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.

Friday, June 4, 2010

So Many Fridays Have Passed

So many Friday's have passed since we said goodbye to our sweet angel. I miss him so much. For whatever reason, I have been thinking of the times I used to hold him and he would suck his thumb and curl up under my chin as he just calmly laid on my chest. God do I miss that! I miss his smile and just the very joy that he would bring to my heart. He had my heart the day I saw him on that black and white screen in the doctors office when he just looked like a little blob with that little flicker of his heart. It is so hard to believe that was not really that long ago that his heart was still beating.

Four months later, it has not gotten any easier. So many people have said that it will get better but it seems to just be getting worse at times. The odd part is that I still have my faith and know that he is in heaven but that does not make it hurt any less. I've done a lot of bible study on my own lately and read some books written by people who have lost their children. It is hard to explain how there is just this overwhelming sadness whenver I think of him, because I just miss him so much. It still amazes me how in the moment of one second your life can be turned upside down. There are moments where I am completely fine and others where the world comes crashing down.

I had posted a letter that another mom had written. It truly hit home to me because I have had many of the same feelings. I won't cry in front of people unless it is certain people who I feel comfortable with. Many times it is just at night when I am alone in the quiet because that was our time. Most days I just put my happy face on and continue on my way, trying to make the best out of this new life that I now have to live. I feel terrible sometimes because I can get short with people...I just find that small talk is not feasable for me right now. It is like I have to pretend that small things matter when in fact they really don't. Life just has such a different meaning to me now and to be honest I am still trying to figure out what that is and how to live it.I am by nature an optomistic person who tries to always make a bad situation as good as possible but the human part of me just can't keep it up all the time.

One of the passages from the bible that has stayed with me has been that "Jesus died so he could have control over death" I've always taken for granite the fact that it is this way but at some point it wasn't. Then it made me wonder why in the world would God let his son die to save others. Somehow I answered my own question because I know how much knowing that George changed someones life means. For God it had to have been a very bitter sweet moment to watch his son die and yet know he was saving so many others in the process but he had to endure the pain of the loss of his own son. I have had people try and compare loosing a child to that of loosing a parent but I have to say that they are wrong. It is nothing alike, yes there is pain of a loss but your parent is suppose to go before you, your child isn't. God didn't give up his mom and dad, he gave up his son, paying the greatest price for the souls of others. Ironically, all of the worries of life just don't bother me anymore and I know that nothing could hurt worse then this so I know I can endure anything.

Another thing that I have had trouble with lately is the fact that George was not baptized. It may seem stupid to some people but having been raised Catholic, their teachings still stick with you even after you leave. They say that an unbaptized child stays in limbo forever and that keeps going over and over in my head dispite my logic and feeling in my heart that knows better. I'm so mad at myself for not baptizing him in November when I wanted to. I listened to family members who didn't want me to do it. Forever I will regret that fact. I had to sit there holding my dead baby while some strange minister baptized his body. Those immages will just never leave me. I never wanted his baptizm outfit to be the thing he was laid to rest in, that was suppose to be a joyous occasion, not the saddest one of my life, the last time I got to touch and hold his body and say good bye to my sweet gift from God.

Thankfully, I know I am not crazy for feeling this way because so many other parents who lost their children in the sudden tramautic manner, have felt the same if they were brought up with those same teachings. Reading that from another mother just relieved a ton of weight off my shoulder. I know that George was still there when he was baptized even though his little body had stopped working and his heart had stopped beating. By the time we saw him in the funeral home, his spirit was gone. I've never been more profoundly touched seeing someone after they have gone because it was never more apparent that there is such thing as a soul. If I had ever had a doubt, it was washed away that very moment that I saw him for the last time.

I keep trying to remember the good times and not the bad ones. It is so hard sometimes since the bad ones were the last ones I have of him. They bring nothing but sadness and anxiety. I have to say I was doing well for a while not having any panic attacks. That was until this morning. Richard left the gate open when he took the dog out and Michael escaped and started running downstairs. Hugh started to chase him so he wouldn't wake me up. Those heavy footsteps just sent my heart racing. It felt like my heart was going to come out of my chest. I had already had a bad night of sleep, and then after this, there was no way I was going back to sleep. The rest of my day was full of thoughts of my little monkey and how much I miss him. Friday's are so difficult for me, and ironically there are a lot of children who happen to go to heaven on Fridays. I know of so many moms that have the same dread for the day of the week that I do.

There is a nurse at my doctors office that had lost her daughter not that long ago. I was there today and she knew that we had lost George. She came up to me and asked me how I was doing and told me she understood because she had lost her daughter. Around her neck she wore a necklace with handprints and her daughters name and dates on it. It is ironic how we angel mommies have these connections and tend to view life and our loss very much the same way. Her daughter had passed on a Friday too so she knew exactly how I was feeling today. It still has not been a year for her either so she feels the difficulties that come with all the firsts. Her daughter's birthday is coming up in August, she would have been 3. The two of us just happened to be able to talk without words and found comfort in one another.

My doctor is great and I'm so greatful that I had found her group. There are two wonderful ladies in the group who I just adore. We sat there talking about my upcoming in service at the hospital and she told me that she thinks I am probably one of the most well adjusted people she knows(I did of course tell her I have my moments). I told her that I refuse to let this get the best of me and will do what I can to make the best of a bad situation. I am excited to be able to teach the staff at our hospital about Mito for so many reasons. We just recently got some labs back from Hugh that I now have to run by our genetics doc. I have my powerpoint presentation done but I want to add in the boys labs and these new ones from Hugh. There is alot to be said for amino acid issues. I also want to express the importance of family history because until George died, we had no idea that Hugh had 4 babies die from SIDS on his mom's side. There is more then just coincidence there and my doc agreed with me today as we talked about it. I'm glad to be able to honor George's memory in this manner. There is just so much invoved with your Mitochondria and doctors don't have but maybe one paragraph on it in their schooling.

Dispite all the bad memories, I have so many good ones and I am clinging to them. I remember having a conversation with my sister Christmas Day saying I knew one of my children would die and that it would be George. She told me not to say that but I told her I just always knew I would loose a child and once George was born I knew it was him. I had a false sense of security when he rolled over(it was always my milestone that I could breath a sigh of relief for, since it took Joshua forever to do it) and thought that I might be wrong...but I wasn't. I'm so greatful for his beautiful smile that melted my heart every single time I saw it. His laugh was just so cute and he just had something special that I was never able to explain. I would always laugh when he would try to bite my chin! He was so calm, even when Josh and Michael would get in his face and be all over him trying to kiss him or pretend to be mommy. He was just so special and I knew that God knew that too. I still can't say I understand it all but I do have faith, and that is what gets me through those rough days/moments. I cannot immagine someone not having faith and trying to live through this, I pray for people like that all the time.

There is this great song called Walk by Faith, and I listen to that all the time. There are so many moments that the very words explain how I make it from moment to moment. If you have never heard it, look it up and listen to it, it is just beautiful.

Walk By Faith lyrics by Jeremy Camp

Would I believe you when you would say

Your hand will guide my every way

Will I receive the words You say

Every moment of every day


Well I will walk by faith

Even when I cannot see

Well because this broken road

Prepares Your will for me

Help me to win my endless fears

You've been so faithful for all my years

With one breath You make me new

Your grace covers all I do

yeah, yeah , yeah, yeah, yeah, ya


Well I'm broken- but I still see Your face

Well You've spoken- pouring Your words of grace

[chorus x2]

Well hallelujah, hallelu (I will walk by faith)

Well hallelujah, hallelu (I will walk by faith)

I will walk, I will walk, I will walk by faith I will, I will, I will walk by faith

Cast Away...(I wrote this yesterday but had trouble posting)

Tonight I sat here watching the end of the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. As he spoke these lines, they took on a completely different meaning to me then ever before. There was so much meaning in what he said but the many times before they just were words. In so many ways this applies to how we have felt walking this path we are now on. There are so many mixed emotions when you loose someone, especially a child. Dispite how helpless you feel, there is always more meant for you just down the road.

We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up and... knew she had to let me go. I added it up, and knew that I had... lost her. 'cos I was never gonna get off that island. I was gonna die there, totally alone. I was gonna get sick, or get injured or something. The only choice I had, the only thing I could control was when, and how, and where it was going to happen. So... I made a rope and I went up to the summit, to hang myself. I had to test it, you know? Of course. You know me. And the weight of the log, snapped the limb of the tree, so I-I - , I couldn't even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over *nothing*. And that's when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that's what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. I'm back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass... And I've lost her all over again. I'm so sad that I don't have Kelly. But I'm so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Letter from Another Angel's Mommy

Below is a letter that I happened to read today on Facebook. It is from another mother to her friend about her experiences and feelings with faith. I really connected with this because I have so many of the same feelings that this mom went through.

Meyzel Santiago: Confessions of a Mother's Heart

My letter to a dear friend, Sarah Slack, in its entirety ...

Hi Sarah,First of all, I apologize for just writing you. This email is long overdue. But I'm sure you have more than enough on your plate to not twiddle around with your thumb waiting to get this email from me... haha!

I wanna say CONGRATULATIONS for everything that TEARS has thus far accomplished (i.e. exposure through SIFF, TEARS commercial, expansion of TEARS to 2 new states, the success of the NJ & Spokane Walk&Rock and everything else that's good coming your way) through your passion and unconditional love!Have I ever told you that from the day I met you, you've always had a peculiar effect on me wherein I tend to get emotional around you. Believe me when I say I am good at hiding my tears and pain... somehow the day Raquel left, I managed to still take the time to put a facade on when I'm around people in order to steer away awkwardness from others and spare my family from more heart wrenching pain. There's only been a handful who have seen me well up but very few have heard or seen me helplessly break down into tiny little shattered pieces. I usually do this in private, when I'm all by myself so no one can see. However, even without physically being with you now, I still get choked up from knowing that I'm sharing this with you. I've had a tendency to involuntarily put my guard down whenever I'm around you. Not sure what it is, maybe its because you have always exuded God's unconditional love within you. And every single time I feel His love, I just can't help but open up and cry.

You asked me for that long letter about Easter and I promised (and WARNED) you you'll be getting one. Be careful what you wish for because here comes your novel ....

Let me start by saying that Raquel's 1st year completely snuck up on me roughly about a month(ish or less) before the big day. I knew it was coming but I didn't think about it much, or maybe I was still in semi-denial and simply didn't WANT to think about it. Around early/mid-March, my bestfriend emailed asking where I was gonna be for Raquel's first Angel year. She wanted herself and 2 other girlfriends to be with me on the big day. That email caught me off-guard and hit me like a ton of bricks. It made me realize that it really did happen and its almost been a year now. I couldn't breathe and felt suffocated by the pain. I had meltdowns ... major ones and minis... I had meltdown after meltdown for weeks since the day I read the email. It made it even more difficult to be around Sephea and my Mama (grandmother). I didn't want them to see me cry knowing it would bring both of them pain to see me in tears and consequently, magnify my grief. I waited until they were asleep at night or when I was alone in the car to cry.

I finally left for the States, I believe on March 21st. I flew into CA to be with my family before going to Seattle. Even then, the pain grew stronger and this time I was at liberty to shed the tears since I had more time by myself. Hence, the pain worsened and the meltdowns intensified. It came to a point where it was so excruciating that I begged God to take me. I didn't want to take my own life (and never will) but I begged him to take my life. It was my deepest darkest hour and I could no longer take the agonizing thorn recklessly shoved in my heart. I sobbed all night and begged Him to take me with Him. I cried for hours and and hours. Throughout my grief, I continued to talk to Him. I must say that in spite of the heartache, still I did not feel the urge to get mad at Him. I kept on talking to Him and somehow my prayer for death became a plea for strength. Through that intense pain and pitch-black darkness, I somehow ended up proclaiming a vow that I will bear my cross and embrace my thorn with open arms everyday if I have to, if He promises me that I can be with Raquel someday in the paradise she had shown me last April '09.

[That's a whole other story, and this will end up being a trilogy if I told you the details of that "experience". Just to give you the gist, a few weeks after Raquel passed, the three of us (Sephea, Aaron and I) went to CA to get away and visit family and friends. It was still very hard on me for obvious reasons (though I tried not to show it on the outside). I had a lot of questions in my head, so many doubts, fears and worries. The biggest one was where she was now. Way back when, before I even had children, the rational side of me had, at times, questioned God's existence ... I wondered deep down if He really does exist but felt guilty about feeling that way. After Raquel left this earthly world, I started to have those doubts again about my Faith and belief system. However, I saw right through them, refused to listen to these tiny evil voices, refuted these doubts and flushed them down the toilet like the CRAP that they truly are!

Growing up, I was raised Roman Catholic. When Raquel passed, I was so scared where her spirit would go because she hasn't been baptized yet. The priest who blessed her earthly body the day she left, assured me that Raquel was going to Heaven... but I wasn't convinced, in the back of my mind I still wondered. Maybe he was just saying that to make me feel better when in reality maybe she was stuck in limbo like what we've been taught about unbaptized babies. See, Raquel didn't make it to her baptism. It was scheduled in June and was suppose to be a joint baptism with her older cousin Mia. I will try to cut this story short,. The night before we were heading back to Seattle ... Raquel was allowed to show me a glimpse of what Heaven feels like. It was the most peaceful, comforting, exhilarating experience I've ever had in my life. Something that no words can describe. In actuality the adjectives I used don't even give justice to what I experienced but they're the closest ones I could conjure to allow you to understand the beauty of that short yet vivid experience I had that night. I guess the simplest way to describe it is that I felt a small piece of heaven that night. From that time on, ALL of my doubts and fears of where she was bade my body, heart and mind goodbye. I spoke to a Benedictine monk and she told me that my tears which touched Raquel's face that day had baptized her.]

So back to my story... that night, I felt that I finally hit rock bottom, yet the bottom still gave in and I continued to keep falling down the pit. Recalling that 'heaven' I felt with Raquel, I no longer found this life to be enticing and fulfilling. I thought why would I want to stay behind in this world of sorrow and misery when I know what its like where my Raquel is. I want to be a part of that now. After that night, my aching heart remained heavy and the pain unbearable. I kept on crying to the Lord and offering my tears to Him. The day I had to go back to Seattle finally came, I didn't realize how much I actually dreaded that day until I was at the airport. It was one of the hardest days I had to face. I didn't expect the trip going back to be so emotionally draining and extremely difficult. As mentioned earlier, I am good at controlling the tears however, I was a train wreck that day. All that mastery of wearing my poker face went diving down the drain. I cried the whole time at the airport and had to wear my sunglasses inside because people started to stare at me. I tried to distract myself and come up with anything and everything that would keep me from crying, like counting sheep or remembering a joke or looking at some random person at the airport, but they were all pointless. There were rivers of tears on the plane ride back home. Hard as I tried, I couldn't get rid of the resilient pain that clung on to my heart like it was fighting for dear life. Not a second went by that I hadn't stopped crying. I cried the entire way back.

I got to Seattle about 5 days before her first year. Even then, the meltdowns snuck into the airplane with me and lingered with my sorrow. Her Angel Date is on April 3rd, this year it fell on Black Saturday. As you might expect, it was a very special yet excruciatingly sad day. Two girlfriends, along with my bestfriend from Kirkland, came up from Portland to be with me. The four of us crashed at my bestfriend's place. After celebrating her Angel date with some friends and Aaron's family, the girls and I chatted for a little bit. I went straight to my room shortly thereafter. I just wanted some alone time, again. It seemed like I wanted to isolate myself more and more during that time, even so when I was in California with my own family. True, I liked being around family and friends but I preferred to be by myself more so I can allow myself to cry ... cry until I couldn't cry anymore, which usually meant crying myself to sleep. I didn't want to be around anyone. I just wanted to be alone with Raquel and God. The facade was too exhausting to wear. I didn't want to cry in front of anyone either, I mean really, what could they do. There was nothing they could have done to make it better but to just watch me cry. Smiling and laughing was too much of an effort when I felt like a big part of me was dying inside. So I chose to be alone, I cried and prayed ... cried and prayed... offered my tears... and cried and prayed.

Finally, Easter Sunday came the next day. My bestfriend is part of the Lighthouse Christian Family Church in Bellevue and she asked us to join her for their Easter Service. Touching is an understatement for what the service had delivered to us. It was a very moving experience. We felt the strong presence of God in that gymnasium. From beginning until the end, everything about it pierced right into the core of my being.

The first part of the service was a video about Easter. There was an interviewer who asked random people on the streets if they knew what Easter was about. Majority of the people on that video had no clue why Easter was celebrated. There were younger individuals, corporate people, man and woman, young and old .... people from all walks of life. They first showed those who didn't know why we celebrate Easter. I remember this one lady in the video who looked so corporate and successful... when she was asked about Easter she said easter is about bunnies and egg hunt (which was also most of the other people's answers). The interviewer then told her its actually celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. She responded with annoyance and said "I don't believe in any of that," and walked away. The latter part of the video were the few believers who actually knew of Jesus. There were two individuals who struck me the most. Two men who were scruffy looking. In fact, one looked borderline homeless and the other definitely looked like he lived on the streets. When asked if they believed if Jesus rose from the dead and if they believe in Him at all, the homeless looking guy said with no hesitation, "Of course I do! Without him, I have nothing left in this world ... NOTHING! He's all I got! I will never stop believing. Until the day that I die, I will never stop believing!" When the other guy was asked, he responded in the same manner, "Of course! Who would die for me, my sins? Who would ever die for me like that? No one will ever do that for me again.... NO ONE ... will ever do that for me again..." He said it with such conviction that his words penetrated right into the depths of my soul.

Then there was the baptismal part of the service. There were four people getting baptized that day. Three of them were kids ranging from 10-17 years old. The last person was a man maybe in his late forties. Judging by his physical appearance, though he was wearing something casual, he looked prominent and wealthy (excuse me for being so blunt, but it was humbling to see that man talk about his Savior the way he did). Each of them were asked to say a story on why they decided to be baptized that day. When it was that man's turn, it was not just his story that struck me the most, but the love he had for God. He began by saying before he found God, he believed that He existed but he just never bothered to pay much attention to HIm. Everything was going so right in his life. He had healthy children, a wonderful wife, a great job. He had control over everything that was important in his life, and it was all going just as he wanted. His job was going so well that they sent him to Japan with his family to oversee the company there. He was doing well, so well that he got to a point where he was equipped enough to spin off and start his very own investment firm. His business was going great... everything in his life was just perfect. Then after a few hasty decisions, stupid moves and unnecessary mistakes later ... everything started to fall apart. In a blink of an eye everything was gone, just like that. It had gotten so bad that for a long while he couldn't find a job nor could he support his family. He had nothing left and no one to turn to but God. The day he found God was the day miracles in his life started to happen. Miracles not in a sense that he got his wealth and other worldly possessions back. But a greater miracle wherein no matter how hard life was, somehow God always made it better. The way he talked about God and his love for Him was so humbling and inspiring that you can't help but cry. There he was this grown 40 something year old man holding his tears back in front of a gymnasium full of people. Speaking so softly and gently with such humility and adoration for his Loving Omnipotent Father who saved his life! It was a very moving and humbling experience. He said, "I know what its like to have a lot and walk without God, and I know what its like to have nothing but walk with God. Why would I ever choose to live without Him again?" At the end of his story he said "Today, I choose to be baptized as an expression of my love to Him and to show Him my commitment!" When he was finally baptized outside, before the pastor dunked him into the water, he looked up to the heavens teary eyed, mouth quivering from his emotions and smiled. It was written all over his face, "Lord I love you and this is for you." It was such a powerful moment to witness.

After the service was over, I was so high in the Lord that I couldn't ask for anything more.
I felt like that service was what I needed to renew my strength! It was more than enough for me. I was happy and ready to go home with a strengthened heart. Little did I know that that wasn't even the highlight of my day - actually MY LIFE !!! The pastor had announced that if anyone wanted to be prayed for to go to the side of the stage to the prayer ministry. I told my two girlfriends, Liselle and Michelle, that I wanted the pastor to pray for me since it was Raquel's 1st year the day before. They both wanted to be prayed for as well. Upon getting up, my best friend Caroline (probably thinking we were getting ready to leave) came up to us and asked if I wanted the prayer ministry to pray for me (she had asked the pastor to pray for us). We told her that was our intention and walked over alongside of the stage. She introduced us to the pastor and the other 2 members of the prayer ministry. Mind you, I have never met these people before. This was the first time I've seen them. We talked for a brief moment - where are you from, how do you know Caroline ... you know, just the usual small talk. When he was ready to pray, he asked me for my prayer request. I gave him a number of things to pray for and he must've thought it was too long of a list because he smiled, chuckled a little bit and said "Well... it looks like you have a long list with you. But it sounds like the most important thing is to pray for your baby and for streghth, correct?" So I just nodded and smiled thinking its okay, as long as he gets to pray for my Raquel then I was more than happy. The service in in itself was enough to brighten up my day...or month even!

The prayer ministry typically just put their hand over the person as he/she is standing, and that's how they pray for them. Pastor Keith proceeded to tell the other two prayer ministries about my prayer request. When he turned to face me, instead of starting the prayer, he stopped and kept on talking to me. The conversation evolved from our short "small talk" into a little more personal and deeper conversation. I started getting choked up and had to hold back the tears as he was getting a more intimate into the conversation. I also noticed that as he was talking to me now, there was a drop of tear on each corner of his eyes. I remember wondering "Is this guy getting emotional or does he just have watery eyes?" I know it was kinda silly but I just didn't think he was crying because they were small drops, not to mention the fact that he doesn't know me from Adam and I wasn't emotional or anything like that AT ALL... there was just no reason for this man to cry. Then with utmost compassion, he said "I know you've had concerns in the past about where Raquel is," with overwhelming reassurance he said "She's in heaven. She's right next to Him now." At that point I had to gather every ounce of strength in my being not to cry. I also remember thinking, "Caroline must have told him I had concerns in the past that's why he felt the need to assure me". Although I already knew she was in heaven because of that past experience, it was still comforting to hear it from Pastor Keith ... something about the way he said it was very reassuring.

He kept going, at this point I noticed that the tears weren't just drops at the corner anymore but they were starting to trickle down his face. I thought "Wow, he really is crying." He proceeded to say more personal things that not even an average friend of mine would know, only someone very close to me would know. As his tears kept coming, he said, "Meyzel, I know that right from the start you have trusted in Him and believed in Him. You have not doubted Him." ... then he paused and tilted his head up like he was listening to something ... then as he looked straight into my eyes he said with obedience, "this isn't me talking right now. I mean, these aren't my words," while he was saying this his eyes and facial expression felt to me like he was saying -- you know this, right? He went on and said, "I'm just telling you what I'm hearing him say right now." As soon as he said this, I lost my composure and gave in to the tears. I started balling from that powerful feeling of His love. Pastor Keith went on and said "Its now time to take that trust that you've always had in Him, take it and let His will and your trust lead your life everyday from this day onward. Surrender yourself to Him. Surrender your trust, pain and everything else to Him. Give it all up," then he said, "Meyzel, you are very special."

Instead of standing up like everybody else he asked me, "I'm going to try something different and ask you sit down. This is a gesture of surrender, by doing so you are taking all of your strength, including the strength from your legs and surrendering it all to Him." So I sat down and all six of them, Pastor Keith, the 2 other ministries and my three friends were in a circle around me. I felt the strength of God's presence. The moment they raised their hands over me in prayer my mouth started moving uncontrollably. My two other girlfriends, Liselle and Michelle, were right in front of me. I know they haven't been exposed to this kind of thing so I felt very self conscious afraid they would think I was weird. I tried to clench my teeth so my mouth would stop moving rapidly. Then Pastor Keith's words lingered in my head, "Surrender yourself and give everything up to Him..." so I decided to let go. The moment I physically let go of all my muscles in surrender, my mouth started to move uncontrollably again.

When I opened my eyes, Pastor Keith was already in front of me right next to my friends. He then said "I don't know what your conversation has been with Him the past year. But He says its ok, its ok to talk to Him out loud in His presence right here right now in front of your friends and in front of us as witnesses. Its ok." Then I started talking to God, I felt His presence like He was there with the rest of us, it was so strong that it brings such joy in my heart writing about it now. I poured my heart out to Him. I thanked Him, I asked for forgiveness for the things I was ashamed of and the guilt I carried in my heart. I asked Him for the desires of my heart. I opened myself up to Him in front of my friends and strangers whom I've never met until that day.

When I opened my eyes, Pastor Keith was down on one knee with a bible in his hands. He said, "I want to read a passage to you, its Psalm 16 and its the last verse. I want to make sure I'm telling this to you right," then he closed his eyes for a few moments... once he opened them he said, "This is from Raquel. She is here with us. Although she was only three months and wasn't in this earth for that long, she wants you to know that this is what you have given her....

"Psalm 16:1111
You have made [e] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Right hand, as Pastor Keith explained, means the right hand of the Father being Jesus Christ!

You wanna hear another surprising twist to this? After the service, the four of us went to brunch and started talking about our experience. We recounted that morning. We all went through it step by step, when I asked my friend what she told Pastor Keith thinking she mentioned my initial fear of Raquel being trapped in limbo. Much to her surprise she looked at me with a blank expression on her face and said she never said anything to him about it. I asked about all the other intimate details he knew of like my trust in God and how I handled my grief. She said the same thing. She said she didn't say anything except "... to pray for my friend because she lost her baby a year ago but finds comfort knowing she's in heaven. And that's it!" There was no way pastor Keith would have known about all these intimate details unless a very close friend, not just any friend, but someone who is extremely close to me told him about it. I guess one of my close friends did. Actually the closest friend I have ... God.

Lastly, Caro also said that since she has been a part of that church ... i think 5yrs, if I'm not mistaken, she has never seen someone asked to sit down nor talk during the prayer. In fact my two other girlfriends who also asked to be prayed for were both standing up when they had theirs. Looking back, I now see the significance of those 2 acts. Sitting down was an act of surrender ... reminding me to surrender everything to Him, reagardless of what it is I'm facing in life. Secondly, talking to Him in front of my friends and strangers taught me humility and taught me to keep talking to Him and proclaiming His love even in front of friends and strangers without any worries about what others might think. Ultimately, its all about Him and I and nobody else.

That was my Easter experience, the day which will always be the turning point of the rest of my life. Life still hasn't been a bed of roses but now I know that when I surrender something to Him, whatever it it ... impossible as it is ... if it is in His will, somehow He always finds a way.

I love you, Sarah. You're such an inspiration to me!!! Keep in touch

Monday, May 31, 2010


"There is a story of sweetness and beauty which enlightens the heart of every parent who has lost a child. It concerns a custom among the shepherd folk of the Alps. In the summertime when the grass in the lowervalleys withers and dries up, the shepherds seek to lead their sheep upa winding, thorny, and stony pathway to the high grazing lands. The sheep, reluctant to take the difficult pathway infested with dangers andhardships, turn back and will not follow. Finally a shepherd reaches into the flock and takes a little lamb and places it under his arm, thenreaches in again and takes another lamb, placing it under the other arm. Then he starts up the precipitous pathway. Soon the mother sheep start to follow and afterward the entire flock. At last they ascend the tortuous trail to green pastures."The Great Shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, has reached into the flock andHe has picked up your lamb. He did not do it to rob you, but to lead you out and upward. He has richer and greener pastures for you, and He wants you to follow."J. Vernon Magee

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another First

It was our first vacation without our little guy. So many mixed emotions. It was great to get away from home but I really hate all of these firsts. We happened to be away also on George's anniversary of the day he became an angel. We were sitting in Dutch Wonderland and I think I was the only one who really knew it was the 29th. I then came across his pictures on our camera. It became full because I am such a shutter bug with the kids. I can't tell you how hard it was to delete the last pictures I have of him off my camera. They are on my pc and I can't tell you why it was so hard but it was. There were just some I could not bring myself to remove though. I miss him so much.

There is some sort of irony in the fact that he has now been gone as long as he was alive. I don't know why this seems so hard for me this time around and was probably the hardest angelversary yet. Here we were on vacation and he should have been there. I watched moms walk around with babies that were the age he would have been doing all the things with their babies I had planned to do with George. I now find myself looking for ways to include him and still find this odd need to get him something that won't be destroyed outside so that I can put it in his garden for him. Logically, I know it doesn't make a difference, he will never really use them but I still have that mommy part of me that finds the need to do it.

Last night, Richard came in from the hotel shop. He had found a beautiful angel ornament that he had found and bought for me. I don't even think he realized that it was the 29th and how bad I had needed that angel. We stood there in the hotel room and I cried and hugged him thanking him for the small token that he had just bestowed upon me without even really knowing the meaning of it. Those are the moments that I know George is watching over us all and that God truly is with us during these difficult times.

I happened to get an email today from a woman that is from a company that producest organic yogurt. My boys have lived on their yogurt since they were little and I swear sometimes it is Michael's only calories in a day. They were having a baby photo contest. I NEVER enter these things. For whatever reason I felt compelled to email the company and ask if I could add George to their list of babies. They had an automatic online application but I knew that my circumstances were quite different then every other parent putting their child in this contest. I opted to email them and send an email application explaining the circumstances. For whatever reason the picture that I had taken of him right before he died just spoke volumes and was so cute. It always makes me smile even when I have the worst day.

To make a long story short, they would like to talk to me. They were touched by what I wrote to them and loved his picture. The woman had asked about possibly doing a story about our family and our sweet angel. I felt so honored that I would be able to do this and keep his memory alive in this manner. There are so many ways he keeps changing lives and touching people and it still amazes me every single time. It makes me want to tell everyone they have so much more potential then they truly know they have. Think about it, if we were to only change the life of one stranger, how we could change the world. That of course brings up the idea of Jesus and how one man could change the world. It just made me realize how truly possible it is to leave an impact on the world and that nothing is impossible no matter how out of our reach it may seem. If one 4 month old little boy can do it then we all can.

Think about what you want for your life and how you could make a difference in someone elses. Take action to make it happen. Life is short and you need to seize every moment you have. Don't live life full of what if's and could have or would have's. My son is still changing the world long after he is gone so just immagine what you can do when you are here.

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