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, June 26, 2010

Soul Searching

I know for me whenever something tragic and unexpected happens I find myself doing a lot of soul searching. This of course is no different with George waking in God's arms. In some ways the need for this is even greater in this situation. This time around I am not seeking my faith(I found that when Richard's father left for prison) but rather finding ways to strengthen it and make it so the pain does not consume me and that I can do God's work and will dispite my complete lack of understanding.

No, I don't understand why in the world he chose this but as I have always said, I have a strange peace about it. I've been reading the book I Will Carry You about a mother who lost her daughter(they knew it would be the case while she was pregnant) and found herself much on the path I find myself every single day. The last few chapters have been about how Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. Recently in church we went over the same thing, it was the day Richard did the sermon.

I remember hearing the passage being read aloud in church about how Jesus preformed the miracle of saving his life. As a mother who had just lost her son, I sat there thinking where was my miracle. They happen every single day and the day I needed it the most it wasn't there for me and to just hear the words made my heart ache wondering why God didn't choose to save my son. I cannot tell you how hard it was for me to sit there in church and listen to that passage without crying and loosing it completely.

Today as I read it again in this book, I found I was not alone in my thoughts, this mother thought the same thing I did. She also wrote the passage that follows where Mary anointed Jesus's feet with oil and was scolded for doing such by the others there. After a few more sentences it really did make more sense to me...Mary did not know that only days later she would be taking Jesus to his grave and that the very thing she was doing was part of God's plan. In the story about Lazarus, they talk about Jesus crying. It was not that he was crying because Lazarus was dead because he could bring him to life...he was crying for Mary and Martha for their pain and the fact that they could not see the greater plan.

In many ways it is like a parent. We would not give our young children more information then they are capable of handling. We don't burden them with adult problems and make decisions without always explaining ourselves, knowing they won't truly understand until a later date. In many ways I think this is what happens in situations like these with God. Right now we just won't understand and he knows that so we are just left with the faith that he has our best interests at heart and knows our needs and what lies ahead for us. That of course isn't easy and just like a child throw a temper tantrum or a teenager becomes defyant, we too find ourselves with the same mixed emotions in these situations that we just cannot wrap our heads around.

I think at first we seek answers. We comb scriptures and pray and ask God why? Somewhere in all of that we don't realize that he is speaking to our hearts in the moments that we are most vulnerable and thirsting for answers. It is in those moments that our hearts are opened the most and he can work through us if we allow him to. I remember praying that they would find something on his autopsy just so that I had an answer. Yet there were none and the day that I got his autopsy it was like loosing him all over left me questioning again...why?

Somewhere in all of this, I have had to accept that I may never have the answer to that and although I struggle each day, I try to just put my faith in the Lord and ask him for his will not mine. That day our baby went home to the Lord, I asked the same thing that Jesus asked in the garden...please let this cup pass from me, but thy will be done. Just as with Jesus, it was God's will and not mine. I still cry every day and probably always will, I miss my little boy more than anything but I put my faith in God and know that there is so much more that I just don't understand. In all of my soul searching the one thing that I have never doubted and always known was that my little monkey just had a greater purpose.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thinking of You

I have been thinking about my little boy all day. Of course this comes with the territory of Fridays. These are the hardest days of the week for me even though I try hard to not make them that way. About a week or so ago, Hugh had ordered something for me. Today it came in. I opened it and just cried. It was a precious moment. I love them and this one was just for someone who looses a child.

When my old friend's son died I remember going out to the store and buying one for her. I always said that if my child had died, I had hoped that someone would think of me enough to get me something special like that. I've always been the kind of person that thinks to do things for people that I would want done for me in the situations. It is not that I ever expect anything in return or that others would do this for me, I know how I would want to be treated so I try to do that for others.

The last few weeks have just been so hard for whatever reason. Getting that today just made my day and let me know that no matter what else happens Hugh knows me that well and knows how hard this is for me just as I know it is for him. So many weeks have gone by but it seems just like yesterday. I miss him more every single day and can't belive that he really is gone at times. There is not a day that goes by when I don't think of him. I always thought it was odd that I would see women who had to be in their 70's or 80's and lost a child years ago and were still upset about it. Never did I understand how that was possible until the day George went to heaven.

Love moves on with or without you participating so in many ways you are better off jumping in and moving with it but that is much easier said then done sometimes. Today I went for an interview at a part time job out in Yardly PA. It looks promissing and would be a way for me to get out of the house and work with people again which I truly miss. If it is meant to be it will and if not I am not worried about it. Faith is the hardest thing to have sometimes but I surely learned that sometimes that is all we have.

Today a father who lost his son 5 years ago posted this bible passage "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John12:24 It realy made me think. So many people never even met my little monkey or got to love him and know who he was. We had very few visitors and many people were just annoyed we had another child. Hugh and I didn't care because we loved him no matter what and we knew there was something special with him. Little did we know he would be meeting the Lord before we ever will. Once he died, he began to change lives. Every single day I find another person who is touched by his story and our family. I try to make him proud and keep his memory alive in all that I do but it was just his very being or well, not being that changed the world.

It made me think about Jesus...had he not died the way he did and just died of old age, would it have been as great a tradgedy and would he have changed as many lives? Unfortunately, sometimes death is the only thing that awakens a person's soul and desire to seek faith yet it is amazing how it all just stemed from one person and the seeds they planted after they died. So many good things can come from death dispite the sadness that death can bring. I hope that you think about what this particular passage means to you and how it applies to your own feelings and life. Sometimes just taking the time to read and think about a one liner can really change your very thought process for the good. Jesus still lives on in the hearts of others so I know that George can do the same for us and those who's lives his death has touched.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Emotional Day

Today was quite an emotional day for me on so many levels. I don't know why these past weeks have been insanely emotional but they have just been such a roller coaster. This morning I sat with my Aunt Joan spending time with her before she moves to Florida. I didn't see her all that often but we always saw her several times throught the year and always spent Christmas Eve at her house. It will be so hard to not have her down the street anymore when I need her. Yes I know she is only a phone call away but I always found some sort of comfort knowing that I could stop in if I just needed a listening ear or a hug from her when life was just in shambles.

When George died she was there in ways I will never be able to thank her for. She did it without being asked and with no strings attached. She did not make promises that she did not follow through on and without words just knew what to say or do. It was no effort or added stress to talk to her or be with her and when I could not find comfort or understanding in others, she was always there. Still weeks later she still calls me to check on me and she is one of the few people I can be honest with.

She listens without trying to turn the conversation around to be about her. Never does she demean the pain that I feel or tell me I need counseling or say hurtful things. Even if she doesn't get it or doesn't necessarily agree, she always listens and without passing judgment can have a conversation about the true feelings I have. She doesn't talk behind my back to others in a hurtful way and in general respects me as a person.

She understnads that loosing Goerge made me a different person and that I will never again be the Nikki she knew before. THe recognition that counseling won't fix my situration or bring the old me back is such a relief because for many people that is what they want from me. They want things back to the way they were before. I want that too but it just isn't possible. Part of my heart will always be missing and I will always be sad and that is OK. It is normal and she recognizes that and I don't have to put on a happy face.

We sat here today just talking and enjoying one anothers company. The kids were running around being their crazy little selves. Together we laughed and we cried. We talked about life before George and after George and how very different they are. I told her how many of our relationsihps with people have changed for many reasons. We talked about dissapointment Hugh and I have both felt with family and friends of ours who we always thought would truly understand but now we realize that we were completely wrong. She of course told us that not everyone understand and for them it ends with the funeral but for us it is lifelong. Some people are upset or don't want to upset us and both Hugh and I recognize that but she also understood our feelings of loss and distance from those who want it all to just go away.

Ironically, the support group that I belong to, today posted the very question "Do you put on your happy face for those around you? Why?How?" Almost every parent said yes they do because the way we are all treated by the majority of people. Each of us acknowledged the few friends or family we had that did understnad and that we tend to find shelter in their understanding when the rest of the time we feel as if we are in the eye of the storm trying to hold on and keep that "everything is fine" face and mentality on for those around us. This comes from people who's children have been gone for years to just months. I just find it a shame that this is how parents who have suffered such a great loss have to live the rest of their lives along with the pain that is brought on the moment your life changed and you said goodbye to your child.

It is as if the rest of the world thinks we are crazy or need to see a counselor if we are upset. We are going to be sad for the rest of our lives. No amount of counseling will bring our children back or make the pain go away. It isn't like we are crazy and seriously have a mental issue. Many are logical people who know that life goes on but where this is concerned there is no rhyme or reason or time frame and no going back to the way life was before. I think this is why so many parents only find comfort in other parents who have lost a child or those few peopel who truly can empathize and not pass judgement or tell you how you should do something when they themselves have never been through it.

Many times couples who loose a child tend to find their marriages fall appart. For Hugh and I that is the absolute opposite. We have found ourselves feeling so alone and a stranger to those we have known our whole lives that we can only find comfort in one another at times. There are days we cannot paint on that face for others and just keep to oursleves because we just don't have the energy it takes to make it ok for everyone elses sake. Hugh was having a hard day on Father's Day and it was apparent in his presence. It was ok for him to feel that way but when he got asked what was wrong with him(like there should be no reason for him to feel that way), it took everything he had to not just scream what do you think is wrong with me. Instead, being who he is he just said he wasn't feeling good and that was an acceptable answer.

Even just saying you are having a bad day isn't alwayas accepted as an answer sometimes and people get short with you and make you feel guilty for the way that you feel. Either way we have both found it easier at times to just stay home and keep to ourselves. We have found this is also the case for the boys when they have to handle others. It amazes me how when you loose a core member of your family tragically that people get it for the first few weeks but after that all bets are off. This doesn't even just come from those who you have been close with but also with strangers. If you mention that your child/brother died at such a young age people either want to run or wish they never asked the question. You find yourself having to comfort them and explain that it is ok that they asked or that you mentioned them. It can truly be exhausting and many times just not worth adding to the pain you carry with you every day.

So many times I have been asked how many children I have. My God that is the worlds worst question. I even find that going to the doctors now is dreaded because they always ask those questions and you then have to explain it. With strangers, the answer will varry depending if I feel like going into it. When I don't feel like going into it or dealing with what I know will more then likely come and I just say 3, I feel guilty. After talking to many other parents they have said they do the same thing. The nurse from the hospital that I was working with told me still to this day 24 years later that she feels the same way and does the same things. She told me that I am not abnormal,it is just that only other people who lost children truly understand and that although others mean well that they will say and do things hurtful without relalizing it because they have never been in the situation.

No matter what others say or do or what they think you should or shouldn't be doing, the one thing that is constant is that God understands. He knows for he too walked htis path. That is why in the moments of pain when you feel as if you are alone, there is that peace somewhere in you pushing you forward and saying you are not alone, I am with you. That is truly what gets us from day to day. I cannot immagine walking this path in our lives without God in it. As lonely and painful as this is, it would be a million times worse if we did not have our faith. That is waht gives us the strenght to still live and make a life for our other children and be able to be there for other parents on the path with us. Somehow each of us pick up the others we find stumbling along the way, and I believe that is God's gift to us since he knows not many people understand the way he does nor to they understand the great sacrifice he made like we do.

Truly think about it. If you lost your child how would you feel and multiply it a million times and realize that you would have to live the rest of your life like that. I know I could not fathom it even though I tried to prepare myself for such a long time. God willingly gave his son, and I don't know how many of us could truly do that if asked to just for the greater good of others. We are also talking about people who aren't always good and make poor choices and do bad things. I know had God asked me I don't know if I could have just said here is my son...I have never been angry with God though and know there was a purpose; that I just don't see yet. If asked though, I could honestly say I don't think I could ever willingly give my child away to be beaten, harrased, abused, and crucified knowing that was his fate.

After loosing my child I truly know what a great sacrifice that it was. It wasn't that I didn't know it or think about it before but I know now first hand how it feels to loose a child and the pain that it brings. That very sacrifice God made was so great and it wouldn't have meant as much had it been his grandmother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, or other loss. It was his only child. That is why his sacrifice is so amazing and has stood the test of time.

Prayers Needed

I am asking for prayers for another angel mommy and her family. A year ago today they said goodbye to their sweet little boy. For whatever reason I have had a connection to this mom since I met her. Maybe it is because her little boy's name was Joshua David and I have one myself or the fact she has 4 boys too but I don't really know what it truly is.

I dread the day that I get to this point in my road. I cannot even begin to immagine what she is going through today although I know my day will come. So many times I tried to prepare myself to loose a child just in case but you can never prepare yourself for the intense lifelong journey that this puts you on. You cannot fathom the pain and emptiness that engulfs a piece of your heart like the loss of a child does. No words can explain it nor does any other life situation compare.

Like me, Danna is trying to find good in her loss. This weekend she is holding a walk in his honor. Her web page is
She does not want another parent to walk the shoes we do every single day of our lives. If you would like to sponosor her mission, there is still time. THis goes to SIDS research and support for families who have lost a baby to SIDS.

In so many reguards SIDS is just horrible. It becomes a living nightmare for those who experience it. The trauma from that day never leave your mind and you are constantly haunted by the tragic events. There was no warning, there was nothing other then finding your child had awoken in God's arms and not yours. With this there come no answers and just more questions. Not only questions that you have but you are questioned by the authorities who have to think you would do something horrible to your child. I cannot tell you how truly horrible that really is to have to go through and live though.

As a parent you will always wonder what if? Somehow there comes a feeling of guilt dispite the fact logically you know there is nothing more you could do. You wonder when did my child go to heaven? You wonder if they were ever in pain or if there was just something you could have done that would have changed their fate. None of these feelings ever go away. We are left with horrible traumatic memories of our children and want to know why they are gone. For whatever reason God called them home but there truly is no way to wrap your head around it when they were perfectly fine when you put them to bed the night before.

We know we must continue on with our lives. Our walk here on Earth now comes with a heavy heart with the hope to be with our child again someday. Unfortunately, there is not enough research. I personally believe it has to do with a combination of genetic issues, dysautonomic issues, and environment. There are no set standard except to lable these children as having an unexplainable death.

Please keep this family in your prayers and all families who have lost a child because the pain is just unimmaginable unless you have walked the path yourself. We belong to this club that we don't want to be part of and hope will someday have no new members. The reality is that it will never be that way but so many of us are thankful for the promiss of a joyous reunion the day our work here is done.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Can't Remember

Hugh and I were on the way back from the ultrasound we had to have done today. Of course having a new baby is just full of tons of emotions especially after the loss of a child. Hugh turned to me and just asked me if I remember George's cry. At first I said yes but really after much thought I can hear his first cry ringing through my head but other then that nothing. I could never explain it but if I heard it again I would know it was him in an instant. Hugh said he felt the same way.

It was so sad to realize that we just couldn't remember his cry. I also realized I cannot remember his laugh either. It is so disheartening to really think this and know that we have nothing to remember that by other then our memories. The only video we have is the one of his birth. Just the very thought of this makes me cry. We decided that this is what makes him seem like a dream to us. We have pictures and those sorts of things but it was such a short time that it doesn't seem real. How can this really be?

I miss him so much. That laugh and smile just melted my heart and loosing them just broke my heart. I know that life goes on but I just can't ever see these feelings ever going away.

Yesterday was as good a day as could be. It was rough but that was to be expected. We took the boys to see Toy Story 3. It was realy cute and some of the theme of it hit home for us. It basically was about not living in the past. Both Hugh and I cried. We gave Hugh is Father's Day gifts. One was a photo blanket I had made at Costco with our family photo from Disney on it. It was one of the last happy moments in our lives before he left. We also gave him a photo album with pictures of him being the awsome dad that he is. The little boys had made fireflies out of flashlights at school but gave them to him on Friday since they couldn't wait. Richard made him a ceramic George angel piece in art class.

The best part was these little rolled up papers from the little boys. They drew a picture on it and it had a saying. Joshua's said "My daddy is for working outside in Georgie's garden and he cuts the grass. He pulls the string out of the mower and it makes noise and goes fast." Michael's said " My daddy is for putting me to bed." Both so very innocent and yet so meaningful. So many times it made me wonder what Goerge would have been like as a little boy running around with his brothers. What would he have brought to our family? It is so sad to know that we won't have moments like those with him, yet we are greatful for them with these guys.

We did take the boys to Target after the movie for them to pick out a gift for my father. Of course, Josh knew he wanted to get his poppy tools. If they could have bought every one in that isle they would have. Michael picked out this really cool blue flashlight that we were not leaving that isle without. Josh picked out a hammer of course and a couple other things. Richard picked out this tripod flashlight and of course we had to have the tool box to put it all in. We wrapped it all up. My dad was out for the day so they gave it to him today. They were so excited!

We have such wonderful children and are so blessed. I thank God every single day for them and Hugh in my life. I cannot immagine where my life would be had I not met him and he changed my life. He taught me that I deserve the best and to not settle for anything less then what I want. He give me a self confidence I never had in my life. My life was in shambles and somehow through him I found the strength to do what I needed to do for myself and not feel guilty. Up until then I had given 200% of myself trying to make a bad relationship work and didn't even realize it. The relationship was not really a relationship since it was one sided and I realized I deserved better. I found my faith in God again and actually fordged a relationship with him that if I did not have it, I would not be able to get through all of this. That alone is a gift like no other.

I don't understand why God has chosen me for the path he has but I know it is possible. I don't know why he took my little boy but I know that he is caring for him until I can get there. There is more for me here to do and I know that. The thing I am greatful for the most is that I am not alone in this, Hugh and I have on another and God at the center of our marriage so we will get through anything. Both of us know that things are never going to be easy but we can get through it. We are truly blessed in so many ways. In the end of it all we also find comfort in knowing even though we can't remember that cry or laugh that we will hear it again someday when we are all together. Until then we will be greatful for the many gifts we do have and appreciate the small things like little letters and ceramic art pieces.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

This is my photo tribute to my wonderful husband. He is such an awsome dad to our children. He has overcome so many personal life obstacles and always proven to be a dedicated, hardworking, loving man. I thank God for him in our lives every single day. I cannot immagine where Richard and I would be without him. He took on the roll of a father long before he was blessed with his own biological children. So many men would have walked away from the very beginning. He puts his own feelings aside for what is best for his family and works hard every single day to be a great roll modle to our children.

Father's Day's prior to this one were very different and we know that all of them from here on in will be a new kind of day. Hugh has had a rough past year with so many ups and downs and I pray that they only get better from here. This time next year he will be a daddy again. We are going to be having another baby in December. Until now, we have only told a few people. This was my choice since I just really don't have it in me to deal with the reactions that we will get from people. I know Hugh has wanted to tell people but he has respected my wishes. Today I would like to give him the opportunity to be the proud daddy that he is every single day of his life but to also be able to share his personal joy.

After a much fractured childhood family, he always wanted to give his children the family he yearned for his entire life. So many people do not understand our position on having children and we don't expect them to. We have already had numerous mixed reactions by many people. Some people are thrilled while others have gone as far as to suggest an abortion(something we would never consider unless it was because it was lifethreatening to me and the baby would not survive either way). We ourselves are full of so many mixed emotions and it will always be that way. In no way will this baby replace George or even make this whole situation any better, dispite what some people may think. Yes we know that this baby is likely to have Mito too but as I have stated before that is just a diagnosis.

Our children are so loved and have all needs met. We may not have a whole lot of money, and have our hands full but we love our children and are great parents. In the end that is what matters. There are people with tons of money who are horrible parents and then there are people poorer then we are with more children then we have who are awsome parents. No matter what the case is, this is meant to be, or God would not have blessed us with this child. The boys are excited and cannot wait and keep telling us that we will have a new baby when Santa comes! We look forward to welcoming our new family member and know that our little monkey is going to make an awsome big brother.

This Father's Day is just going to be full of many emotions. I wish all those father's out there a day full of fun and appreciation. That also goes for all the men who take on the roll of a father to someone, you are changing someone's life in ways you cannot immagine! To my wonderful husband and father to my children, I love you more then you can know and I thank God for you every single moment of the day! You are and will be a wonderful father to our children. Know our little monkey has his own place in your heart where is is close to you whenever you feel as if heaven is too far away for him to be. Never forget he was made from a love that cannot be broken and will continue on into eternity so he never is truly gone.

Happy Father's Day!

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