Soon it will have been one year since George left us. These weeks have been filled with so many emotions. It seems as if things have been non stop since August with no downtime at all. The last week has been bringing me many mixed emotions as I recognize the impending day that he died a year ago will soon be here. I relive certain days again in my mind and try to remember the last time we did things with him and didn't even know they would be his last. Our last family picture was taken on Richard's birthday just a little over two weeks before he died. I remember parts of that day vividly and others not so well.
It really makes me sad to try and remember things and I can't remember them. Part of me forgets what he looked like at times and what his laugh sounded like but the one thing I don't think I will ever forget were those eyes and that smile. I often find myself trying hard to try and remember the days leading up to his death and can't remember anything but the night before when I had my last moments with him and put him to bed for the very last time. Those memories are forever ingrained in my memory as are the ones from the morning he died. What I would not give to just remember the good times!? As much as I don't want the bad ones to take over the good ones there are times they do and I can't get them out of my head, more so lately.
My nice was born just a few days after George was a year later. I've been blessed to watch her grow up and as I watch her grow I think of him and how he was doing all the same things just a year ago. I know how very precious those moments are. Yesterday she rolled over for the first time and I cannot tell you how emotional that was for me and I wasn't even there. Rolling over was such a huge milestone for me to measure the kids by since Joshua just never did it and he was our first child to start the whole Mito thing. I remember George rolled over on New Years Eve and Hugh and my mom saw him. The little monkey would not do it for me until days later. Never did I think that would be his last first moment.
After the 29th I will have no more comparisons to my niece and that very fact just saddens me. He never did anything past that and it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. I had always used him to be able to tell my sister that she was doing normal things but can no longer do that, it just breaks my heart because after the 29th nothing but sadness filled the memories of my son. I only have memories left of that hell of a year we lived after he died. This past year has been just torture and we will have finished our own set of first...firsts without George here. I know that Gabrielle will bring us her own set of firsts but saying goodbye to our firsts with George is so very hard to do...there are no more after the 29th.
I have sat here night after night trying to wrap my head around it all and all that we have been through. It has been one hell of a journey that I would rather not live again but seem to keep having things added every single day. Every part of me is so thankful for my faith because I think I would have lost it by now. They would have had to put me in the loony bin for there were moments when I didn't know if I would really make it. I know I didn't have much of a choice in the matter but how do you keep it together when the world you know seems to be falling in around you? I don't really know the answer to it other than to say is that I am still alive and prof that it can be done. There were times I know that I was dragged through kicking and screaming because I didn't want to keep going but God knew more and picked me up when I just couldn't do anymore myself.
Often times I think that Hugh and I both process things much differently. I am actually very grateful for that. We have gotten through this year together as a couple and have come out stronger because of it. If our needs had been the same I think we would have fallen apart because we never could have been there for the other in a way that they needed. With very few people who really understood we found that we had to turn to one another for the sort of support we truly needed. It isn't that we didn't do that before but I think we really had to hold on for dear life and there really is a difference when it comes down to this sort of thing.
We will be spending the 29th with our friends and family who have supported us through this walk. Gabrielle will be baptized that day at our church. I just couldn't see spending the day looking at it as a horrible thing like I had to do with all the other holidays and things like that. I wanted to be busy with something joyous. We just didn't want to spend the day all alone and sad trying to survive the memories of the worst day of our lives. The service is being held on this day since we asked for it to be since normally they only do them during the Sunday service.
I am working on the music end of it all myself since music is so meaningful to Hugh and I. Hugh's brother Glenn had done the music for George's service and we could not have had a better person doing it and everyone raved about how the service and the music was just perfect. I'd like to do something similar but kind of different for many reasons. We have not really been in touch with him so I just don't feel comfortable calling up and saying hey want to play for the baptism, not to mention their family is swamped with their own stuff since they have 3 boys of their own. I am trying to find songs that actually can celebrate Gabrielle's baptism and George's first heavenly birthday without taking from Gabrielle. There is such great christian music out there now, it is now just narrowing down the field. We may just make a CD with the songs and play them in the spots that they will be used. Hugh and I would also like to do a duet but are not sure about that yet.
After the service we plan to just have coffee and cake. My sister Tara is getting Gabrielle a cake and I think I am going to get a small one that says Happy Heavenly Birthday George and then just make some other odds and ends. As hard of a day as it will be, I know that nothing will ever compare to that day a year ago. I'm always looking for a way to make the best out of any situation and I am glad to be able to do this for both of my children. Our faith has played such a huge part in getting us through all of this and being able to share that with people on that day is a gift. It will be another one of those bitter sweet kind of things. Please keep us in your prayers daily as we come closer to that day especially Richard as he turns 12 on Jan10th and Hugh who will have his birthday the day before since it will be a very difficult day for him...to him his birthdays will never be the same again(my heart just breaks for him since I have already walked this milestone and cannot imagine what he will be going through that day.)
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.
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!