Yesterday and the days leading up to it, I was having a rough time. After a diagnosis of a life threatening disease and ridicule from a family member who just doesn't understand any of it, I had such a heavy heart. The holidays are coming and of course that brings a whole other side to all of this with us having to live with George in heaven and still be financially struggling. Yes we get help for the holidays but there is nothing like being able to shop for your own children and see their faces when they open something you got them and they just love it.
I've been realistic about it all and have been looking for bargains for the kids on Amazon and Ebay. Even if the toys are used they are still new to them. Every paycheck Hugh gets, I have been taking a small portion to get a few things for the kids. This paycheck was used for the younger boys. Included in that, I feel George is one of them. It is so hard to try and find ways to still include him in our holidays but I am determined to make this a good holiday season no matter how hard that may be. I've been looking for some small items for George to put on his mantle throughout the year. Most family does not even buy anything for him since he died so I often feel it is my job as his mommy to do this for him. His big brother's also don't understand why he doesn't get gifts even though he is in heaven.
Last year we had people send ornaments and put them under his tree. A few people did this for us and we will be sure to put them on his tree again this year. One thing that he never had was a stocking. I figured he had more time with us so I never got him one. My depression last year and Gabrielle's birth just made it completely slip my mind. This year I was determined to get him a stocking. I went on ebay and started to look and see what I could get a deal on. Much to my surprise there was one beautiful Curious George stocking for sale. There were quite a few bids on it but I really wanted it for him so I placed my bid and watched for the next 45 mins until the sale ended to be able to get this stocking for him.
I won the bid and paid for it immediately. The person selling it happened to email me telling me that he was shipping it as soon as possible. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart and said how excited I was to get it because it was actually very special. It was a quick email that I sent him just letting him know how much it meant to us and that it was for a special little boy. I woke up this morning to go in my email to find that the money for the stocking had been refunded. My heart sank as I thought something happened and I could not get it for my little monkey. After taking a deep breath I opened the email to find that the gentleman was going to give it to us at no cost!
I sat there staring at the email in tears, he had taken the time to go to George's page and watched the video. At first I didn't know how he knew about the web page but then I remembered I have an automatic signature set on my email that has the web page listed. This man felt compelled to give this to us as a gift and he truly has no idea how big a gift it was...something so simple as a Christmas stocking. I thought about the past week and all the struggles I had gone through and somehow they were all wiped away with one simple gesture from a stranger. This man changed my whole week and didn't even know it.
He also taught me that it isn't always how many gifts your kids have. With us loosing the house and all that has transpired to this point in life we have all had our struggle with the emotions that come with it. Sometimes we wallowed in our own pity rather than being grateful for what we do have. I did this myself more recently and kept praying to get out of this funk. I finally found peace in George's death and then today learned a life lesson in a simple gift of a Christmas stocking! It made me realize that as long as a gift is given from the heart, that is all that matters. It isn't about the money spent or amount given but rather the thought and time that went into giving it. I think I have always known this and it is probably the reason I hate gift cards. We, as a society have gotten to wrapped up in feeling obligated to get a gift for someone and have completely gone away from the purpose of it all. A gift is to be given with thought and love behind it, not just a piece of plastic picked up to just fulfill a gift for a name on a list.
This simple gesture has actually made me think of something that I want to do. I know we are collecting coats for the homeless along with other items to keep them warm. These people are grateful for such a basic staple that many people take for granted, they don't even think further than that to ask for something for themselves. I think I am going to see if I can gather some material and make stockings to send down with the clothes we by and fill each one with a few things. I'm going to try and get the things through free cycle or from other friends/family that would be interested in helping. If you think this is something you might be interested in helping with, please let me know...I think this may be exactly what we needed to get us out of our funk and yet still honor our little boy's memory in such a way that our lives were touched! Be a kind stranger to someone else today, you never really know what that could mean to another person!
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!