Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ga ga...

My mother in law passed away last Friday morning after a 10 year battle with Alzheimer's. She was 98 years old. To all of us, her name was Ga Ga...

This was not a sad day, but a day of rejoicing... she is home and free! As my husband said...'today is the best day of her life!'...

Honestly, if we had all been able to choose, she would have gone to heaven years ago. We don't make that choice. God does, and Sept.3, 2010 was the day He chose for her.

The funeral service is still fresh in my heart. Yes, there were a few tears, but mostly there was celebration of a life that made us all smile.

She was truly an original!

She taught all of us so much about giving... she just did it without thinking. Our middle child is a minister, and he did the service. He said after all these years, people still ask him about her, from the teller at the bank who liked Ga Ga's perfume and received a bottle of it the next time Ga Ga went to the bank, to neighbors and friends who always remembered her special little ways of sharing kindness.

She loved life! She loved to talk! She loved to laugh! and... she loved Jesus... she knew where she was going, and she knew that He was the reason. Our son gave a beautiful message of hope, because of the cross.

One of our grandkids stood and recited the 23rd Psalm... perfectly! And then our other son and daughter shared special memories of a grandmother who adored them, and they knew it!

He also left a few minutes for others to share... there were a large number of cousins and relatives, and they shared everything from her love of ice cream, to the way she made each of them feel so special when they came to visit her, to the way she laughed so easily about life, and about herself.

I was the recipient of her kindness through many years, and as it blessed her to share and give, it also taught me a lot about giving. She had an understanding and compassionate heart.

She would have LOVED this day! The gathering of those she loved, and the meal that followed, all of it was to celebrate her, in the way she loved the best... being with those she loved.

But... she has become a part of that gathering that we will one day join, and I can just picture her... telling Jesus about everything, as she listens to Him welcome her to her final home... the crowd up there is growing!


16 comments:

myletterstoemily said...

what a lovely tribute to a precious life. i am
sorry she had to linger here longer than she
may have wanted.

but, oh the glory now! i hope she meets my
grandmothers!

i wish i could have heard that sweet little
voice saying, "the Lord is my shepherd, i
shall not want . . ."

Betsy said...

What a wonderful post. I love the photo of Sister. She looks beautiful and it's a picture I've never seen before. The memorial service was such a celebration of her life, and what a grand life it was!

Betsy Brumbelow Power

Alleluiabelle said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss but also rejoicing with you as she has entered into His eternal kingdom where we all want to be some day. She sounds a lot like how my mom was...I'm sure they are enjoying eachother's company with our precious King.

The photo of her is so beautiful and she sounds like she was beautiful on the inside as well.

Love you dear friend,
Alleluiabelle

Anonymous said...

Sweet Sonja or should I say "Momma Goodson," because you & another special lady from Dallas(a photographer) are my 2 precious Mommas from Dallas." I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but what an awesome story of her life! Only you can use such touching words to tell of her life. I am thrilled to know that she is w/ Jesus & that you & the family were able to celebrate her. I'm praying for you & my "dad", brothers & Sis, as well. Thanks for sending this. It made my day.

Kevin Schwob

Saleslady371 said...

Imagine how wonderful when you see her again, beautifully whole and healed. It sounds like the service was wonderful and very loving. Your family has some loving memories of Ga Ga. What a precious name!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Isn't it wonderful that she left such a rich legacy of Christ behind?

Shirley said...

{{{{{Sonja}}}}} Indeed the crowd up there IS growing! What a beautiful tribute you've paid to her here. What a beautiful person she must have been! And now she is at peace. Her work is done. Her suffering has ended. Her body has been set free!!! Praise God!!!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh, so sorry! What precious words, and again, what a legacy! My father-in-law went through that also. What precious memories and what a precious name. What a joy to know you will see her in heaven!
Blessings to your family as you go through this loss...even as Christian's knowing the hope of the future we still feel the sting of missing our love ones.

Just Be Real said...

Sonja you write so beautifully. I am sorry for the passing of your M-I-L. You gave her a very nice and precious tribute. Thank you for sharing it with us all. Blessings.

LisaShaw said...

Dear friend, what a beautiful tribute to your GaGa and a beautiful, rich legacy of love she is leaving behind until you all see her again in Glory.

I pray the peace and comfort of the LORD on you and your family precious sister.

I love you.

Jackie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Sweet Friend, but rejoice with you and your family that Ga Ga is now sitting at the feet of Jesus and rejoicing in the wonders of Glory!! I can only imagine the splendor and beauty!!

I pray the peace and comfort that only He can supply will surround you and your family.

He is Faithful!

Love!
Jackie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Glad for your time of remembrance and laughter regarding the life of Ga-Ga. She sounds like a treasure; so sad that Alzheimer's robs a life of precious interaction with others--one of the saddest diseases of our modern-day era. I'm thankful for her going home; the crowd is indeed growing, and one day, we'll all gather together and enjoy hearing the stories of faith that culminate at the throne! What a day that will be...

peace~elaine

molly said...

Sonja,

You always express everyone and everything just right on your blogs. Thank you for sharing precious memories and thoughts of GaGa. This is such a special journal to share with family who have not met her yet.

Much love,
Molly

Debbie said...

Ah Sonja, what a difference it makes when a believer dies! Of course you will miss her but what joy for her to enter those heavenly gates to be greeted by Jesus. Alzheimer's can be very challenging for family members. But Ga Ga has a sound mind and all her wits about her now.

I'm sorry for your loss but happy for Gaga.

Much love to you,
Debbie

Sassy Granny ... said...

I'm sorry about your loss, Sonya. These beloved elders play such an important role in our lives that it's never easy to bid them farewell. My own mother and mother-in-law have both been gone for many years now. My heart still misses them.

Blessings and comforts,
Kathleen

Vee said...

Oh I loved reading this... "The best day of her life" and how! My family is still in the trenches with this disease and my 101-year-old grandmother whom we also would have, in our human wisdom, preferred to have seen safely home many years ago when she started to fail so quickly. Thank you for your honesty in saying so. Part of me feels guilty for even thinking it.

But I'm not here about that...I wanted to thank you for reminding me of "Beyond Ourselves" by Catherine Marshall. I read it decades ago and now hope to reread it. I used to own it, but haven't seen it around lately. Time for a book search...