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, October 27, 2011

Savior, Please - Josh Wilson

Let me love you by Josh Wilson

Somethings Gotta Change - Josh Wilson

Fall Apart (Slideshow with Lyrics)

The Rain

Today it is heart just feels the same way it looks outside. I miss my son so much and my heart just hurts. There is nothing I would not give to hold him again and kiss him. My tears stain my cheeks as they fall and disappear to the eyes of others but in my heart I can still feel the tears and rain coming down. Little monkey, mommy loves you and misses you so much!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Impending Holidays

For weeks now I have felt the holidays creeping up on us. We got a letter from our church asking what our needs are and if we are still in need of help for the holidays. The past few years, if it was not for them, I don't really know what we would have done on so many levels. It is always hard emotionally because I cannot shop for my own children. We appreciate everything that people give to us but somehow it kind of takes from the holiday experience for Hugh and I when we cannot shop for our own children.

Each year I take the letter the church sends us and thoughtfully consider what I am going to write on that page. This seems so easy but it isn't. I have to think about what they will need for the rest of the year and narrow it down to one gift the kids want. They have a place listed for "needs" and one for "want" Needs are always easy because there are always things like socks, underwear, shoes, and other staples that they always need since they are always growing like weeds. In the want section, I am always careful to put something that is monetarily feasible for someone to actually get. This year the kids want a DSI but that is quite expensive and I have to find the money for two, not just one. Hugh and I could use a real gold necklace for our charms that hold George's ashes since this year both of our's bit the dust and now neither of us can wear it like we had planned. These are not things that I have ever put on this list even if they really wanted something. My heart goes out to all the parents that have been in our situation and especially those who have NO help at all and their children get nothing.

All of that being said, the very thought of all that added to the loss of George just makes the holidays now dreaded events for us. For the past few years I just have not had the holiday spirit no matter how hard I tried to just be thankful for our blessings and not the things we don't have. Last year was the single wost holiday season of my life, and that is no exaggeration! I really have been feeling as if this year was going to be much of the same, but today for the first time I had a glimmer of hope for it to be something I may be able to enjoy rather than dread. It sounds like such a simple task but it really isn't. I've gotten so good at putting that fake smile on that often times I forget how not to do that!

Today my mom and I went to Walmart with Gabby. I had to grab melatonin and allergy meds for the boys and my mom had a few things she needed. While there, since we didn't have the boys with us, we went down the toy isles. Little did I realize, this was Gabrielle's first trip down the toy isle. Usually I avoid the toy isle like the plague because we don't usually have money to get them anything. Gabby was just amazed with all the toys! Her little eyes just stared at everything and the look on her face was just priceless. If she saw something that she liked, she would say oooh. I've never heard her do it and the face that went with it was just so adorable. I let her play with a few toys while we were looking around to see what she may like and she was just so overwhelmed and in awe that I didn't even want to leave the isle. The trip down the Christmas isle brought about the same reaction and I took a little video of her and sent it to Hugh.

I stood there looking at her and seeing how excited she was with the simplest things. Joshua and Michael are in LOVE with the holidays and decorating, and I am sure that Gabby will now follow in their footsteps. As I saw her enjoying this simple trip to the store, I was forced to think about the upcoming season and how much it will mean to her. She just deserves the world and to be a kid and as her mom I have to give that to her and get past my own feelings. For the first time in a very long time, I found an excitement inside that I have not had in, I don't even know how long. Her little face just reminded me how to look deeper and enjoy life through the pain of life. Maybe this whole season will be better than I thought it really would be. I need to find that joy and excitement and really look inside to work on myself so that I can be there for the kids and enjoy their lives while they are young. It isn't that I haven't appreciated any of it but somehow I have found a deeper understanding of all of this.

Finding this inner peace with George's death doesn't mean that I don't miss him. I will still cry for myself because I miss him but the internal turmoil has subsided. All of the what if's and could have beens are still there but I can now accept it for what it is...God's will. God wants me to also find joy and happiness and I feel these moments are gifts from him reminding me of what he really wants for me. He wants me to rely on him and to still find happiness/good among the pain/bad. So often I tell my children this and forget that I too need to remember these things. No matter what we can or cannot provide for the kids, it has nothing to do with the feelings inside. The boys will never remember the toys specifically but they will remember the feelings invoked by the holiday season. When they look back on their lives, I want them to remember the happiness and not the sadness that we carried in our hearts. If I spend the impending holidays the way I did last year, they won't have that and I will be denying them the things they deserve. Please keep me in your prayers as we move through this tough time of year and allow us to find the holiday spirit no matter our circumstances.

Monday, October 24, 2011

An Amazing Feeling

I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling I am carrying in my heart right now. Yesterday we picked Richard up from Comfort Zone Camp. We of course stayed for the parents meeting and memorial service before leaving to head home back to our own reality. Nothing is more moving than attending one of these closing ceremonies with these children. All of them have had to face the cruel reality of life at such a young age and so often feel lost in their day to day lives. Camp provides them with such a safe haven and they finally find others who are right there with them in life and the support and love they find in a weekend is just amazing!

From the moment you walk into the room, you can see there is such a transformation. You also can feel the energy from all the parents who love their children but are at a loss to help them as they hold onto home that camp has helped them in a way they cannot. So often as a parent in grief, you find it hard to help your child and there are many reasons to that but this camp does what is out of your hand and changes your child in such a short time. Amazing is not even good enough of a word to explain this. You can see the first time parents as they wait to anxiously see how their child is because you know they worried about them all weekend. The repeat parents are also obvious because they are calm and so excited for these new parents because they already know what these new parents don't. As a repeat parent, you also cannot wait to see your child and see how they blossomed and took leaps and bounds in their grief work.

The healing circle leaders come in and you can see as each parent listens intently. First they want to find out all about their child's experience but then they want to take away tips to help them at home for the next year. The room is full of hungry parents wanting to learn how to help their children through this horrible time they have no control over. Once they go over their general group, the healing circle leaders meet with each parent separately to address their individual child so the parent can hone in on what that child's particular needs may be or just hear how they blossomed over the weekend. The kids come in with their big buddies and the room is transformed into a different place with such positive energy filling the room and the worry that any parent is gone as they see their child for the first time and can see a change in them immediately.

The kids get their chance to remember their loved ones. There is more support and love in that room than you even think is possible in life. Tears and laughter fill the air as each child shares their loved one and their memories with the whole room of grieving individuals. The boundaries between children/parents, age, and the different walks of life are completely gone and everyone is just this one group full of love and support. The kids who may be the outcasts in their home community now thrive and get to be the real people they are inside at camp and this is probably the only time in their lives that they get to do that. These childhood outcasts in life are now transformed into completely different people and as a parent who has one of those children, you cannot even begin to thank the staff for the immense gift they just gave to your child.

The whole room gets involved. We were all singing songs and clapping and supporting these children who yearned for this sort of love since the loss of their loved ones. Sweet Caroline, The Climb, and Lean on me were just a few songs that filled the room with such joy and sorrow but it was ok and you were safe to cry or laugh without judgement. Kids held one another and cried or supported another friend while they shared with everyone. It was beyond amazing and I wish everyone could experience this sort of cannot even explain it.

Richard actually got his big buddy from last time back and the two of them have such an incredible bond! He also met another child there who not only had a loss but also struggles every day with their own medical diagnosis of Tourretts. This young girl, was so lost and you could see it in her eyes but when the two of them were together there was this bond and emotion for one another that I have never seen before. For the first time in a long time, my son was himself and he just thrived as he wound up being the big man on campus. It was such an amazing gift that camp gave us as his parents...we had our son back for the first time in a long time.

There was a moving moment after Richard had the Curious George song played while his group left the stage that he had with Hugh. Tears streamed down Hugh s face and Richard just hugged him like never before and held onto him and supported his dad in a way never done before. Although they may not be biologically connected, they have such a special bond even though they will butt heads from time to time. I just sat there thanking God for that moment and the gift of that bond for the two of them because I know even though Richard's bio dad is not here all the time that he has a man who is here and who loves him just as if he was his biologically.

Richard was so exhausted after his weekend. I cannot even begin to tell you how much grief work takes out of you. You cannot physically see it so it is very hard to explain to others. There is a problem I am working on with his school yet again for their lack of understanding dealing with his absences. They want to dock his grades because he missed more than 5 days of school. I think this is absurd and now am back to fighting with these people. School triggers panic attacks in him and if he is having a bad day there is no way I am sending him. He was worried about this but needed today off so I told him I don't care what they say at this point but he was not feeling well(he lost his voice) and was exhausted from the weekend so I was not about to force him to go. I'll deal with the school yet again because if we knew he was going to miss, I would let the teachers know and he would get his homework and turn it in the day he returned to school. He is not missing work and is doing well in school so I am pretty irate about all of this. Needless to say, he is still sound asleep and it is 9:30am.

After talking to many parents I really want to see if we can fundraise the money to have a parents camp. They have done this before but just have not had the funding to do so. There will be a bit involved but I really want to make this happen because I believe that it is super important so that as a family unit we can work on things and a parents positive mental health will ultimately lead to the whole family having a better grasp of everything. Often times, I also find that this is such an important step for many fathers who go to just see their children. My husband is one of those because he shoves his feelings down to be the one there for us all. So often they forget George was his son too and that he really doesn't have much in the way of support. My heart breaks for him just thinking about how lonely he feels in this whole thing. I often feel that way but Hugh has it even worse and all I can do is pray that God be enough for him to rely on to get from day to day. This is not easy for anyone but especially for men because our society expects them to handle it "like a man" and be strong and not bothered by it.

All of that being said, if you ever know anyone who has a major loss and there are children, please don't hesitate to let them know about Comfort Zone Camp. If they are not close to a camp, the staff will work on getting them to a camp and if they don't have the money to send them, they will come up with it. They want all children and families to benefit from this because grief is not discriminating. Please keep all these children and families in your prayers because they are now headed back to their unforgiving worlds which most people in their lives do not understand them. It is such a hard thing to do and I feel for these kids who, have for the first time in a long time, laughed and had a smiles on their faces!

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