Just in that you could have someone else that's not the police. Someone else that's not a psychiatrist. At the moment when things are dif? ficult.) Momentary. They're able to be fixed up. Even when you're an adult. When you have problems in your marriage. And you can't go to your parents, because sometimes your par? ents will tell you, "Well, you made your bed, now lie in it." But a godparent can look at both sides--can look at you. and look at your husband, and look at your children. And able to put them all in the same bowl and stir them up. When your parents sometimes will take your side. In most cases parents will take the husband's side, because that's what Mi'kmaq life is. If I go to my father and complain about my husband. "Well," he'd tell me, "I think Albert is right." They don't comfort you in the fact that you're going to leave him. Unless it's very evi? dent that he's abusing you and that he's running around with 20 other women and all Cape Breton Boarding Kennels MODERN HEATED FACILITY FOR DOGS AND CATS • Open 12 Months • Indoor - Outdoor Dog Kennels • New Cattery Separate Building from the Dogs 'g'y, • Certification of Vaccination Required JpBRl 737-2281 R.R.#1, GLACE BAY, N.S. g' • Pick Up and Delivery Service Available • J WEYMAN CONSTRUCTION LIMITED 14 CRESCENT DR., GLACE BAY SSl"" • ? 842-0999 ?? 849-0074 'Member of Canadian Home Builders Assoc. 4 Housing Cape Bretoners Since 1974 HOMES CUSTOM BUILT TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS AND PRICED TO SUIT YOUR BUDGET. CALL US FOR STYLES, SIZES & FREE ESTIMATES. Atlantic 5 Year New IHome Warranty 3 BEDROOM BUNGALOW Includes Basement, Material & Labour, Plumbing, Electrical, Cabinets, Air Exchanger & All Taxes, including GST $44,800.
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