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, November 12, 2011

Moving Foward

I have really been thinking a lot about the house and all that has happened to our family. It has been no easy road and no matter what, we have to keep moving forward even if we don't want to. I came to find that the reason I have had such a hard time is because I feel as if the house is still lingering over our head. Once the house is gone completely and is emptied, I think it will be a lot easier to move forward. It is kind of like our hearts are in two different places right now. Going there just brings so many emotions and is very hard to handle at times.

I don't know how to leave the life we knew behind. There is a certain attachment to the place especially since it was the only place George knew as home and he died there. I know he was taken to the hospital but they never did get a heartbeat or breathing from him so he really died at home. I still call the place home and am not yet completely settled here at my parents. I do however feel that once the house is gone that we will be able to move forward because we will have no choice but to do so. It is just so hard to leave it all behind and just walk away from our past. I know that the future is what really matters but the past is what has helped mold us into the individuals that we become. It is like leaving yourself behind in some capacity, and my heart could not be heavier at times. We are hoping to be moved out by Thanksgiving so we can move on with life and all of us can go forward.

That being said, I went to the doctors yesterday to find out a plan of action with him to help my physical issues. He is thankfully a doc willing to listen and work with me. He has ordered several tests and lab work and wants to do a baseline work up to see where I am with the disease right now. He also gave me a medication to help with the muscle spasms and nerve based issues I have been having. It seems to work so far. They have decreased but I can also still go up on dosing since it is one of those meds that it is trial and error with. . It doesn't help with any of the pain but it helps with the other stuff for now. There is definitely something wrong with my abdomen since the doc felt the same thing that I did and is probably a hernia or something so I am going to have a cat scan done. It is very painful at times and sometimes the pain meds don't work and I have to take a stronger one. Please just keep me in your prayers as I go through all this testing and try to find the right meds and things for me to be on.

Yesterday I went to look at a venue for Gabrielle's birthday part. It is really nice and right in the complex my mother in law lives. I'm very excited for her birthday party. It just is a huge milestone for her and us as a family. With George not getting to see his first birthday there is some sort of peace that we have never had, I am hoping we will gain that. It is going to be a blast and I just can't wait. We have so many fun things planned and really want to make this special for everyone.

The two of us also went to her doctors appt and then to lunch. I think I may have talked her into getting a newer car since she has no heat or air conditioning in hers. The poor woman is so afraid to get one because of having to have payments and that is her biggest worry. If I had the money I would get her one that was something she didn't need to worry about repairs for but that was reasonably priced. I told her that she can get a good new used car and that Hugh and I could take her around. It is so hard to watch her struggle and not be able to really help her where she needs to be helped. She is so emotional and I feel for her on so many levels. I wish she was better at telling others than Hugh and I the truth about how she feels. She feels so obligated to tell people what they want to hear and does not live for herself. Hugh and I are the only to people she is really herself with and although I am honored by that it causes so many issues that it drives me crazy at times.

She also told me how Hugh's siblings and her had talked about her final life plans. I found that she wants me to plan her service. When I got home and told Hugh, he was actually quite upset since he was not included in on the whole thing and feels like it is watching his father's plans happen all over again. My heart goes out to him and there is nothing I can do to make it any better. I did offer her the opportunity to be placed with George in his urn and she said she would love that as she teared up. With that she said she would like to put some of her ashes up near where she had grown up as a child and the rest put with George. She asked me to help her with her living will since I have done them before for Frank and others so I told her I would do it with her. I don't know why but I have some sinking feeling that when she dies it is just going to be a mess but I hope that I am wrong.

We will see where things go from here but I am now trying to focus on moving forward and helping our family through all that is about to happen to us all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quite Hours of the Morning

Today the kids have off from school and Hugh is already off to work. Gabby and I are the only ones up in the house. The house is eerily quiet for this time of morning. It suddenly brought me back to the morning George died. It was that same silence as I got Richard off to school that morning. I was going to check on him but thought twice about it since I knew if I woke him up Hugh would have been mad since I had to go back to work. Mornings like these are the mornings that I just miss George terribly and get those random panic attacks still.

We are hard at work right now collecting items to make Christmas stockings for the homeless. I've been fortunate enough to have collected enough fabric to make the 100 stockings that I have. With the kids off, I want to let them help so I think we might start having them trace out the pieces since we will need about 200 pieces. They are excited to start this since they all love the holiday season. I'm still looking for items to fill the stockings with but a few people have been generous enough to give me their travel size items they collect from hotels. It is actually quite exciting to be working on this project.

Added into the project is prep for Gabrielle's 1st birthday. I am very excited about it and can't wait to celebrate it, I just hope others realize how important it is to us and show up. It is during the Christmas season when so many people are busy but I am really praying they can take a few hours to celebrate this momentous occasion with us. I sent out save the dates a few weeks back but I'm not sure if that helped any. It is so hard sometimes to realize that not everyone you care about can make something like this even if they know how much it means to you. We understand that others make plans but when it is family sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow and even though you try hard, you are still disappointed. In the end though, I try to remember that this is very special and we are grateful for those who can come to celebrate such a wonderful thing with our family.

The other big project we have going on here is moving all our things. Hugh and my dad are going to finish putting shingles on the shed so we can finish moving items. I want to have everything we are taking with us out of the old house by Thanksgiving. Its so hard to do it sometimes because it is very emotional. Going over there takes a lot out of you by the end of the day and its not because of moving things but rather the emotions involved. The other day the kids said that they changed their minds and wanted to move back in the house and it just broke my heart to hear this. Even being at my mom's house, although I grew up here, it just doesn't feel like my own home. I am thankful for the basement since it does give me a place to decorate with things from our family and make it a little like our own space. The other day I bought some new spatulas for the kitchen here and I felt compelled to ask my mom if it was ok that I threw the junky ones out. That's the stupid little stuff that kind of makes it hard or to feel like it isn't really our home.

My parents are wonderful with the kids, all things considering. I know they are done this age of child rearing so there are times it is hard for them. The kids even test my patience and I try to keep in mind that they are only kids but I always feel like I have to keep them out of the way or try to make sure they don't bother my parents. The kids have been really tough lately and have been making that extremely hard to do, and it is so exhausting on my part. I can feel the effects of my own disease as they get worse and I try to work through them but at the days end I just want to fall apart. Today I go to the doctor for myself to try and talk to him about getting some of these symptoms under control so that I don't feel so lousy...I don't have time for this as a mom of 5. The sever pain is taking it's toll and now is affecting my sleep by waking me up with shooting and throbbing pain, not to mention the muscle spasms all the time. I'm so tired during the day that I have to nap but feel so bad for doing it and leaving the kids with my mom.

My biggest concern is the heart palpitations that have become more frequent since 40% of mito patients have heart problems. I've had this my whole life but it is just becoming more frequent and can be scary when it happens. Often I don't let on that I am having these problems and try to work through them without giving much indication that they are a factor. I hate when I loose control of my muscles and I just start to get the shakes and spasms for an extended period of time because those are the hardest to cover up. I want to be my "normal" self but it is becoming harder and harder as time goes on to do that and if I'm being honest, it scares me not only for myself but also for my family. I know how much everyone depends on me but it is just getting harder and harder to live up to everyone's expectations of me. It is already bad enough that people talk about me and judge me, I'm really trying to not add this to the mix to give them more ammunition. It emotionally hurts and I already have enough of that no matter how much I "Know better" it doesn't change how it can hurt when someone thinks of you in a negative way by no fault of your own.

It is also a little more difficult because Hugh's job is a physical job and it is taking its toll on him. He is into his busy season and they are having to unload trucks almost every day. By the time he gets home, he is exhausted and doesn't have much left in himself to give to the kids and I. He often will get short with the kids and I without realizing it and with all the other added stressors of the house and things like that, I am sure he is just overwhelmed. His mom also calls him to come take her trash out and do things around her apartment while he is trying to find a way to juggle all the things we need to finish here and the kids with the crazy behavior lately. Please keep us in your prayers as we all work through these tough times and that it is only temporary. Also pray that these other ministries we feel called to touch the lives of others in need and who are also feeling much like we are by letting them know someone does care and we recognize that there are others in worse positions than we are. Please also pray for the kids and their behavior, I don't know if it is the house/emotional issues or if it is part of their disease. Thank you in advance for your prayers they really do mean a lot!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

George's Guardian's of Grace Stocking Project

We are now in full force collecting items to create 100 stockings to send to Camden for the homeless. I had posted a need for items on Freecycle and got a pretty good response. The gentleman from our church who handles this ministry said he thought it was a good idea and gave me a general count of 80-100 so I want to shoot for 100 because I don't want to leave anyone without a stocking.

If you are interested in helping with this project and have some items laying around, I'd gladly come get them or put them to good use if you would like to mail them to us. Below is the items I happen to need.


Hotel/travel size hygiene products.
Fabric to make stockings
Candy Canes
Anything else you think we could use to fill them (dollar vouchers for McDonalds/fastfood place)

If you happen to have someone in heaven that you would like to remember or someone fighting some disease, and you feel compelled to help with this project we can add their name to the tags I plan to put on the stockings. These people will not get anything for the holidays and the more we get to fill these stockings the better. Please prayerfully consider supporting our efforts. I know George is smiling down on us as we do this project in his memory for the holiday season, this is really what it is all about. You don't have to have money to change the world or make an impact in the lives of others!

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