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, October 9, 2010

Getting Ready

Well, we have just realized that in just about 2 and a half months Gabrielle will be here. I don't know where the time went but the very thought has become quite overwhelming on so many levels. Much of this has all seemed as if it is just a dream and that someday I will wake up from it all. I know that isn't true but that is how it truly feels at times.

Almost all of George's things have found new homes and a greater purpose here on Earth. We were blessed with the strength to seek out ways for his life to still have meaning even though it was one of the hardest things to do. His clothes found their way to babies in need in Ecuador. The bigger items have been given to a teenage mom who just had a little girl and is finding the trials/joys of being a mother. We were grateful to be able to find a way to make good of this tragedy in our lives. I've come to live by the phrase I thought of a while back..."Creating something good from something tragic makes the tragedy an inspiration!" I hope that this has inspired others to take the time and think of others among their daily lives and when you think you have nothing left to give of yourself realize that God has a greater plan and there is always someone you can help no matter where you are in life.

That being said, we have a lot of things to get for the little girl on the way. Fortunately a family from our church was kind enough to give us some clothes and a diaper bag for her. They said they have other items that we can have so I really have to work on finding out what they have so we know what we need to get. She has a non toxic crib but I desperately need to get her a mattress but the nontoxic ones made by Naturepedic run close to $300+! I also want to get a monitor that is called a snooza halo(sp) that another mom who lost her child to SIDS now uses for her child she was blessed with after her loss. I know Hugh and I are going to be basket cases once she is here especially once we get close to the same age that George was. I am even having a hard time looking at clothing past that age without having some very odd feelings I never had before. We just cannot be left with the worries and if something were to happen the personal guilt that comes with not having these items in place.

It is so hard to be happy and terribly sad all at once. Knowing that Gabrielle would more than likely not be here if George was alive is such an odd and difficult feeling. The fact that she is a girl is good in some ways but in others it is like we are betraying George. I remember the disappointment we felt when we found we were having another boy and some sort of guilt now plays in with him being gone and than having a girl. We never would trade any of our children yet somehow that is what it seems as if we are doing. Logically it makes no sense but that doesn't fix the emotional part of it all.

As excited as we are there is just as much anxiety and fear. I've tried to really get into this but have such a hard time since I feel so many other sad and overwhelming feelings not knowing how to feel. There has been nothing I have done that has made this all seem real yet. Putting together a registry and looking at girl stuff is just overwhelming. To walk in her room and see it just doesn't seem real. I also think of the day she will join our family and how very overwhelming that day will be on so many levels. I want her to know we love her and wanted her despite what happened to her brother but somehow I know he will not be far from our thoughts.

I always pictured him being a big brother some day. It saddens me to know he won't be here to form a relationship with Gabrielle. The only memories she will have of him are our memories of him. That is sad to me and I am struggling trying to figure out how to make him part of her life even though she never really knew him. Never did I anticipate these sorts of emotions but after talking to other mom's I have found that it is completely normal. That doesn't make any of it easier but at least I know I am not going crazy!

The other day I got a call from the docs office saying that they scheduled my csection for Dec 30, 2010 since they cannot schedule things any sooner now due to some recent studies. I know she is not going to make it to that day, I am only hoping that she allows me to be home for the holiday. I don't know what I am going to do with the holiday because of the unpredictability of the situation. I really hope she his here to share Christmas with the family. Anxiety about it all of course looms in the back of my mind but I know I have no control over it and keep telling myself it will all work out ok.

So much of this is so surreal for all of us even though we do a little each day to get ready for her arrival. I know George is watching from heaven but that does not make it any easier and I just pray that God helps us with all of it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Loved You Then - 33Miles

Whole House on Edge

Yesterday was quite a day for us. Of course just as you think things can't get any worse somehow they always do. We had gotten an email on Tuesday from Michael's teacher saying he wasn't himself. We kept a close eye on him but other than some sensory stuff and just that instinctual feeling that he is off, there was nothing alarming. Well, that was until the early morning yesterday.

Hugh came downstairs to tell me that Michael had a rash on his legs...itchy spots to be exact. Of course the first thing that came to my mind was Chicken Pox! There was a kid in their school that had them although they were not in the boys class. Hearing that just set me in enough of a panic since I am not immune to the virus and that poses a huge risk for the baby. Of course I tell him I will be up in a minute to check it out and give a diagnosis. He made it back up stairs only to tell me to hurry up and of course that made my heart drop.

I took one look at him and knew he had an allergic reaction to something! His entire face was swollen and getting worse by the minute. The rash he spoke of was hives not chicken pox as I was fearing(yes I know the one positive point of this whole thing) I hurried to the medicine cabinet hunting for the benedryl I always keep here at the house. We gave him a dose of it but I told Hugh we were taking him to the ER because I was not playing with this. I knew the benedryl would start to work and hopefully avoid breathing issues should it start to get that bad.

I called my mom and asked her to please come and sit with the other boys so they could get off to school. Joshua heard that we planned on taking Michael to the hospital and that was enough to send him off the deep end. He started screaming and crying just begging me not to take him. I had to get dressed and headed for the bathroom and he was following me pleading even harder telling me that he loved Michael and I couldn't let him go away too. The terror in his eyes was unmistakable as he ran to be with Michael and hugged him holding onto him for dear life.

I can't tell you how very heartbroken I was for my children at that very moment. The fact that they will forever relive the moments that transpired after we found George just weighs so heavy on me and knowing I can't fix that for them is even worse. Hugh and I were both in our own state of trying to hold it together but inside falling apart. At one point I just could not stop shaking and kept talking myself down from yet another anxiety/panic attack. Hugh had fear written all over his face and tears welling up in his eyes. We calmed the boys down as much as possible and Josh was much better once my mom got here.

Hugh sat in the back of the van with Michael and I drove him out to Virtua in Voorhees. It was a hard decision since we have a hospital a block away and I did the in-service there but only two people showed up and none were the ones there in the morning we brought George in. They were so unprepared for peds that morning and were having people run all over the place looking for equipment and I was afraid to relive that. Michael was stable and you could see some of the swelling had gone down so I figured I had enough time to take him to the hospital more equip to handle his needs. Michael was also scared but was doing ok and you could see that he was exhausted!

We got to the ER where he was immediately seen. I had his emergency paperwork this time but really did not need it since they were familiar enough with Mito. They said I was right with my diagnosis of an allergic reaction and said that it could be just about anything and they have been seeing more and more of it lately. We discussed the course of care and agreed to wait out the benedryl rather than give him steroids(the typical course for a child without Mito) due to Mito. He was not having breathing problems and the med was working but taking its sweet time. They gave us a script for steroids should we need them later on and the bendryl not work or he start with breathing difficulty.

Fortunately we were in and out without much drama other then with our hearts in our stomachs. Once we sat there thinking about it both Hugh and I found ourselves in tears with no way to control the rush of emotions. We relived the day George died and then both thought that God cannot let anything happen to Josh or Michael, they are so attached to one another and we could not imagine what would happen to the other if one of them was taken to heaven. The very thought was just so very overwhelming. So many things ran through our heads at that moment.

We got home and Michael slept for several hours. I had an appt for the baby but had to call and tell them I was in the ER so they rescheduled it for later in the day and I had to head out there. Hugh kept an eye on Michael and both of us kept making sure he was breathing and would not leave the poor kid alone! I sent email's to both schools to let them know what had transpired and asked them to let the older boys know Michael was ok and home. We did not want them to freak out all day and also to talk to someone should they need to since we know how bad it was for Hugh and I and the panic and fear in their faces was enough to know they were reliving the same moments we were.

I still cannot get the moments from the morning George died out of my head. Most of the night I have been awake off and on. At one point I went upstairs to check on Michael to make sure he was ok in order to alleviate my own anxiety. Than I sat here thinking about the baby as she moves in my belly and how I know we are going to be a mess! I know the worst will be the days leading up to the age that George was when he died. We know that George was the same age Joshua was, to the very day, that he died and Josh had his first seizure. I just keep praying for God to give us peace about all of this because right now we feel like we have been hit by a bus...much like the days following George's death where we walked around in a daze just reliving the moments that transpired in utter disbelief.

If you add in all the other stuff going on here, Hugh and I are just out of sorts, functioning to get through the day but that is about it right now. Both of us are kind of like...ok what is next? Really? Why? Of course on top of it all he has officially exhausted his unemployment so that just keeps looming over the two of us as we have no idea what is going to happen. He is hoping to be able to get at the very least a part time spot over at Sears and is still waiting to hear something official. They don't hire full time, like many companies, to avoid paying benefits but at this point he has no other option. We head to speak to a lawyer today to find out how to go about and if it is possible to save us from loosing the house. With all we have been going through we just cannot handle loosing the house right now and neither can the boys. There has just been way to much change I cannot add this to our plate or theirs.

Thankfully the boys have no idea and we really are not deep into it nor has it gone to foreclosure but we just don't want it to get there. If we have to declare bankruptcy to keep the house we need to know where we stand. We don't have the $5000 to give them by the end of the month to stop them from going to court. I have no idea how much longer my unemployment stuff is going to take and the mortgage company doesn't want to hear that unemployment is dragging their feet. This of course is hard for us to do but like I told Hugh it wasn't like we were neglectful or frivolous irresponsible just keeps happening to us at no fault of our own(although I am sure there will be people that think otherwise without knowing the whole story behind things).

I'm just hoping to walk away with some sort of peace of mind where the house is concerned and I know that will take a huge burden off of us. It sucks that we have to go this route since once the unemployment is resolved I will be back paid but there really is nothing we can do at this point having no definitive idea as to when they will stop postponing things months at a time. I also can't take the chance they would deny it(although I highly doubt it)because that would put us in a worse position should we not have things already in place. I'm a proactive person rather than a reactive person since often times things don't go smoothly and take much longer than they do for the average person. I have no idea why this stuff always happens to us but it does...I should be used to it by now but I'm not. Hugh of course is taking this all the hardest feeling much like a failure but I told him there is no shame in this. Life happened and it happened to us and keeps happening to us and we have turned over every single stone to avoid this situation and as of right now we are just looking into our options and trying to be responsible people knowing when to not ignore a situation that is this important.

I truly hope that we can catch a break but somewhere in all of this the important things are what matter. After yesterday, and the whole ordeal, we realize that we don't have control and that we just have to have faith that things will work out the way they are suppose to. Life will go on one way or another. We will have days like that where we want to forget the world exists and that is ok as long as it isn't every day and we don't find ourselves looking for other forms of coping like drugs or alcohol we are ok. We need to allow ourselves these moments and not be so hard on ourselves. It doesn't help when others are so judgmental because we are always harder on ourselves and that just compounds things but I pray we can keep in perspective the important things and that we don't have to answer to anyone but God and he knows where we are in life and why! Please keep us in your prayers and especially the boys after such a difficult and emotional day yesterday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear God

Dear God,

I don't know exactly how to put this but I have felt the need to sit down and write you a letter. It may seem absurd to many but often times I feel better once I have gotten things off of my chest and stop hashing them out in my head. I know you know this since you are the very person I turn to when things seem so out of control and I feel lost and also during times of great joy.

In January you took my little monkey to heave to be with you. For the life of me I just don't understand it or even know what to say to you at times other than that I trust you but that I am so very lost. I know you happen to see the bigger picture but for me right now all I can see is the snapshot of my life and it isn't a good one. That does not mean I have lost faith nor does it mean I am mad at you because to be honest I have had no issue whatsoever with either. It is very odd to me because I thought I would be angry or not trust you after such a loss and great life pain like loosing my son here on Earth.

I do not understand why you would give him to me and than take him away so soon. On top of it I don't understand why we are still enduring such trials in life right now on top of our son returning to heaven so soon. I try to keep telling myself that you have some greater plan and that you will provide but there are moments and days that I have to question you.

Often times I will wonder if you took him because I was upset he was a boy, although I know deep inside that is not the case. Then I wonder if I had prayed harder that day would he be here. Than I think back and knew that he was gone the minute we found him and he would not be coming back. I remember being in the hospital watching them work on him and asking you to change your mind but knowing in my heart you had already had him in heaven and that you were not going to give him back. If I had prayed one more time rather than believing what my head was telling me would he still be here? I remember asking you to let this cup pass from us but trusting your will at the same time knowing that you had bigger plans for us all.

Every day I struggle to understand what your plans are for us. Things seem to be getting worse and not better and I feel so very out of control with it all. I don't know how to do this, how can I be a mother to a baby in heaven? I know you know our pain all to well for you too lost your son. I am sure it was no easy task to watch him suffer and die even though you knew it was all part of the plan and that you would one day see him again. I didn't choose this for my son but you did choose that for your son so I can only imagine the torture it must have been for you. The restraint it must have taken to not strike all those dead that harmed your son rather than accepting them into your kingdom...I truly don't know how you did that.

Often times I think of Psalms and the section regarding The Valley of the Shadow of death. This very bible passage has always made me think deeply and it still does to this day. Often times many people refer to it as the actual death of a person. For me I do not know if that is our walk in life that you refer to or is it the part of our lives that we do not know you and what you have/can do for us. I think of not having faith and where I would be without it and I can honestly say I would have been a basket case for sure if I did not know you the way I do. I remember when I did not believe and how very lost I felt. Now I have bigger trials and feel lost but nothing in comparison to the way I felt then. The pain is much greater but the worry and anxiety is much less.

I remember sitting there thinking "Where is my miracle?" "Please bring my little boy back to me, I know you can do it if you want to!" Now months later I sit here and thank you for the many miracles in my life you preformed without me even realizing it. Each of my children are a miracle, often times I don't wonder if Joshua would have died at 4 months old during his episode and we were given our miracle than. Of course I know that you can't use up miracles like the whole genie in a bottle thing but devastating things such as these make you think of all sorts of crazy things! You helped me through and out of a terrible relationship situation and gave me the blessing of Hugh's love, yet again another miracle. Often times I think we forget to see the small things as miracles that you have given us and when bad things happen we feel the need to wish them away or hope that you will not allow us the pain that is imminent with this sort of loss.

I don't get it all but I wanted you to know that I truly know what faith is all about. It is about praising you in the good and the bad. It is about putting trust in the things we cannot see and listening to the whispers only our hearts can hear. Please help me to understand and if I do not help me to do your will anyway. Please allow others to see how great you are through my actions and allow me to be a representative of all the good you do in this world. So many are suffering in one way or another, we all have a life story that only you understand. I pray for my peace and that of others struggling right now.

Please tell my little boy all about me. I always thought it would be the other way around, me telling him about you, but since that is not the case I ask that you care for him as I would until I can get there to be with him. I know you love him as much as I do and will make sure that he is well cared for but you have so many to care for that I felt compelled to ask you directly rather than just assume. Please help me to be the person you want me to be so I can do your work. Your plans often times seem so much greater than I feel capable of doing. I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling it is to know that I have been chosen to do your work though. It is kind of like being picked to lead a team to is no easy task but the reward is great! Thank you for all the blessings and miracles in my life and please continue to help me take a breath every single moment of the day that I feel I cannot do so on my own, which I know is often right now.

I am putting my trust and faith in you and all that you have planned even if they are not part of my plan. Help those around me to understand and find their own way to you through your loving and unconditional grace.

Your child through Christ,
Nicole Garman

Monday, October 4, 2010


I am sitting her watching your little sister move and groove. It makes me think of when you did the same thing and how you were safe and sound and still alive. I miss those times that we had where I got to know you before anyone else did. Every part of me wishes I had that back. I'm so very lost right now. It seems as if everything is just falling apart around us. I don't know where we will be in a few months from now or even a year or two from now. As time goes on things seem to get worse. Things just seem to keep spiraling out of control and there is nothing I can do about any of it. I just don't understand why God has to keep challenging us. I keep telling myself that life is not a snapshot(great line from a song)!

Loosing you was the worst thing that could happen but to have things added on top of that is just becoming to be harder and harder to handle. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective but with each challenge I find it harder and harder to do. Trying to keep up on bills was hard, now we are faced with loosing all income, we have gotten letters saying that the mortgage company wants money we can't come up with or they are going to start taking things to court, add on the stress of normal life not to mention all the other daily garbage and I am surprised I am not in the nut house by now. I want to bring your little sister here to our home where I feel closest to you yet am afraid that it may not be possible. I keep trying to keep holding to my faith and I know it is there, I just don't know why it is that we have to go through this.

I've been filled with so many mixed emotions not knowing what to do or where to go and finding obstacles in every single direction. I just don't get it or even know how to get out of it all. In the very fiber of my being, I know all of this is not a lesson for me and that there is nothing I can do about any of it. I have this heavy feeling that I need to just remain faithful no matter what happens but that is so very hard for me. Learning that I cannot fix everything and can't do everything for everyone is such a very hard lesson for me to learn and own up to. I'm the kind of person who will find a way out of just every single situation but I'm drawing a blank here. So many people offer suggestions but many are unrealistic or just won't work out for many reasons that they don't necessarily understand. Although we appreciate their thoughts it is hard to not feel like a failure and have to relive the horrible feelings we have over and over again to just try and explain it. For some reason I have a feeling God is just teaching me patience and how to listen to his calling in my life. That doesn't mean I understand any of it.

Every single part of me wants to crawl in bed and forget the rest of the world exists right now but I know that won't fix any of this. I want to go back to the time when you were safe and alive and life was tough but didn't seem impossible. I know I cannot change any of this and I wish I could with all of my being. At night when your little sister is moving around, I talk to her and tell her how much I miss you and how awesome you were. I wish she would have gotten to know you on her own. It saddens me to think the only way she will know you is through our memories. I pray that God tells you about us and how much we love and miss you.

I know this is a lot to ask a little boy but please stay close and let us know you are with us. Heaven seems so far away and the time we have already been apart seems like an eternity so the thought of more days without you just seems unfathomable. I love you so much and miss you more than you will ever know and I cannot wait until I get to be with you again someday. That will hopefully be a long time from now know every single day I miss you more and know the day we are reunited will be one of the most glorious days ever. For now I will be your mommy from a distance and a mommy to your brothers and sister for as long as God will allow for I know that is what he wants me to do right now and is his calling for me at this point in time. I will hold tight to the good memories I have and thank God for them because as much as this hurts and I miss you it was all worth it to have known you and get to be your mommy. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, you will always be a part of me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Pictures

I wish you were in these pictures, not our honorary George stuffed animal or your urn. So very sad right now missing you every second of every day. Find it harder and harder to not cry every moment of the day. I wish that life was not so hard for us and I know God has a plan for us all but right now it is so hard to even think about. Daddy and I are struggling on so many levels and I don't understand why loosing you was not enough. It seems as if you were never here sometimes and others the pain is so great that there is no denying that you were here. I don't know how to do this and would give anything to not have to. Sending all my love and kisses to you in heaven.

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