George Charles Garman 09/09/09 to 01/29/10

January 29, 2010 our world was turned upside down when our 4 month old little boy earned his wings after a battle with Mitochondrial Disease and awoke in the Lords loving arms.

"Life can not be measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

George's Guardian's of Grace Projects

Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

11 Months and Forever Counting

Well today is 11 months since George went to heaven. I can't believe it has been that long. It seems just like yesterday. Today I felt so very overwhelmed with the thought that the numbers will just keep going up and seem never ending. What a sad and terrible feeling. I really try to look at things in a positive light but have found that very hard to do lately.

I did print out the pictures I have from Disney that I took of his hat on the beach and his name. I also printed out the picture from our trip to Disney when he was alive. It is a shame we will never have a family picture ever with our whole family in it. The thought of that just saddens me to no end. When we were in Disney this last time I bought a few frames to put them in and finally took the time to get it all together.

I also happened to do some thinking as to why the little boys really don't get the whole idea behind death. They don't get that he isn't coming back. On numerous occasions they have made many references to him coming back someday. I realized that in their world death isn't a big deal. You play a video game and the person gets run over by a car and magically comes back to life. With a game you can restart it and go back to the bad parts and fix it but it just doesn't work like that in real life unfortunately. I would give anything for it to be that simple.

For now we are just stuck having to find a way to live life without our son and always missing part of our family. We have good days and bad and good moments and bad moments and it will be this way for the rest of our lives. It is such an overwhelming thought but we can't change it at all so have to move forward somehow each day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simple things are Never Simple

You would have thought that putting away the decorations would be easy...wrong! Today we took down our tree, the few decorations we did actually put up this year and George's tree. I never did get the tree I had wanted to get with all that had transpired...kind of made me sad. The ornament thing didn't pan out as I had hoped since only a few people sent/dropped something off. A few people from our church, Hugh's brother Rick's family, a woman who had lost her granddaughter, a family friend, and I each added one to his tree. Josh and Richard had spent a good chunk of the past few days at my parents so I actually decorated the tree myself when I was in the house alone, not exactly what I had in mind but I did do what I had set out to do. I think that each year I will just add a dated ornament to his tree.

Today I took it down. Each ornament had a special meaning and was hard for me to put away. I did take pictures of the ones that were on his tree and will post a picture of them. It really saddened me to do it. I found it hard to put it up but found it even harder to take it down. Who ever would have thought it would have been a difficult task. I also found our family newsletter from last year that I sent out. Usually I send out cards with a letter to bring everyone up to speed but this year didn't do any of that. I felt guilty not doing it and then came across the one from last year printed with two pictures of George in them...I seriously don't know where it came from. Joshua looked at the pictures and asked to have them and said how much he missed George and that he was happy we have another baby but doesn't want this baby to go to heaven. What do you really say to that?

Since I was already in the cleaning mood I started to go through the kids things and got a bag together with toys that they have outgrown and sorted through things along with opening and finding places for the new ones. I didn't realize how hard it was going to be for me. Last year we held onto toys since George would have been playing with them. To realize that he would never use them and that these too needed to find a home just broke my heart. It was just so sad to finally say goodbye yet again to more hopes and dreams that I had for my son and our family. I think it just goes to prove that the simple things in life are the things that I cherish since one of the things I hold close to my heart are the memories I make with the kids while we play and I get to see them being kids. Life is just way to short.

Later this week we will hit the 11 month mark, the day he rolled over(new years eve), and New Year's which will all be difficult for me. I wish I could just fast forward through these moments. It sounds odd I am sure but things that should be happy just aren't anymore. Grief is just a different kind of beast. Simple things tend to be harder than the big moments and make me miss him the most. I look forward to being with him again some day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pictures

Think I need to specify that these are pictures of Gabrielle. She looks so much like her big brother George it is amazing and amazes me every time I look at her. Some pics she definitely looks like his twin and in others she looks like herself but it is uncanny how much she can look like him at times.











Sunday, December 26, 2010

Poem used at George's Service

When God calls little children to dwell with him above,
We mortals sometimes question the wisdom of His love. 

For no heartache compares with the death of one small child, 

Who does so much to make our world seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to his fold,
So He picks a rosebud before it can grow old."
"God knows how much we need them, 
and so He takes but a few
To make the land of heaven more beautiful to view. 

Believing this is difficult, still somehow we must try, 

The saddest word mankind knows 
will always be "Goodbye."
So when a little child departs, 
we who are left behind
Must realize God loves children, angels are hard to find.

~Author Unknown

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my sweet little monkey! I miss you more than words could ever say. All I can say is that I was completely unprepared for the rush of emotions that came over me without warning. On numerous occasions I have come to this page trying to write to you and find the right words to express myself but have not been able to do it. My heart is just so broken and hurting right now. I hope that heaven is as great as they say it is and that you are all up there having a huge birthday party for Jesus! I never really knew or understood why Easter and Christmas were celebrated the way they were in the church but now I see it all so clearly. Your earthly birthday will always be special just as Jesus' is and so is the date you left us here and had a birthday in heaven and both days have just as much meaning behind them.

Written Christmas Eve:

I am sitting here in our quite house. Hugh and the boys are all at my mom's as they usually are on Christmas, I just couldn't do it and really just needed time to myself. We have had nothing but drama this year and I think all of it finally caught up to me. Today I felt as if I was hit by a brick wall and a garbage truck all at once both physically and emotionally. The year of hell just finally caught up to me at of course the most inopportune time. However, I had a lot of understanding and emotional epiphanies come my way through all of this that I would like to share for those who have never lost a child and struggle to understand and for those who have to know they are not alone.

As I sat in our van on the way to church I just started crying and then wondered why was it that this was so hard? I pondered that most of the night as I could not erase the horrible images from my mind of the day George left us. For whatever reason I kept flashing back to the day we were in the hospital and they handed his lifeless body to me. He was wrapped in this blue blanked made by a stranger with much love a long time before never knowing it would be the last thing as his mother I would ever wrap him in again. It then made me think of the day he was born and how very similar but different those emotions are. I just kept wondering was this really my life and has it really come to this? How do I live this life without him in it?

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, etc I was always the one making things work and now just don't have it in me to do that anymore. Part of me feels some insane responsibility for others and their happiness. I often times bury my feelings in the things I do never really letting the pain in because it is too much to handle at one time. I often think that is why I feel a need to be alone. On some level I know I can just be myself and not have to play a part and can find comfort and peace without the many distractions of my day to day life. For several days following George's death I did this where I came home to sleep and the kids and Hugh stayed at my mom's. It is such a huge relief to not feel like I have to hold it together for someone or a particular reason, I can just be me and cry or sleep, or do whatever I need to do to get through it all. I don't like to be emotional around other people and finds to be very comforting.

Often times I find that I do not feel guilty when I am alone. So often I feel like a stranger in a room full of familiar faces. I hold it together long enough to survive what I need to and than know my limits and have to leave before the flood gates open and I loose it. The pain is so great and I just don't know how to carry it sometimes but keep trying to find a way to do it just for the rest of the family.

Came here Christmas Day to try and write unsuccessfully...couldn't even write Merry Christmas because it was so very far from that for me, I walked most of the day in a daze praying to just make it through without loosing my mind.

The day after Christmas:

I survived yet again but guess I really don't have much of a choice when it all happens. The holiday was definitely worse than I ever anticipated it to be. I held it together for the boys and everyone else even though every single fiber of my being kept returning to think how bad I felt that George was not here. Faith or no faith nothing can ever prepare you for this sort of thing. You try to hold back tears time and time again. I can't tell you how many times I had to do that and felt that any moment I was going to have to give in and just cry or leave. Finally I got Hugh to go home and once at home just started crying inconsolably. My heart just hurt so bad and words don't even do it justice.

My younger sister came to my house just as she had a year ago and we sat in his room and cried just like we did a year ago. This time it was for my baby not hers. Could it really be that he was alive a year ago and now in an instant was gone with no warning or any answers? How am I suppose to live the rest of my life with this pain and never know again what it is like to hold him or kiss him as I forget what he looked like, sounded like, or smelled like? I don't expect answers and I know the answer is to just have faith and to keep pushing forward but there are days where often times it seems so impossible and unfair. Why do we have to be tested like this? I don't get it. Together we both just cried knowing that there was no way to change any of it and that there is nothing that anyone can do or say to make it better.

The kids and Hugh all seemed to truly enjoy themselves this holiday, as much as possible. For that I am grateful. They all happened to be blessed enough to have gifts to open due to the kindness of others and were excited and things for them were as "normal" as possible. Every part of me didn't want to do things the way we used to however I couldn't take that from them. We still went to church(I cried the whole way there and stopped the tears several times during service), they all spent the night at my mom's(I had to go home but returned in the AM for gifts), I went home to finish cooking(held back tears several times), returned to my mom's where they all got to do the traditional family gift exchange(I talked to my friend from Germany who always calls on the holiday and who wanted to let me know she was thinking of me, had to leave the room several times to not cry, and finally needed to go home).

A good part of the past few days I thought of and prayed for all of the parents knowing my pain all to well. So many people walk this path with me every single day. They too ache and hurt beyond explanation and my heart just breaks for them all. I know their pain all to well and no one should ever have to know it. Please keep us all in your prayers. The next few weeks are going to be difficult. We will begin planning Gabrielle's baptism/George's memorial day on January 29th. We finally asked people to be her god parents and are quite happy with our choices and look forward to sharing God's love with her as she gets older. The day will come with its own set of emotions however I can't think of a better way to spend the day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas in Heaven






I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES around the world below

with tiny lights like HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear

for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS that people hold so dear

but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring

for it is beyond description to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.

I know HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, I see the pain inside your heart

for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR or the PEACE here in this place

Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face

I'll ask him to LIFT YOUR SPIRIT as I tell him of your love

so then PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your HEARTS BE JOYFUL and let your SPIRIT SING

for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN and I’m walking WITH THE KING. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Anxiety

Never before have I ever experienced so much anxiety in my life. I knew that I would have it but seriously did not think it would be to this extent. Every few minutes I am checking on the baby and if she looks like she isn't moving at all I will walk over and touch her or move her around until she moves on her own. I finally got the leads for her monitor in that were for sensitive skin but seriously forgot how to hook them all up. My anxiety has taken over and my poor brain just goes haywire and I can't think straight. My mom did purchase a monitor that clips to her diaper and I will tell you that it at least gives me some sense of security but not enough that I still don't check on her all the time. I think my whole family is like that and Hugh is especially.

The other day she had her doc appt and the doc said that her head circumference was not plotting and that she was concerned about it. This is a doc from the practice that we will be leaving in the new year and George's old pediatricians office. We have decided to move the boys to a single practice physicians office for our own peace of mind. We had happened to have an appt with the new doctor for the kids since Richard and Michael have already been switched. They went to get their flu shot and she asked how we were doing and I told her about the appt we had just had and how they wanted us to get an ultrasound of her head. She then asked me if they took into consideration that she was 4 weeks early and I was not sure.

I went home and started my research immediately to find out what "normal" is. Fortunately, I happen to know a few NICU nurses who told me that as long as her head is bigger or the same as her chest than that was fine and how they tell what is going on with babies. Hugh had been devastated by the docs concern and needed more reassurance than I did I think. However, I became a ball of anxiety even more than before watching her closer than ever that day. We knew that she had a high chance of having Down's Syndrome based on a prenatal exam that had said she had a 1 in 130 chance to have Downs. Hugh and I did not mention this to people during my pregnancy since we did not want to have others needlessly worry...we were doing enough of that ourselves but had no intention of doing an amnio since no matter the outcome we were keeping the baby. I think it was also because we didn't want that to overshadow our joy since it was already tough enough with many of the emotions from George's passing. She was followed closely in utero and had no markers nor does she even look like she has it now but the small head thing definitely freaked us all out having known that her chances of Downs was higher. The rest of the day I was having a hard time with the panic attacks.

It is so hard to deal with sometimes since I sit there replaying the day's events that had transpired with George every time. Those images don't leave and we are left with these terrible feelings now. Hugh and I were talking tonight about it all and how hard it really is to be dealing with the anxiety and how we both happen to have it. I have had a harder time with it I think since I am home with her the most and feel responsible for her safety. To me it feels often times as if I had let George down. I fell like I should have been able to save him and how I had just done things wrong that day and wish I could have changed them and maybe he would still be alive. I really blame myself a lot for his death even though logically that really isn't the case. I am also sure that these hormone changes are not helping me with all of this along with the impending full moon headed our way this week. Sometimes I feel like I am loosing my mind even though I know that this is all very common for parents who have a "rainbow baby"

Yesterday we went to my mom's for a while because I find it hard to be home by myself also. I feel like I have it more together when I am around other people and have less anxiety about being alone with her should something happen. On days that Hugh works long hours or late at night I just can't stay here alone the whole time because the anxiety gets worse and I seek refuge just to know I have others also keeping an eye on her. I am so grateful for the fact that we live around the corner from my parents. They have been God sent. For a long time after George died my mom and I had struggled with our relationship and there were days that went by where we didn't speak. I knew she just wanted to fix things for me and trying so hard she would often say things or do things without realizing that they were more hurtful than helpful. Even though I knew she was really trying, I was just not able to cope with that and handle his death too. So much of me was being drained just to wake up every single day and function, I just didn't have anything else left in me.

Recently, things have changed quite a bit and I am so thankful for it. Now we are slowly but surely working on our communication again. We have probably talked more in the past few weeks about George's death lately than we have the months prior combined. I think that some of that can be attributed to Gabrielle's birth and the opportunity to begin talking about things and the fact that she now just acknowledges my pain rather than trying to fix something she can't. It is the worlds most helpless feeling to not be able to take this sort of pain for someone. I look at my boys and their pain and would carry it for them if I could but I can't. Somehow just validating it and listening works better than trying to take it away and I feel like that is what my mom and I have just started to realize. I'm glad to finally have my mom back and to slowly be finding the new me and being able to communicate and live as this new person because I am forever changed and have had to learn to live again just in a different capacity. Forever part of me will be missing and I will always have a sad spot in my heart but it cannot dictate who I am or what I do but it definitely was for quite sometime. That is totally normal but when you know you don't want it to be that way but don't have the energy to change it, that is when things are even harder. Not only do you loose a child, you loose part of yourself and trying to live that way is no easy task.

Gabrielle has truly been a blessing on so many levels. All children are gifts from God but "rainbow babies" have a special place in this world for their parents/family and bring them something that no one else can. I hate the technical term that they use for these children "Subsequent child" and prefer to look at her as a rainbow from the bible that brought hope and promise to the world after God flooded the earth. I feel as if she has been our rainbow shining through the storm we have weathered this past year. I plan to paint a rainbow in her room since I hadn't done it before but feel a strong urge to let her know how special she really is to us and the hope and joy she has brought to us in just one week.

I have watched as she has transformed much of our family. Last night I was at my parents and my dad came in and sat with us to just talk after he got back from a party he went to. Part way through a conversation, he went and got his camera to take a picture of her without being prompted. She was sound asleep and I could see in his face the love he had for her, I can't tell you how much that really means since he was always working when we were younger. I almost started to cry as I watched him do this because he did not do that with the other boys much nor us as kids, so it is very emotional to see him do things like that. My sister Tara has come around a lot more than she used to. I really missed the relationship we had as kids but life just sent us our own ways for a while and now it seems to be bringing us back to a place that we both yearned to be at for many years. My sister Michelle has really softened herself a lot and our relationship has changed too. I am so thankful for her and all she did for us the days following George's death, something I could never repay her for nor do I know if she realizes how much it truly meant to Hugh and I. My brother and many others have also changed quite a bit and have learned that life truly is too short and to cherish the moments you have.

All of my family has really been touched and I am so grateful that even after some difficult times that we are all stronger and better people because of it all. I think that we are coming closer together each day and putting aside differences and really considering one anothers feelings and thoughts even if we don't understand them, something we never did before. I am also grateful that they love Hugh too and often times think of him and send him messages or just try and find some way to let him know that they are thinking of him too. George was not just my son and that although they are my family, they are his too and they are there for him should he need it. Sometimes just simple acknowledgment or a listening ear truly mean the world to someone.

I hope that in the near future we can get through all this anxiety. The other thing that I hope is that Hugh can mend some fences with his own family. I know they too just don't know what to do or say and often times it is probably the reason that they don't call him back or know what to really say or do for him. It is such a touch subject and is so common with so many other families who have lost children. They had issues prior to George's death and to expect that to change was probably selfish on our part. These circumstances cause so many issues because you expect certain people to be there and sometimes it just isn't what they are capable of and in turn causes animosity and heartache when that person falls from your pedestal that you put them on. It is really unfair to everyone involved but sometimes you don't even realize you are doing it until quite a bit of time after the fact and the feelings put a wedge between you. Not everyone responds to things the way we think or would like them to do.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to walk this path that is being brightened by our own personal rainbow!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So Difficult

These past few days have been very difficult for me emotionally. I find myself crying at the drop of a hat and missing my little boy so much. The heartache has been so immense and yet the joy just the same. I have actually started this post several times only to find myself not making it past the first few sentences without finding myself in tears. Every part of me feels so blessed and yet so sad at the same time. I am so thankful for Gabrielle and yet miss George with every single part of my being. Every night so far I have found myself sobbing in Hugh's arm from the sheer sadness I feel.

Holding Gabrielle made me truly realize how much I really miss George. Until now it had been so very sureal and as if it was all just some bad dream. Instead it is just a inescapable nightmare. I stood at my fireplace mantle where his urn is the other day and just lost it. I sat there looking at his name and realizing that all I have left of him was in that cold piece of marble with his name written on it. The beautiful little boy I once held that smiled and cooed now only exists in memories. My little girl is the reminder of that precious gift of life and how much we are missing in our lives but also have been blessed with again.

Hugh has had his moments too and I am so grateful that we have one another and thank God every moment for that because I don't know where each of us would be right now without the other one. My heart breaks for him as I watch him often suffer alone in silence without much of an outlet other than me. I am fortunate enough to have my family who has been here for us knowing how hard this truly is and who have been here since the baby came home with either meals or watching the kids or just letting me talk about how hard this really is. Often times he goes to work and comes home only to have to be hit with this reality alone.

Last night I found him in the living room crying as he held her and fed her a bottle. We both thought that we could handle using his old bottles but apparently were wrong. Today I went out and got a pack to start off with for her until I can get a few more but I am nursing so we have some time to do so. It just brought so many emotions to Hugh that we just didn't anticipate. My heart just broke for him as I knew all to well the pain that now surged through his body and his heart ached yet was grateful for the gift he held in his arms. Knowing how very alone he has felt and knowing I just can't fix any of it has been very hard for me. I know his pain and yet don't for my situation is just different. All I know is that I am glad I can be there for him and that he is there for me and maybe in many instances this is what has strengthened our marriage. If it is than I am grateful for that because we are overcoming the odds stacked aginst us every single day and are stronger now than ever before and refuse to allow anything to get the best of us.

Gabrielle is doing well. She has lost some weight but has her first appointment tomorrow at the pediatricians office. I am going to start her monitoring tomorrow hopefully. We had to wait to get leads that were for sensitive skin since her skin took a beating from the ones initially provided and also used in the NICU. It is so odd to have a baby that does not cry 24/7 around the clock, is gassy, and doesn't tolerate much. She has been such a blessing and is going for 4 hours between feedings. It is odd, like I am waiting for the insanity to start any moment. Her tone is much better than any of the boys and she is 4 weeks earlier than they were. Yesterday a woman from our church stopped by with a gift for her and held her only to say how tiny she is. It really is amazing how tiny she seems to us. I often feel like a goalie on a soccer team with the boys around trying to protect her, she is so dainty.

Thankfully Hugh has off tomorrow from work. I think we both need that for so many reasons. I cannot believe that Christmas is in a little more than a week. It truly does not feel like the holidays at all. I feel so drained between having a baby and all the emotions coming with the missing part of the family this year. Another friend posted this saying on Facebook and truly expresses the way that I feel many of the times.

Around the Christmas table there's an empty chair this year...the precious smile is missing of someone we still hold so dear. And yet our hearts are hopeful, though the season's bittersweet, because we know the one we love has filled another seat. For another banquet table abounds with... joy and love. For those who've... made the journey to be with our Lord above...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Emotions

All I can say is that this has been one emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. Part of me is thankful that I had a c section because it makes it hard to cry since it hurts to do so. There have been so many moments where I want to just break down and cry but just can't and it isn't necessarily out of sadness but just general overwhelming emotions. Having delivered in the same hospital and to have Gabrielle look a lot like her big brother brings many emotions with them.

I do have to say the staff here has been great and so understanding and helpful. The entire OR was full of people who truly cared and it was like having a room full of sisters there to welcome our little girl into the world. They all understood our situation and although initially they did not know what to do or say they did eventually find themselves swept up in the emotion and happiness they felt for our family. I really connected with one of my nurses that I had here. Donna and I sat here and I talked to her about George and we both think she was actually one of the nurses who cared for him. It brought tears to her eyes to know what had happened and she was like a family member in just a few hours and I thank God for placing her in my life while I was here. I was able to talk to her and laugh and cry and feel like it was alright to do so. The woman who cleaned my room was also a wonderful woman and even came in with a gift for us.

I really wish that my little boy was here to see his little sister but I know he had a hand in her being here. He is watching down on her, I can see it in her smile and face. I miss him so very much and although I am so happy it is a very unique feeling to have that I have never felt before. I can't even begin to explain it but hope that in the next few weeks once we are settled in and I can have more time to process things, it won't seem so overwhelming or as if I just can't even wrap my head around it. The holidays added in make it harder and I think the fact that I just can't really cry does not help since it is such a release of emotions for me.

Tomorrow we go home and I am grateful for that. I asked the docs if I could go a day early so I could be with the boys and help out as much as possible and just be out of the hospital environment. Unfortunately, the morning I went into labor our hot water heater broke so we will be going to my mom's. Hugh and I have just not had the time to be able to look into it at all. He has been back and forth between the hospital and work and by the time he gets home it is to late at night. My mom has been such a huge help and watching the boys for us which has meant so much to us although I know she needs a break after having them for the past few weeks without much of a break. The only bad part about going there is that all our things are at home so we aren't exactly set up to be going there until we can get it all fixed. It is really just our luck that things transpired that way though...never a dull moment.

Here is to hoping that our transition home is easier than it seems right now and that I heal fast and can get back to as much "normal" as possible.

Hospital Pictures for Gabrielle

Below is the link for the pics that were taken at the hospital today! She is very precious and petite, so it is definitely new for all of us!

http://www.our365.com/newbornportraits/babydetail.aspx?BirthId=4cae633b-4295-42a9-9f19-2352d92ab7c8

Friday, December 10, 2010

George Is A Big Brother!

Gabrielle Grace blessed our familiy at 1:40pm 12/09/10. She weighed in at 6 lbs 1 oz and is 19 inches long. We are truly blessed to have her as a member of our family. She was 4 weeks early so doctors wanted to be on the safe side and have kept her in the NICU for observation over night.

Mommy and Daddy got to finally spend some time with her around 9pm and were both still in shock that they were so blessed. Her blood sugar and body temp are now stabalized and she nursed like a champ once she got the hang of it and had no trouble switching to a bottle to be supplemented. All of the initial issues are very common with premies but she should be bunking with mommy by tomorrow morning! Her big brothers are quite anxious to see her! She looks a lot like her big brother who now watches her from heaven and now shares the same day of the month for their birth! Mommy and baby ard doing well and will be in the hospital for the next 4 days. A special thanks to Memom for being with us today and watching the boys for the past few weeks and the next few days ahead while daddy works and mommy recovers. Thanks to Poppy who went over to the house today to try and trouble shoot the hot water heater that broke this morning...hopefully it will be an easy fix. To all aunts and uncles we can't wait to meet you! Aunt Tara thanks for the adorable outfit! We love you all and thank you for the prayer and well wishes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wishing You Were Here

I wish so badly that you were here. My heart breaks every day with the knowledge that you are not with me right now. I cry for you at least once a day and pray for God to help me through the moments that I don't think I will make it. Even just seeing a photo of you now just makes me cry. This whole season is suppose to be about joy but I just cannot bring myself to find it within me right now no matter how hard I try. I am grateful for the many gifts I do have however it does not make up for the fact that you are gone.

Yesterday Elizabeth Edwards died...she is a political figure who lost her son. I always looked up to her for speaking out for those who have also lost a child. When I thought about it I was not sad for her. I have often times listened to things she has said or watched clips of interviews she had given. All I could think about when hearing the news was how glorious a day it was for her rather than being sad for her. She expressed so very often how her faith changed and how she was no longer afraid to die. I have often said that myself and cannot begin to explain how those particular feelings wash over you after your child dies. All I could imagine was her holding her son again and how great that was for her and how happy I was for her knowing how much I look forward to that day myself sometime. Ironically many of the other mom's I have talked to expressed the same feelings.

I see pictures of other children that are the age you would have been and I can't even fathom what you would look like or be doing but it still tugs at my heart strings. Right now I cannot brave even the toy isles in the stores. It sounds so stupid but looking at them makes the reality that you aren't here especially for the holiday. I will see something that I think you would have liked and it saddens me to know that it will forever stay on that shelf since you would not be here to play with it. It is often times the simple things that become difficult. The things that used to carry such joy and happiness now also carry some sort of pain too. I could not bring myself to do Christmas cards or even take a family photo because they are no longer family photos...you are missing, it just isn't the same. Our lives just will never be the same again. I will always find myself wishing that you were here. I love you little boy and send lots of hugs and kisses your way and hope you are enjoying heaven.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Justin Bieber - Pray

Words

I have come to this page countless times trying to find menial words to express the mixed difficult emotions I have been feeling the past few days. There are no words able to explain it at all. I remember reading a while back in a book about SIDS and how there comes a time when you feel so overwhelmed almost to the point you actually question your own sanity. Reading that I thought they were crazy and I would never go through that but boy was I wrong.

Often times I find myself in tears numerous times through the day without any particular trigger. I've sat here not knowing exactly what it is that I am feeling but just rather being overwhelmed by the numerous and difficult emotions that have come my way. After much thought I have sat here wondering why things are so difficult and I have to say there are several contributing factors. First of all the hormones of being pregnant have always made me more emotional, Hugh is working crazy hours and the boys are at my mothers since I cannot care for them with my leg the way it is right now and that has left me with much time to myself in silence to think, all of the financial issues that seem to keep getting worse, and then there are the holidays.

I sat here wondering why these particular holidays are more difficult. For me I feel it is because he was here with us last year at this time. Easter was hard and left me with feelings of sadness for the dreams I had for him that he never got to do whereas he was actually here this time last year. I think of how he was in love with the lights of the tree and I would hold him and sing to him and the very thought of those moments no longer bring joy but sadness beyond belief. I also mourn the dreams that I had for future holidays and all the things I had planned for him that he will never do. I miss holding him, kissing him, and just loving him with the reciprocation of feelings.

We have put up the tree and the blow ups for the boys but I really have no desire to do more than that. I want to but just can't bring myself to do it still. It is kind of like a kid having to go shopping with his mother in the store but not wanting to go. They don't have a choice but are dragged along sometimes kicking and screaming and other times just suffering their fate. There are those moments where it doesn't seem so bad and they eventually make it through and often times that is how I feel. Words are just not capable of expressing most of what I feel because I don't understand it myself. I just know I miss my little boy and want him back but can't have him back and am left to try and find a way to live without him in it. Please keep me and our family in your prayers each day as we try to find a way to do that without really knowing what will or will not work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Tree

Today we took out our Christmas tree. I think I was just completely unprepared for the emotions I would feel having to do this. Hugh and the boys put the tree up. Richard cleaned off the top of the mantle where George's urn is kept so we could figure out what we were going to do for Christmas. Usually I put my precious moments Christmas village up there but will no longer do that. This year they will just stay packed away. I don't know what to do with them and don't have the room for them anywhere else. The mantle has become his special place where we try to still find ways to celebrate earthly things we no longer can do with him in person.

Once the tree was up we started to look for the ornaments. For the life of me I could not even and still don't even remember packing the things away last year...that entire time following Christmas was a whirlwind since we had gone to Disney and George was dead only a few weeks later. We did find the box with the ornaments in them and I started to hand them out to the boys. Each boy has specific ones that are theirs that they have acquired over the years and has special meaning to each one. Mixed in there were a few of George's...the beginning of his collection. I remember thinking how he would get to put his on this year with his brothers but I was so wrong. The boys continued to decorate as I sorted through and pulled out the ones that were George's for his tree. I think there were about 4 that I put on his tree.

For now we have an artificial tree but I want to get a real one with the roots attached. We will plant it in the yard after the holidays as a remembrance. I just want to have something that is living for him this holiday season. We have had a few people drop off ornament gifts for us to put under his tree. Some of them were not wrapped and I sat down today and wrapped them. The boys are getting excited by them being there and I am grateful for that for them. I hope that we get some more but if not, that is ok too, they are just very excited that he has gifts but I told them they have to wait until Christmas to open then and then they get to decorate...that made their day! I will have to still get some other decorations for the fire place now that there is just a different purpose for it than last year. We might have to wait until after the holidays to get things on sale but right now it just is missing something or a few somethings...I just haven't figured it out yet.

I was really ok for a while and then wham it just hit me! Right now I have not figured out if it is a combination of things but I stood in the kitchen crying and not knowing what to do with myself. My mom had sent part of dinner over and I had to finish it up. The kids were in the other room whining that they were hungry as I waddled around the kitchen in pain trying to finish making dinner(a huge obstacle for me with my leg being a mess). It seemed like the room just started to spin...my leg just hurt so bad and so did my heart and my head just felt so foggy. I didn't know what else to do but just cry so overwhelmed by it all. It was like this was all a bad dream but it wasn't and I knew I couldn't escape any of it and that it was only going to get harder.

I took my plate downstairs to my room and put my leg back up and collected myself. Randomly I would still find tears running down my face and it was just out of my control. Hugh came down to check on me and hugged me. He knows I am physically exhausted and at my whits end with dealing with my leg and the pain that I am in at the end of the night along trying to stay off of it but at times having no other choice but to get up and do the mom things I have to do along with all the emotional parts. He asked me what was wrong and I just cried and said I didn't know...I am in pain on many levels, and am just so overwhelmed that all I know to do is cry at times. It isn't all the time but when these moments come they come without warning and it is like a huge wave washing on the shore with no warning.

Hugh is back to work again tomorrow with Friday off again and a list of things he has to do especially since I can't do a lot of them. I am glad that he has been doing day shifts though because he is home to get the kids to bed. It is such a task to do that and requires more than I can do right now. They go to my mom's after school and Hugh picks them up when he is done work. I try to stay off my legs but usually have to make dinner or come up with something for them that is quick. Fast food is getting old and is way to expensive to keep doing even though it is so much easier but making meals proves to be difficult for me right now. Just making the sides tonight and spaghetti last night proved to be a lot physically. I think these guys will just become familiar with oodles and noodles soup and mac and cheese. They don't mind since they like it but I don't know how long it is going to be like this and they need something more nutritious. We were smart enough to freeze food from Thanksgiving dinner that I can use and I do have some home made soup I froze so at least there are a few options but I just have that built in mommy guilt that I am letting them down even though I know better.

Here is to tomorrow being a better day! I have come to realize that this entire season is going to be difficult even the things I don't anticipate to me such. There are probably be a lot of things we just don't do or opt to do differently. Just like my village,they will find there just is no place for them anymore and we will have to find new ways to do things and create new memories and traditions. I am just not sure how to do that yet and think it may take a few tries before we even figure it out if we do at all. Accepting that is the hard part but at least knowing that is putting us on the right path. I will just put my faith in God and pray for his guidance with it all.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Survived

Well, we survived the holiday. It was much different than any of our other holidays. It was kind of low key and solemn. The kids spent most of the day at my mom's and Hugh and I were here at the house. The first half of the day I was cooking the turkeys until around 4 when we went over to eat. We did not stay long since Hugh had to be out the door by 3am to work Black Friday. The kids stayed there and enjoyed themselves like usual while Hugh and I returned home. It felt very disjointed and odd but we made it through and that is all that matters.

The next day Hugh worked for quite some time. I went to my parents with the kids for a while since I have been having trouble with my right leg and the veins in it. It finally got to the point I could not walk and when Hugh went home I called the docs office. They had me go straight to the ER. We were there for about 6 hours and found that I have several superficial blood clots but thankfully no DVT at this point in time and are trying to keep it that way. The doc we saw was very nice and he told me it looked like it hurt like hell and gave me some meds and told me to stay off it. If it gets worse or I am short of breath I am to get back to the hospital to have it checked again since these can turn into the bad kind at any moment.

My family has been great and my mom has been watching the kids while Hugh is working. I have been having a hard time staying off of it but know my limits and know I just can't do anything. It is so frustrating when I have so much to do around here yet know I can't do any of it and am particular about things. Hugh has been so wiped out by the time he gets home we have been ordering a pizza or something else to eat and calling it a night since I cannot be on my feet to cook. I go to the OB's tomorrow morning and will see what they have to say. They checked the baby and she is fine rolling around like nothing else is happening. I've never had a problem with this before so it is truly interesting to say the least. My leg now hurts worse than it did but only from where they did the ultrasound since they have to push very hard and almost down to the bone to make sure there isn't something else going on.

The boys have not minded at all since they have been able to spend time at my parents and would probably live there if they could. For me it is a little hard to just have the silence. I'm getting better with it than I used to be. The silence just reminds me that George is gone and I miss him so much more. The pain meds have however made me tired a lot and I sleep quite a bit and have done a lot of thinking about how to still celebrate life and not let it all get the best of me. It is so hard to do that but I know that I don't have much of a choice.

Tomorrow is my mom's birthday and also the two year anniversary since my grandfather, who George was named after, died. I listen to my mom and how she does not want to celebrate her birthday because it is the day of her dad's death and part of me feels sorry for her. He would not want that for her and he looked forward to the day he returned to heaven. I don't want to carry that sort of animosity towards a certain date or day and has really made me contemplate how I want to react to these sorts of things. Grief is very personal though and I respect that however I have found that I need something more. God has placed a different desire in my heart and has called me to face the day in a different manner. I know if my grandparents could talk to me they would want us to find good in it because they loved the Lord so much and looked forward to the day they joined his kingdom.

My mom was not really happy with us choosing January 29th for Gabrielle's baptism and was against us baptizing George last year on tomorrows date because of the pain it carries for her. She personally has a hard time with the 29th of the months since we have had many losses on those days. However, I think I look at things slightly different,which is completely fine, and want those days to carry some sort of happiness rather than just total sadness. We are looking at Gabrielle's baptism in a different light and want to bring joy to that day rather than sadness. It will be a hard enough day but I think knowing she will become a child of God that day her brother had his heavenly birthday will be a testament to God's love and promise for each and every one of us. I have to find a way to not let it get the best of me and after George's birthday being so lonely, I just knew I didn't want to do that for his heavenly birthday and sit here and just feel sad and sorry for myself and my loss.

I think of my grandfather and how two years ago I was sitting at the ER with him. He was joking with the EMT's and doctors like nothing was happening. The two of us however knew that he was not staying. The end part of his life I got to know him for who he was as a person and I thank God for that time with him. We gained a special bond that I cannot explain. When I left that night, I looked in his eyes and knew that was the last time I would see him and I kissed him on his cheek and told him I would see him again and he just smiled. He knew I knew God was calling his name. I was the first person to the hospital after he had died that morning and there was this peace in the room that I cannot explain that left as others began to show up to say goodbye. I remember asking the nurse for a comb and telling him how my grandmom was going to yell at him when she saw him because he didn't shave. I did not find sadness when I was with him although tears fell from my eyes, I was happy, his chains were gone. His death for me was very different than my grandmother's and even George's.

Joshua had a special place in his heart and gave him the chance to be the father/grandfather that he had always wanted to be but never was. He brought him more joy in a month than I think my grandfather knew in a lifetime. You could see that the time he was given was God's gift to him and allowed him the time he needed in order to finish his job here. The other day Joshua started to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and I knew my grandfather was smiling in heaven and crying. Had he been here to listen to it I know you would have seen tears streaming down his face behind his coke bottle glasses that graced his tired and worn face. It is so great to think that he is in heaven now enjoying the company of my son who was named after him. I can see him just bragging and walking around like a proud peacock because that is who he was. He would never outright come and say something but you could feel it in his presence.

Please keep us all in your prayers, especially my mom as she faces her grief head on tomorrow which is a very difficult day for her on many levels.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Prayer!

Dear Lord,
I thank you today for all the blessings of this world but also for the promise of eternal life. The gift of your son was so great and something we could never thank you enough for. This gift lets me know that even though today I will not hold my son that I will some day be in your kingdom with him again doing just that. Please give us the strength we need to enjoy this blessed day that you have given us with our family and friends and all those who have said goodbye to someone way to soon. When we falter please walk with us through this difficult time.

I thank you for the gift of life no matter how long or short it may be. Every day is a gift, may we magnify your name and all that you have given us so that others may see your love and great works through our words and actions. Please be with those who cannot be with their families in any capacity and those who will not be fortunate enough to know the comfort of a warm bed or hot meal today. Find a place in the hearts of those who do not know your love and are downtrodden and lost in their lives right now. May they flock to you and know the many blessings and peace that you can bring to them. Bless those who will be born today and those who will die today and that they know your loving peace and grace.

I thank you for all the blessings of this world especially my husband, children, family, and friends who have supported us and helped us through the tragic events that have unfolded before our family. May we find that this is all part of your plan and trust in you although we do not always understand. Draw us close when things seem to fall apart and help us soar to achieve your will when we find the strength you have given to us . Thank you for trusting in me to do your work and allow others to see your greatness in all that I do, may I be a tool for you to build your kingdom. In Jesus name...Amen

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!







I have not updated probably for the longest stretch of time since George died. It has been such an emotional week for me for many reasons. Tomorrow is our very first Thanksgiving for us without him here and the sad realization that he is gone just sinks in more as every minute passes. I have found myself just randomly crying with nothing triggering it other than my profound sadness that will overwhelm me randomly. I miss him so much and know that this is the top of that roller coaster ride we will now know as the holiday from now on. We are left to find some balance between living and our sadness. It sounds easier but it is no easy task.

This past Saturday my family had a shower for Gabrielle. I cannot tell you how very hard a feat this was for me to get through without falling apart while I was there. We were grateful for the fact that they wanted to do this for her but it was so hard for me, especially with Hugh working that day...he had always been there for all the ones for the boys. They also opted to ask people for gift cards and that meant I had to brave the baby isles of the stores...it was probably the fastest in and out I had ever had. The boys had a good time though and I guess that is really what it is all about. That night after the shower I came home and was just flooded by all the emotions that I had suppressed the whole day and cried for an hour off and on. I had almost lost it at the shower when Michael and Joshua insisted on sending Georgie balloons. The whole thing was very surreal and kind of felt like the whole world was in full motion and I was in slow motion as the rest of it spun around me, like you see on TV. I was grateful for all they did but it was surely no easy task.

Once we were home, Michael asked me what was wrong when he saw my teary eyes that I could no longer hide, and Josh answered without me having to say anything "she misses Georgie"..."Don't worry mommy, we miss him too." Michael just sat there rubbing my head and kissing me until his melatonin kicked in and he could not keep his eyes open any longer. I am so blessed to have these boys because they have compassion beyond belief. Hugh got home after work and I just sobbed uncontrollably for a while not know what else to do. Being happy, sad, scared, excited, and all sorts of other mixed emotions make you knot know exactly what to do and my typical response is to just cry when I have no idea what else to do. Thank God Hugh has gotten used to this sort of thing over the years and is just there for me.

We took the boys out Sunday after church and let them pick out some things for her. There are still a few gift cards we have and will put towards the cost of her mattress. I know I had said we got it however there was an issue with the computer system at Babies R Us and the company used some disclaimer to get out of the price it was listed for. They are giving me a %20 discount on the mattress itself but we will have to wait another week since it is now more than we had thought we would have to pay. Fortunately, another mom gave us a bassinet to put her in so even if we don't have the mattress we can still bring her home. I have to place the order through their 1800 number to get the discount though and they made a notation on the original order so that we can get the mattress at a later date but still get the discount.

Today we did get a travel system with the car seat and stroller in the mail that we had registered for. I don't know who purchased it for her since it did not have anyone's name listed on it but it was a nice surprise. I have to say I really like getting things that way. It was exciting and kind of like Christmas for us all even though it was a gift for the baby. The boys loved the box! It is so adorable and pink and kind of made all the chaos and sadness melt away for a little bit of time. There is still quite a bit left on the registry even with us purchasing things and the use of the gift cards but some of it is a want vs a need or something we can live without until after she is born and/or older.

There was a woman who contacted me via email who works with a non profit and did give me some things for her to help out with things too. Ironically she lost her daughter at 10 days old to a heart defect. She did not have any other children and works for this organization that helps women and children. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to email her back and forth and she understood where I was with things even though she lost her daughter over 20 years ago. It just goes to say that this pain never goes away you just have to learn to live with it.

This past week was full of holiday prep and teacher conferences for the boys. I was thankful that Hugh was home the past few days because physically I am having some issues with my legs and the veins causing severe pain when I am on them. This has been my hardest pregnancy thus far for so many reasons...we are just now adding in physical problems. I am glad we are getting to the end and can't wait to hold her. I did also talk to the new pediatrician today. She actually was closed and I left a message for them to call me back on Monday but she called me today anyway!!! After this conversation I felt so much more at ease knowing she is on board for Gabrielle and will get to the bottom of anything that may come up. It does take away some of my anxiety although I am still a little worried because of the insurance issues where I will have to juggle things around the minute she is born to ensure that this doctor can see her...I may actually not be able to follow up myself with my docs at the postpartum visit just because I need the baby switched to the new ins ASAP so she can be in the right doc office. I seriously hate insurance problems...it can never just be simple.

To compound the holiday stuff, we got a certified letter from a lawyer today saying that the bank is proceeding forward with the foreclosure on the house. We had anticipated this letter after speaking with the bankruptcy lawyer we saw a while back. Unfortunately, we have to wait to declare bankruptcy until we can prove that Hugh can make enough money to cover the mortgage. I am still fighting with unemployment and dealing with the fact that we have to still reapply for the appeal process. Should it be rectified than I will get one lump sum check which at that point in time we will sign over to the mortgage company.

Unfortunately we are currently accruing lots of interest and penalties until then and they want a little more than 10,000 by Dec 24th to just make it even right now. The lawyer will deal with all of that once Hugh has more income but with him working commission it is going to be hard to prove income. He told Hugh and I that it will take up to a year to go through the courts and finalize foreclosure so we still have some time for him to find a better full time job that will actually be steady and not cut his hours randomly or depend on commission. Ironically Hugh and I are not as upset about it all as we would have been before. It would have been nice to not get the damn letter around the holidays but I think we are just so used to our luck running this way. The lawyer had also forewarned us about the letter we would get so it came as no surprise. We have found faith and just put it in God's hands and will do all we can but not stress over what we cannot control.

We hope that the things begin to work themselves out sooner rather than later. Things are on a slow incline but not coming without many obstacles added to things that should be simple. I have a feeling that life for us is going to be this way until the spring. There is nothing but a gut feeling that makes me feel this way but my feelings are usually not wrong. We will have gotten through the holidays, Gabrielle's birth, George's one year heavenly birthday/Gabrielle's baptism, and I hope from then on things will not be as hard since we will have a better grasp on things hopefully and he will be more established and hopefully in a secure job by then. Until then we are on the roller coaster we now know as our life speeding down the track. Please keep us in your prayers this holiday season and we thank God for all of you and that we can share this ride with so many caring and understanding individuals. May God Bless you and your family. Remember the meaning of the holiday tomorrow and cherish the memories you will make for you never know if they will be your last!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Psalm 18

This was read at church today and just touched me. I've heard it before just today it spoke to me for many reasons. Yesterday was a very difficult emotional day for me...I got home and just sat crying, not knowing what else to do with myself, being so overwhelmed by everything. All of the boys and Hugh and I went to church today and this was read. It made me realize that God hears my cries for the past few weeks, each week the passages and sermon have really found a place in my heart and I realized this was his way of letting me know he is with me.

I realized it is ok to be weak, that is what he is there for. We cannot face life alone for individually we fail and become overwhelmed by all the trials that come with living here on Earth. As individuals we are less effective at accomplishing tasks than we are in a pair or group. For some reason I sat there thinking of a child holding tight to his mother or father in an unfamiliar situation and how they cling for dear life to their leg or hide behind them and only find comfort in the strength of their presence.

I love you, LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shieldb]">[b] and the hornc]">[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.d]">[d]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troope]">[e];
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The LORD’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the LORD, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
I trampled themf]">[f] like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
44 foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
to David and to his descendants forever.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Father, Son, Holy Spirit





Last night I found myself having a hard time sleeping and eventually just cried myself to sleep. It was another one of those moments not expected that took me completely off guard. Michael was sleeping. He had fallen asleep on the couch waiting for Hugh to get home. He was all wrapped up in his blanket looking like a little angel. Hugh got home and moved him to his bed and I went downstairs to try and sleep myself. For whatever reason I just couldn't.

I went back upstairs to get something to drink and go to the bathroom for the millionth time. Michael toddled out groggy with his blanket in toe while I was downstairs and curled up on the other couch again to be close to his daddy. As I walked by him he said "I love you" I told him I loved him too and as I returned passed him back on my way downstairs, I walked over remembering I had forgotten my nightly ritual with him.

Suddenly, I was transported back in my mind to the night before George died. The flashes of my memory brought me to when I picked him up and played with him. Finally it was time for him to go to bed. Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever tuck my little boy into bed. He propped himself up on his hands looking at me with those big blue eyes and pouty face as I laid him in his crib. I walked over to his radio and played his favorite music CD. I can still hear it playing in my mind "Go to sleep, Go to sleep, Go to sleep my little baby, Go to sleep my little baby" The song played as I turned out the light.

I walked to the door ready to leave when I stopped in my tracks. By then he had known it was bed time and had put his head down and started to suck his thumb like always. If only I had known that was my last night with him I would have sat there and held him all night long rocking him in his rocking chair with his little head on my chest listening to that cd over and over again until God called him home. However, that was not how it was meant to be. I had remembered I forgot my ritual with all the boys and made my way back to his bed.

I looked at that beautiful gift from God and thanked God for him and stroked his blond soft hair while he continued to suck on his thumb. I kissed my fingers and placed the sign of the cross on his forehead as I did almost every night and do with the boys. As always I repeated "Father, Son, Holy Spirit...Angels watch over you!" His blue eyes looked at me one more time with such love, I stroked his head one more time, and he closed his eyes as I turned and left the room. Never did I ever know that would be the very last time I ever saw those eyes again.

I remember as I had initially gone to leave the room I was going to forgo the traditional ritual that night. Something in me made me go back. I remember thinking, I had to do it because if he didn't wake in the morning I would never forgive myself. God I never thought it would really happen. Until now I really had not thought much about that ritual or how I had felt that night and what I would not give to have that night back. Every part of me wished I had known he was leaving and as hard as it would have been to hold him and watch him leave, I would do it in a heartbeat to know that he was not alone during those moments. It hurts so bad to know he was alone. I felt like I was there to bring him into the world, why if he had to leave before me could I not have been there when he left. Instead I was downstairs working, something I will forever regret dispite all logic.

I miss him so much and my heart just breaks during moments like these. You are just never prepared for them or what may trigger them. They come out of the blue. I was actually doing well all day. I had found a few really awesome deals on things for Gabrielle. Just as I had posted about the items and things we still needed to get, I felt overwhelmed knowing the cost of the mattress alone. It was a particular one that I knew I needed for peace of mind with her but it was $300. I knew emotionally I could not settle for a different one so I was going to wait until we had the money to get it. Something had me go to my registry to look at the reusable diapers where I noticed the mattress was half of the cost! I double checked it on another page to see if somehow it was a different model or something but it wasn't and all the other products made by this company were also on sale. I checked our bank account and Hugh finally had a paycheck deposited for the first time in almost two months. It was so nice to see the account past $50. I asked Hugh what he thought we should do and we both decided we needed to purchase this while it was on sale because every other web page still had it listed at full price and she needed this.

Knowing we had been fortunate enough to be able to get it at this cost set me up for a good mood the rest of the day even though Hugh had to work. I often find myself getting sad when he is gone from being overwhelmed by the kids at times when they go haywire and being pregnant makes it hard for me to move around and do what I normally would do with them. When they aren't here the silence is usually too much and I feel so very lost and count down the minutes until he comes home. The silence is just a sad reminder that my baby is gone because he would be here doing all that toddler stuff that keeps you on your toes. I hope that the silence won't bring this sort of feeling in the future or anxiety for that matter once Gabrielle is here. Hugh works again almost all day but thankfully has off tomorrow and we all plan to attend church for the first time all together as a family, something I think we all need and have not done in quite some time...probably since George's funeral.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Visit

We had a visit yesterday by the teenage mom who took George's things and her grandmother who has become part of our family over the years. I cannot tell you how nice it was to see them and spend some time with them and get to know the baby a little bit. She is juts absolutely beautiful! It does hit home that we will soon have a little angel ourselves in just a few weeks! I have no idea where the time has gone and it still doesn't seem real to me in some aspects.

I made sure that Hugh was here when they came to visit since I know they were bringing the baby. For a man who never grew up with children, babies are surely his specialty. He sat there with her and was completely in his element. Just watching him with her reminded me of how he used to sit with George and all the boys and had such patience and loved them so much. He rubbed her head and this big teddy bear of a man looked so odd with this tiny little china doll like baby in his arms where she fell asleep. I have a feeling Gabrielle is going to be a daddy's girl and hard for me to wrestle from him:o)

They told us how she loved the swing that was George's and the other items we had given to them. Every time they take them out they think of him and pray for us all. It is such a blessing to know that these things have just as much meaning to them as they did to us and to know that another baby is getting use from them. I find some sort of peace that I cannot explain knowing that he is still touching others in this way and remembered by others in this capacity. As hard as it was to give these items away I know that God is blessing this family though our loss and teaching so many life lessons to so many people and I can't think of a greater purpose to life than to be doing God's work even if it is in such a difficult capacity.

I am hoping that in the next week or so I can get the 10% off coupon to come in from the places we registered for baby items so I can take some of the little money we do have and get the things we will need for her when she comes home. We can wait on a mattress for her bed if we have to and several of the other big items that we gave away until she is older and we hopefully have more money. There are certain items that need to be bought new and not used for safety reasons so we will work on those a little at a time.

I'm planning on using cloth diapers this time around to avoid a lot of the chemicals and things that are in the traditional diapers. It isn't that I won't use the standard ones but I would like to cut back on them especially while she is younger. They have a lot of alternatives out there now that many people are recognizing the environmental/medical impact of the traditional disposables. I do have 3 or 4 of the covers but have got to get the inserts. Although the company sells their own inserts, I can still use the old style ones and have found many people have more success with those. We will see how it all goes but will surely purchase a few boxes of disposables to have on hand for convenience and emergencies. I always think of my grandmother whenever I think of doing cloth diapers, she always talked about how things have changed and after 10 kids and doing the cloth thing she was taken back by the technology of disposables...I know she is smiling up there in heaven whenever I think about this.

I'm trying to make the boys part of it as much as possible. They always thought the baby shower part of it all was so awesome and they are so infatuated with parties. We have not had many people opt to purchase anything although many had inquired and was the reason to create them. My thought of them getting mail is not exactly working the way I had hoped so I am thinking I will let each one choose something from her registry that we will buy for them to give to her. The thought of taking them into the baby store especially this time of year is just overwhelming...I have a hard enough time making it through there myself without wanting to get things or becoming emotionally overwhelmed by it all. It isn't as bad as it was in the beginning and is actually becoming more exciting now that we are only a few weeks out but there is still a lot that goes with it all. I also feel like a foreigner going into the girl section, not really knowing what to make of it all and being so used to the boys and their limited selections.

The closer her arrival gets the more anxiety I seem to get although it does not seem any more real...such a weird feeling. I don't think it will hit me until I hear her cry or hold her in my arms for the first time. Some part of me is still waiting for it all to fall out and something happen. Once she is here I don't think the anxiety will go away but I'm doing what I can to minimize it for us all. Just thinking about it all is so overwhelming and emotional...all I can think of is the day I went into labor with George and his birth...his cry still rings so loud in my head, something you just never forget.

I keep praying I do not get the one doctor that I do not particularly care for because I know I am not making it to the day they scheduled me for. The thought of him being the one to deliver her is really weighing heavy on me. We are also looking at trying to find a way to bank her cord blood for medical reasons but it is quite expensive costing around 1700 dollars with a repeat banking discount! For our family the docs said it is imperative but when you have no money there is really no way to do it and that alone brings me quite a bit of anxiety. Will I regret it later on in life that I didn't do it? They now don't even allow donation so it will all just be thrown away and I have such a hard time with that and don't know why. What if she needs it someday or it could benefit her brothers? I just really don't know what the future hold but I guess this is where I have to put my faith in God and truly trust him.

As the holidays draw closer and Gabrielle's arrival turns into weeks and not months, emotions are running higher than normal and I have to say I rely on God almost every single second of the day to make it through without loosing my mind. I try to keep busy with the kids but with Hugh working all sorts of crazy hours it is quite hard especially in the hours that he is working and the boys are not here or sleeping. I am hoping to get to the store in the next day or so to grab some fabric hardener to begin work on our holiday link project in hopes it will keep my mind busy. With Hugh's truck broken down and the kids being off of school it makes it a little hard to do it. Walmart used to carry it but since their remodel I will have to actually go to a craft store for it. One step at a time with God holding my hand so he can pick me up when I stumble or begin to loose footing...the mental image of that is just so very profound to me and helps me to know I am not alone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Michael's Turn

This was written the other day and I forgot to actually post it but saved it.

Well today was Michael's turn to make me realize he still does not understand it all. We were going with my mom to Walmart. He had made this picture of himself describing that his hair and eyes were brown. We were talking about it and he said he doesn't like his brown eyes and likes blue better. He then proceeded to ask us who gave him the brown eyes. We told him God gave them to him.

Promptly he state he was not going to heaven. I know he associates God with heaven at least. We told him not now as he continued to rationalize heaven and coming and going to heaven. With that he said that Georgie was in heaven but that when he is all fixed he will come back. He then told us that the doctors would fix him and give him back. I've come to realize you cannot rationalize with a child that age. He surely doesn't grasp death and this just confirmed that and the notion that he still carries that George will come back someday. It just broke my heart as I just sat there helpless not knowing what else to say to this little boy and tears just rolled down my face. I knew if I said anything else I would loose it completely and found it difficult during our shopping experience to keep my composure as the conversation just ran through my head.

Last night I finally took our sock basket and matched all the ones that were mismatched or missing a pair, something I hate to do. Mixed in there were George's socks. I would find them randomly and just throw them in the basket. Finally I took the time and matched them and added them to a bag of clothes that we will send to Camden for the homeless. It is so sad to have to go through things and constantly have those little reminders. I also found the hat that they put on his head the moment he was born and one of the little mittens that we put on his hands the day he came home. I placed those in the drawer next to my bed not really knowing what to do with them but not wanting to get rid of them.

Teachers conferences are coming up for the boys. I am really not looking forward to them this year at all. With all that has gone one none of them have really had it together except maybe Michael. I had emailed Josh's teacher the other day about the incident where he broke down after Hugh called about the truck. She responded by saying she noticed he had his shirt on with the picture of George on it and maybe it would be a good idea to put things like that away. Umm..I don't think that will work nor do I think it is a good idea. We are not here at home pining away and being depressed where all we do are things to idolize or remember George. Hugh was taken back by the response enough to comment on it too saying that we think she just doesn't get it. I really don't want to sit there and have to listen to someone tell me that the kids are having trouble in this area or that and I already know and also know it is definitely related to all they have been through. Often times they feel as if you are using it as an excuse when in fact that is not the case and rather this is our life and they just don't understand how difficult it really is.

I wish more people really did understand. It is hard enough to find the energy and stamina to live a life like this and to add in the garbage from others who don't understand just makes it even worse. You get to the point where you just stop trying to explain and smile and chalk it up to ignorance on their part being as they have not obviously dealt with it ever in their lives. I find it odd that there is like an underworld of people who have lost core members of their families who have to suffer in silence or depend on others who have walked the road while the rest of society lives in their bubble that it is all peachy!

Video Tributes/Celebration of Life Footage


Here is a link to a video tribute that was made by Richard's dad in memory of George. Get out your tissues!


http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1360981185308&ref=mf



We Finally have footage from the service up and running:



http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1368692138077&ref=mf



http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1368733099101



http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1368770540037



http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1368789060500



It is in 4 sections running about 17 mins each. If you were unable to attend, you can now see what you missed. We were so blessed to have everyone there with us in person and in spirit!









Me With My Prince Charming In Front of the Castle

Me With My Prince Charming In Front of the Castle