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.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turned 31 years old. I remember when I thought that was old...hah...boy you can tell I have gotten older. There was nothing special or bad per say about the whole day. I did get to sleep in and got waffles for breakfast from the boys. Each of the boys had made me a card. It was a little hard for me since they had used the paper that I used for the photo boards at George's service. They didn't know it but I did and almost started to cry.

After they got bored of being with me they headed upstairs and I got to take a nap for the first time in a long time. I really needed it...I have felt so tired and physically drained as much as emotionally drained. I could probably sleep a week away or stay in bed for a week and not think twice.

I woke up around lunch time and we took the boys out to Chick Fil A for lunch. They have been wanting to go there to go on their slide. I figured it was a way to get them out at least a little to have some fun. They had a blast but we had to call it a day when both Josh and Michael were physically exhausted but kept pushing themselves to play. We will have to do it again in the near future.

I had wanted to go and get plants for the memorial garden but we just never did get to do that. We went home and I played a few games online with Michael and watched TV with Richard. Then I had to get ready to go to the funeral for the friend of mine from grade school.

The funeral was nice. I hugged her mom and told her that I was thinking of her and she told me how I had helped her to find comfort the past few days. I hadn't thought anything about that honestly, it is just who I am. For me it was one mom reaching out to another who had just lost her child, no matter the age, no parent should lose their child!

Once I got home I went to my mom's house. She gave me some pictures she had blown up of our recent balloon release and my little man and I together in Disney. She also gave me a statue that had belonged to my grandmother. It was a Lenox piece of Jesus holding a child. I just cried. My brother gave me a beautiful card and so did his girlfriend. Shy of that there was no huge celebration of any kind or special dinner and we had cupcakes at our own leisure. I know I was just not in the mood to celebrate.

Josh is spending the night at my mom's again. He is getting so big. All of them are getting big and I think without George here, it is very obvioius. Hugh and I both feel so very lost without a little one around. We love the big boys but life just feels so empty without a baby around here. That was quite apparent when Josh decided he was going to make Michael the baby. I found him trying to diaper and feed Michael. Michael pretended to cry and found one of George's old pacifiers. I didn't know if I should cry or just smile. When I asked them what they were doing, Josh just looked at me and told me he missed George and needed a new baby so he made Michael be a baby. My heart sank to my stomach from the emotions I felt hearing those words come from his mouth.

I think that tomorrow we are taking a break from church. I have a rehearsal for something that I am involved in and that will beee part of the afternoon along with a friend is stopping by. I think I have just needed a break from everything as the true magnitutde of our loss is really beginning to sink in. It isn't like it wasn't real before but we are several weeks out and it is just so quite apparent that he will never come back and now we are left to sort out how to move on with life. Every night I go to sleep I pray that God will give me the strenghth to be able to do this.

Right now I know that we are doing what we need to no matter how hard it is or even if it makes no sense to anyone else. I've been listening to a lot of music. Christian music just touches my soul and I find much healing in that. I've also found some solice in having my pendant with his ashes in it on my neck. It is just heavy enough for me to know it is there and is kind of like when he use to sit under my chin. It isn't the same but it makes me think of those moments and I find comfort in that. I miss him so much!

Friday, April 9, 2010

7 Months Old

Today my sweet baby would have been seven months old. Of course it had to fall on a Friday and the day before my birthday. I had a good morning only to secumb to the sadness that has filled my heart because I miss him so much. Birthdays for me have never really been good occassions for many reasons but this one is just going to really be hard for me. I would honestly like to sleep through the entire day if that were at all possible. The anxiety of the phone ringing with Birthday wishes is just torture for me. I know the kids like birthdays so I went out today and bought some cupcakes for the occassion but shy of that I am honestly greatful that I will be going to my friends funeral tomorrow night.

This morning I went and stopped by her best friends house with a gift for her mom, the friend, and he boy friend. My heart aches for them all since I know the terrible pain that her loss has brought to their lives. I had gone to Hallmark to get them each a sympathy card. In my search for the right card, I happened to find these "legacy boxes" It is a keepsake box with lots of compartments for lots of things and they happened to just have 3 of them. I knew I had to get them and I wanted to give them to them before the service in case they wanted to use any of it for the service itself. I know the pain that comes with this loss so I wanted to do what I could to make it a little easier or at least let them know I understand and feel for them.

Yesterday we did go and get our necklaces filled at the funeral home. We took them to the jewler who soldered them closed and then went to Sears to get a necklace for them. I was going to wait to get one but just felt the need to go and get one for myself as a birthday gift to myself. I got a simple necklace but I like the fact that it is adjustable to different lenghts. Hugh's is nice too and fits the design of his cross.

I've had a lot of ups and downs lately. Going from totally fine to really bad in the blink of an eye for no apparent reason. Most of the time I wish that I had more time with him and had held him longer. I'm angry with myself for not forgetting about the house and clothing and spending that time with him. I had spent the last few weeks of his life trying to cram 40 hours of work in between doctors appointments, paying bills, doing laundry, cooking, and all the other daunting tasks that my life entails. That week had been so cramed because Hugh's mom had asked him to take her to Atlantic City and I had to make up the hours and tried juggling things and had not spent as much time with him that I normally had. It breaks my heart to think that was the last week I spent with him. That day I only held him that night because I was busy trying to make Hugh's birthday just rihgt and finish the hours so I could spend time with my little man on the weekend. He never made it to the weekend and I never finished those hours for work.

I'm greatful that I went in and picked him up that night. I took a shower and came out to find him crying. It always tugged at my heart to hear him cry and I was so upset with the time I had lost with him throughout the week I had given in and went to go get him. Hugh gave me dirty look, thinking that he would never go back to sleep. I didn't care, I wanted to hold my baby and I picked him up and played with him. I can still remember that smile on his face and hear his laugh in my head. I remember walking into his room thinking that if I didn't pick him up and play with him and something happened that I would regret it for the rest of my life. Little did I know that that was exactly what it was. Those were my last moments with my little boy and my heart hurts so bad knowing I will never have them back.

I don't know how to find joy in things like holidays and birthdays. God knows I don't know if I ever will find in them what I use to. There will never be pictures with him in them ever again and my future moments will never have him in them and that is just a huge weight on my heart. I still smile and I still laugh but not in the same manner as before. My life has forever changed and I just don't know how to live this life yet. It is so hard to make it through the day sometimes.

My heart aches for my friends mom, knowing the pain she is carrying all to well. I found some solice in going to drop off the gifts and talking to her best friend. Their pain is so great and I know it on such a personal level although the years have lead the two of us down different paths. Her service is tomorrow night and I have every intention of going even though I have not seen her since high school.

Tomorrow is going to be a rough day for me but I guess that is going to be more the norm than not. I keep praying and asking for strength and the ability to do this. I find at times it is more frequent especially when I see babies in the stores or watch friends and family bring new babies into the world. I am happy for them and sad for me all wrapped into one and sometimes just don't know how to handle those mixed feelings. I pray that as times goes on it gets somewhat easier but I guess I have to also prepare myself that it may not. one moment at a moment at a time...that is what I keep telling myself. I can do this...God please give me strength and carry me when I need it for I know I cannot do this alone; you are with me always.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When God Comes Calling

You Will See Them Someday
© Stephan Banks
when you lose someone it can be hard to take
the pain that you feel when your heart has to break
the memories you keep are all in your mind
as you search your soul for more to find
the way their skin felt the smell of their hair
as you keep thinking over and shedding a tear
the years may pass, memories fade to grey
but your getting no younger you'll see them someday
unconditional love is never forgotten
look deep in your heart it is there at the bottom
alone in the dark sometimes in fear
voices from loved ones your hoping to hear
more years pass, they soon fly by
but your always looked upon from those in the sky
surrounded by clouds and pure white doves
they listen and watch sending you love
just remember one thing as you sit and you pray
they will be there to greet you, you will see them someday.

Source: Death of Nan and Granddad, Family Death Poems

Recently a girl that I went to school with died. It was two days ago and I just got the confirmation that it was her today. The news made me think of her mother who is coming in from Kentucky to plan her service. I know the pain she feels in her heart all to well. There has been so many deaths of close family and friends lately. The very thought of all those we have lost over the past two years just makes my head spin.

The deaths of so many surely make you contemplate your own mortality. I was pretty close with this girl in grade school. I had spent the night at her house a couple of times. At one of the sleep overs she swore I broke her this day I don't remember doing it but she would always joke with me about it. When I think fo her I think of the 20's day we had at our school. She was dressed up in a flapper costume dancing her heart out with a huge smile on her face and that is what I think of when I remember her. As time went on we went our seperate ways and by the end of high school we were just aquantances. I don't know what her family plans to do for a service but I plan to attend if it is open to non family members.

This week in general has just been a very bad week. Today Hugh had a very bad day. George's loss has hit him extremely hard. He had to get a tooth pulled again. When they asked him why he hadn't gotten it fixed he told them the baby died and it just was not on the list of priorities. They all felt sorry for him and the very thought of it overwhelmed him. He got out of the shower today and just started crying because he misses him. The pain is just so overwhelming right now and I can't even explain why.

Part of it all is that the reality of it is just now sinking in. Finalized paperwork is in our hands, the first holiday without him, and an empty bedroom are all reminders that we did have this perfect little boy in our lives. It was not just a dream, it is now just a nightmare that we will live for the rest of our lives. I emailed a friend of the girl that recently died and told her that there will be lots of people around in the beginning but it is times like these when there is no one and it is just a feeling of lonliness. The calls stop, the dinners stop, and you get random phone calls here and there but you just find that they are all superficial.

For Hugh this is harder because he just has me and the boys right now. I remember calling people pleading with them to come over when George first died to be there for Hugh. He has been holding it together and just trudging through the days and feeling as if he has to be the tough guy. I think today he realized that he can't do that forever. A few days ago he just broke down crying when I asked him how he is dealing with this all. He cried and we talked about how much we hurt and how horrible this whole thing is. Later that evening, he thanked me saying that no one had asked him what his thoughts were and he had gone through that day and how he was handling it. People ask you how you are but they don't really want the horrific details of the day. The very details that will forever haunt you for the rest of your life and you just know you will never be able to forget.

We have both found it an akward situation when people ask how many children we have. Instinctively we say four but then it is always met with a wierd look and then you have to go into detail. Or you have a picture and someone says how beautiful of a family and ask how old they all are. That is when it gets odd...we have not yet learned to handle these situations yet.

Today we got our jewlery in. Both Hugh and I wanted a piece of jewlery that we could put some of George's ashes in. We have been waiting weeks for them and now have to take them back to the funeral home to have them fill them. There is a jewler who is going to solder them closed for us. We both find peace knowing we can carry with us wherever we go. Hugh got a cross and I got a heart with baby feet on them. The next thing we have to do is get a good chain for each of us to put it on. Right now they are on those satin cords until we can get the money together to get a nice one for each of us. I'm so greatful I got it before my birthday which is this Saturday. I am not looking forward to it at all but it was sort of my gift to myself, a piece of my little boy.

I pray to God every night that he gives me the strength to get through every day. On the hard days I pray a whole lot more frequent then normal. We both know that we cannot get through this on our own and have to put our faith in God to get us through. When the moments come and our hearts are so heavy all we can do is cry, that is when we know he is beside us embracing us so we can pull it together to take another stepin the life we are left here to lead.

We know that we have a job still to do and find confirmation of that every day. Not only do we still have children, but we have a job in terms of awareness. I just got a phone call with a confirmation of date and time for the in service we are going to do in June. It is sad that is has to be this to bring about awareness but I am greatful to use the opportunity to do such. It would be a waste of his life to not do anything about it. Even if he never had the disease at all, their lack of response and knowledge about the disease is crucial for his brothers who do have the diagnosis. It is also important for those who will wind up in there without knowing they have it.

I came across this web page today about a man who lost his son to suicide. He has taken it as his mission in life to support others who are grieving. He believes God called him to this and some of his insight was just so meaningful and inspirational. Some of the words just touched my heart and helped to know that we are not alone and God is with us. If you have time take a moment to look at it, I am sure you will find solice in it dispite the person it is that you have lost in your life.

I pray for all of those who have lost children and those who will do so in the future. The pain is terrible and beyond comprehenssion. May God hold you in his arms and carry through the trials he has set in your path to create his ultimate plan. If we did not know suffering would we really know love? If we did not know pain would we really know joy? You find more appreciation for the good parts of life after walking through the difficult parts. God will never put us through anything he is not willing to see us through and I truly believe that.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter My Sweet Angel...Our First Holiday Without You Here

My sweet boy,

Today was probably one of the hardest days of my life. It was our first holiday without you here and I just felt so lost without you. We did all the things we were suppose to do but none of it felt right. You weren't here and a big part of my heart was missing. I really tried to keep it together all day long but it was barely and I was surely not myself.

I had looked forward to taking you to church for the first time. We had planned on dressing you up like your big brothers. I know you would have been to little to do the egg hunt but I would have made it happen for you anyway, just like I always do. There were just so many things I never got to do with you. The holidays will never be the same ever again. It hurt to not be putting together a basket for you since you never did get one. You did however have an egg rack that I had bought you for your finished egg masterpices as you grew up. You will never do them but I did one for you.

Your brothers and daddy and I all went to church. Richard was serving on the altar and also did a reading "Prayers of the people" he did so good. We were very proud of him. They had a children's sermon and it was a lot of fun. It was like a big party! Now Joshua thinks for sure every time we go to church that there is a party there. He thought that we were having a party for you the day of your funeral and then again today, he thought it was another party for you. God bless his little heart, he loves you and misses you so much.

I found myself crying after communion. Joshua and I lit a candle for you and then we sat and prayed. I prayed to God and asked him to please take care of you for me becuase I feel so helpless beign here and not being able to do my job and take care of you since you are no longer in my arms. Joshua, of course, saw me crying. The next thing I knew he was swiping away my tears with a tissue telling me that it was ok. He said he missed you too but that he loved me and that you were in heaven with God and Oma and Opa. What I would give for it to just be that simmple for me. I am so blessed to have your brothers and daddy becaue they are what keep me going.

We saw a little girl sitting behind us. She was the age you would have been if you were still here with us. That just tugged at my heart and I could not look at her for long periods of times. It just hurt to know that you would be that big and doing all that stuff she was doing. I think that it will always be hard to see children who were born around the same time you were because it will be a reminder of what I have missed with you.

Your big brothers got to do an egg hunt at church and also one at Memom and Poppies house. It was a lot of fun for them. I really did not have the desier to take part in it and avoided the one at church. When we did the ohter one, I filled the eggs and took pictures of your brothers while they looked. It took everything I had in me to keep it together because it just kept getting harder and harder to do.

The one thing we did do was let off some baloons. Each of us wrote a note to you and attached it to a balloon. We went outside and let them go. I don't know if it helped or not but I think we all found solice in being able to do that. We just miss you so much and we want to keep your memory alive and find ways to do that without it being overdone. I want your big brothers to remember you but I don't know if they really will. The thought of them not remembering you is just so hard to fathom.

I hope heaven is all that I have ever dreamed it will be. I look forward to joining you some day. I don't know how or when but I know that I cannot wait to be with you again. You mean so much to me and it is hard to not have you here now. Every day is a struggle to keep moving forward without trying to continually look back or even at the plans I had for my life. My plans are so way off course that I am sure it doesn't matter anymore. God has it in his plans and I will have to leave it there.

Have a pice of chocolate and we hope you like the balloons!

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!!/video/video.php?v=1360981185308&ref=mf

We Finally have footage from the service up and running:!/video/video.php?v=1368692138077&ref=mf!/video/video.php?v=1368733099101!/video/video.php?v=1368770540037

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