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, May 15, 2010

What An Awsome Place

We dropped Richard off to Comfort Zone Camp last night. I am so glad that we sent him. It was such a blessing to have found this wonderful organization for him and for us. We left here around 2pm and got there around 4pm. We checked him in, he got t-shirts and other great stuff, and then met his Big Buddy. The two of them went off to go put his things in his cabin and Hugh and I waited with the other parents to attend the parents dinner. We were a little lost with it being our first time, but we found that there were many first timers there.

It started to rain but we were in a rec hall and sat there with a bunch of other's who had a significant loss in their lives too. People were from all over the eastcoast. The camp has several places throughout the US and they just opened a new one in Mass. The other ones are in CA, VA, and NJ. It was nice for once to be in a room of people who really understood that it was ok to cry and we were all having trouble with our children coping. So many of the kids react the same way. There had been people there who lost someone over 5years ago and still come. This place was truly a blessing.

We all went around the table introducing ourselves and our loss. I of course got picked to be the first. It was very hard to sit there in a room full of strangers but also feel as if you had already known these people. There were people there who lost a spouse and their child was missing a parent, there were people who lost a grandparent that helped raise their child, and then there was one other mother there who lost her child to suicide and who's children knew the loss of a sibbling. All of our circumstances were different but all had a common bond.

We did find out that they are having an adult camp in VA next weekend. Hugh was very excited about it. I think it was the first time I saw him take an interst in something himself without me having to push him towards it in a very long time. You could see in his face that he really wants to go and needs to go. I don't know if both of us will be able to go but I want him to go. He truly has no one that he feels comfortable talking to and for the first time you could see that he did not feel alone. After he actually brought up the subject again and wanted to get the info. He stood in line to find out more while I spoke with the other mother who had lost her son. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Hugh crying. For the first time since George left, he felt like he could talk to someone without having to have it together or explain himself. I can't tell you what that meant to me.

He has struggled so bad over the years to make and keep connections with people. It is amazing how you can have a list of friends and family and still feel like you have no one. It is the hardest thing to be in a room full of familiar faces and still feel like a stranger. That is the lonliest feeling in the world. When you loose your child, it is even worse because the whole world seems like a stranger to you. No one knows how to act around you or what to say to you. When you say your childs name you can see how it makes others uncomfortable so little by little you just pretend like you have it all together but inside you are dying and your heart and head are baby is dead and you just don't understand me.

The calls stop coming and those that do come are met with the knowledge that when people ask you how you are they really don't want to know. You learn to say the acceptable things like, hanging in there, as best as can be expected, or just ok. There is part of you that is just sick of the pitty looks and akwardness that is met when someone asks that question. You come to hate small talk all together because there is this akwardness about it and you also don't have the patience for it anymore. Hugh and I both talked about this on the way home and how it is such a hard thing to live with.

On the way home, I cried a good portion of the way, realizing that this was how the rest of our lives were going to be. He is never coming back and we are strangers to this world for the rest of our lives. We are now members of this group we never wanted to join or be part of. Everyone else gets to move on with their lives and even though we have to too, it will never be the same. There will always be a part of us missing. No amount of faith can ever change that. The very thought of it is just so overwhelming. If I am lucky, I will have another 50+ years to live like this and my God that sounds so daunting and painful. We know we are blessed and are greatful for so many things but to live without our little boy, who we never thought we would have to say good bye to until we met the Lord ourselves, seems so overwhelming right now.

For the very first time I think we both felt that we were in a room of people we knew. We have had friends that we know who have lost children but for whatever reason, those relationships have just not been what we thoguth they would be if we ever experienced the same loss. It still amazes me as to how when someone first dies people are there but as time goes on and you need them the most, no one is around in the same capacity...they have been able to move on. With saying that, I was the same way prior to this. It has totally changed my perspective on grief and how to be there for others when they loose someone.

I had a friend in high school who lost his mother shortly after we graduated to cancer. It had been a while since his mom had passed but I did not know she did and I wanted to send something to him. I sent him a card and told him I was thinking of him even though the time had passed. He called me shortly after he got the card and thanked me telling me he had really needed that. It never occured to me until now, what he meant. We have had a few people here or there that have sent us an email or dropped off a meal even now and I can't say how much that means. It seems as if it comes at the time you need it the most.

I'm so greatful that Richard has the opportunity to go to this camp. Hugh and I both know how hard it is to talk to family and friends about this. You know they mean well but sometimes they don't say or understand what you really need. We are greatful for them by all means but on both ends we are all hurting in such a way that being there for one another is just virtually impossible. It is kind of the the elephant in the room thing. We are all so consumed in our own grief at times that there is no way to be there for someone else. Richard will have the opportunity for it to be about him but to also know he is not alone and it is in a safe place where the world around him truly understands. That is such a great gift for him.

I'm sure as time goes on it will change but for now it is just still very hard. I don't know if they will ever truly understand that we will always be sad and that nothing will ever fix this but we know there are others we can go to that do understand and that is what we have found with this camp. Sometimes it is just easier to talk to a stranger, there are no expectations and feelings are never wrong. It amazed me that some people there were 5-7years out from their loss and still felt as if it was brand new. That just goes to show how much of a long road this is going to be. It also shows you that it is possible and that what you are doing is ok even if no one else understands why you cry or keep to yourself. We are officially members of the Bereavement Club.

We are looking forward to going back tomorrow to pick Richard up and attend the memorial service. I hope that we can at the very least get Hugh into the adult camp next weekend. I thank God every day that we have the relationship that we do have because I don't know how many people split up because of this sort of thing...for us it has brought us closer then ever. We are truly blessed where that is concerned. One day at a time, one moment if needed. Grief is a long tedious process full of so many ups and downs that catch you off guard. Everyone will face it sometime in their lives and I am greatful to be able to keep this blog to give insight to others as to how the process of the loss of a child is. Among the pain and sorrow there is hope and faith, all which propell you forward to make you the person you are meant to be.

Friday, May 14, 2010


From the heart of a bereaved mother... Angie Pfantz

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone
important is missing from all the important events in your family's

Normal for me is trying to decide what to take to the
cemetery for Birthdays Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine's
Day, July 4th and Easter.

Normal is feeling like you know how to
act and are more comfortable with a funeral than a wedding or birthday
party...yet feeling a stab of pain in your heart when you smell the
flowers and see the casket.

Normal is feeling like you can't sit
another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't
like to sit through anything.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.

Normal is having the TV on the minute I walk into the house to have noise, because the silence is deafening.

is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby's age. And then
thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it.
Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will
never happen.

Normal is every happy event in my life always
being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole
in my heart.

Normal is telling the story of your child's death
as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the
horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it
has become a part of my "normal".

Normal is each year coming up
with the difficult task of how to honor your child's memory and his
birthday and survive these days. And trying to find the balloon or flag
that fit's the occasion. Happy Birthday? Not really.

Normal is
my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special my
baby loved. Thinking how she would love it, but how she is not here to
enjoy it.

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.

Normal is making sure that others remember her.

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.

is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss,
unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in
the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare.
Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is

Normal is taking pills, and trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

is disliking jokes about death or funerals, bodies being referred to as
cadavers, when you know they were once someone's loved one.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child.

Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how you feel with chat buddies who have also lost a child.

is feeling a common bond with friends on the computer in England,
Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and all over the USA, but yet never
having met any of them face to face.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.

is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done
this because..." I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but
hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why healthy babies were
taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense
to this grieving mother.

Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did laundry or if there is any food.

is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have one
child or none, because you will never see this person again and it is
not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say
you have no children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you
have betrayed your baby.

Normal is avoiding McDonald's and
Burger King playgrounds because of small, happy children that break
your heart when you see them.

Normal is asking God why he took your child's life instead of yours and asking if there even is a God.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.

last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal"
for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eternity (another poem written by me)

Although I know that life must go on,
part of me went with you the moment you were gone.
Forever you will remain in my heart,
my love for you will never part.

I miss you my sweet baby boy,
your beautiful smile brought me so much joy!
I try to not look at your picture and cry,
for I know that this is not good bye.

God walks with me each step of the way
so I can face another day.
His plans are so much greater then we can see,
God walk me through, your will must be.

Please keep may angel in your care,
until my work is done and I can get there.
I know you have greater things in mind,
But somehow I feel left behind.

For now I know I must wait my turn,
There must be more here that I must learn.
I'll put one foot in front of the other
until the day comes that we can again be with one another.

Please know I will never forget the love that we shared
the day you left I was so unprepared
The memories I am left with fill me through and through
know that nothing and no one could ever replace you.

With God's help I will move forward and be strong
dispite the fact that the road will be long.
When I hold you again and you smile at me,
that is when I will truly know the joy of eternity.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quality Time

Today I let Richard stay home from school. After the night he had last night I felt he really needed some TLC. The two of us spent the morning together. We went to breakfast at Bob Evans and then to Target to get the rest of the items he needs for camp this weekend. It was nice to spend that time with him. For so long it was just the two of us when his dad went to prison. Our live were turned upside down then and we clung to each other to just make it through. Hugh came into our lives and it was no longer just the two of us. So many times both Richard and I took for granite that we live in the same house and go our own ways. It was nice to get back to a time in the "old days" when he was younger.

During out time together I realized how much he has grown up. He is no longer a little boy, he is a young man. I'm so greatful for the relationship that we have. At Target we sat in the parking lot talking about life and death and the events of the day that George earned his wings. It is amazing how you block out so many of those bad memories but then again, in an instant, you can remember them vividly. Those memories are the hard ones that can just really overwhelm you and take your breath away. I was glad he could talk to me about it all and I could talk to him too. We came home and he spent time with Hugh playing a video game. He came to me tonight and thanked me for the day...saying how much he really needed it.

Early this morning I got a call from my sister Tara. She sounded so upset and I thought that something was wrong with her baby...but was greatful to find out that I was wrong. She called to tell me about a dream she had last night. It was a dream of Her, George, and I. She just kept telling how real it was. I knew exactly what she was talking about because I remember my dream where I KNOW he was there with me. I've had other dreams but the one I am talking about was very different. I know he came to me in my dream to let me know he was ok... and he did that with my sister last night. She told me that I needed to go to his garden...she kept thinking of the song "Come to my Garden" from the musical The Secret Garden. Little did she know that I sang that song to him all the time! I would sing the song that was sung at his service and then find myself singing him the very song she had running through her head.I know it bothered her for the rest of her day. The whole day she was on my mind and I knew she was having a hard day.

Richard and I went to his garden before we left for our morning. We had also went to our church and put a pinwheel with monkey stickers on the place we had laid him to rest in their memorial garden. We do want to look into having his name put on their plaque there...didn't realize they had one. We only put some of his ashes there but it is sort of like our cemetery for him. I wasn't sure which garden I was suppose to go to but I felt the need to go to both. Richard and I just sat there on the bench outside and enjoyed the peace and quiet. We talked about our regrets that we live with...yes, heven he had them, which surprised me. He was so upset that he didn't give his little brother a kiss the night before. As always he was dragging his feet to go to bed and Hugh finally just sent him to bed and Richard never did kiss him and now he regrets that.

I explained how we all have them but that Georgie has let us all know in his own way that he is ok and that it is ok to move on with life. I have a huge laundry list of regrets as I am sure so many others do. We all have so many things we are greatful for and things that we wish we had done differently. Those what if's always sneak in there somehow. It is so hard to live with those even though you know you can't change them. When you don't have a chance to really say goodbye it is very hard. I find it is even harder when there are no answers. You just have such a hard time finding closure. Yet when I had my dream it was like he was telling me it was ok...I was given my one chance to do just what I didn't get to do...say goodbye. My heart aches knowing the only time I will ever see him while I am here on Earth is through my dreams. The one thing I have learned is to make each moment count as if it were your last...make sure your time here on Earth is of Quality rather then Quantity...George was truly proof of that very thing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Good Cry

Tonight Richard and I sat here and cried together. We went through all the pictures that we have of George on my pc. I sat with his web page up and listened to our song list while we went through all the photos. My God...we miss him so much. Our hearts ache so bad. The pictures made us laugh and cry. Our hearts feel like part of it is missing and empty. I'm so glad he is going to camp this weekend.

It was really nice to sit with him and have that time together. Richard is so much like me in so many ways. He is a tough guy on the outside but breaking apart on the inside. Letting other's know you are sad is hard because you don't want to hurt their feelings. You are always the strong one...that is both of us in a nut shell. The staff at the hospital was so taken back by the way he carried himself that day. I was so proud of him in so many ways. Every single time I look at him I know that Hugh and I did something right with him. He has been through so many trials in his life.

We sat here and had a very long and in depth conversation about several things. He is such a great young man. It was very emotional for so many reasons. He was up late talking to me. I think I am going to let him stay home tomorrow...I think he just needs an R&R day with mom. We will probably go get the things he needs for camp and then do lunch. The reality of George's death is really beginning to sink in for all of us. The pain and aching on our hearts is just so much. We are realistic about it all and know that God had a greater plan but that does not make it hurt any less. We also talked about him creating his own blog page or a digital journal type of thing(due to his TS he has a hard time writing but finds it easier to type) to write down his own feelings.

It is so hard for a parent to loose a child and have other children to be there for. You are barely able to keep it together and not only do you hurt for the child you lost, you hurt for those here who are hurting as badly as you are and trying to cope. You want to take their pain away but know you cannot do so since no one can do it for you. The sibblings left behind have such a hard place in life. I did get a hold of the local hospice group that has a camp around here in August. They apparently have a kids grief group that meets and they are sending me info on it for Richard. After this weekend we will evaluate where he stands and see what he wants to do.

I don't know what is better, to be Richard or the younger guys. The younger guys don't get it and I feel sad for them becaue they will not really remember their little brother and how great he was. We will tell them but the memories will not be there for them like they are for us. Richard hurts now but will always have those meomories for the rest of his life...we were talking about George's infectious smile and how it just warmed you heart and brought a feeling like nothing else. Both situations are very difficult to handle as their parents. You try to help them all cope but are fumbling yourself with shuch a difficult life experience. This pain is something that no one will ever forget and only those who have gone through this experience will truly understand.

We did finally get the Sesame Street greif package in. It is very nice but is more geared towards the loss of a parent. They do reference other losses but only briefly. I have not watched the video they sent but I did read both books. It is a great program...I only wish there was something directed to the loss of a sibbling...there is very little if anything out there for children who loose a brother or sister.

I have decided that I want to begin making cards/items for people who loose children. During Mother's Day, I could not find a single card for someone who lost a child that recognized the loss and how hard it was. There is nothing for miscarriages either and that is the loss of a child too. These losses are so great ad we hate to acknowledge that bad things happen to children but I can tell you how important it is to have something saying the appropriate thing to a grieving family member. There are no birthday cards to recognize the child...just because they earned wings does not meant hat these dates don't have meaning to those left behind.

I think this is going to be a very healing week in so many ways but also extremely emotional. We will see how it all goes...whatever God has planned. I leave it in his hands...that is what faith is all about.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I love you my sweet angel in heaven! The only Mother's Day we ever celebrated together was when you were in my belly...I will always cherish it. You are forever in my thoughts...I miss you more than words can say. A piece of my heart will always be and I will forever be connected by our special bond.

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