George Charles Garman 09/09/09 to 01/29/10

January 29, 2010 our world was turned upside down when our 4 month old little boy earned his wings after a battle with Mitochondrial Disease and awoke in the Lords loving arms.

"Life can not be measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

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.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Coming Close to a Year

Soon it will have been one year since George left us. These weeks have been filled with so many emotions. It seems as if things have been non stop since August with no downtime at all. The last week has been bringing me many mixed emotions as I recognize the impending day that he died a year ago will soon be here. I relive certain days again in my mind and try to remember the last time we did things with him and didn't even know they would be his last. Our last family picture was taken on Richard's birthday just a little over two weeks before he died. I remember parts of that day vividly and others not so well.

It really makes me sad to try and remember things and I can't remember them. Part of me forgets what he looked like at times and what his laugh sounded like but the one thing I don't think I will ever forget were those eyes and that smile. I often find myself trying hard to try and remember the days leading up to his death and can't remember anything but the night before when I had my last moments with him and put him to bed for the very last time. Those memories are forever ingrained in my memory as are the ones from the morning he died. What I would not give to just remember the good times!? As much as I don't want the bad ones to take over the good ones there are times they do and I can't get them out of my head, more so lately.

My nice was born just a few days after George was a year later. I've been blessed to watch her grow up and as I watch her grow I think of him and how he was doing all the same things just a year ago. I know how very precious those moments are. Yesterday she rolled over for the first time and I cannot tell you how emotional that was for me and I wasn't even there. Rolling over was such a huge milestone for me to measure the kids by since Joshua just never did it and he was our first child to start the whole Mito thing. I remember George rolled over on New Years Eve and Hugh and my mom saw him. The little monkey would not do it for me until days later. Never did I think that would be his last first moment.

After the 29th I will have no more comparisons to my niece and that very fact just saddens me. He never did anything past that and it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. I had always used him to be able to tell my sister that she was doing normal things but can no longer do that, it just breaks my heart because after the 29th nothing but sadness filled the memories of my son. I only have memories left of that hell of a year we lived after he died. This past year has been just torture and we will have finished our own set of first...firsts without George here. I know that Gabrielle will bring us her own set of firsts but saying goodbye to our firsts with George is so very hard to do...there are no more after the 29th.

I have sat here night after night trying to wrap my head around it all and all that we have been through. It has been one hell of a journey that I would rather not live again but seem to keep having things added every single day. Every part of me is so thankful for my faith because I think I would have lost it by now. They would have had to put me in the loony bin for there were moments when I didn't know if I would really make it. I know I didn't have much of a choice in the matter but how do you keep it together when the world you know seems to be falling in around you? I don't really know the answer to it other than to say is that I am still alive and prof that it can be done. There were times I know that I was dragged through kicking and screaming because I didn't want to keep going but God knew more and picked me up when I just couldn't do anymore myself.

Often times I think that Hugh and I both process things much differently. I am actually very grateful for that. We have gotten through this year together as a couple and have come out stronger because of it. If our needs had been the same I think we would have fallen apart because we never could have been there for the other in a way that they needed. With very few people who really understood we found that we had to turn to one another for the sort of support we truly needed. It isn't that we didn't do that before but I think we really had to hold on for dear life and there really is a difference when it comes down to this sort of thing.

We will be spending the 29th with our friends and family who have supported us through this walk. Gabrielle will be baptized that day at our church. I just couldn't see spending the day looking at it as a horrible thing like I had to do with all the other holidays and things like that. I wanted to be busy with something joyous. We just didn't want to spend the day all alone and sad trying to survive the memories of the worst day of our lives. The service is being held on this day since we asked for it to be since normally they only do them during the Sunday service.

I am working on the music end of it all myself since music is so meaningful to Hugh and I. Hugh's brother Glenn had done the music for George's service and we could not have had a better person doing it and everyone raved about how the service and the music was just perfect. I'd like to do something similar but kind of different for many reasons. We have not really been in touch with him so I just don't feel comfortable calling up and saying hey want to play for the baptism, not to mention their family is swamped with their own stuff since they have 3 boys of their own. I am trying to find songs that actually can celebrate Gabrielle's baptism and George's first heavenly birthday without taking from Gabrielle. There is such great christian music out there now, it is now just narrowing down the field. We may just make a CD with the songs and play them in the spots that they will be used. Hugh and I would also like to do a duet but are not sure about that yet.

After the service we plan to just have coffee and cake. My sister Tara is getting Gabrielle a cake and I think I am going to get a small one that says Happy Heavenly Birthday George and then just make some other odds and ends. As hard of a day as it will be, I know that nothing will ever compare to that day a year ago. I'm always looking for a way to make the best out of any situation and I am glad to be able to do this for both of my children. Our faith has played such a huge part in getting us through all of this and being able to share that with people on that day is a gift. It will be another one of those bitter sweet kind of things. Please keep us in your prayers daily as we come closer to that day especially Richard as he turns 12 on Jan10th and Hugh who will have his birthday the day before since it will be a very difficult day for him his birthdays will never be the same again(my heart just breaks for him since I have already walked this milestone and cannot imagine what he will be going through that day.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

George's Christmas Tree Pictures

The tree.

An ornament I found in my Christmas box. I don't know where I got it but it was fitting.

The Angel ornament was given to us by Hugh's brother Rick and his family and the star was given to us from someone at our church.

This was given to us by Patty Spry who also spent her first Christmas without her granddaughter Brooklyn who was killed in a car accident.

Also given by someone at our church.

This was actually on his Christmas table at his service, Joshua made the ornament last year, I just added his picture to it and placed it on his tree.

This was given to George last year by our old church's Cradle Roll program.

This was made by a 5 year old little girl and her mom who have a child in heaven too.

I bought this in Disney this year but put the date on it myself since I did not buy him a baby's first ornament last year.

This was given to George last year by his Godfather and his family. It is a pair of baby shoes that say baby's first Christmas and have his birth info on them...I cherish these more than any other ornament we have.

I bought this in Disney for him as his ornament for the year. It was the only place he ever went on a family vacation.

Given to us by Vanessa, a family friend, and her fitting, I love it.

My sweet little boy, I wanted to get you a real tree to plant in the yard but was not able to do so. It broke my heart to not be able to but I know you know my heart better than anyone and know that I really wanted to. Hopefully next year I can put together something more special for you. We had hoped to have more ornaments from people but things just didn't work out that way. I did buy some on sale this year so we have some for you next year, its going to be beautiful. I missed you so much this year and my heart just broke to put your ornaments on your tree without you being here. I am sure it was a wonderful day in heaven as you celebrated Jesus' earthly birthday and the special moment that those of us who believe were given the greatest gift God could have ever given the world. It means that I will see you again someday. I cannot think of a better gift than to be with you again so I cannot thank God enough for what he gave us. Missing you every single day and look forward until the day we are together again. Hugs and kisses from my heart to you, I asked God to give you some from me! I love you more than I can ever say.

Lifesong - Casting Crowns

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Live As If It Were Your Last

I was watching a sermon today on television about living each day as if it were your last. What would you say or do differently if you knew you only had a few days left to live? It is such a profound concept but it is so true and we all really should try to live each day as if it were our last. You cannot take worldly things with you so if you could what would you do?

They talked about loving and going beyond what you typically do. They of course talked about the passages in Corrinthians and a few other passages from John. The passages referenced love and also allowing God to show through what it is that you do on a daily basis and loving one another as God loved us. They meant to love everyone, not just your family or friends, and what a profound thought process to begin. Take the time to really think about how you treat those around you...if you knew you only had a few days to live would you speak nicer to people or would you act differently?

There was a story of a young man and his wife and how they found themselves intertwined in the lives of strangers without really knowing it. They went to a large church and ran into another couple who they did not really know personally but said hello and briefly talked about how they were financially trying to situate themselves(after this was a project going on at their church) and how they planned to adopt after they finally got themselves situated although their children wanted a trampoline. They all laughed and went on their way. The next day the other couple showed up to their house with the trampoline for the kids. They were taken back by the other couples kindness and were so grateful and so were the kids.

A few days later that same couple emailed the family again about wanting to come by and speak with them one more time. The family thought that it was going to be a marketing project where they wanted them to sell stuff and really just tried to avoid the whole thing. When they could no longer avoid it the figured they would just give in and told them to come over. This couple got to their house and handed this family a check for 10,000 to pay off the things they needed to so that they would be free to adopt another child(they already had 4 of their own, were not well off but very loving parents) This family did not know what to say and did not want to take the money but did.

12 months later this family adopted a little girl. Much to their surprise, the check that was written to them was written on or around the day that their new daughter would have been conceived. It was as if God knew this child was coming into the world and would need them and set things in place to make it happen long before they knew this. Without the generosity of the couple this family never would have made that happen and would have been waiting and may have even been in really bad financial shape and not be able to even consider adopting even if they felt the pull to do such. Months before they even knew it God was weaving their lives strangers. No thanks was needed and this couple asked the family to not disclose their kindness to people and to not treat them any different than before because they did this out of their hearts with no return...loving one another as God loved them. I sat there in tears listening to this story.

We have known the kindness of strangers and also loved ones and often times I wonder if they truly know how much we really appreciate it. There have been people in our lives who expected things in return and others who wanted nothing, not even a thank you. The gifts given with true love and no strings tend to be the ones that just touch you to the core and you never forget. You can tell when things are done with some sort of want behind them and although they are appreciated it does not have the same meaning. I know that having had both we teach our children to do things with their hearts expecting nothing, not even a thank you in return. We received many different responses to our last fundraiser that we did for the camp that Richard attended.

Not many people thought we should have done it since we were financially a mess ourselves but that was not why we did it. We did it out of the love in our hearts for a stranger that had not yet been in our situation but would someday find themselves in the same position we were needing the support our family got. Without someone elses kindness Richard would not have been able to attend so somewhere in it all we were given a gift by a stranger and continued to do the same for someone else. There are definitely things that I personally can work on and plan to work on for myself to continue to do Gods work. I have had a few things rolling around in my head as to what I want to do to honor George's memory and continue God's work and had a good idea this morning that I am going to begin working on. Are you doing more than just living? Can you make a difference in someone elses life without expecting something in return? What would you do if you only had a few days left to live? Can you live your life every day as if it were your last? If you died tomorrow would you be happy with the legacy you have left behind?

I challenge you to find someone you can help without expecting something of them. Don't just make a donation to some unknown organization just because it is the right thing to do. Don't just join some walk or marathon just to do the right thing. Truly put your heart into it and find a way to make a difference in someones life directly. You will be surprised how much different the feeling you have inside truly is. Make things personal, somewhere we have really lost that personal touch that comes with life and truly loving one another as God loved us.

God gave us the most precious gift ever, it wasn't easy and did not come without struggle for him. Where would we be if God decided that he really going to contribute only part of himself to the world and people he created? What if he decided that giving his son was too much and just decided to forgo that, where would we be? I know how great a sacrifice that is and I don't know if I could do it son was taken without my consent. Think if the meaning of that and the promise that Christ dying on the cross truly means to each of us. Because of God's gift, I will see my son again someday and that alone is such a blessing and a gift that comes without measure. I'm glad that he didn't take the easy way out...nothing worth doing comes easy. He had everything, he didn't need to do it, but selflessly gave of himself to change our lives.

Are you really doing all that you can? If so great but if not what do you have to change? I think all of us have something we can do to make this world better. It doesn't have to cost anything and even if finances are tight you can still make a difference. Find something that speaks to your heart and stand behind it and give it your all. There is always someone in a better or a worse position than we are so we always have room to help or make a difference for someone. I truly believe this is what is meant when we are to love one another as God loved us.

In my heart I also believe that this was part of George returning to heaven so soon. He has touched so many lives and by keeping this web page and talking about it that I am in some way making the difference in the lives of others on his behalf. I believe I am called to share this path so that others can be touched or even just understand in a way that they never have been before. It all gives meaning to his life/death and helps me to be a better person and make a mark on this world through the small things. I know when my day comes I can stand before God and say that I did all I could to make a difference in this world. I'm quite proud of the person I am and the people that my children are becoming as they follow through example and now give unconditionally of themselves. We are living examples of God's love and need to act in a way that others recognize his love through us even if they don't believe or know him in a way we do. Often times we never know why things happen the way they do but have to find the trust and faith in God to know it is part of his way to weave our lives to create a beautiful masterpiece that entwines all our lives in some way.

If you are not living life as if it were your last day, begin to do so and find a place where you can make a difference in the world...when you stand before your maker can you stand with pride and say that you did what he called you to do? Did you exemplify his love and show this to others? I know I want to be able to do that the day he calls me home.

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!!/video/video.php?v=1360981185308&ref=mf

We Finally have footage from the service up and running:!/video/video.php?v=1368692138077&ref=mf!/video/video.php?v=1368733099101!/video/video.php?v=1368770540037

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!

Me With My Prince Charming In Front of the Castle

Me With My Prince Charming In Front of the Castle