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.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Unlikely Common

Today I watched my niece Mallory while my sister Tara worked. It was a rainy day and in the morning it was just the two girls and Hugh and I since the boys were all in school. I sat there watching my daughter and my nice. As I stood there watching them both and was so grateful they have one another to grow up with, part of me realized how very different they are but how very alike they are too.

Both girls are really polar opposites if you look at them. Deep down they have something connecting them though and for the first time it really hit me. Both girls have a big brother in heaven. They each will never know them personally. Each girl brought to the family a joy in the middle of the storms of our lives and don't even know how much they really mean. They are both rainbow babies.

Thinking of the two of them made my mind wander to George and my nephew Gavin. I know I have randomly mentioned Gavin but I have never really gone into detail or expressed how thankful I am to God for his very existence in my life. He is my sister Tara's first baby that returned to heaven 12 weeks after God blessed my sister's womb with him. We never got to meet him face to face. My sister has pictures from her ultrasound, and I remember my first glimpse at him on that black and white screen as I sat there in a chair pregnant with George rolling around in my belly. Little did we know at that point in time that both boys would return to heaven much sooner than any of us had planned.

My sister found out not long after that first meeting that my nephew had a rare condition where his heart and intestines were not enclosed into his little chest. Doctors had told her this information and I remember her world coming in around her and feeling so helpless as I watched the torture and torment wash over her in the next few weeks. There was nothing I could do to help her other than be there for her. I went over to her house one day when she had gotten the news of this disorder the baby she carried had. My heart went out to her since I knew how horrible it was to get news that there was something seriously wrong with your child and that it could ultimately kill them. Mine did not come in the form of a black and white picture but rather a letter in the mail. Even though I knew it, I remember crying on my couch all alone as I red the information that diagnosed Joshua. My dreams had all been destroyed in that very moment and I knew that was exactly what she was going through.

The next few days were a whirlwind of emotions. No one really knew what to do for her. People tended to say the wrong things without even knowing they were doing so. Everyone learned real quickly that there was no easy way to handle the situation and that often times saying nothing is better than trying to make it better, ok well not everyone. I remember calling CHOP to find out what the doctors there could do if anything and made an appt for my sister and her husband to meet with them to see what the future may hold for their son. Unfortunately, he never made it to that appt. His little heart stopped beating and Sept 29th 2009 he returned to heaven.

I remember standing there with my little boy in my arms aching and dying inside for my sister. Having had scares of loosing my own children always made me so scared and we even had a conversation Christmas day that year after we had gotten short with one another about that very thing. She tried to explain to me how she felt while I stood there trying to explain my feelings and told her how I worried every day of my life that one day I would wake up to find one of my children dead in their bed. I also told her how I always had felt that one of my children would die and I knew the day George was born that I felt it was him but I had hoped that I was wrong. Unfortunately, I was not wrong and just a few short weeks later we were standing in the hospital saying our final goodbyes to my son too.

Tara always told me how George helped her through her loss of Gavin and would tell him to make sure Gavin knew she loved him. Little did she know that the nephew I never got to meet has always had a special place in my heart and given me comfort through my loss. Somewhere deep inside, I know that George and Gavin are in heaven together. It always saddens me that George never got to really know his brothers or grow up with them. After some thought, I realized that the two of them get to be together in heaven and although they are not blood brothers they are brothers none the less and will get to be close in their own way. I am so grateful that George has someone to be with up there and although that sounds kind of odd, I can't really explain it what it means to know he is not alone. I had always hoped our kids would grow up together and Mallory and Gabby will but Gavin and George have their own special bond too.

Often times when Tara and I sit here together we find ourselves crying. We talk about George and I thank God for the relationship that we have and how close we have become. Part of me thinks that Gavin was put here so that Tara would be able to understand my pain and that we would forge a special bond that not everyone understands. Had she not had Gavin and felt the pain of her loss I don't know if she would have really understood what I am going through since she knows how hard it was for her with all that she went through. Often times when no one else seemed to understand and I felt like I was loosing my mind and myself she was there to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on when no one else understood my pain. All of this was possible all because of my nephew.

I think of Gavin all the time and how the two of our boys are waiting in heaven for us. When all is said and done, he was my nephew and my heart broke when he went to heaven but I still thank God for him every day. He changed my life and has also helped me to heal in a way I can't exactly explain. Our two little girls somehow are physical reminders of our son's and God's greater plans in our lives. Had both boys lived, neither girl would be here. Our lives would be very different and we would not be the people we are today. The relationship we have would be different. It is ironic how two little boys could change the lives of so many people and not even know it. I thank God every single day for both of them and find that they have shown how we each can make a difference just by our sheer existence and how God's plan is much greater than our own even when we cannot see any sense in it at the time. There are always breaks in any storm and ours happened to have a rainbow to show God's promise! Thank you Lord for your blessings in the storm!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Birthday Wish

My birthday is Sunday. Everyone asks me what I want for a gift. Every single part of me wants to just say "my son" Of course I never say that and just say nothing because there just is nothing that I really want. So many things just become unimportant after your child dies. Big days and events just always feel like something is missing, and it is. I never got to have a birthday with my little monkey except when I was pregnant with him...he died before I ever got to celebrate it with him.

I remember being pregnant with him and how happy I really was. There was just this connection I had with him even before he was born. Hugh and I were always so happy to have another baby even when others weren't. I was so proud to name him after my grandfather and remembered crying when I found out he was a boy, not because he was a boy, but because my grandfather was not alive to see me name him after him. My grandfather and I became so close the last month of his life when I went to take care of him daily for several hours. He had his flaws but he was a man with a huge heart and I was so blessed to have had that time with him.

I was not the only one to have a different connection with George. Richard told me tonight on the way back from his counseling session about how he felt that way. He looked at me and asked me if I knew what he was talking about because his counselor didn't know. As soon as he said that, I new exactly what he was talking about. It isn't that you love anyone else any less it is just different. He said how he had it different than the one he had with his other brothers from the moment he held George at the hospital. I then told him that maybe God gave us that connection with him since he knew he was only going to be here for such a short time...I don't really know but I found it ironic that Richard felt the same way.

With Gabrielle coming closer to the age George was, that does not make this any easier. Yesterday, I was here alone with her and just cried like a baby myself. I stood there changing her and could no longer just keep the tears at bay. They just flowed as I stood there sad for myself and happy at the same time. I stood there thanking God for her and yet wishing that George was many mixed emotions. There is only so many minutes in the day that you can really keep it together. I find that if I try not to cry when I finally do it is like the flood gates open and there is no keeping anything at bay anymore.

As I sat there waiting for Richard tonight there were other parents waiting for their kids too. Somehow we got on the subject of our kids and I wound up getting into a conversation about George. I hate the question how many kids do you have. If I say 4 I feel guilty for leaving George out and if I say 5 I have to go into some odd explanation. Tonight I opted for the explanation, I just couldn't leave him out. They asked me how many kids I had and how old they were so there was no avoiding the explanation and the looks of pity that came with it or the look that comes where the person wishes they never asked. I hate those looks but I am getting used to them now, even though I hate them.

The one lady said I was very calm as I explained it and than asked how long it has been. I told her a little over a year and she turned to me and said well at least it isn't took everything I had to not yell at her or loose it. Instead of that, I sucked it up and just told her that it isn't any different the day that they die than it is any other day, you just have to keep moving forward and get better at it. I told her the pain doesn't get any less. For the rest of my life I will just have to learn to deal with it.

All of these things are hard to deal with but I just tell myself that it is par the course and that part of it all is why I share his story with so many. This is also the reason I keep this blog. I want others to realize how this is not exactly what they may think. In some ways I hope that it helps another person not have to go through the same stuff I am by having more people that are understanding. I don't lie or sugar coat things and share my raw emotions even though others may get upset about it or not understand any of it.

The boys have a care page that I used to keep up but I always got a lot of flack for things I posted by people who just didn't get it or just read way to much into it. I am probably one of the people that can be trusted with just about anything but if I am not told to not say anything than I will unintentionally just say it because I am honest and what you see is what you get. Not everyone can handle that sort of thing and then there are those who appreciate it. This blog is kept for myself and those truly interested in walking the path of grief with a mother who lost her child and all the ups and downs that come with it. This path is full of ups and downs and I can honestly say is hard to understand if never walked, because even though I thought I was understanding, I could only empathize, not sympathize with people who had been here before me and it truly is a different thing where this is concerned.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Selah - I Will Carry You (Audrey's Song) ~ With Lyrics

The Story Behind "Blessings" - Laura Story at WGTS Gateway

Perfect Peace - Laura Story (lyrics)

Laura Story - Grace

Bible Verses

I truly believe that children are the ultimate reward in Heaven. I can only imagine how their youth, innocence, smiles, laughs, and precious angelic face while their sleeping look in the light of the Lord. Luke 18:16
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Today I sat here missing George yet again. The weather was just beautiful and the kids got a chance to play outside. Every single part of me wished he was out there running around with his three big brothers or running around my mom's house while I took care of Gabrielle. It was so tough for me that I went on my cell phone and looked at a few pictures that my sister had sent to me of the day he went to heaven and we were at the hospital. The pain was written all over my face and now it just hides in my eyes. How far we have come from that day and yet have so much further to go.

Tonight George must have been on the kids minds too. I got them in bed and they started to talk to me again about him. Michael talks about how his heart just stopped and asked me if it hurt. There are so many questions I just don't have answers to. I tried to explain that George was a sick baby and Josh turned to me and said I should have given him his shots and taken him to the doctors! Ugh...sometimes these are the hard parts. They talked about how much they loved him and missed him and how their hearts feel sad sometimes and they want to cry. Each of them have a Curious George stuffed monkey that they sleep with...Michael even took his to school in his book bag today.

I finally got them all to bed and sat here just wondering what God had planned for my life and was I where I was suppose to be. Things have been so very difficult for us and I have my moments of not understanding and wondering if God really does have a bigger plan. Something made me go to the boys care page that I recently updated. On there another mother left me a message. A while back she was looking for answers with her daughter who was having problems. I had suggested she look into the Mito issue and told her how docs misdiagnose people all the time with things and that from what I was telling her that she needed to look into it further. I never tell anyone that I don't think should be concerned but many just brush me off and probably think I am crazy.

Tonight in her letter she told me how I was right about her daughter. She told me how her daughter has now been diagnosed with two different forms of Mito and they are now looking into MELAS(a certain disorder). She said how she always thinks of us and every single time she hears the name George she thinks of us and prays for us. As I read it, tears just streamed from my eyes as this short note validated everything in my life. All of this pain, all of this suffering, all of these difficult obstacles in our lives have been worth it all. I always say how you never know if you have made a difference in the world but to keep doing it because we all do in some capacity. This for me somehow validated everything I have watched my own children go through, all the financial issues we have had, and even George's death. It made me know I am doing exactly what I am called to do. For all those who ignored me and thought it couldn't really happen to them, and chose to not look any further, this one mom made all of that feeling of frustration, alienation, and troubles worth it. What an emotional end of day it has been.

-James 1:12

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

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