Mom who lost all 3 children in horror taxi crash will spend Christmas helping feed the poor

Iavan Pijoos Journalist
Odile Goodall with her children Lashay, Learyn and Aiden. The children died in a taxi crash in March.
Odile Goodall with her children Lashay, Learyn and Aiden. The children died in a taxi crash in March.
Image: Supplied

The excitement of their voices upon opening their Christmas presents, the sparkle in their eyes at seeing the Christmas tree. As families unite to celebrate Christmas this year, one thing is missing for Odile Goodall – her three children.

The children perished in a tragic road accident on the Golden Highway near Soweto on March 11.

Aiden Goodall was in grade 1, Lashay was in grade 5 and Learyn was in grade 6. The children were among 12 people who died when the taxi they were travelling in collided with another vehicle.

The Goodall children loved this time of the year, but all that’s left for Odile is to hold on to the memories of the Christmas they shared last year.

“I remember it so well. They were so excited and could not wait to wake up and open their presents and get ready for church. The day was so pleasant and amazing, family being together.

“They could not stopping telling me how much they adore me. My son even told me one day that when he is grown up he wants a wife like me. I can still hear the excitement in the voices,” she said.

Not having them around was painful, she said.

“It hurts deeply, especially the shopping, the presents not bought and no courage to put up a Christmas tree like the past year. The thought of waking up and not seeing their faces light up with their beautiful smiles breaks my heart,” she said.

Goodall said that since the beginning of December, the thought of the upcoming Christmas broke her heart into “a million pieces”.

I fight inner battles daily but still I manage to smile though all the pain. I will get through it.
Odile Goodall

“I have not being coping too well. All I do is keep faith and ask God to give me all the strength I need to face each day. It has been the most difficult time for me I must say, especially after celebrating my birthday in December without them and them not coming home with their reports.

“I fight inner battles daily but still I manage to smile though all the pain. I will get through it and will raise a smile through the day as I know they would want us to celebrate in their memory,” Goodall said.

In honour of her children, Goodall registered the LLA Foundation - named for the initials of her children's first names - in August this year.

The foundation’s aim is to uplift and care for children who are less fortunate. It also aims to protect the rights of children, including right to education, health, water and a nutritive diet.

The foundation also assists safe homes, disability homes and schools in communities with basic essential needs. 

This year it will join hands with non-profit organisations to feed 500 less fortunate people in Eldorado Park, Klipspruit, Kliptown, Freedom Park and Slovo Park on Christmas day.

“Many people have lost their jobs this year or some can’t even afford a plate of food for their families, so we want to feed as many people as we can and try to make a difference.

“I pray God gives me all the strength to live out the first Christmas without my children,” said Goodall.

TimesLIVE


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