I woke this morning feeling this unbelievable feeling of peace in my heart. Well before George died was the last time I had ever really felt this way...probably since before Joshua had his first seizure. Life for us has just seemed so overwhelming and plagued by tragedy and pain. Although we never lost our faith, I know I felt such a heavy burden on my heart. No matter the strength of your faith, you are human and the feelings you have are real and come no matter how hard you try to stay positive. Across the years I have helplessly grasped at anything that made me feel even remotely better or took my mind off the problems we had no control over.
Yesterday, for the first time in a long time I sat down and looked at George's pictures and this time shared them with Gabrielle. She sat quietly on my lap pointing at the pictures and smiling as we watched the photo montage on here. So often I sign in and hurry to just click new post and avoid the pictures because they have always made me sad. When he first died all I could do was look at pictures of him but as time went on it was too painful to even glance at them. The cups I bought with his pictures on, I would totally avoid and I would actually wash out another one before even using the one with his pictures. When I first got them, I used it every single time I had coffee or tea. When they talk about the valley of the shadow of death, they don't ever mention how dark and deep it can be and how very lost you can feel in it all.
Every single day I was plagued by the horrible memories of his death and could not even think about him without feeling as if I was being tortured to death. Throughout the day I would just pray to God to help me get through those moments when I wanted to just lay down and die myself. Yes, I had plenty to live for and knew I am truly blessed but the pain from George's death was so immense that it took over every single part of me. When others didn't seem to remember him or would just avoid mentioning him it would hurt so bad and I felt the need to let it know how disappointed I was in the support we were getting, or lack there of from others. Those feelings were real and at times warranted however somewhere in there I forgot that only I can make myself happy.
If others aren't supportive that doesn't mean I have to stop doing things in his memory or remembering him and loving him. I will proudly carry him in my heart and share him with those who care to take the time to show an interest in his life and our story but I refuse to try and make him mean as much to others as he does to me because I finally realized that is impossible. When others would not do anything or go out of their way on his special days, I was always hurt because I had put expectations on them and had hoped they would do what I needed. It would be nice of others but even if they don't, I have decided to no longer be disappointed in them because it just adds to the hurt. I am his mommy and that love is unique and was so special between the two of us and I really need to focus on that and be so thankful that I could love him the way I did and show him love while he was here. With him only being 4 and a half months old, not many knew him the way I did, I had an additional 9 months that no one else had so there is just a unique bond there and by allowing the feelings of others letting me down, I didn't realize in a way it was like letting George down.
Hugh had a rough day yesterday morning. He was heading to work and at 6:30am the phone here at my parents rang. I answered it with a lump in my throat thinking all the horrible things that could meet me on the other end of the phone since no one calls that early unless something is wrong. My heart and mind raced to my niece Mallory or that Hugh got into a horrible car accident or something of that nature. I was relieved to find that Hugh was calling to make sure that Richard was up for school...deep in his voice I could tell that something was wrong and there was something more to the phone call. As soon as I asked him if he was ok, the hysteria going on in his head found its way to his mouth as he begged me to just check on Michael. For whatever reason, he was having a panic attack and I started to talk him down from it, letting him know that it was ok to feel that way and I kept him on the phone as I checked each child for his peace of mind. With that he just broke down in tears and my heart just went out to him because I knew that feeling all too well since I get them quite often. Those moments are just torture to a heart already in such pain.
As I sat there walking him through this very difficult moment, I thought of myself and my own feelings that I have been battling since George died. It really put things in perspective for me and as the day went on, there were little things happening that all made me begin to rethink my feelings and work through them in my mind. Gabrielle had a lot to do with this feeling of peace too. She is getting her teeth and is very clingy and only wants me to hold her. When it really bothers her she will put her little head on my shoulder and start to say "awe awe awe awe" This simple little act just melts my heart but yesterday made me think of how George used to tuck himself under my chin when he was not feeling well and just cuddle up with me. I closed my eyes as I held Gabrielle and found myself thanking God in a way that I had never done before. It was a feeling of knowing what a wonderful blessing this little being was and I was truly grateful for being able to do that with George too and instead of feeling cheated of this I was so thankful for the moments I had with him and am even more than before when Gabrielle does this. Suddenly, a feeling of thankfulness for God walking with me and carrying me when the pain became to much for me to walk. Had he left me on my own, I know I wouldn't have been able to enjoy those little moments in a way that I do now.
I really do believe he used that time of complete darkness to get me to trust him and allow him to be my eyes. Faith is nothing simple to have, and often times is easier said than done. Every day my relationship with God changes as he leads me to the place he wants me to be in my life. During this time, he ministered to my heart and cared for my wounds that no one else could tend to. By allowing this, he also worked through me to forge deeper relationships with some people and see the true colors of others. In all of this, he showed me how strong I truly am and really changed my perspective on things in this world. I always go back to the bible reading that we chose for George's funeral that talked about going forth to a mansion in heaven with many rooms. That passage was not one most people choose and yet it spoke to my heart and even more so the past few days. I know George is already there waiting and he is safe there and I am sure he has that beautiful smile on his face that I miss so much here.
Last but not least was a moment with Gabrielle I will probably never forget and was taken back by how something so simple could impact my life forever. Gabby has some odd love to drink from a regular cup especially ice water. She always makes a mess and is still really getting the hang of it but I usually just suck it up and let her have it and clean the mess later. This time was no different than any other however her facial expression was just priceless to me. She reacted just like George did when he was alive and excited about something. I had never seen her do this before and although she has looked like him before this time it was as if he was shining through her eyes and telling me to just love her and know he is with us. It was probably the most profound moment in my life, in terms of changing me for the rest of my life.
She is getting so big and often times when I would look at her I would wonder what George would have looked like or done had he lived. In this one moment it was like I got that glimpse but also a nudge on my heart from him to say just enjoy this for what it is and don't allow your heart to be filled with sadness for what I was not able to do. He will forever be the age he was when he died to me but somehow I found some sort of acceptance in that simple gesture she made to know it was ok be happy and although I will have bad days where I will miss my little boy. Somehow in all of these moments I found a way to look at the good stuff with him and the blessings of life again in a way I have not had in such a long time.
God lifted my heart from the darkness into the light and for that I will forever be grateful. My son has taught me so much in life and has made me a stronger person then I ever thought I could be. I thank God for him and the joy and love that I have for my little monkey just brings tears to my eyes but now they are not just of pain, they are tears of joy for all he has done for me in my life even in heaven. There is this compassion and general acceptance for the way that things are in life that I never had before and it is something I wish everyone had because it makes the horrible and tough times easier to handle. I have learned to trust God in a way I never have before and just place it all in his hands and know I am allowing him to use me as his tool to do his work no matter how much I may or may not want to or even think I am not capable of doing. Somehow, the one thing I never thought I would be able to ever do, I have found a way to do just through a few simple moments in life. I have learned to live here on Earth and LOVE my little monkey in heaven.
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!