I woke up this morning to still hear the crickets chirping outside. So often once I am awake, I have a hard time going back to sleep since my mind will begin to race. Instead of laying in bed I opted to come and check email, facebook, and take a look at the stats here on George's page. Much to my surprise, I opened it to find that since I have started this page, we have had 17,000 hits! WOW is all I can really say about that. It was specifically that number and for some reason it just hit me how many lives that my son has touched and our experience has made a difference in some capacity even if it is to shed light on hard to express feelings.
The other day I had a bad day, and when I say bad, I mean bad! My heart was just so overwhelmed with pain and my head was taking off with the notion that I was a failure. Finally, it all came over me like a flood when my mom made a comment about something the kids were doing. She had no idea what had been going on in my head and I know she meant nothing by the comment but she truly got more than she bargained for as I sat there sobbing uncontrollably. So often as human beings we put expectations on ourselves and see our trials rather than our triumphs. I am guilty of this just as everyone else I know is.
This morning I sat there thinking about this and that is just what the evil things in this world want us to do. By allowing these tought to permiate our being, we are allowing evil things into our lives and letting them take over the good things. My son was not evil and yet I let the horrors of a few hours overcome the months of joy that I had with him. We are loosing our house and it is so depressing at times I allow it to make me feel like a failure without realizing the gift of time with our family/decreased stress I am giving to my husband or the wonderful bond my children have with my parents.
If I look at all my life trials, I have truly overcome them with dignity and poise making the best of every horrible situation. Yes, the first man I married went to prison and changed the course of my life but I would not have the inner strength I do today if it was not for that nor would I be here with my children and a man who loves me more than life itself. My children have a disease but without that I would not have the knowledge I do today nor would I have the appreciation for life and personal struggles like I do. I also have to say that it makes me realize how precious each life is no matter the state of their physical being because I would not trade any of my children for a "health/perfect" child.
Our family has struggled financially and others will look down upon us for having more children because we can't afford them however no one can afford another child and money does not make a good parent. It has also taught me to listen for the whisper of God's presence in my life rather then the loud clanging of others opinions. God will provide for us not those around us and no one has to help if they don't want to. I am sure the every single person in the bible that followed his word was refered to as a crazy person or failure by those around them who didn't recognize God's hand in it all. Somehow I have to work on not allowing the thoughts and opinions of others get to me and do what I know is right in my heart. If I really think about it I need to follow my heart and not my head and accept me for me and if others can't do that then they don't have to be in our lives as sad or hard as that may be.
I can imagine where the world would be today if Mary told God she was not up for what he had planned for her. There is no doubt in my mind that she was the talk of the town being a teenage unwed mother who claimed to be having God's child! If anyone said that now they would be locked in the loony bin and yet she stood there doing what she is called to do. I truly believe that God has called me to be a mom and wife at this point in my life. If I wanted to I could do a lot of things, I am a smart woman capable of doing anything I put my mind to and I know that. Deep in my heart though I know that I am suppose to be here doing exactly what I am doing not what others think I should be doing. There is no shame in not having a degree because there is nothing that can give you a degree in something like parenting and family life especially since it is something that is constantly changing and you can't put a price/limit on. I can only carry life for so long and they are only little for so long. There will be a place and time for all the other "stuff" to happen but for now I am sticking with what I am called to do. You can never put a price on what I am doing and the gift I am given every day in order to do my job as a mother. Family is priceless!
In this area, if I look at where we are then I have to say we are all winners and achievers. Hugh and I are still married and have been together for 8 years dispite what statistics say. I always joke with him that statistically we should have been divorced a million times by now! My children know right from wrong and I love them for who they each are, right down to their weaknesses. The relationship that I have with my parents is something that I thank God for every day because out of all my siblings, the one I carry is just different in a lot of ways and it is very strong. We all have our moments but we get through them and have become very close and that goes for my children too. They all have a special bond with my parents that only comes from all the time they spend with them and now that we are living here it is even greater.
I think in some regards, being just a mother and wife has just become not enough for society. There used to be a time, prior to the women's movement, where the family with the picket fence is what everyone wanted. Now a days, the picket fence is out the window and we all have to have these huge houses, expensive cars, and have a degree in something to prove our worth. Lately I have been caught up in all that especially with us loosing the house. Everyone will say to me well why don't you go back to school or get a job? Somehow I felt as if I was letting everyone down only to realize that I was not letting those down who really matter, my husband and children. I could do all of those things but my calling is just not there right now, it is here and especially since George died, I know I need to follow that feeling.
A long time ago, I picked up on those "gut instincts" that people talk about and realized they were God speaking to my heart. It was so hard and still is at times to follow that without being influenced by others around me. Hugh and I have both faced ridicule from those who just don't understand it. Other than Gabrielle, we were among the few people who were happy for us to be having a baby and we faced so many dirty looks and people talking behind our backs a million times over. George was no different and even now people will say stupid stuff like maybe he would have been really sick so his dying saved him from suffering. I really don't know about that but no matter his circumstances in life I would have cared for him unconditionally as long as his little heart was beating. Every part of me thanks God for that little boy even though others don't and that others somehow found some relief in the fact that he was gone.
Most important of all is that I have remained a giving person and do not blame God for the bad things in my life. The evils of this world can really get you down and take hold without you even realizing it and you are straying from your path before you even know it. Every single one of us is guilty of this. In the end I do know without having to think twice, that I am a good person and proud of who I am. Even in our hour of need we recognize others around us in need. Last night I realized that everyone is in need of something in life, even if it is just a hug or love from another person. A rich person can buy a lot of basic necessities or wants but they cannot by a relationship with someone or the love that comes with it. Every time something bad happens, I try to do something good. I believe that God places a specific yearning in my heart to follow that will allow his goodness to shine through all the bad. It is a blessing to be called to such tasks, not a burden.
If Richard would have been in front of me instead of me in front of my mother, I would have told him like I always do..."there is no such thing as failure, just learning that something doesn't work, and as long as you learn from mistakes then they are not mistakes they are life lessons." Sometimes I need to follow my own advice. I wish more people would take the time to accept one another for who they are, right down to their very worst. Loving a person for their flaws is the hardest thing to do so until we can do that, we cannot truly unconditionally love a person. Isn't that truly what God's love is all about?
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!