I have had some serious holiday blues this year. At first, I was really trying not to post on here but it has not really helped any. Often times, if I post about my problems I will hear about it by some people and that is just not something I wanted to deal with at all. It is hard enough to walk this path, I hate to have to deal with people who have never walked in my shoes or takes what I say to heart. Even though I have often posted that these are raw emotions shared so that others can understand on a deeper level what is really going on I still will hear about posts in some capacity. With all the feelings that the holidays bring up, I just knew that this year I was not up to adding having to deal with flack from others who just don't get it. In general I have done pretty good with it.
I have had so many ups and downs. It has been another tough year for our family on so many fronts. This of course is always exacerbated by the holidays and how it is like rubbing salt in an open wound not only because of the lack funds makes it depressing itself but add in George being dead and it takes all I have every second of the day to just keep pushing through each day. Not being in our own place also adds its own level of stress for so many reasons. Most of all, I so often don't have time to myself and it is exhausting to constantly feel as if I have to have it together all the time and keep on top of the kids and my emotions just so that there is not any added issue. All of this is exhausting to the max and if you add in that each day I am feeling more and more of my own disease taking over my body and having a hard time fighting it or really letting on how bad it really is for me.
I hate yet again to have another holiday season that we won't be able to shop for our own children. We have gotten so used to this but that doesn't mean anything and doesn't make it any easier. If we didn't take help though, they would not have anything at all so even if it is a little help, it is better than nothing at all. In order for me to really keep it all into perspective I have really been working hard on making the stocking project for the homeless a big focus of mine. I'm really proud of all that I am doing and even though we don't have much, I know that things could be worse. I just about lost it yesterday when someone told me to just be grateful for what I have and not feel sorry for myself. Um, can't I just have a bad day?! Guess not! I'm the most grateful person in the world and think that this project just proves it on such a grander scale.
This past week was even harder than normal with it being Gabby's 1st birthday. George never got to see his and although I was so happy she did, it was not easy at all. There were moments I had to choke back tears. Her actual birthday I had planned to do with her what I do with the boys by having a birthday dinner and cake after. I had thought that a friend was doing her fundraiser to help us with stocking items was that night but I was wrong and it was the night before. I was going to head there after the festivities but nothing happened at all. Hugh had made plans with his siblings to talk about their mom without even thinking or reaizing it was Gabby's birthday and our typical family traditions. They all got blown out the window when he decided to take all the boys and just left my mom and I home with Gabby. She fell asleep before he ever got home so even the cupcakes I got for her never even got used to celebrate. I went to bed that night in tears hoping that I could get over it and telling myself that I was over reacting but it didn't work and I just cried myself to sleep.
Most people see this sort of thing as odd or way too emotional but they have not walked my shoes. First of all, I have waited my whole life to have a daughter and second my son died so there is a lot more involved. Nothing is cut and dry for me and never has been but especially now it is even harder. Her birthday party was nice but I was just so bummed from the day before and I had so much work that I had to do alone that it was just not what I had envisioned. There were so many emotions and just so much on my plate I didn't even really enjoy it like I had hoped to. It is over so just to look forward to next year rather than back. Things just kept happening one after another and people who said they were coming didn't show(we had ordered food and prepared for 45 but only about half of that showed and we were out money we didn't have to waste) I think I was hoping it would turn around the holiday season for me and when things just got all messed up, it was just like everything else in my life felt, just not what I had hoped for.
I know often times God doesn't give us what we want but rather what we need. No matter how many times I say this and know this in my heart, it doesn't make it any easier. I did not choose this life, it chose me so that doesn't make it easy. There are moments I feel overwhelmed with gratefulness and then there are those where I am overwhelmed by total sadness. The happiness is like you are finally able to smile and forget your problems for a short amount of time but it is very short lived. Life hits and you are brought back to reality and overcome by the sadness that has become a constant in your life. It often times feels like the darkest part of your life...kind of like a room that is pitch black and you are not familiar with the room at all so you have to feel your way around in the dark with no aide.
This year is so much harder than last year. I was very preoccupied with Gabrielle's birth that I could wrap myself up in baby things. This year I feel very trapped and stuck in my own body forced to constantly smile and pretend it is all ok when inside I am not ok. It is even harder when you add in my physical issues. My pain has been very high and I am just so exhausted! By the end of the night I am ready to go to sleep but I can't since any downtime I have is spent doing other things and keeping it all together and trying to figure out how to put gifts under the tree for the kids, pay bills, and just keep myself together. I remember when there was a time that I looked forward to this time of year and even though I do for my children, I don't for myself now.
Not only was this the time of year that we had with George, it was also the time leading up to his death. He was also conceived this time of year so it is always so hard for me to just think about that. My grandparents had both just died a month apart from one another and it was like they had given him to us. We had wanted another child for a while at that point but had not yet been blessed with one but he was there right after they died. I knew as soon as I found out he was going to be joining our family that he would be named after my grandfather to carry on that name. I would love to have another baby around this time of year for them to be born in Sept just like he was.
Even though I would not have a problem with this so many others would hate it and I am already always told that I don't need anymore children. When people ask if I am pregnant, they will say it joking kind of but always say "thank God!!!" when I say no. You might as well stab me in the heart! Hearing these sorts of responses just hurts so bad especially when they all root my sister on and are coaxing her to have more. None of my children were welcome by others but Hugh and I wanted each and every one of them even if no one else did. It just hurts so bad to hear it come from others mouths. We aren't ready for a baby right now and know I need to get my heath situated not to mention our other issues but that doesn't make it hurt any less when people say things like this. Right now, this time of year it is so hard to hear it too since this is when George blessed our family for the first time.
I find this an odd topic with a recent famous family with 20 children in it lost one of the babies that the mom was carrying. So many people were making comments like that was better anyway...they didn't need 20 children. How anyone could ever say that is beyond me but I have only 5 with one of them in heaven and I get that, can't even imagine being them. My heart just broke for this family to hear of their loss but also to hear the comments made because I heard so many similar things my whole life but also when George died, some people would try to be helpful but only hurt me in the end. I hate the comment that is he was better off, he could have been a sick little boy...I know that but would you walk away from your child if they were sick or what one of your children would you give up. So often you know people don't mean what they say or are just trying to get through a moment not intentionally trying to hurt you but they do. Words cut deeper than any knife and try to put yourself in the other person's shoes...you may not walk them but lord knows you can be conscious not to run them over on the path of life.
I don't know if I will post again before the holidays but I wish you a Merry Christmas and pray for all who know my pain because they do walk my shoes and are living this season without their child with them. I know we all feel this way in some capacity...mixed feelings/emotions. You kind of feel bipolar in a way...happy on minute and sad the next. No one wants to feel like this because we know we are not easy to be around and nor are you spending time with the "real" us. If you know someone having a hard time this season, for any reason, reach out to them somehow and offer some sort of comfort or joy...isn't that what it is all about in the end? I hope our stocking projects bring this to those who will be receiving them.
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!