Yesterday Richard was off to Comfort Zone camp, the grief camp we found shortly after George died. He LOVES it there and so do we. Nothing can explain the comradery that you find in not only the kids but the parents also. It is like you have found this secret society that actually understands you and they are all the outcasts of society but have to learn to live among everyone else...camp is the only way that we all get to feel "normal" Many of these kids look so forward to going and can't wait to come back the following year. This time we took a different route up since we were picking up a family from Tennessee that the camp had flown in and put in a hotel.
We got to camp and Richard got his big buddy back from last year and we were so happy since he really connected with this young man since he too lost his brother. Many of the kids have lost a parent so camp tries to match these kids up with someone who had a similar loss and Richard's "Big" totally connected with him. He is away at college and they did not think he was going to come back but he did and I can't wait to see him and thank him...it is like he is becoming a part of our family. Actually, when you go there it feels like everyone there is just one big family, the kids, the parents, and the staff. I have never experience this type of love and understanding anywhere and I thank God for letting me find this wonderful camp.
They had done a camp for adults last year but the funding was not there this year for it. We parents all felt the need for it and I began to brainstorm some ideas. I may actually try to get a hold of the local SIDS groups and see if maybe we could work in conjunction with Comfort Zone to hold an adult camp for people who have lost their children to unknown reasons. It is something we need so desperately so we can get through some of our own issues so we can attend to those in our life who we are responsible for like our children. So ofter we just don't have any more of ourselves to give when the regular world collides with our world of grief. When I brought this up, they said they would be willing to work with me, so now it is going to be a lot of work on my part to make this happen but I feel it will be so great for so many.
The parent meeting ended and Hugh, Gabby, and I headed home. We did not have to take this mom back to the hotel so we went the way we had gone before up to camp. On the way home we finally got into an area I had recognized. At first I couldn't remember why I knew the area and then it hit me, wham like a brick wall. It was the route I had taken just days before George died to get him a medication for his reflux. His pulmonologist had prescribed him a medicine that needed to be compounded and the insurance wouldn't cover it and I had to find a place that was willing to make it for him. New Hope pharmacy was where I had to go and was about an hour away and the medication cost $75. We didn't really have the money but there was no way I was not about to wait to fight with the insurance company, he needed it and if I had to walk the world I would have done so.
George died only a few days later. When the police went through my house they took this medication to check it. Along with the medication they took all sorts of things from his room and even his baby formula. I will never forget coming home to his room being taken apart and they took his things...it was like stabbing me a second time. For some reason, I had to remake his bed with another crib sheet since they took his sheet and blanket and I could not bear to look at his empty crib any longer. After I made it, I slumped to the floor in front of his crib and just clutched the last few pictures that were given to us at the hospital and cried, not even able to believe what had just transpired that day and how in an instant the world I knew was gone. All of these things rushed through my head once I realized where I was. Coming home and finding all his things gone had hurt so bad and months later after they finished their investigation, there was that medicine, among the things we got back from the police. I just started to cry on the way home as my heart ached for my son, even though I have a peace in my heart now, nothing can ever stop the pain and moments like that.
We got back to the house and gave my mom the details from our evening. Gabby had gone with us and was all over the floor since she was tired of being cooped up in the van. She is a curious little thing and found the one bucket that had some medical supplies in it without it's lid. Being her nosy little self, she bee lined it over to the bucket and of course knocked it down. I started to pick up all the things that fell out and just stopped when I picked up a piece of plastic...it was George's baby bracelet from the hospital. That was enough for me for the day and I just cried as I pieced it where we had cut it from his wrist the day he got to come home after being born. Tears just rolled down my cheeks and I rubbed it in my fingers as if it was like rubbing his little hand. Hugh walked over and looked at me and without saying anything and tears running down my face I handed him the bracelet. Without a word he just hugged me close to him...he knew I was just hurting inside and missing my little monkey. Even now as I write this, tears are welling up again. I always thought that finding this inner peace would help the pain but it really doesn't.
Today I have kind of been out of sorts and lit the candles on his mantle and looked at his picture sort of in disbelief that this is really my life. I know I am blessed but that doesn't always cover up all the pain from all that I have been through. Hugh is busy working all day today so I think that doesn't help either. I rely so much on him on so many levels. He truly is my rock and I don't know what I would do if he was not in my life. Even though others don't always see him as a wonderful person, he will be nothing less than that to me. He loves me and the kids unconditionally and would give his life for us and I can honestly say he is my best friend...I may not have many friends but I now look at it as if I am the luckiest person in the world because I have Hugh. When everyone else has not understood or been there, he has no matter the circumstances and gives of himself unconditionally and loves me for who I am. If nothing else, God has truly blessed me with this sort of love, the love that so many people yearn for and never find. I have found a love like no other!
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!