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 28, 2011

Emotions Surfacing

That ride to the hospital really brought up a ton of emotions for me. The whole time I was there I could only think of George and my grandparents. The images of George and the day he died just kept running through my mind and even images I never saw creeped in as I wondered what he really went through during the moments I was not with him. After posting on a page for other mom's who have lost their children, I found I am not alone in this and that it is actually something more common than not.

The sound of an ambulance always make my heart race but being in one just made me think of what he must have been going through. I could only think of his little body as he laid on a stretcher with them working on him. The image of him being whisked out of my house lifeless and being worked on will never leave my mind. Watching as the worked on him in the hospital and every horrible moment after is just as vivid as ever. Every moment as I sat in the ER, that is all I could think of. We met back up with the doctor that worked on him...once we mentioned him the doctor turned my case over to someone else. You could see in his face the look of pain that brought him back to that day too.

Up in my room I would think of his little body on a stretcher after everyone left, all alone, and covered by a sheet. That image haunts me and I feel for my brother Anthony who actually saw that when he went to be with us but had not known we left. My heart just breaks for him for his own memories that he carries. We have talked about it several times but he was so touched by his death but does not allow anyone else in on that pain other than me every once in a while. Just the mention of George's name brings this look to his eyes that I cannot explain to anyone.

Often times I don't know how many of my family members have taken George's death. I know my Sister Tara was very affected and we often talk about him. My mom and I also talk about him often but I have never talked about him with my sister Michelle or my father. Michelle came to visit me while I was in the hospital and it was the first time I realized that we never even spoke about it. She was there for Hugh and I that day and was there when George was baptized and held me while we waited for everyone else to show up after they were informed he was dead. She drove Hugh and I to and from the funeral home to make arrangements and to see his little body for the very last time. She always has seemed so distant emotionally from me but her eyes give in the pain that she carries. I realized for the first time while in the hospital how much she does care and carries although she never really lets many in on that.

My dad is a whole other story. He talks to very few people at all. Through the years he has confided in me about certain things but has not ever been an affectionate person even though you know he cares. He was at the house when the EMT's took me out. You could see the panic in his face. Richard came with him to the hospital and he stood by my bed watching me in pain and although he was calm on the outside you could see it was bothering him on the inside. It must have bothered him quite a bit since he called my mom on his own at home the next morning while he was at work and checked on me to see if my mom had heard anything.

My mom told me this and then I thought about him and how he handled George dying. He loved that little boy. In the days following George's death I saw tears in his eyes several times but he never really cried. Even now I will mention him and you can see the tears as they come to his eyes. He never took time off at all when George died and kept working through it all even though I cannot even imagine the pain he felt in his heart. I will never forget the last moments he had with him and how he was holding him when I came in my parents house to pick George up after they watched him for a little while. I am constantly reminded of that night whenever I come in their house and see them watching Gabrielle and he holds her. He loves her and my boys in ways I cannot explain, even though he doesn't say it, his words speak so much louder. In my whole life I can count how many times he told me he loved me on one hand and I remember them all so vividly and they mean the world to me. I cannot think what he carries with him after all I go through myself and I express it all the time.

No matter the time or day, you cannot escape it. Talking to all these mom's makes me know I am not crazy or alone in any of this. It is so very hard when you have moments that take you by surprise and the pain surges all over again like it was that day but in a slightly different way now. Just when you think you have gone through everything emotionally you realize that you haven't and life changes yet again. Emotions surface and even though you may have faced them before, each time they come back, there is always a new twist on them and something new you have to think about or work through. I think this is why it is a life long process and not just as cut and dry as so many people would like to make it. It would be so much easier if it worked in the nice little step package that doctors and others like to put it in but really it doesn't work that way and I think it sets people up to feel like they are failures or gives others a place to judge a person yet again. People don't fit in nice little boxes and neither do their emotions and I hope if anything that people take away from this page it is that a dead child is no different than a living child, they are part of your life until you die!

Balloons In The Heaven's

Hello little angels flying in the sky,
Today is the day your balloons will pass by.
Your beautiful names are written on each one,
I'm sure you will see it as they float in the sun.

So many mommies miss your sweet face,
Many of them never felt your embrace.
Though we all miss you with our heavy hearts,
We know it won't be long that we are apart.

We know that in heaven, not one tear falls,
And Jesus holds your hands and walks with you all.
And after a long day of frolic and play,
The angels lay you downin their heavenly way.

And as the stars fill your sweet sky,
The angels fill your ears with sweet lullabyes.
When your day has ended, we hope you all know
That your mommies miss you and that we love you so.

We send these balloons to you with great care,
So you'll know one day we will be with you there.
Until then sweet angel babies,
We love you so and miss you like crazy!

Written By: Terri Webb

Walk With Me

Walk with me…
Walk in my shoes
for one single day.
Then you’ll see why
I need to pray.

Come live in my home
for a week or two
and then remember
I am just like you.

I didn’t ask for the things I was given
I didn’t choose this road I have taken
Walk a mile with me hand in hand
Then perhaps you will understand.

I’m not really complaining
about the stress in my life,
I know that we all have
some toil and some strife.

But walk with me, when you think
I am wrong, walk with me
and you’ll start to belong.

Embrace my sorrows,
like they are your own,
And then you will know me
And see I have grown.

The journey I take
is different from yours
My life took one of those
unexpected detours,
But this road that I travel
is not really so long,
If the people who watch me
will join in my song.

Listen to my footsteps
and watch how I dance
And then you will know me
and give me a chance.

Take heart and remember
It can happen to you,
who knows where my pathway
will cross over to you?

So speak to me softly
if you can’t understand
Remember I once stood
right there where you stand.
And walk with me gently
when the day is at end.
And then I will know
I can call you my friend.

(Author unknown)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Long Few Days

As you can tell from my last post things kind of went haywire on Wednesday. In the morning I had some of the typical aches and pains from any abdominal surgery so I thought nothing of it although I felt kind of odd. I got up and walked around the house a little and then took some of my pain meds. Once I was done, I went and laid down for a while but when I woke up my jaw was aching horribly. I wrote that off too thinking it was possible from the intubation tube that they use during surgery and I had such a sore and scratchy throat coming out of surgery that it didn't surprise me if this was just par the course.

I stayed up for a while but felt so run down I stayed in bed other than to go to the bathroom and grab something to eat. After a second nap, I woke up and just felt awful!!! Everything just hurt! I couldn't more my arm without it aching. My legs ironically didn't hurt but my pelvis did and I could barely walk. Richard came home to give me some food for dinner but I was so out of it. I was talking to him and my mom called and as I was sitting there I just kept feeling worse. Hugh had gone to work and I was trying to get him to leave early but they would not let him leave even though I had just had surgery and they knew that I did. Thankfully my mom had the kids for me but it really is a lot for her to do alone all day long.

I kept trying to get a hold of Hugh throughout the day but was not able to and finally I felt so bad that I knew I had no other option. Richard helped me up the steps and I could see the fear in his face as he had never seen me in that much pain ever in my life. He was not going to let me know he was scared or upset but I could tell. I told my mom I was calling 911 since there was no way I could walk to the car not to mention into the ER and sit there, it wasn't happening. My dad couldn't have taken me and I would have been in much more pain so as much as I dreaded calling 911 I knew I had to. Richard would not leave my side even though I tried to get him to go to my mom's with the boys. Hugh finally was able to contact me but still had to drop the car he had off and they gave him a hard time about having to leave.

The squad members that came were wonderful! My nosy neighbors were outside watching as I was taken away in the squad. None of them talk to us because of the neighbor across the street other than the one family on our one side but they were all out in droves watching me being taken away. It is such a shame that our neighbors are like that and that they are all controlled by one woman on the block and don't talk to us even though we never did anything to them. Thankfully the little boys were not here because the whole experience was just emotional from start to finish.

I just sat there crying and sobbed as I was in the ambulance. All I could think of was George and the day he died. The combination of pain and all the terrible memories just ripped at my heart as I sat there thinking of how my sweet baby boy was whisked way in the ambulance to the same ER I was headed to the day he died and all of the events just flooded back along with so much of the anxiety. I apologized to the EMTS for kind of being a basket case and explained the situation and the gentleman in the back just wiped my tears for me and told me it was ok while he held my hand. I was so thankful for him at that moment...he was definitely a person God put in my life at that moment to be with me even though he didn't know it.

I didn't think that Richard and my dad were coming but they met us at the ER. Every part of me just prayed that I was not in the same room that George died for. Thankfully we were not on the same side. They were so busy that I was in the hallway for quite a while even before I was given any pain meds. Hugh finally got there and the whole time as I was trying to focus on trying to work through the pain, I just kept looking over at Richard. He is so much like me and his emotions are just written on his face but only certain people know how to read them.

In between a few waves of pain, I turned to him and told him to come next to me and I told him it was ok. With that he just started to cry. I had forgotten it had been the first time he had been in the ER since George died. It hurt so bad as I hugged him but I could have cared less about myself at that point in time. With that I turned and told him I wanted him to go home and that I was proud of him and he could stay home the next day. He reluctantly left but I could see the relief on his face. Richard is such a wonderful child and I am so proud of him especially during these moments...he is so much like me in so many ways and I thank God for the special heart that he has and am thankful to know him on such a different level than others.

I was moved around a couple of times but somewhere in all of it I was found to have a fever and they had to check me for blood clots just as a precaution. Everything came back normal via tests and labs but it was apparent there was something still wrong so I was admitted overnight. Hugh went home and got Gabby from my mom and the boys stayed at my mom's house. I did not sleep at all and was finally moved at 4am but by the time I got settled rounds started and the only time I had a nap was for 2 hours during my one test. My roommate was a wonderful woman who had a knee replacement and he husband was a very nice gentleman who spent most of the day up there with her. Hugh visited with the kids in groups of two's for a short period of time. Michael made me a get well picture that I now have in my memory box.

Not much changed throughout the day and I was kept on no food or liquids just in case I had to go back into surgery. Finally my nurse at 5pm hunted down my doctor after I finally got annoyed and told them I wanted answers as to what was going on. He had gotten the test results at noon and I knew it since I had spoken with the technicians after my test and she said they were not busy and that there was not going to be a delay and that he would have the results by noon. I was feeling worse as I was given more pain meds but no food and could feel that I needed to eat. When the doc did my surgery he didn't even come in and speak with me after so by that point I was just annoyed by 5pm with no food and no answers as to a plan of action. The nurse finally got a hold of him where he gave me clear fluids and kept me another night. I was fine with that but needed an action plan and felt I deserved one.

My roommate and I had the worst room in the place. There was no shower at all in our room and we were across the hall from the break room!!! That is the worst place to have your room, especially at night. THey all go in and out a million times and stand there chatting while you are trying to sleep and they don't realize it. My poor roomate had knee surgery so there was no way she was getting up to shut the door so it was always left to me to do it when our nurse or another staff member left it open. It took forever for them to come in and check in on us when we pressed a button but I was so sore after last nights ups and downs that we both kind of got short with the nurses and every time they left asked them to shut the door behind them. Without being curtious to the other person in the room the staff would just flip all the lights on and the other person was woken up too. If we got more than a few hours of sleep total we were lucky!!!

The doc did come in finally and see me when I was sound asleep so I was not really with it enough to ask questions or say anything when he woke me up. He checked my stomach and told me I could have normal food again and that he had no idea what was going on with me but that as far as the surgery went that there were no leaks or any of that so he was just going to send me home. He said it may be a reaction to anesthesia but he was not really sure why all my joints had hurt. I was so out of it I didn't think to ask anything as far as asking to see another doctor but I really wanted to just get out of there and at least get some sleep and see if it helps any, the food did help quite a bit and once I got home today and took a shower and got some food I could actually eat, I felt so much better and less lethargic.

The boys went to my mom's with Hugh so I could get a nap in and that helped but I think it is just going to be a long process and I have to give myself the ability to give my body a break. I have just been going non stop for so many years with stress on so many levels that I think my body just finally said..."slow down" and didn't give me the choice in the matter since I definitely ignore it! The doctor said no lifting Gabrielle or any strenious activities for my own safety and also Gabby's/everyone else's. I am just very week right now and I have picked her up a couple of times since I was here alone for a while today when Hugh ran out but I could really feel it in my body. I was smart enough to sit with her and have her lean on me but it is surely tough!

Hugh is headed back to work tomorrow after several issues with the job. I know people think he needs to be at work but when you have 4 kids and your wife is unable to even work there is so much you can do. We cannot ask my parents to keep watching the kids, they do become too much to take care of all the time and shy of that there really aren't any other options for us. Hugh's mom came today to help out but she can't lift Gabby either and can only tolerate the boys energy for so long. The kids are high energy and others are just not used to caring for so many kids at once and not for such a long time so it is very difficult. Hugh even had a hard time doing it, I know them and have them down to a science but being out of it has just left them able to do their own thing. It is hard to have a baby and kids with special needs and minds of their own.

I am going to try and make it through the weekend and see how I feel on Tuesday. I'm going to make an appt to see my general practitioner and try to get to the bottom of this all. My appt for follow up with the surgeon is that day too but I still have no idea how in the world I am going to get there since I can't drive and Hugh has to work and my mom will have to watch the kids while I go there but I will figure it all out somehow. It is a shame that I feel so run down because I don't even have the energy to deal with this sort of stuff either. My whole body just feels as if it has just said...enough...physically,mentally, and emotionally! Hugh is trying to figure out what to do with work and keeps asking me and right now I just need him to be here but understand he can't be so I just keep telling him to do whatever he needs to this point I really don't care one way or another I am just so wiped out on all fronts.

You never realize how many people depend on you or how much you really do actually do until something like this happens. On a daily basis you just keep making it happen and working through it all. You start out with carrying a small bag and as items are added you keep finding ways to carry them run out of hands so you start to balance things on your head or find ways to make it work. Eventually you get so overwhelmed you drop it all and that is what finally happened to me. I want to do all that I was doing but I just can't do that and don't have a choice, it is so humbling and hard for me to do. Right now, faith is what I am running on. Things are just not in my hands right now on all fronts. We had to cancel appts for the kids and the house stuff by no choice of our own so I am just praying about it all and going to trust in God that he has plans for us! I can do anything with God and this too is something I will get through, one step at a time and in his time, not mine!

Please just keep us in your prayers, we really need every single one we can get right now. Over the next few days I will update here with several things I went through during this whole process and things that changed me emotionally in just a few short days but for now I am headed back to bed to relax before tomorrow comes and Hugh is gone for the day which always brings its own set of obstacles.

Nix the last update!

I wound up going to the ER via ambulance Wednesday night. When I got up from my nap I could barely walk and was in severe pain in my joints. It was really bad if I say it was bad since I have had so many surgeries and barely take pain meds with them. For me to call 911 that is a whole other ball game too. I did NOT want to see that ambulance ever again!!!

All that said, I was discharged today with no more answers than when I went in and I am still in quite a bit of pain. The doctor admitted he had no idea what was going on but that the tests and labs showed nothing even though looking at me and the fever I had spoke something totally different. I will go into specifics later but for now I am just asking for prayers as I am headed to my bed to get some sleep now that I am never sleep in a hospital!

Please also pray for Hugh as he has had to take off work and the whole thing stirred up many emotions. He really needs a job where he gets sick days and vacation time for so many reasons. They are asking he provide them with a doctors note from my doctor to verify that I was actually in the hospital!!! He really should be here with me tomorrow since I am not suppose to be lifting the baby or doing anything strenuous but he is very worried about the job thing so I am going to have to figure something else out but don't really have the energy right now to even think about it...hoping that after some sleep finally I will feel a little better and be able to juggle things a little better again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Surgery Went Well

I had my surgery yesterday. It was delayed start since there was an emergency surgery that came in before me. Hugh went home with Gabrielle and they called him when I was out of surgery. My poor body shook terribly once I was in the recovery room. I had some wonderful nurses and they were quite compassionate about the things I have been through in my life and most stood there in utter disbelief whenever we kind of got on the subject. Somehow it always comes up since they ask you how many children you have and I say 5 but one is in heaven...I just can't leave him out, it feels as if I am betraying him.

One of the nurses told me that she was destine to meet me yesterday. She said how my story touched her heart and that God had put her in my room that day for many reasons. I told her that everything in life happens for a reason, even the bad stuff and that even good comes from bad. It really was a good experience if you can have one going in for surgery.

The doctor was able to do it laproscopicly thankfully. I came home and was still woozy but made it through the rest of the day. This morning I woke up to feel aches and pain everywhere. It felt as if I had ran a marathon without training for it. All of my joints hurt, especially my jaw, shoulders, and pelvis. Even now, I can barely hold my own weight when walking. Thankfully my mom took Gabrielle and Michael because I have no idea how I would pull it off without dropping Gabrielle or triping over Michael.

Gabrielle is so fussy, I think she is getting her teeth or food is just not agreeing with her again. I had Hugh take her yesterday to the doctors to have her ears checked...I'm so paranoid with the ear infection thing since George had one when he died and I didn't even know it. My kids don't tend to run fevers or show symptoms other than grabbing their ears. Gabrielle has been finding all her body parts but I did not want to take a chance when she started to play with her ears. She is still quite congested and has been for almost two months now. That really bothers me and I had Hugh take her off of applesauce and just give her rice cereal in hopes to figure out what is going on with her. If this is her teething, we are truly in for it and she better hurry and get them.

Hugh did take off yesterday thankfully but he is back to work today. I really hate this job he has and he is not thrilled with it either. The kids are having a hard time adjusting to the hours and so am I. It pays money but I think he can make the same somewhere else since it is not much that he is making now anyway. The hardest part is getting him out of his comfort zone to go do it. He has such a lousy self esteem and really doesn't know what he wants to do since he has always just taken whatever is available and made more money due to our life circumstances. I keep praying that God will speak to his heart and lead him in the right direction where all of this is concerned.

Yesterday was sort of a difficult day for me for many reasons. George was not leaving my mind. I was in the same hospital that he was pronounced dead it. Thankfully I was not in the ER and I have avoided going to the ER just because it just brings such bad memories with it. We have actually driven about 45mins away to take the boys when they needed to go after he died. I just kept wondering what it was like for him, even though I know he didn't know or feel anything since he was already dead. For some reason I just feel as if he was all alone on a gurney with a white sheet over his little body and the very thought of that brings tears to my eyes. It was so hard to walk away that day...I wanted to just stay with him and not leave him at all but I had no choice in the matter. Being in the hospital just brought all those memories flooding back for me and it was so hard to be sitting there and try to stay focused on what I was there for.

Please keep me in your prayers as I recover since this is truly one of the most difficult surgeries I have ever had and that is saying a lot. I've had quite a few and tolerated them all well, this one I feel so drained with. Standing is almost impossible right now and my life just doesn't allow that sort of thing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Postman

Dear Postman,

Can you send a letter from me,
I need it sent from up above,
To my earthly Family.

Please send it quickly,
My Mommy's sad,
I hate to see her cry.
Every night she pray's to God,
And sadly asks him why?

Please let it say,
I could not stay,
With an Angel I had to go.
I'm fine, I'm happy here,
With the other babies I know.

I hope it reads, to Daddy,
I know you love me too,
I miss you lots, and all the things,
That we'd planned to do.

Grandma, how I'll miss your hugs,
And kisses planned for me.
I know how much you'll miss,
The growing child that I should be.

Close it with, I love you so,
I'm with you in your heart.
I never really left you see,
I was an Angel from the start.

My Son Is Tammy Brown

forever gone away from me
is his beautiful face
his smile
that is the light
in my darkest of days

forever gone away from me
is the music of his gentle voice
the mystery in his mesmerizing
peridot eyes

forever gone away from me
are my grandbabies
that would have been
that should have been

my son is dead

his body lies in a casket
buried under a cold, hard mound
I visit his headstone
in a cemetery’s consecrated ground

I speak to the air I breathe
and I hope and oh God how I pray
that somehow, someway
his spirit can hear what I have to say

my soul cries out for him
every moment of every day
my spirit is defeated
for this anguish will never
not for as long as I breathe fade away

my son is dead

my heart is broken
shredded and torn
no matter who is left
or who may be born

as you look at me
into my eyes
pause for a minute

before your expression
turns to pity
and the words
flow out of your mouth
stop for just a moment
and please ask yourself

would I be willing
to trade my child for hers
because he is in a better place
--Tammy Brown

Surgery Info

I just wanted to ask for prayers since tomorrow I am headed in for surgery. This is our first on a list of items that need to be taken for to hopefully get my health better situated. My gal bladder will be removed at around 8:30am tomorrow but I have to be there at 7am to get prepped. I'm hoping that it is an easy surgery and relieves my pain that I have been having at least a little bit. This should be routine and laproscopic but if there is too much scar tissue it will be an open procedure.

Hugh has to work tomorrow so I am not sure how the rest of the day will go. He is contemplating taking off but he does not get paid for it and is not allowed sick days so he is given a bit of a hard time the last time he took a day off. I don't really know what to expect but I have had other surgery so this shouldn't be to bad. We are hoping that he can find a better job with day hours since it is not working well for most of us but especially Michael.

I also ask you to keep us all in your prayers since we have had a few rough moments these past two days. Yesterday on my way to a bridal shower, I was sitting at the light on the main high way before the hospital George was taken to. As I sat there an ambulance with blaring sirens and a medic car right behind came flying by. My heart just sank into my stomach as I was instantly transported back to the day our little boy died. Instantly the memories and images o that day just flooded over me and I just started to cry. My mom sat there beside me and looked at me knowing exactly what I was thinking. She asked me if I was ok and with that I just said no as tears streamed down my face and she reached over to hold my hand. Ironically another mom had a similar instance when she saw the car that carried her son to his resting place yesterday. Come to find out, I am not the only mom that now has problems with ambulances and cars/things that remind us of the most horrible days of our lives.

Today Hugh had his own moment. There was a little boy who visits his grandparents next door. We had told him he could come over to play and he just that today. Michael was so happy to have a friend here playing. The little boy is younger than Michael. As Hugh stood in the doorway, his eyes welled up with tears. He said, well I now know what it would have been like to have 3 boys playing like this. The tears just rolled like water over a damn that had broken. My heart just broke for him as I felt the same twinges of pain at the very thought of that. He turned and said how much Michael misses and how much we have really lost just hit home really hard as we listen to the kids outside playing and laughing. These truly are the moments that you can never be prepared for and the moments that no amount of counseling could ever fix. We don't let them consume our lives but boy when they hit, they hit hard.

I am off to try and see what I can put together for a few meals for the next few days before I go in tomorrow. With me not knowing what to expect, I am not sure what to make but at the very least Hugh will have to get to the store and grab milk, juice, bread, and other basic things we don't have here but need to get. Please keep us all in your prayers and I will try to update depending on how I feel tomorrow after surgery.

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