Yesterday was my sister's baby shower. I had a lot to do with it but I cannot tell you how hard it was to sit through it for me. It was so difficult to put my own personal feelings aside for my sister and try to hold it together so I didn't ruin her day. Every single part of me just wanted to leave halfway through the event. At one point I just went to the back of our church hall and sat in the kitchen where it took every ounce of my strength and will to not leave. I sat there crying trying so hard not to and to gather my composure but it was so hard for me to do.
There was no way I could have left even if I had wanted to. I also wasn't going to do that because I know it would have been upsetting to my sister and I didn't want to do that either. I was the only one who knew how things went back in the hall since I was the one who set up that morning. It was our church and I know Hugh would have gone back for me to finish up but there was no way he would have had any clue as to how it all went back. At that point I was kicking myself for not taking a picture of the original set up before I started.
I did collect myself after a few moments and just kept myself busy trying to just make it through the rest of the event. It was so weird to feel as if I was in a room full of strangers when part of the people there were family members I did know. Never in my life was I happier to see Hugh and the boys come in. Hugh stayed and helped me clean up and him just being there brought me so much comfort even though he didn't even know it. I was so grateful when it was finally over. Never was I more happy to be home where I did not have to keep myself together or try to keep pushing memories and thoughts that made my heart heavy aside.
This is the first type of event like this that I have had to go to since George passed away. It was absolutely one of the hardest things to do thus far and I have no intention of every going to another for a very long time. I can't explain why they are so hard but after talking to a few mothers who lost young children too, I realized I am not alone. It was not the babies or the little kids there that made it hard...they don't really bother me anymore like they used to(I only have a hard time being around children that were born around the same time he was) I don't know if it is a jealousy or yearning for the fact you remember being that person not living that nightmare and you will never be that person again. Or you just remember being there and that happiness and joy that expecting a baby brings to only know your happiness was cut short and you would give anything to have it back. It is just so very confusing and emotional.
I am pregnant and even having a new baby just is not the same as it used to be for me. Shopping in baby stores is difficult...I cannot tell you how grateful I am for online shopping and even when I do have to go the the store and through the baby section, it is probably the shortest part of my trip where I am in and out. The sad part is that we have to replace just about everything that was George's for this new baby so I have a lot of work to do. It saddens me to think of his things sitting in bags in my mother's basement knowing that they were his and I am working hard on finding them new homes. His changing table sits in my front room as I search for a person who wants to use it. We don't want to sell them we just want his things used by someone who needs them.
It is odd but I find solace knowing that someone else can use his things because then I know they are being used the way they were intended to be used. There is an old high school friend who lives in VA who said she may have a home for his things. I am just now working on how to get them to her since no one here wants or can use them. I wish I had it in me to be able to use them myself but I can't and neither can Hugh and we both know we just will never be able to do that. We also want the new baby to just not have to deal with the stigma of their big brother who died and for them to know they were wanted because we wanted more children not to replace their brother or ease our pain because this baby was wanted even before George died.
Once we know if we are having a boy or girl I have friends that I know who have already offered us some things. We are keeping his pack n play but that really is about it. A good chunk of his things were brand new since we had given a lot of the other boys things to a young mother in need. I am buying things a little at a time and we have a new crib and car seat along with some gender neutral outfits.
The boys have had a lot of fun going to the store and getting things with Hugh and I here and there. Joshua would buy the entire store if he could. Yesterday they had a blast running around and just being kids. They of course let some balloons go to him at the church. They still find a lot of comfort in our church and the fact that it is the place where they associate a party for their brother(his funeral)and feel like he is there. I have to say that I do too and am so grateful for that.
I can't imagine how much harder it would have been yesterday if it was not at the church. Although that is where his service was, it was a celebration of his eternal life and that just brings different feelings other then sadness to me. It doesn't make me think of good times when he was alive that make me sad because I will never have them again. I don't know exactly how to explain it other than it is just different there for me and I know it is for the boys too.
They can't wait for the new baby and it brings them all so much happiness with something great to look forward to. Joshua tickles my belly whenever he walks by. I will be grateful to finally know if this is a boy or girl so we can have a definite name so they can understand that it is not George coming back. It will make the baby an individual to them as they work hard to wrap their little heads around something they just don't understand yet.
I hate the fact that there will always be moments like the one I had yesterday. In many ways that is what makes people avoid Hugh and I in hopes to not cause anymore pain without them realizing we know and that it makes it harder. I understand that but also wish they would understand we can't avoid this stuff forever either. If I had to choose for that first moment to be anywhere I wouldn't have chosen it anywhere else and for anyone else. I know my sister understands how very complicated for me it is and having it at the church did make it easier. I was just grateful it was not for a friend or something like that. We can't avoid these situations forever and know they will all be hard for everyone but they are things we have to do since we are still here despite the fact he is in heaven. I will still hate these things and holidays since it will now always carry an incomplete feeling and sadness for the life I wish I had vs the life I now have to live.
Now I can focus my efforts on getting situated for the trip to GA to see a Mito specialist. I'm very excited since our first experiences thus far have been nothing but positive. Michael had dental surgery on Friday and although she is not technically his doc yet she talked to the dentist and hospital to make sure he was situated from a Mito standpoint. The dentist just raved about her as a doctor saying she was such a pleasure and got back to her right away...something we have not had thus far other than from Ken. It will be a relief to have her on board before the baby is born and brings us a peace of mind. We have two weeks to get it all together...it feels as if it is nonstop right now well into Sept when the fundraiser ends.
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.
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!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
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!