Connected…

It was wonderful to see so many dear souls that we have been connected to over the years at my mom’s services.

I didn’t get photos of many of the people who honored us with their presence and their words. It wasn’t easy to relax with my camera in these circumstances.

Mom's services 015Hope and I were coordinated in our outfits and had to have a photo together.

Mom's services 150After attending this little guys baby shower before he was born it was nice to finally meet him in person with his mommy.

Mom's services 151…and with his grandmother, my good friend from Bethany Russian Baptist church.

Mom's services 152Katie with Nikki and her Auntie Christina. Christina is Dear’s SIL.

Mom's services 154Here’s Dear with his only brother, Terry.

Mom's services 155My cousin Vera (from my father’s side), cousin’s cousin Shirley (on my mother’s side), my cousin Jim (on my father’s side), and Shirley’s sister Betty (on my mother’s side).

Mom's services 156More dear friends from our Bethany Baptist Days in Los Angeles.  Diane, Manya (Shirley, Bobbi and Betty’s oldest sister) Alex and Jaydee with Shirley between them.

Mom's services 157Jeanie,(married to my cousin Jim) My cousin Jim, My cousin Vera (Jim’s sister) George (who is Jim, Vera and Katrina’s 1st cousin) and my cousin Katrina (Jim and Vera’s youngest sister).

Mom's services 163My first cousin, Vera, from my dad’s side of the family. The rest of this group are all 1st cousins with each other on my mother’s side of the family. My first cousins are on the right end of this group. Valia and Tanya on the right end with my cousin Walter’s wife standing behind them. Bobbi and Shirley are first cousins to Valia and Tania.

Mom's services 161Our son Dan with our SIL Letty’s son Derek and wife Amy.

Mom's services 158Caleb and Joshua making plans to spy out the Promised Land…Strong and Courageous!

Mom's services 159Niece Melissa bonding with our latest grand nephew Thomas.

Mom's services 172My Pop with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mom's services 166Our kids (missing Andrew) with my pop. Andrew has arrived in Afghanistan with his unit so your prayers for him are appreciated.

Mom's services 176Pop with his sons.

Mom's services 180Sons and daughters…

Mom's services 184Daughters

A very special thank you to the ladies from Whittier Area Community Church and Olive Grove Church  who contributed salads and desserts for our meal together. You blessed us abundantly and we are grateful! Everything turned out so well. We were so pleased to be able to spend time with people we have been connected to over the years. Old friends and new friends supporting each other. It’s a beautiful picture of community…

I’ll close my post with the quote my Brother in law Nick read at the graveside…

“There is nothing that can replace
the absence of someone dear to us,
and one should not even attempt to do so.

One must simply hold out and endure it.

At first that sounds very hard,
but at the same time it is also a great comfort.

For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled
one remains connected to the other person through it.

It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness.
God in no way fills it but much more
leaves it precisely unfilled
and thus helps us preserve — even in pain —
the authentic relationship.

Further more,
the more beautiful and full the remembrances,
the more difficult the separation.

But gratitude transforms
the torment of memory into silent joy.
One bears what was lovely in the past
not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within,
a hidden treasure
of which one can always be certain.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer”

In Memory of…

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In Memory of Nadia Bagdanov

April 8, 1924 – September 13, 2013

Services:

These words were penned by Nadia’s granddaughter Melissa:

If I said that facing the impending death of someone as amazing as my grandma was hard, that would be an understatement. It doesn’t matter how much you try to prepare yourself because the truth is, you’re never really ready to face such a great loss…

As I sit here trying to process it all, her life, her death, the amazing gift of even being able to call her my grandma, the reality of having to live the rest of my life on this earth without her, I find myself overwhelmed at God’s love, His goodness and His perfect timing. Many of you who knew Baba know that she was a very strong, very stubborn woman and she demonstrated that until the very end. The doctors gave her less than week to live, but she and her stubbornness proved them wrong and instead, she lived almost 2 months. Because of that, my family was given a very special gift, a long goodbye…the opportunity to spend precious time with her all the while knowing that every goodbye could be our very last…until it finally was.
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I know her memory will live on…we’ll be able to hear her critiquing our varenyiki every Christmas from now on (we promise not to make them look like slugs, Baba…we’ll aim for 5+’s now more than ever ), we’ll still be able to hear her snarky remarks during Dzeda’s speeches before family meals, and her telling us to love each other…something she did so well.

Until we see her again, we mourn our great loss but celebrate her GREAT gain. I have no doubt she heard the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful, servant’ when she entered the presence of her Savior this morning. She truly was an incredible example…an example whose footsteps have been etched so deeply in my life and heart. She will forever be one of my greatest role models and inspirations and I feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing legacy.
But words cannot even begin to express how much I will miss her…
I love you SO much, Baba

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Please leave any comments here and I will be sure to pass them on to my Dad.  I am sure he would love to hear words of encouragement or remembrance from you.  Mom loved Jesus and was confident in her last days.  She loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  She will be missed and her words will encourage us for years to come.  The Bagdanov family was blessed by God to have Nadia as our Mom.

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I copied this post and information from my brother’s blog. If you live in Southern California feel free to attend my mom’s memorial service. We would be happy to welcome you and see you. I will be away from the computer for the next few days…