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, September 11, 2010

The Big Day

Today is the big day that we have been planning on for quite some time now. Our fundraiser for Comfort Zone Camp is today at our church St. Martin in the Fields, here in Lumberton. If you have a moment please stop by and have something to eat and enjoy the company of others as they celebrate our son's life and support such a great cause.

This event is also significant because 9 years ago the United States was hit by an unforeseen tragedy when the World Trade Centers were hit and other planes crashed into the Pentagon and a field in PA. It was then that Comfort Zone was brought to NJ to minister to the children that were left behind to cope with the tragic loss of their loved ones. Because of that very instance, Comfort Zone was there for our family in our time of need years later. It was through someone elses generosity that Richard was able to attend camp and find peace and coping skills for life without his little brother. We want to return the favor so that another child can receive this gift in their time of need.

Please come out and support our children's efforts to honor their brother's memory in this manner and help a family that does not yet know they will be hit by a tragedy themselves by making sure that Comfort Zone is still there for them in their hour of need. For more details please visit...www.komfortforkidzcampaign.blogspot.com

It will be a great day full of food and family fun. We have a petting zoo, temp tattoos, face painting, and lots of other great activities planned!

Little Monkey...You are changing the world!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Your Birthday

Yesterday was a very difficult day. We had planned to do something but somehow it just never happened. I think we were just in a funk and couldn't get out of it. We did go to Friendly's with Memom and the boys for lunch. So very different than I ever thought it would ever be. Several friends and family left messages on my facebook page, stopped by with a gift, or sent a card/gift to the house. It was nice when a friend from Florida called and had her ex husband drop flowers and a monkey off to us. Another friend stopped by with balloons, bubbles, and a toy for the boys. We had flowers sent and an online card from Hallmark and a handmade card from a young lady in college who was touched by our family. My mom went to lunch with us and my sister Tara stopped by last night with her husband. Other than that we just trudged through the day that should have been a happy event but brought a sadness to both Hugh and I.

I could not bring myself to cook dinner and there was no cake or anything of that nature like I had wanted to do. We did get balloons for the fundraiser tomorrow. I just didn't have it in me to do any of that dispite the fact I wanted to, it became more like another day other than the fact that my heart just ached even more than it did before. With all that I am doing for the fundraiser I just didn't have the energy to do the things I had wanted to, it saddens me a little but I can't change it. I hope he understands that I wanted to do more for him but I just couldn't. Part of you wants to do it but the realistic part just says why burden yourself, it won't bring him back. It is so hard to have a birthday for a child who never had one and isn't there. In some ways it seems as if they just never existed or that it was all just a dream. By the end of the day I was so exhausted emotionally I felt like I had been hit by a bus and called it a night earlier than normal.

For those who actually thought of my husband thank you! He had very few messages left for him on Facebook and no calls to check on him and what support he did get came from my friends and family. My heart broke last night as he looked at me and said that I was lucky to at least have some sort of support. He tried to say it in a joking way but I knew he was hurt and his heart was just broken for the very sad realization of his personal situation on a day he needed support. I wish I could be all those people he needs to be there and it makes my heart so heavy to know I can't for I would do anything for him.

There is this great poem that I posted a while back and it is so true. My sister recently reposted it on Hugh's Facebook page and I wanted to post it here again to let him know how much I recognize his pain and how George was as much his son as he was mine. I thank God for him every day because I have no idea how I would do this without him but I also acknowledge how very difficult it is for any father who looses a child and how often times people forget them. I am so thankful for my friends and family who did remember him and acknowledge his need for love and support on such a difficult day.

Untitled Poem

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry" and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
but "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew
And try to be so very brave--
He lost his baby too.

Author Unknown

On the way to lunch, I had a conversation with Joshua that just broke my heart. My mom was talking to Hugh about something(I don't even remember or even know if I was listening to be honest) Joshua turned to me and asked me if Georgie was coming back today since it was his birthday. He said to me that we come down from heaven on our birthdays so he can now come back to live with us. If that doesn't make someones heart break, I don't know what will. I had no idea what to say to him other than that his brother could not come back home to be with us even on his birthdays. Michael of course chimed in saying God could put him back in my belly and I could go back to the hospital. I told him Gabrielle was there now and that God was going to keep George in heaven. Then he looked up with those beautiful little innocent eyes and says he could put two babies there. Again I gently tried to explain death to a three and five year old...what a horrible task for anyone to have to do but a parent who lost a child trying to explain it to them is even harder and so very emotional. God I wish it was that easy. I wish I did not have to answer questions like these and try to explain something I don't understand myself.

To them, heaven is much like Disney World. It is a place where great things are and you go there with people you love. God is Mickey Mouse who can do anything and runs the place. He makes all the rules and the one rule is that everyone is happy and life is good! They think you can just get in the car and drive there or go to get the person you are missing but it doesn't really work that way. I hate to compare heaven to Disney but to a kid that sort of fantasy and awe is the only close comparison I can come up with or think of for a child. Life and death are just not that simple but I wish it were for moments like these.

Tomorrow is the fundraiser. I really hope that people come to it for many reasons but more for the boys sake. They are really excited and want there to be lots of people there. I honestly don't have any clue how many people will show but I try to remain optimistic for their sake. It has taken so much work and effort on my part but I would do anything for them and to try and help them through all of this. I've come to put it all in God's hands and whatever happens will happen. George's death taught me to not sweat the small stuff and whatever will be will be, it is in God's plan.

Being the sole organizer to something like this on top of being pregnant, mourning my son, and just being a mom has proven to be a challenge on every single level. Please pray for our event, it is going to be a beautiful day for it. I know it will all come together and no matter how many people come it is a success because we decided to do something rather than nothing and follow our hearts towards something that was placed there to help others. I wish more people could do that sort of thing and look past themselves to make this world a better place, what a world it would be that we lived in than. In the end that is why heaven exists though, right?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday!

video


Today is your first birthday. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. Daddy had spent the night at St. Christopher's with Michael for his sleep study. They walked in the door bright and early. I had been up a little while, not in terrible pain but just feeling kind of funny. After daddy was home a little while I looked at him and told him I thought we were going to be headed to the hospital. He stared at me in disbelief since I was not scheduled for my C-section for a little over another week!

I called the doctors office and they told me to head over to the hospital right away! We called Uncle Tony to come and watch your big brothers and headed to the hospital. It was quite a ride full of lots of contractions but more filled with the excitement and anticipation of meeting you finally! Who would you look like? Would you have mommy's eyes or daddy's nose? We couldn't wait to find out!

We got there and registered and were put into a room to wait to see if I was in "real labor" That young nurse told me that they were not sure if I was really in labor and they had to wait for the docs who were in an Emergency C-section. All three of my docs were there that day. They must not have known I was there yet because as they walked past the door they saw me and all came in and asked "What are you doing here?" I looked at the physician who had seen me the day before and told him "I told you yesterday this baby was not going to wait until the day they scheduled me for!" They didn't even bother to see if I was in labor and had them prep me for my c-section.

It took a few nurses to start my IV and I had been in labor for a few hours and by that point was having some very hard contractions. Right before they took my back I had a very rough one and my water broke...the first time ever for me but I knew exactly what it was. The nurse didn't believe me or that I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk to the OR. Once they checked they took me seriously and got me a wheelchair. We were met my the nurses and the anesthesiologist who was trying hard to make my spinal take so I could stay awake to see you born. As they tried to get me to lay down I had the worlds worst contraction and they all had to push me down so the medicine would take, that is probably the only time I ever screamed during labor...I was always a quite laborer. Daddy waited patiently outside as the docs were getting ready to come bring you into this world. The spinal didn't take all the way so our last resort was an epidural...success.

Daddy was brought into the room and sat on a stool at my head ready this time to take pictures and video of your birth. You are the only child who we actually have a video of their first cry...I cannot tell you how much it meant to me then but how much more it means even now. Dr. McCullen and Dr. McCrosson delivered you and you let out your first cry. They rushed over to clean you off and wrap you up. Although you were not a happy camper, you calmed down right away, I knew then you were a quiet little guy and couldn't wait to see you again myself. Finally daddy brought you over and held you close to my head so I could kiss you and have a good look at that little monkey who had been doing flips in my belly for the past few months. One of the OR nurses took our first picture together as your parents with you...I cherish that photo more than anyone will ever know.

In my opinion, I knew you were going to look like your big brother Joshua...boy was I right! I wanted to hold you so bad but all I could do was touch your perfect little face under the hat and blanket. You were taken to the nursery and I was taken to recovery...I felt then as if part of me was missing...never did I anticipate that most of my life I would come to feel that way. They got me settled in my room and cleaned up so that I was ready to finally meet you. I cannot describe what it was like to hold you for the first time. There was nothing more precious than that very moment other than your first cry. Daddy was there and the two of us just enjoyed you and bonded with you. I knew you were special from the beginning...you were truly my gift!

Memom and Richard came up to see you first and than everyone else followed in suite...Uncle Tony and Nicole, Aunt Tara, and of course Joshua and Michael. We hid you under the blanket as you laid on my belly where you grew. Josh and Michael came in looking all over for you...finally Joshua walked up to me and asked where you were and pulled the blanket back looking for my belly. There you were and his big blue eyes fell in love with you the moment he laid them on you. He hugged and kissed you and would have picked you up and walked around the room with you if it was possible. Michael was a little freaked out and kind of apprehensive but warmed up after a little coaxing. I have the only picture of me with my boys at that moment and then we all took our first family picture.

The days following we didn't have many visitors. Daddy was such a trooper and even though he wanted to be there with us, he knew he had to watch your brothers. He would pack them up every day to come up and visit us, which was no easy task! We have some of the best pictures of you with your brothers and daddy during those moments. You and I had plenty of time together to get to know one another and we did just that for the 4 days we were there. Of course being a 4 time mommy I was smart and sent you to the nursery so that I could sleep, knowing that I would get no sleep once I was home! You took everything in stride and had such a laid back personality. I could just hug and cuddle you while you slept and fed you while you were awake.

We went home on the 13th. Daddy came to pick us up and we went to get your brother's from Memom's house. Aunt Heidi and Cousin Ashley were there with Dunkin Doughnuts as usual. We stayed briefly and then went home to settle in. You fit right in and were meant to be there with us all. It was such a blessing to have you as part of our family and you never had more love than what was given at home with us. Joshua was incessant with having to hug/kiss/hold you. I always said there was a thing as too much love! Little did we know, we just had to give you all our love in a shorter amount of time and I think God knew that and that is why you were loved so greatly in those few short months!

Never in my lifetime, looking back, would I have thought you would not be here to celebrate your 1st birthday with us. I cannot tell you how very empty it feels to not have you here on a daily basis but most of all today. I would always tease how you were born this day so that I would remember your birthday 09/09/09 with you being the 4th child! Never did I think it would have so much meaning a year later. You should be eating your first birthday cake(I know it sounds stupid but I am so thankful that you did have birthday cake...daddy's, since it was his birthday the day before you went to heaven) and getting ready for a party but instead we are trying to find ways to honor your memory and are getting ready to hold a fundraiser for a bereavement camp.

All of that said, I am not mad at God. I know you were only on loan from him. Many anticipate that they leave this world before their child but that was just not in God's plan for us. I knew you were leaving before me, I just think I never anticipated it to be like this or so soon. You were so precious and my kindred spirit, a feeling I never had before with anyone in my life. I know that there was just so much more planned than we knew and sometimes people need a tragedy like this to open their eyes to the world. God knew daddy and I would be able to handle this and get through it together while others would have fallen apart. He walks with us every day and carries us on days like today when our hearts shatter all over again wishing you were here with us. We find refuge in his strength!

We know you are in heaven and that you are preparing a place for us to join you some day. There is a reason behind it all and we put our faith in the Lord and know he sees the bigger picture. We will always remember you and although you had a short life, you have accomplished more than some people do in 50, 60, 70, or more years. You have touched so many lives with your journey to heaven being so much sooner than people think. There are so many life lessons coming to people on a daily basis, loved ones and strangers.

I put together a tribute video for you since I cannot give you a gift or a hug or kiss today. It turned out beautifully and we will play it at your "party" on Saturday for people to see. I asked God to hold you today and give you a kiss and hug from me and all your family and asked him to sing my special song to you just as I would have if you were here. Happy 1st Birthday my little monkey in heaven. XOXOXO

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Missing You

God I miss you my little boy...who would have thought a year ago that we would be living a life like this without you in it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School






Today was the first day of school for all the boys. Richard had his first day of middle school. Joshua had his first full day of school as a Kindergartner. Michael was going back to his half day morning sessions. We got off to a rough start with Richard not waking up on time and Josh peeing on his shirt by accident. All craziness averted or fixed and they all got off to start new chapters in their lives.

Hugh and I have had a rough few days and today was no different. I came in the house and started crying. I was not crying because they boys were growing up but rather because George should have been here. So many people have been saying "you will finally have peace and quite, it will be nice" I don't want peace and quiet, I want my son here. My heart was breaking thinking that George should have been waving a chubby little hand saying good bye as his brothers got on the bus or have his nose pressed against the glass of our front door as he watched them step on the bus together. Instead we were left with silence and breaking hearts for a memory we will never have with him in it.

The very thought that he was alive and well just one year ago getting ready to bless the world is just so overwhelming. He was safe in my belly where he rolled around and kicked, totally in his own little world, content and safe. Never in our worst dreams did we ever anticipate this is where we would be a year later. He would be gone and part of us would forever be missing. We try to find ways to keep it together but sometimes moments like these are just very hard if not impossible to do that with. We know we can't change any of it but if ever given the chance we would want him to be here. I know all the logical thinking or optimistic ways to think but those are just no help and when people try to say them you want to sock them and ask them how would they feel if it was their child that was dead. Nothing can ever be fixed and optimistic views are nice but unrealistic sometimes and are surely not much help when moments like these come.

I cannot believe that in 2 days he would have been a year old. He was my kindred spirit and we shared so much. I miss that connection that I had with him since I don't have that with very many people, if anyone at all. It was very unique and nothing that I could ever begin to explain. He had such a calm and kind temperament. At night I miss him the most since that was our time...I was working and would see him when I came up in between breaks but nighttime was our time. His big brothers were in bed and it was quiet and I would hold him and just enjoy his presence. Maybe that is why I hate the silence the most...those were our moments. What I would give to hold him one more time is just immeasurable.

Soon enough, Michael will be home, and life as I now know it will yet again continue. I will hold it together, do all the things I am suppose to do, and put that smile back on my face that has now become painted permanently on just to survive. I will have tons of paperwork to fill out and probably have to get together the things I forgot to send in(my mind has just been on the fritz and I am lucky my head is attached since I surely would have lost it by now.) I know George is with us always,I see signs every day that I take as God's way of letting us know he is ok. As I looked back on the pictures of the little boys I took today, there are these beams of light just shining through in the picture. I remember when Josh first called them Angel dust! We had our angel dust today even though it doesn't make us feel any better, I know we are not alone.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quilt

















This is the beautiful quilt that a wonderful woman made for our family. It was such a blessing to have this. It helped us to find a way to move forward in life until we are together again. Our family was touched by this couples generosity and will now have more people in our lives that God intended for us to be in contact with and who are there on God's behalf helping us in this path.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

PhillyBurbs.com:  Putting a smile on grieving children

PhillyBurbs.com:  Putting a smile on grieving children

You Are Changing The World

Today the local newspaper posted an article on the upcoming fundraiser we are doing in George's memory. We would rather be celebrating with him here but we are doing the best we can do. The events for the fundraiser are coming together but there is still a ton of work to do. I have to get some volunteers to take tickets and run different things that day since I know I will be running around like a crazy lady. In the end it will have all been worth it.

We are also getting a quilt that was lovingly made for our family with George's things that meant the most to us. I cannot wait to see it. The woman did not know us but heard of George and offered to do this for our family. We were so very blessed to have this because I know it made moving forward easier, if that is possible, and also allowed us to be ok with donating his clothing and other items to good causes. I would like to eventually take a quilting course myself so that I too may be able to help another family in their hour of need. I will be sure to post pictures.

We are on the Front Page!!!! The link is above!!!

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!


http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1360981185308&ref=mf



We Finally have footage from the service up and running:



http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1368692138077&ref=mf



http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1368733099101



http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/video/video.php?v=1368770540037



http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1368789060500



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