ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – In a span of ten days Lavonne Gilbert’s world turned upside down. First she lost her daughter, now her granddaughter.
Gilbert told CBS11’s Sharrie Williams she’s relying on her faith in order to make sense of it all. “God needs a little angel,” said Gilbert from her Arlington home. “She’s just another little angel that he’s taken and she’s gone to be with her mom that’s the way we look at it.”
Gilbert’s daughter, ShaChela Womack was nine months pregnant and on her way home from a baby shower on August 5.
Womack’s 15-year old son, Keshawn – who family says has a learner’s permit to drive – was behind the wheel on Dallas County’s FM 1382 when he lost control of the minivan and rolled it over. Womack’s five year old daughter was also in the car.
Thirty-five year old Womack didn’t survive but doctors were able to save her unborn baby girl, Ashlynn.
The family had hoped Ashlynn’s survival would be the one blessing from this tragedy, but after being taken off life support, the baby died Monday at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.
“Everyone was praying that she would make it,” said Gilbert. “She was a beautiful baby, absolutely gorgeous just like her mother.”
ShaChela’s life in some ways was just beginning. She’d just gotten married June 30 and she was excelling at work as a financial analyst.
Hit by double tragedy–ShaChela’s mother is now planning two funerals. She says in tough moments like these she’s clinging to family, friends and her faith.
“My strength comes from God and God alone. I’m sad but I know she’s in a much better place.”
A better place is how the grandmother is having to explain to the surviving children–especially the five year old. Gilbert shared the story of talking to her young granddaughter about the loss.
“Grandma is my mommy dead? ‘ I said yes she is. Do you know what that means?’ She said, ‘she’s in heaven.’ I said that’s exactly what it means.”
She says the family is also surrounding her grandson with love who was driving at the time of the wreck.
“I told my grandson that we love him. It was an accident and no one blames him.”
The family hopes these heartbreaking losses will be a reminder to others of just how precious life is.
“Her life was not in vain,” Gilbert said of her daughter. “She touched so many lives. So many people will be affected by this and it will make them hug their children just a little tighter.”
There will be a dual funeral held this Saturday, August 18 for ShaChela Gilbert Womack and Ashlynn Leona Womack.
A college trust fund has been setup for the surviving children with Chase National Bank. Donations can be mailed-in or donated at any Chase Bank under the ShaChela Gilbert Womack Memorial Fund.
The family is asking that in lieu of flowers for the funeral services that donations be made to the children’s fund.
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