Scarlett’s Baptism Brings Family Joy

Scarlett Rose and I at her baptism

How strange that this morning I awake with a song in my head which is a popular wedding hymn.  Its words “This is the day which the Lord Hath made’’ run through my mind and it strikes me that this day – November 11 – triggers a strong mix of emotions quite apart from the historical fact that we remember our fallen soldiers at 11am.

My first thought is that this day has sadness written all over it because it is the six-month anniversary since my husband Olivier died.  It caps the worst year of my life, a long period of time, which has dripped in sadness.

Yet today is also the baptism of my new grand-daughter, Scarlett Rose Williams. And so the hymn words, which continue “We will rejoice and be glad in it”  had me springing out of bed in anticipation of happy moments.

So, here we gather as a large, extended family, all in our Sunday finery, wearing smiles and singing praises in the Concordia College chapel, which carries many memories. It is the same chapel where Olivier’s funeral was held. The same wonderful spiritual space where I married Olivier almost five years ago.  I sit in the pew now and smile remembering how sister Anne and I had arranged the flowers for my wedding day in the kitchen here and placed them on the altar and how the next day I had walked down the aisle between bowls of agapanthus on each step, dressed in a beautiful champagne lace wedding gown to marry Olivier. That was the happiest day of my life.

Now, where Olivier’s casket had sat on that saddest of days in May, my son, Tyson, his wife Vanessa – holding baby Scarlett in her arms, stand with the godparents and the pastor.  Scarlett is wearing her own mother Vanessa’s christening gown, a pretty white dress with its satin under skirt, lace edge and matching bib. The pastor sprinkles holy water over Scarlett’s head, which now has a gingery golden glow instead of the black hair of her birth. Baby does not cry, but I do, in joy at this wonderful occasion and the happiness that this little baby promises our family for many years to come.

The new parents at Scarlett’s baptism

Afterwards, we snap photographs, eat honey biscuits which Vanessa and I had made during the week, and our entourage of about 40 people,  depart to the Regency Tavern to eat, drink and be merry.

This glorious day finishes at the new parents’ home with a Christening cake, a big pavlova made by my sister Anne and trays of tasty slices made by Scarlett’s other grandmother Sandra.

A death, a birth and a baptism – c’est la vie.


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2 Comments to “Scarlett’s Baptism Brings Family Joy”

  1. By Jill Pengelley, 13/11/2012 @ 3:03 pm

    Goodness me, Nadine, Scarlett is the spitting image of Tyson. So glad you had the christening in the same chapel. It would be a shame to always remember such a beautiful chapel as a sad place.

    • By nadine, 13/11/2012 @ 5:24 pm

      You are so right! She has his long black eyelashes (inherited from me though!) As daughter Serena said when she saw Scarlett for the first time. She turned to Vanessa and said “I’m sorry, Vanessa, but you will have to have another baby to look like you.” Both her parents have lovely personalities, so she will bring much joy. xxx. Nadine

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