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.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You Still Amaze Me Little Monkey

Here is an article recently written and sent out about our family! It still amazes me to this day how one little boy can change the world in such a positive way even when he is in heaven. We miss him so much but since he could not stay it is comforting to know that his life/death really had a purpose! I'm so thankful that God has given us the strength to share our gift from him with the world in such a great manner...there truly is no higher calling.

Family Finds Healing After Infant Loss

Nicole Garman knew that traditional therapy wasn’t going to alleviate the grieving process of her 11-year-old son, Richard, who lost his baby brother George to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in January 2010. That’s why she was relieved when she came across a camp that offered a unique approach to helping children cope with death.

“I tripped over the Comfort Zone Camp webpage and thought Wow, this is exactly what I’m looking for,” Nicole said.

Richard’s two younger brothers, 5 year old Joshua and 3 year old Michael, suffer from rare mitochondrial illnesses. As the oldest sibling, Richard has developed a strong sense of leadership that often makes him neglect his own feelings in order to remain strong for the people around him.

“Richard is a leader, and he has to comfort everyone. He never wants to be helped even though he needs to be,” Nicole said.

Comfort Zone Camp finally gave Richard the opportunity to open up about the loss of his brother without feeling that he was burdening others. For the first time, Richard realized that he was not alone in his struggle and that there were people out there who genuinely understood what he was going through. This idea of understanding was not only felt by Richard, but also by the rest of his family.

At the parents’ dinner the first night of camp, Nicole noticed that most of the adults shared a common concern about their children. “One theme across the board was that our kids wouldn’t talk to us about their loss,” said Nicole. “It didn’t make a difference if they lost a parent, sibling, or uncle, they just weren’t talking to us. Once they came home from camp, they finally opened up and had the ability to communicate.”

Nicole feels that many barriers existed in their family before Richard went to camp. Richard’s camp experience helped to eliminate these barriers and strengthen communication at home.

“Comfort Zone Camp bridged that gap between all of us so that we’re no longer off in our own individual worlds. It let us figure out how to make sense of this new sort of life,” Nicole said. “It not only help Richard, but it helped the whole family.

On the way home from camp, Richard turned to his mom and asked if they could hold a fundraiser for Comfort Zone Camp. In order to give back to the organization, the Garman family held a benefit brunch on what would have been George’s first birthday.

“I did it because it was someone else’s generosity that made it possible for my son to attend the camp. Had someone not stepped up to raise the funds, or volunteer, Richard wouldn’t have been able to attend,” Nicole said.

The Garman family has faced their fair share of hardship, but it gives them peace of mind to know that Comfort Zone Camp is a safe haven that they can always turn to for help. Although Richard has only been to one camp, he intends to stay on board for the long haul.

“He’s a natural-born leader, and has already talked about becoming a camp counselor one day,” Nicole said. “It will be with him for life.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keeping the Faith

As I have always said, I have had faith that things would work out. That isn't to say I didn't ever understand any of it but just putting my faith in God that things would eventually work out. I knew I could not change things but had to remain patient and trust in God. Today some prayers were answered and things are now moving in God's time, as they always do. Hugh finally got a job...well two to be exact! He went for an interview at Sears and was offered a part time job. He of course took it since something was better than nothing. When he got home he got an email about the job that we thought had fell through which is full time and has benefits!

We are hoping that the full time one will let him start on the 1st of November so he can go to Florida with us all. It was last minute that they got back to him so we are hoping that they are going to be understanding. I remember when I sent the job post to him and had this feeling that he needed to apply and it was where he was suppose to be. When things kept falling through I kept telling him to be patient and that I still had a feeling about this position. It was an added position rather than one that they needed to fill so they could take their time with it rather then rush to get someone to take the spot. The guy took weeks to get back to him and I told Hugh to send him one more email and if he didn't hear anything than it was not meant to be but that I still had that feeling. Low and behold...there was an email saying they are starting training!

He is having some issues with going back to work. Although he is happy and excited he is scared too. Not only will he be starting in a completely new field, he will be leaving the kids. There are so many emotions that come with that sort of thing. He was blessed to have spent the past two years at some of the best times of their lives with them. A lot of men don't particularly care for this sort of life...being a full time at home dad, but for Hugh it was kind of like getting with his kids the things he never had with his own dad and family. I still believe God gave him that time for many many reasons! Just moving from something you were comfortable with and going forward with the unknown part of life especially with all that we have gone through it is definitely scary and sad at the same time...but I believe that it is what keeping faith is all about.

Ironically prior to all of this, I had an appt to check on Gabrielle at the docs office. It is always my time to read and reflect on things and I happened to pick up this scripture book that I forgot I had bought a while back during our trip to Lancaster. I went through reading the different verses of scripture and highlighting those that spoke to my heart. Even before knowing all of this these are the ones that I had pulled from the book and actually posted on my Facebook account.

Scripture that Touched My Heart Today
I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4

6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

Lamentations 3:19-24

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

Psalm 71

24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Acts 20

15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Genesis 28

Looking back on these passages, I know God was leading me to them. He always speaks to my heart in good times and bad. I remember about a week ago when my sister Tara said to me that her and my older sister were talking to one another. They were worried about us loosing the house and all that we were going through. Tara said that she told Michelle that she didn't know how it would work out or how I had the faith that it would but if anyone would be able to do it, it would be me. Somehow in all the unbelievable life trials I have found what true faith is all about. That doesn't mean you ever understand any of it because I am human and have my moments of asking why but somewhere deep inside I know God's plans for me and where he is leading me. I've learned to listen to those feelings and know they are God whispering to my heart and leading me where he wants my family and I to be.

I often times know that sometimes all though it is hard on me, I know that God is teaching someone else a lesson through our suffering. He knows that Hugh and I will survive it all and not loose our faith where if he were to test the other person he is teaching a lesson to would turn from him. Others would have turned to drugs, alcohol, and many other addictions had they been given our trials where we have just become stronger in our faith and learning how hard faith truly is to have yet how important it is to keep especially in times of trial. I think of Job and how his faith never waived and truly know that feeling. There are many who could not fathom our lives and how we are making it through but it is with God's amazing grace(the very reason Gabrielle has the name she has and the middle name Grace, she was our gift shown to us through God's grace and love)

Today I also got a call from someone at the grief camp that Richard attended. They wanted to interview me via phone for an article they are going to be writing. Our family story has touched them and our efforts for the camp they felt worth to add to their newsletter. George and our family are making a difference in this world through such tragedy. It just proves every single day that my son's life and death had such a greater purpose here than I had ever anticipated. I cannot tell you how great an honor it is to be called by God to do his will and change the lives of others. It is such an overwhelming and honorable calling that I never feel worthy enough to undertake but am so thankful for his faith in us to trust him with our lives and know his love in such a great capacity. Faith is not easy to come by but it is such a great freedom and gift that you never want to let it go once you have found it.

It still hurts to not have George here and I will always and forever yearn to be with him and await the day I will be able to do that again. Somehow through all of the pain and suffering I know that God is there and knows our pain and is walking with us telling us that there truly is a reason behind it all. I still go back to the song listed here as the first song Before the Morning...I have been playing this over and over again when all of it just doesn't make any sense to me.

We leave Friday for Florida. It will be very emotional but much needed. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and undertake this emotional obstacle for our family.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Revelation 21

The New Jerusalem

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

5He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christmas Gifts for George

Shortly after I posted the last update, I finally figured a way to still include George at Christmas this year! We are going to place a 3' Christmas tree on the mantle where his urn is. What we are going to do is ask people to send/make/buy a Christmas ornament/decoration of some sort. We will wrap them if they do not come wrapped and place them under his tree. Christmas day the children will be able to open George's "gifts" and decorate his tree/mantel! That will then give us ornaments/decorations for future years for his tree and allow us to still include him. Now I am kind of excited about it all.

The boys love decorations of any kind and for them to be able to open gifts and decorate will be such an awesome way to include their brother in heaven. If you would like to help us with this please feel free to do so. We also still have the paypal account set up and if you are just not sure what to get or don't want to duplicate you can just add to the account and we will be sure to get/order one and put your name on the gift once it comes in! If you think about it please find a place on the ornament/decoration if possible and put your name somewhere on it so as the years go by we can remember who helped us to remember him and make our first Christmas without him here on Earth special:o) Thank You in advance to anyone who would like to help out in this manner!

Trying to Find Ways to Make Bad Moments Good

The past couple of days all I can think about are all the things we did/didn't with George or the impending trip that he will not be on and the impending holidays along with his very first heavenly birthday. All of this seems so overwhelming as they all follow in suite one after another with barely any time in between to cope or get a break from the energy I know they will require just to survive. We are however not the kind of people to just "survive" we are the kind that need to find good in all this bad stuff happening to us. Often times I sit there thinking and getting sad but don't want to be sad and try to find a way to make it as happy as possible dispite the fact we cannot run from the pain and heaviness in our hearts.

I still have no idea what to really do with any of the holidays. Both Hugh and I feel so very overwhelmed with them all. Decorating for Halloween was hard enough to think about the other ones coming is just so insanely difficult. We know if we do what we always do that we will just plaster on that happy face and barely make it through. For whatever reason the movie Home Alone 2 keeps coming to mind. The kid is all alone and his family comes to spend it with him. They wake up in the morning to find the whole hotel room decorated with tons of gifts under a tree, all of which were not there the day before. What I would not give for that sort of fairytale this year. Not having to worry about anything and the whole thing just magically appearing! Such a nice dream but surely far from our reality!

It also makes me think of all the things I had wished I had done with George. We did not go pumpkin picking with him last year thinking he would be older this year. For Christmas he didn't get much since we did not have much money and people kept telling me that he would not know the difference. Although I felt much guilt I tried to justify that he would have his turn and that I would make it up to him someday. Now I will never do any of those things and missed my chance to do any of it with him and will probably always feel bad about it even though logically I know he never did know the difference. I am so glad that when we were in Disney I listened to myself and bought him a dinosaur and set of ears just like his big brothers. We didn't have much money then but something compelled me to do it for him and I thank God that I did and that we have those few things that were his from such a special time. I am so glad we took him even if he did sleep most of the time!

His one year heavenly birthday has really been weighing on me. I don't know exactly why since there is some time between now and then and a lot going on in between. Part of it is because the day before is Hugh's birthday and my heart just breaks for him to know not one from here on in will ever really be truly joyous. Every single day that was even possibly special will now bring him pain. I know it was hard for me on my birthday to not have him here but cannot imagine the upset and pain Hugh's will now carry as he knows that was the last time our little boy was alive. How do I fix that? I can't and I have no idea how to even make it remotely better for him at all and I just hurt for him knowing how very alone he will feel that day and how hard it is going to be for us all.

That being said, it brings us to the day following, which brings another host of emotions and sadness for us. Last night as I sat there trying to think of how to make it even a little better, it finally came to me. I asked Hugh what he thought of having Gabrielle baptized that day. At first he kind of looked at me odd and once he thought about it we could not think of a better way to celebrate that day. It was the day George was actually baptized the year before but only after the doctors had pronounced him dead and a local minister we did not know came in and did it with the nurses, Hugh and I, and my sister Michelle in the room(I think...much of that part of it is a blur for me as I sat there in disbelief that this was really happening to us).

I know he went to heaven that day even though he was not baptized prior even though I will always wish we had done so. I have always looked at baptisms as a new birth. For me they are a birth in to God's family and I cannot think of a better way to bring something good to such a tragic day. George was born into heaven that day and Gabrielle will be brought into God's family that day too. We had to check with our church since we know they usually do it during a Sunday service. Hugh and I both knew having her baptized was going to be extremely difficult for us anyway and were actually not looking forward to doing it in such a large atmosphere dispite the fact that we love our church and those there. Doing it this way we can just invite a few close family members and church members that we feel close to and have found to be supportive through this whole ordeal. They got back to me and said we can do it that day! I am so excited and happy to be able to do it this way.

Hugh and I are still very up in the air about Godparents for Gabrielle. This is a decision we do not take lightly since finding our faith. It is such a huge thing for us since we want these people to be part of our children's lives and there are a few we have chosen for the other boys who really aren't. At the time it seemed like a good choice, and who knows, maybe someday it will all work out but it has certainly made us look closer especially after all that has transpired since George died. This is even a bigger decision for us than ever before, maybe because we do realize how precious life is and how much we want our children to know God/Jesus and find faith for themselves. It has been the sole thing that has helped is through all these trials and I want them to have the tools to make those decisions for themselves someday.

Had George not died, I don't know if I could say Gabrielle would be here. That is just the God's honest truth. We always wanted more kids but we never would have probably had one so soon after just having a baby. In a way George gave his sister the gift of life the day he found eternal life so I just can't see a more fitting way to celebrate both of them and turn it into something positive for us all. Now I am going to start thinking about the logistics of it all. I am really glad they are going to let us do it on the 29th though and help us to do this all in a way that seems to be helpful for us. We truly are blessed to be able to remember George and also celebrate Gabrielle and how God has a plan for each of them and that they are both his children.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Sometimes I truly question God's plan for things. I seriously try and put things in his hands and know that there is a greater purpose but that does not mean that I understand any of it at times. How is it that we keep getting crap dumped on us and did nothing to provoke it and yet others who knowingly did something wrong seem to still make out in the end? I have watched my husband struggle for the past two years looking for a job and enduring criticism form those who don't understand any of it and than others just happen to have stuff fall in their laps. It is so frustrating and hard at times to really wrap my head around it all.

It is so hurtful to know that there are also people out there who will use our son's death to their benefit. They may not have ever known him but somehow think it ok to use his death to their benefit when they are in a sticky situation. There have been several occasions where we found out after the fact that someone used his death to their advantage and never even bothered to ask us if it was ok or even bother to tell us, we happened to find out by accident. I cannot tell you how very hurtful it is to have this happen and still try to find a way to try and find some sort of understanding. It may sound stupid to others but it is like someone defiling someones grave and just pours salt on an open wound. How could you use our dead son as your excuse in life to get out of a bad situation that you got yourself into? I just don't get it and somehow cannot get past it even though I really try hard to do so. Hugh and I both feel this way and don't know how to really cope or deal with this sort of thing once we find out about it all. It's like it is ok to them and they somehow justify it. I don't think I will ever get it.

Many days I ask God why he keeps testing us...haven't we been through enough? Even if there is a need for this do we also have to deal with those who are not understanding and criticize us every single step of the way without truly knowing all behind things? How is that others who cause their own life grief seem to come out on top still? We keep having things dumped on us by no fault of our own and yet somehow are still expected to keep going and not be angry or upset about these things. I really don't understand any of it at times. Wasn't our son dying enough? Wasn't our kids having an illness enough? I often wonder when will it all be much more are we expected to endure.

We often put the needs of others ahead of our own and have found that many of our relationships are one sided. It is sad to wake up and realize that not only is your son dead but you somehow lost everything that you thought you had or just came to the realization none of it was real. Coming to this realization at such a tragic time in life just makes you feel even worse than you would had it only been the one loss. Life can just be so damn unfair at times and makes you ponder God's plans for your life.

That of course has nothing to do with your faith. Both Hugh and I have a strong unwavering faith however that does not mean we don't question the purpose of all our suffering and pain. After trying to always do the right and just things in life we have come to realize that that doesn't always mean it will be fair. At moments like these I think of Job and ask where in the world did he get his strength but also know that he too didn't get it either. His faith did not waiver. I guess there are just things we are not meant to understand. I keep telling myself we don't have to live with the guilt and shame that others will have to live with(if they feel any at all) and don't have to answer for some day. Sometimes it doesn't mean much but I guess that is all we have at times to get us through things like this.

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