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.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Written by Tammy Brown

One Year of Time

"Time heals all wounds"
this is what they keep saying

you have been gone
for just over a year now
the world has moved on
and expects me to have done the same

it cannot understand
that your death
has become an even greater weight to carry now

the shock has diminished
and all illusions of hope have gone
forcing reality down my unwelcoming throat

time has forced me to know it
and is forcing me still to accept it

time is not the forgiving friend
they would like to believe
but rather the harshest of teachers

and it has taught me well

it has taught me to place a foot forward
and force the other to follow
it has taught me to lift my head and pretend
as I hide behind a forged smile

all for their benefit
their comfort

time has taught me to pre-program my way through each day
until I can wrap myself in the memories of you each night
with comforting sobs of ease

time has taught me well

it has done nothing
to ease the steady intensification of sorrow
that comes with the heaviness of reality
in this next year

Tammy Brown

Poem left in Guest Book

When you feel a gentle breeze
Caress you when you sigh
It´s a hug sent from Heaven
From a loved one way up high.

If a soft and tender raindrop
Lands upon your nose
They´ve added a small kiss
As fragile as a rose.

If a song you hear fills up
With a feeling of sweet love
It´s a hug sent from Heaven
From someone special up above.

If you awaken in the morning
To a bluebird´s chirping song
Its music sent from Heaven
To cheer you all day long.

If tiny little snowflakes
Land upon your face
It´s a hug sent from Heaven
Trimmed with Angel lace.

So keep the joy in your heart
If your lonely my dear friend
Hugs that are sent from Heaven
A broken heart will mend.


So often there are moments that come unexpectedly. The further out you get from the person's death, I think the harder the unexpected moments happen to be, at least for me they are. You have gotten accustom to living life without the person in it so when sudden memories or thoughts of the individual penetrate your mind, you are taken back in such a way that you are not ever prepared for. I don't know why this week has been a hard week for me but it really has been.

The other night my sister called since she is doing the March of Dimes walk and they have named their team "Team George" to honor our monkey. Every single part of me wants to walk and take part but I just can't do it. Physically and emotionally I am just spent. She called to see if I wanted to participate in a carnation ceremony that they have for those who have lost children and as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't do it. I asked her to do it on our behalf and then just started to cry.

The days before were no better and I sat here at home and cried numerous times as I would think of my son. My heart just aches to hold him and not carry this type of sadness. Finally I sat down and was trying to figure out what had triggered the spiral I found myself in. It went back to last weekend when I went hunting for a video game my nephew wanted to borrow. Richard of course couldn't find it in his mess of a room so I had to go hunting. I went into the closet and found 3 totes and as I looked in them I realized they were clothes I had put aside for George to use. They were sitting right on top of the toddler bed that I had kept for him.

I was short on time and just ran the games to my nephew and didn't think twice about it at that moment. Later on though I could not get the image out of my mind of those totes and the toddler bed that he never got to use. He should be here using them and my heart just hurts at the very thought of it. Never will he be able to play with his big brothers and little sister to get to know them and create memories with him in them anymore. Now we have these incomplete memories knowing that something is always missing and it is George. Something so simple as old hand me down clothes and a toddler bed can bring about so much heart ache and was just something I was not prepared for.

My sister asked if I wanted to talk about George and I said "No", she asked if there was anything she could do and again I said "No" as tears just rolled from my eyes. I tried to collect myself but just told her I had to go and thanked her for the call and told her it was just a bad week for me. With that I had Richard keep an eye on Gabby since she was sleeping so I could just get a shower and let out my heartache there without having to answer to anyone or try to explain what I was going through. I just stood there in the warm water with the salty warm tears rolling down my face as I asked God to hold me and take the pain away.

I collected myself and got dressed. With that, I went to take my medicine for the night and the thunder rolled outside when suddenly my side door opened. Standing there in the doorway in her pajamas was my sister. Part of me felt bad that she drove all the way over while the other part of me was just so grateful that she was there. I stood there and just sobbed in her arms as I know tears rolled down her cheeks too. It was one of those moments where you can't keep anything back and you find yourself just sobbing uncontrollably. Shortly after Richard came in the room and Hugh had come home. Part of me wishes that it had just remained my sister and I because I can be myself around her and let her in on my pain. With Hugh and Richard now each in the picture I felt like I had to yet again pull it together like I do every single day.

I think I have just had my plate so full for so long. All of it has been so overwhelming lately and all I want to do is be alone and not have any responsibilities for a while. None of that is really possible since I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, etc. The boys have been trying my patience, Gabrielle has been fussy, and Hugh works crazy hours and doesn't have time to do much around here. That leaves it all on my shoulders to take care of everything along with not feeling well physically, and it just all adds up to a not optimal circumstance.

It is sad that I am actually looking forward to surgery on Tuesday. The reason is more because I won't have any responsibilities or worries for the short time I am in surgery and have a real reason that others have to step in and help out. Once I am out and home things will go back to normal and I will be super woman yet again having to do it all once again. Even after major surgery, I still have to do laundry, make dinner, and all sorts of other stuff...there is no rest for the weary. I'm hoping that being out of pain will help me to get things back on track and feel a little more in control of things again.

Then again, I just don't know if this is one of those phases that people tend to go through after such a great loss. It is kind of like they come and go. Somehow you tend to be able to function and move forward only to find in moments like these that you feel as if you take 10 steps back. Often times I find you rebound 10 fold but while in transition it just seems so very overwhelming and moments of feeling completely lost and helpless. Right now every part of me wants to be in bed with no one here at home and just sleep the day away without having any cares/worries in the world. If only life was really that simple sometimes...but it really isn't unfortunately. For now I will carry my heavy heart and work through things one moment at a time and keep the faith that God is with me through all of this even when it seems as if I am alone.

I did want to share the thing I miss the most, his beautiful smiling face/laugh and having him tucked under my chin all curled up comfy(God had etched that place out just for him, I had such a connection with him that no matter how lousy he felt, it always calmed him to hold him lik that)...what I wouldn't give to have that back again...for now I am left with memories and pictures...only wishing for more and looking forward to the day I am with him again. Sending up kisses and hugs to heaven as I miss everything about my little monkey!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feelings of Helplessness

Have you ever had a moment where you felt completely helpless and just had no words or really know how to explain things? You know you have exhausted every avenue that you can possibly think of and now things just remain in God's hands. Yesterday, I felt that way yet again and have not been able to get past that feeling since. I have just had this feeling of helplessness that I have not been able to shake since and am beginning to feel overwhelmed by it all and having no control over things.

I took Richard to counseling and began reading a new book called "Heaven is for real" It is a book about a minister's son who almost dies due to a ruptured appendix. There are instances throughout the book where I connect with them on so many levels. They sit back and watch their son almost die and find themselves angry with God and feeling helpless and I sat there brought back to the moments when Hugh and I stood by George's bedside and watched helpless as medical staff tried to bring our son back to life. Fortunately for the family their circumstances were different thank ours and their son's life was saved, unlike ours. They talk about the constant struggles they came into and how their bills had piled up to over $23,000 and felt overwhelmed and had no idea what to do.

Hugh and I are struggling with that very thing right now. We are facing loosing our home and just have been so helpless as we have watched things around us crash down one thing at a time. The minister said how they were both constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and that is how Hugh and I both feel every single day. Hugh and I don't need that much money to save our house but we are not too far from that right now and each month that number keeps going up. He says how looking at that number just made him think about how it was just impossible to come up with and they might as well needed a million dollars because they were no closer to that number than they were the $23,000 and ironically I just said that to Hugh the other day! We are not allowed to have savings in order to keep the kids medical insurance and we have just been hit with one thing after another.

Each night I pray to God for the answer to it all and today I am no closer and feel more helpless with it all than ever before. Fortunate for this family, friends, family, and other church members came to answer their prayers out of the blue by sending them money and they came up with the money they needed almost to the very penny. I was so happy for them but felt an ache in my heart wishing that we were so lucky but not so. Hugh and I have had two plans in the works hoping that one of them would pan out and this week both fell through leaving us feeling even more lost and helpless. There is no one or nothing we can go to or do at this point other than rely on our faith because we have exhausted all our avenues and have just been exhausted by every part of it.

I know people mean well but they will offer words of wisdom or ideas that are just not feasible. People will suggest jobs that are out of reach or that just don't come to fruition. Hugh is working crazy hours and overtime for menial pay and doing all he can. I am left to care for the kids, the house, and try to work through the pain I have daily due to my own medical problems. Emails come with more jobs to apply for and I am left to try and find time in the day between searing pain and crying children to attempt to find a way to send out another resume for Hugh or to fill out an online application that can take almost two hours to do since these companies don't just accept resumes and basically ask for your first born child! No one really understands any of this since they have not been through any of it. None of this even adds in the stress and chaos that just comes from having to constantly try and overcome these life obstacles. Often times the only thing that does help me through is reading an inspirational book like the one I am reading now or actually through the charity work I can do like making a meal for someone or donating items we no longer need. In some way I know that I am doing God's work and what I can to still give even though we are in a bad place right now.

All that said, what was it that really made it hard? Yesterday after Richard's session, he told me he had something he needed to talk about regarding the house. He was going to wait and didn't know exactly how to say any of it but I prompted him to open up to me just as he had been able to do with his counselor. I had to get gas in the van and we were sitting in front of a pump while the van was being filled when he told me how afraid he was that we were going to loose our house and have no where to go. He was afraid that one day he would come home to a police officer kicking us out of the only home he knew and had grown up in.

My heart just sank as I had no words to tell my son. We talked about the loss of his brother and how it felt so unfair to loose him and than to also face loosing our home. It was bitter sweet to Richard just as it is for Hugh and I. We are all full of mixed emotions and want to stay here but then again don't. The pain of the reminders that the house brings about with George dying here is just unexplainable. We can rearrange the rooms but nothing will ever shake the reminders of me doing CPR on my counter or watching the police officer preform CPR with George laying motionless on my living room floor. It is like there is a permanent white etching like you see in a crime scene on the floor where he was lying that we cannot remove although it is only in our heads. Richard also now HATES school since that is the place that he associates with George's death and he cannot get rid of the intrusive thoughts and feelings he has during a school day. On the other hand there are happy memories here too that are hard to leave but no matter the case having no answers or not knowing where things are going is the hardest part.

I could not answer anything for Richard except that we have tried everything we could possibly do. Hugh goes for mediation on Wednesday and I am hoping they will see him alone since I will have just had surgery. I go in Tuesday to have my gal bladder removed in hopes to get rid of some of the pain I work through every day. Feeling overwhelmed by it all, I just started crying and not knowing what to tell my son. I told him that these are the times our faith is tested and that I know I have done everything and it was just now in God's hands to do what he will. He asked me if there was anything he could do and how he wished he was older so he could get a job and help out. That of course even made it worse and my heart broke and yet in the same token swelled with great pride knowing that Hugh and I had raised him right. The hard part is to not be able to take away his worry or help him through it when I don't know what to do other than talk about it and be there for one another emotionally during our individual rough patches.

I told Richard to just pray about it all since right now that is all we can do. It is so hard to do that and to keep it all together but it surely makes me appreciate the small things like the laughter of the kids or Gabrielle's smiles and coos. I try to keep it all in perspective while I pray to God that something good will finally happen to us and we will get our own miracle. Most of all I just pray that he will ease my son's worries and be there for him when I cannot be. Others can judge and say we should have or could have done this or that but they did not walk our shoes and we have done the best we can possibly do. For now I just have to take solace in the fact that we know that and that we cannot change the past no matter how much we may want to. We have to keep pushing forward and put our faith in God that something good will happen. Please keep us all in your prayers as we each struggle through these feelings of helplessness.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Tonight when I got home from my mom's house, I walked into the back yard with the kids. I showed them the plants we had put in our garden boxes that are now producing fruit and the ones from seeds are popping out of the dirt. I started to pull the weeds and something made me go to George's garden. I had been back there a few weeks ago and pruned the dead things off the plants that we planted there last year.

It was quite disappointing last year when we planted them that weeds kept popping up and took over most of the garden. Hugh and I were both so upset that our vision for his memorial garden had been taken over and not become what we had hoped it would. As I pruned them I still felt quite disappointed and didn't think that much would come of the garden but boy was I wrong. Tonight my walk back there proved to me that no matter what I think, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.

Some of the flowers were in bloom and many had actually filled out and really started to look like the garden I had envisioned last year. My beautiful yellow roses(I had to plant some since that was what I had chosen for his funeral) are starting to bud and fill out into beautiful bushes! There were still some weeds but now that the flowers are coming in there are a lot less as the beautiful plants take over the intruding weeds from last year. There are still spots where there are plenty of weeds since some of the plants died. We are going to have to replace the few that have not returned this year but wow it is going to be so beautiful!!! I am so excited and I will surely have to take pictures.

All that being said, I had initially just intended to post about the garden but as I was typing realized how much this whole experience just really related to life and the loss of my son. The first year in planting a garden is much like the first year following the loss of a loved one. Pain is at every single turn just like the weeds that overcame my garden last year. Such disappointment and emotions we just don't always expect pop up everywhere just like those weeds did. The years following are full of more blooms and less weeds.

Never will you be weed free but somehow each year produces more flowers and beautiful plants. This only being the beginning of my second year since loosing my son, I can't say for sure but I am going to say that is how each year is going to happen. My son's memories are the beautiful flowers in bloom and the pain, sadness, and bad memories are those weeds. Never will I be rid of them but I am hoping that each year more blooms will take over where the weeds were. This year so far has had it's own set of tough spots but it is very different than last year was and although the pain is real, I have learned better how to live with George in heaven.

There are things that I will have to replace each year in the garden but I think that is just like relationships that we come across as we walk the path of grief. Many of the pinwheels had lost their color and cute little garden stakes made from wood have just fallen apart. The ceramic statues I purchased are still standing tall and beautiful just as they were last year. To me the garden stakes were the relationships in life that were there for a few moments to help through some of the tough patches but ones that just did not withstand past the short time that God placed it in my life. The statues are representative of those who have stood by us through it all and in some instances our relationship has gotten stronger. It is kind of like a garden place it and it is a little wobbly due to the unevenness of the ground but eventually settles in and is not going anywhere.

There are moments in our lives, especially when dealing with grief, when we feel as if the weeds are going to take over. Often times I feel that way when the challenges seem as if they are too much for me to handle. If you let them do so it is allowing the weeds to take over and it will kill part of who you are just like it took out some of the plants in my garden. You can choose to leave that space barren where weeds can grow again or you can choose to replant a seed and watch it bloom and care for it so that the weeds cannot find a place there again. The more we choose to allow bloom the better our lives will be and although it isn't always easy, it will truly be worth it in the end when your garden is beautiful!

I still find it amazing how God can use something as simple as a walk to the garden to speak to our hearts and teach us life lessons. Many times I feel so overwhelmed by life and all that we have been through but these are the moments I am reminded that even when I feel alone, I truly do not walk alone. The new plants will add more to the garden and although not what I planned, will add their own set of beauty just like the new memories I will create with my children and husband. George's memories will be intertwined always just as the new plants will mix with the old. He will never be gone and we will always include him in our new memories as we create them since he is forever in our hearts. Create your own garden real or just in your heart and find a way to allow more flowers to bloom and less weeds to take over.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Time and time again, Hugh and I have run into obstacle after obstacle. This has become so common for us, that we are both always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We thought that loosing our son was the worst but add in all the other stuff we are going through right now with the house, our boys, and my own health and there are moments we are both just overwhelmed and just don't know what else to do.

We had two things that we were waiting on hoping for a positive result from but neither did so disappointment just runs heavy here right now. Often times it seems so hard to hold out hope for something good to happen in life. We of course keep trudging through it all and I am thankful I am not alone on this path but I wouldn't wish this for anyone. I guess these are the moments that we have to pull from our faith and trust God even though it is hard to do so right now as we wonder why in the world are we being put through so much. I often ask God "Wasn't my son dying enough for me to go through?" That being said, even though my heart is heavy I am still pushing through and doing what I do best and that is still reaching out in ways that I can.

Today I spent the day trying to finish cleaning the kitchen that I have been trying to do for the last two days. One way or another something is going to happen with our house and I want to be prepared to loose it and be ready to pack at a moments notice, as heartbreaking as it i, I have to be ready for that. In the middle of it all, I have been making dinner for a local family that we have befriended after the mother passed away unexpectedly. I am hoping that they are doing better than when I left them about two weeks ago after dropping off a meal then. We have made friends and hope to be a resource for them in their time of need.

Hugh is going to take the meal to them and meet the dad since he is off. I think that it will be good for the two of them to meet and maybe find a common ground. Men grieve differently on so many levels. Last night Hugh and I talked about that. I told him I don't know how he makes it through the days the way he does when all I want to do is cry and fall apart a good chunk of them. As time has gone it has gotten to be less but it never seemed like it was an issue for him like it is for me. We discussed how he tries to not think about it in order to function where I feel better after crying through it all. For the first time we talked about what he went through when he found George and what he felt. My heart just broke for him as he recounted the events he witnessed that day.

So often I watch this man struggle time and time again only trying to achieve the simple things in life. He has not been fortunate enough to have a great education and has had to rely mainly on himself throughout his whole life. Now that he has a family, not only does he worry about things for himself but more for us all. As I sat there watching his eyes as we talked about our son and the difficulty of our lives, I ached for him on such a different level than ever before. I have always been fortunate enough to have a close family and although not perfect, we have always come together and come through in some capacity. Holidays are always spent together and although it is hard to talk to one another sometimes, especially where George is concerned, we do. We have all had our differences and fights but unfortunately for Hugh, he has always felt alone with siblings much older than he was who all had one another and really each have their own separate lives. Neither one of us blame any of them, we understand the circumstances that created the situations and we love them all for who they are just as I love my own family, but it is just different and often times Hugh feels so very alone. I actually imagine that it has got to be the way Richard feels at times being so much older than his brothers and having a different father even though we never make it an issue.

That all said, I just ask for you to keep Hugh in your prayers as he walks this path. He strubbles so much and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. With the hopes we had dashed yet again, I know he is aching even more right now. As always I ask for prayers for the rest of us and also the family that we are taking a meal to tonight. May we all continue to have faith and trust in God's plan for each of us because we cannot always see the bigger picture. Sometimes our biggest disappointments in life can be God's greatest gift in the end, even though it doesn't always seem like it is.

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