Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Finding the Answer to, "Do You Love Me?"

By Deborah Wilbrink

Love takes many forms.  

“My book has turned into a mission,” Gigi calmly states.  “It is finding its way into the right hands, and I am being asked to speak at churches and women’s groups. They listen and their hearts are touched. This feels right.” If you hear Barbara “Gigi” Goodall speak, you’ll meet a self-assured, tall woman in her seventies, accompanied by her amiable husband, Newell. She radiates peace. It comes with telling her heartrending true story.

 “This is a true story of four adults who abandoned me, twice. Once as a five year-old to the state’s foster care system; and then again when a teenager, as I was left with strangers or even to fend on my own. I was born in 1940 and my memories begin at five years of age. . . My parents and grandparents, a couple of four, were always together – but there was no room for me.”

The “couple of four” once left their child alone on a sidewalk, and drove away “to see my reaction.” Later, they repeatedly placed the young teen in boarding situations where she lived without family or friends while her family, unbeknownst to her, collected her wages. It was only when she became seventeen and married that the young woman escaped emotional abuse and opportunism, and began to experience love.

A natural writer, Gigi laments the lack of books, reading aloud, and story-telling in her childhood. Perhaps it was the great stories within the Bible, her one readily available book, which instilled her skills with prose. Maybe it was the guardian angel she believes guided her life.

Gigi began with the intent of saving her story for her four children and their children. Her daughter, Tami, knew about Writers in the Sky and put her mother in touch with an editor there, starting with a gift certificate. It quickly became evident her story was an inspirational memoir that many would enjoy. Her message of love is especially motivating for foster children and foster alumni, restoring faith in their own abilities to succeed. 

Gigi Goodall completed high school when she was thirty-two, successfully raised four children, and provided a temporary home for twenty-five foster kids. She played a leadership role assisting the poor on both an administrative and highly personal level for her Tennessee county. Gigi’s answer to her own question, Do You Love Me? is simple. It’s never too late for love to change lives. The book sold well at Gigi’s book signing, and is available on

Deborah Wilbrink is a personal historian, editor, and proprietor of and is also affiliated with Writers in the Sky. Reprinted with permission from Mature Lifestyles of Tennessee magazine. 

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