Gayle’s spirit soared forth on new adventures at 4:15 a.m. January 6th, 2015. She passed from a pain-free coma with Michael, her sister Joan and Brother Butch holding her hand. Please remember her in your thoughts and prayers.
Gayle deeply believed that our spirit never dies, and although she loved this life with all of her heart she wasn’t afraid of death.
THE SOUL TAKES FLIGHT TO THE WORLD THAT IS INVISIBLE
BUT THERE ARRIVING SHE IS SURE OF BLISS AND FOREVER
DWELLS IN PARADISE PLATO
Last year I asked Gayle to perhaps give me some notes on things that I might include in her obituary, things about her life before I knew her, that she might wish to have mentioned. She never did. Then, after she passed away, when I was preparing to write a notice for publication in the Redding Record Searchlight I chanced upon an item in her computer documents labeled “My Obit”. Here is Gayle’s Obituary as published, and, except for the introduction, as she wrote it:
Gayle Black Shaw Madden (1952 – 2015)
Gayle Black Shaw Madden departed this life on January 6th, at age 62. A Celebration of Her Life will be held in May at the Madden residence, exact date to be published later.
Gayle left this message on her computer:
“I came into this world in July 1952 under an Easterly wind in the Chinese year of the Dragon. I was the baby in a family of five. Mom, Hazel Black, was 40 and Dad, George Black was 52. After me they called it quits. I don’t remember being babied, but I always thought that I could get whatever I wanted, being the “kid” in a family with older parents.
Some of my happiest summers were spent with my oldest sister, Jean. After she married Bill Scanlon and had children, I continued to visit. As children, my next oldest sister, Joan, wheeled me around in an old wagon every night until I fell asleep. She treated me as her baby doll and still calls her daughter, Angie, by my name. Georgia Sorensen, my next oldest sister is married to Gary Sorensen. My brother, Butch Black married his darling wife Shirley Washburn shortly before he left to serve in Viet Nam. He loves me very much and would do anything for me. I love all of them, including their children and grandchildren.
In 1971, a year after graduating from Central Valley High School, I married Steven Shaw, an incredibly kind man. Our marriage lasted for 19 years. I remained happily single for the next 10 years before marrying Michael Madden in 2004. He and I brought much joy to each other lives and have traveled the world finding fun and adventure. We were planning our next trip when I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011. Mike stayed with me every step of the way, deciding that he would do whatever he could to make my remaining life the highest quality possible. I told him he earned his true wings for such loving care. (His other wings were from being a career USAF fighter pilot)
One of my proudest achievements has been the love I have spread to others and especially to all of the precious children who have graced my classroom during my years of being an elementary school teacher. I taught at Columbia, Grant and Pacheco School Districts. Each child will forever be in my heart.
Another achievement is a lifelong dream I have held of having a book published. I finally wrote one during the last three years of my life. Its title is “An Imperfect Life: A Memoir of Life Love and Laughter—But Most of All Love”. It is a book of miracles and describes my love of life—even in the midst of dying.
And now with sadness at leaving the life I so love and with excitement to once again meet my Maker, I bid the world a fond farewell. I like to think my life has been a testimony that life is good. Gayle”
There will be a celebration of Gayle’s life on her mountaintop home near Redding, California in late May 2015. I will post the date and time in the local newspaper and on this blog. I also will keep this blog site on-line, although I will not write any more blogs except that I may post some photos every once in a while.
I deeply miss Gayle and I leave you with this final thought:
The problem with death is that it is often more sudden than you’d planned, and neither the survivors nor the departed are allowed any do-overs. So, while you are alive reach out to those around you and to those you love. Ask those questions, tell those stories, and say those things that bond and that draw you closer together in love and understanding. And also, love and savor each hour of this life and this beautiful world that we live in.
Gentle love to each of you,