Thursday, April 14, 2011


Not to backtrack here, but I have a story to tell in relation to the female name choice made this week.

Gooder (Mary Evelyn) was Grandma's mom. Grandma is up there in the header playing piano with Lila. Grandma is my mom's mom and she is an avid reader of this blog. I truly love that she is able to "see" us more because of it.

Do you have any stories from your childhood about yourself that have stuck with you? This one stuck with me but I am horrible with details. All I can ever remember is that Gooder was killed by a drunk driver and I wrote a note to her and buried it in the backyard thinking it would go to her in Heaven. So I emailed my mom and asked her to refresh my memory. She tells it better than I ever could so she is our guest blogger today (hope that's ok with you mom!)....

"Gooder died Christmas day of 1983, so you were 3, almost 4.  You didn't really understand then what had happened.  You just knew something wasn't right when I got the phone call from my mom about Gooder.  We had celebrated Christmas that morning in the condo we were living in down in Sandy Springs.  Granny was there.  That was the year she gave you the rabbit coat that you adored!  The call came later that morning, after we'd had time to do Santa Claus with you.  After the call, we began to pack and get ready to go to Americus.  You/we wrote the note your school year that Sara was born, so sometime during your kindergarten year. It was probably close to Christmas because you mention Sara's stocking in the note.  I don't remember what prompted my conversation with you about Gooder that led to the writing of this note, but it was probably nearing the anniversary of her death and I was sad and you picked up on that ... precious, sweet angel that you are!!  Yes, her name is Mary Evelyn and you're spelling it right. Here's what the note said, as you dictated it to me:

To Gooder:
This is Jana.  I have started school.  I wanted to tell you that I love you and I hope you are feeling good.  This is a picture of Sara.  I wanted you to know that my mama and daddy and sister and me are feeling good.  I wanted you to know that Sara already has a stocking.  (You wrote this next sentence, some caps some lower case).  I WaNT you TO KNOW THAT I caN speLL Bat aND I caN speLL SARA.  (Then I wrote) ... We miss you.

You drew a picture of baby Sara lying down (sideways on the paper).  You also drew a picture of yourself standing up with hearts over your head going up to Heaven (I assume).  You're standing next to a picture of a flower.  Then you wrote all of our names as follows:  SARA Bateman, Jana Bateman, Vicky Bateman, Jeff Bateman.  We buried the note in the backyard before you went to bed that night.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  You said, "If buried people go to Heaven, won't buried letters to them go there too"?  I said, "Of course they will."  Then you said, "I want to write a letter to Gooder."  After you went to bed that night, I went out and dug up the letter.  It was priceless to me and still is.  What you did gave me such peace about the first family member I'd lost that meant so much to me ... a woman who beat all the odds, and a woman you and Sara would never really know.  She was one of a kind.  You and Sara would have loved her as much as I do.  If we have a baby girl, she couldn't be named after a better woman than Gooder.  I was secretly pulling for that name all along.  And you also need to know that her friends didn't call her Mary.  She was always Evelyn.  Just Evelyn."

Thank you mom for telling the story. Even if we have a boy this naming process and this week will stick with me just like this funny little story has.


  1. That gave me the chills! So sweet!

  2. That is so sweet Jana! And the picture of Lila and your Grandma at the piano is priceless. It brings tears to MY eyes and I'm not even related to you guys. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing! Loved that story.


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