George's Guardian's of Grace Projects
Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.
Friday, October 29, 2010
It has been 9 months since George went to heaven and it is no easier today than it was the day we said goodbye to him. In some ways it is even worse than it was that day. I cannot get rid of the horrible memories that still haunt me and will for the rest of my life. There are days it doesn't seem real and others where it is all too real! I don't know which way is better to be honest.
We spent the day today in the Magic Kingdom. It was a good day and the boys had a blast but it just seemed happy and sad at the same time. We enjoyed watching them have fun but knew part of us was missing as we relived moments we had with him in December. I talked to a man from Texas and was telling him about George as we waited for Josh to come off of Space Mountain(yes at 5 he rode that ride!). It was nice to be able to talk about him but sad too as I watched other children that are the age he would have been or were the age he was when we were there in December. It just leaves you with this empty feeling or just a feeling of sheer pain in your heart.
I did get him two ornaments for his Christmas tree while we were here. Last year I really didn't get him an ornament saying first Christmas...not one that I really liked anyway. Today I went in and bought a baby's first Christmas ornament with Mickey on it. I got to the desk and the girl commented on it and I asked her if she happened to have any old ornaments from last year and she said no. I figured so but at least I asked and got this one where I can put 2009 on it myself and put his picture in it. I had looked for a Mickey tree topper for his tree but it was just way to expensive coming in at around $35. I also purchased a few photo frames to put the pics in from our last visit and a pic of his hat here at Disney this time around. Every part of me wishes he was here wearing it. I cannot tell you how many people gave us odd looks as I took his hat to certain places and took a picture of it. None of them probably even knew the meaning behind it as they looked at me oddly. No parent should ever have to really do this sort of thing. At least we have gotten this set of firsts out of the way so hopefully the next trip here won't be as bad.
We head home tomorrow. Hugh will start his new jobs on Tuesday. I think we are both very anxious about it for good and bad reasons. Tomorrow we celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary. I have no idea where time went or how we survived all that we have in the past 6 years. It seems as if it was just yesterday yet so far away as I think of the people we were then and are now. We have have our worlds turned upside down and are completely different people than we were back then...I thought things were tough then...boy was I wrong. I just thank God for the marriage we have and all the blessings we have been given despite all the garbage also thrown our way. There are times I would give anything to go back to that time and others I know we are better people because of our trials.
The past two years especially have been difficult. It is 2 years today that my grandmother returned to heaven, it will be 2 years a month from now when my grandfather followed her, and a year on Nov 15 th since Hugh's dad died too. So much loss in such a short time. I think about it all the time and how these past few years have just been a non stop whirlwind at times where I just pray for a break in the chaos at some point in time. Often times I feel like I am only allowed up for a quick breath only to be brought back to the same place I was just holding on for dear life trying to make the best out of bad situations. It becomes quite exhausting after a while. We will be facing much change in the coming months and I am really praying that it is all positive change and we are able to overcome this constant battle for just the "simple life" Either way we always make the best of it all and will still find a way even if we don't get that break ever in our lives.
Please keep us in your prayers as we travel home.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Yesterday was a hard day for me. We went to Downtown Disney to take the boys on the balloon they have there and T-rex. Unfortunately the balloon was not working so the trip was sort of a bust. I hadn't thought much about going there prior to going so I wasn't really prepared to be hit by it so emotionally. That was the one place we had a picture taken of our family in front of the water fountain. I actually had it made into a quilt for Hugh for Father's Day this year.
As we walked into the T-rex restaurant we walked past the table we had sat at just a few months ago with out little boy. All I could think of was how he was alive and he was here. How did we go from that to this? The food was good and we left but did not go into the gift shop where we had made him a stuffed dinosaur just like his brothers. Our old dog had chewed it's eyes and made us upset since it was really the only thing we had gotten him down here the last time we were here. I was not sure if I wanted to get one for Gabrielle but just didn't know if I felt like going back in there and having the kids make her one. I'm sure we will come back once she is here though and then we can make her one.
We headed over to the place where the balloon was at. I was fine on the walk until we got to the spot that we had sat and waited for Josh and my dad to take the ride. All that ran through my head was how I was feeding him and he was in his stroller and I had taken his picture. We waited and I held him. His beautiful smile and face just kept going through my mind. I was so thankful that I had a pair of sunglasses for the moments where it became so much tears would well up in my eyes as I thought of him and how much I truly missed him. Thankfully there were some shops around and I took a walk and looked through them.
My last walk was past the fountain. They were doing work on it so seeing it wasn't so bad but still brought that picture back to my mind. I then decided I wanted to find a picture frame here to put that picture in, the one of me with George in front of the castle, and the new one I took of his hat at the beach. There happened to be a little shop right near where we were leaving and I bought one of the photo frames in there and will have to look for the two other ones on the rest of our trip.
I know we will have lots of these first moments. The boys are so excited and have really enjoyed being here so I know it is not a place we can just avoid. All of these firsts are so hard to do even though we know they must be done. I hate at times that we have to do these things and know this sort of life/pain...it truly is like nothing I have ever felt before. The moments take you by surprise and hit you like a brick. It is like someone knocks the breath from you. I miss him so much and wish he was here with us, I want him back in the worst way even though I know it is selfish of me to want that.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Well, we are here in Florida. The boys handled the trip like champs, yet again. I am so proud of these guys, they are such troopers. My mom was a trooper too as she drove with us and sat with the boys in the back while we drove and took care of them and all their needs while Hugh and I drove. We did stop half way at a hotel and they just thought that was great especially since it had a pool. They are still sound asleep right now and I am grateful since they really need to get some after all the travel...Josh especially since he had tummy troubles the whole way.
We are however off to visit my Aunt Joan today who I miss terribly since she moved down here to FL not that long ago. The two of us have always had this special bond that was just different then anything that I have with anyone else. She has had a tough life herself and always seems to understand things even if she did not experience them herself. Somehow she knows how to not demean your feelings or turn a conversation to be about herself even if she doesn't get it or necessarily agree. If she feels you are not thinking clearly she will bring it to your attention in an appropriate way and let you make the final decision. I didn't always see her all that often but knowing she was just a 20min drive away or a call away was always a comfort to me. When George died she was the one behind the scenes helping with his service when the rest of us just didn't have any more in us to do. Almost every single day she was there and I looked forward to seeing her and if I had needed her immediately she would have been there at just a call.
This trip is particularly difficult since the last time we were here George was with us. God do I miss him. I just kept thinking throughout the trip how he was with us. I was sitting in the back of the van taking care of him and playing with him. Last time when we got here he was so tired he fell asleep in the high chair that they had right in the middle of eating. When we got here last night that was all that I could think of and how much I really miss him. I miss his smile and holding him and just the sheer joy that he brought to me. One of the things I miss the most was how his face lit up when I walked in the room. It always made my day no matter how bad a day it was. We are not in the same house but that still does not erase the memories for me from the last time we were here.
I have however, realized that I cannot change the fact that he is not here with me. We need to still make memories with the boys. I would never take that from them. They are so excited and already have lost so much of their lives when George died. Somehow I have to make it through all these emotions and find joy in what I still have here no matter how hard it is for me. I know there are going to be lots of moments like these. They are the places and events you cannot avoid and have to find a way to face head on. It is so hard to do and requires so much energy but there is no way to avoid it so we forge ahead through it with God behind us helping us every step of the way. These bitter sweet moments will be throughout our lives now forever so just learning how to accept them all and move on through making the best of it all is really what is what will define who we are. There will be times we will handle it well and others we won't but they will surely mold us as individuals.
Please keep us in your prayers, I will update throughout the week even if it isn't as often. Thank you all who have followed this path in our lives...we just hit over 5000 hits in less than a year...what a huge accomplishment and honor it is to share our feelings and obstacles. I pray that it helps you to understand the very hard and difficult things as well as the blessings. There are so many raw emotions that people never talk about that I wanted to share in order to break the cycle that so many of us feel when in this situation. I have chosen not to hid anything in hopes for others to see this to possibly help someone else who will walk this path someday and give a better understanding to the process.
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!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
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!