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.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hug Him Once For Me

Today the boys went to grief camp at Comfort Zone. As always, it has brought up so many feelings that I have just tucked away to be able to survive another day without my son here with me. This song is so beautiful and spoke to me. No one knows how much I miss him and wish he was still alive. I would give anything to have him again and so often I look at our family and know he is missing. Every single day of my life my heart breaks a little because he isn't here. I will post later about the wonderful experience camp brought to our family and all the wonderful milestones the boys met and amazed us with!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stocking Project

Our Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations.  Below is 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 with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.

Packs of new socks
Wash Cloths
Dental Floss/pics
Alcohol wipes/antibacterial wipes-individually packed
Box of Cards
Tree ornaments
Wrapping Paper

Any donations are welcome!  We currently are close to the amount of toothpaste needed but always welcome any that you may have since we will hold over items for next years stockings. 

All items are wrapped in Christmas paper and added to handmade stockings.  Our family does this in memory of George and his big brothers and little sister are instrumental in making this happen! 

Thank you in advance for all donations!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Testimony for Rainbows Program

I was asked to come speak at a church today where our family attended a grief program.  I spent quite a bit of time writing this and wanted to share it.  Miss my little boy every single day, so this of course came from the heart!

The rainbow has taken on so many different meanings over the course of time, but none greater than that of God’s promise after the storms that wiped out the Earth.  For someone facing a significant loss in their life, they often find themselves looking to God for help and guidance in their time of their personal storms.  We consider all significant losses, like a death for they are the death of the dreams you had for your life and that of your loved ones.  I believe everyone here can identify with loss on some level. 

Our family has been no stranger to loss.  My husband Hugh found himself jobless when the market tanked and the shipping industry he worked in no longer needed as many works as Imports to our country drastically decreased.  The job he lost was finally the good paying job we had been praying Hugh would acquire after difficult struggles with medical issues and finances.  Our family had been taken aback when a few years prior, our son Joshua was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease, a life threatening metabolic disease.  Medical care was scarce to come by and required many out of state trips to meet basic needs.  We had to become educated and I became Joshua’s doctor. It came no surprise when our son Michael was diagnosed with the disease a year after his birth.  I could no longer work and Hugh was working two full time jobs to just pay medical costs and basic living costs before he landed this dream job.  There have been so many moments we felt as if we were just able to keep our heads above water.

Not once in all of those trials did we lose our faith but rather found ourselves clinging to our faith when there were no answers. We always believe that God will provide.  Hugh was devastated after his layoff when job after job interview proved to not turn up anything promising. He was our provider and knew so much rested on his shoulders.  Shortly after his layoff, I was needed to care for both of my elderly grandparents who were ailing and returned home to God Oct 29th and Nov 29th of 2008.  Following their deaths, Hugh’s father was diagnosed with cancer and returned to heaven Nov 15th 2009. We were both instrumental in his end of life care.  We were not walking alone in these losses, our children were right there with us feeling the ups and downs associated with it all.  We came to realize that often times children are the forgotten ones in moments like these…we discount their feelings and often times can’t see past our own pain and upset.

Thrown in that mix, we were blessed to find out we would be welcoming another addition to our family. Hugh and I were elated to find that God had yet again entrusted us with one of the most precious gifts he can give, even if we faced harsh criticism by many around us.  George Charles Garman was welcomed into our family September 09, 2009, yes 09/09/09.  I would always tease saying he just wanted to be the one who’s birthday we would finally remember being the 4th boy in our family.  From the very beginning I had a very special bond with George. Deep inside, I knew he was only going to be with our family for a short time, even though I prayed that feeling was wrong.  George showed symptoms of the same disease his two big brothers battle and I knew he was my sickest little guy.  I took him to doctor after doctor trying to get them to help me but he would never do anything odd in front of doctors.  By that point all of our doctors familiar with the disease, were no longer in practice or taking patients and we were on our own.

January 29th, in his sleep, George was called home.  Hugh woke to find him unresponsive in his bed.  I will never forget that scream as I ran upstairs and Hugh thrust George into my arms looking at me, hoping I could save our son.  Despite all my efforts and that of the officers, EMT’s, and hospital staff, George did not return to be part of our family here on Earth.  We stood watching the hospital staff work on his lifeless body.  In the back of my mind all that I could think of was “God, please let this cup pass from me, but thy will be done” I knew deep in my heart what God’s will was for my little monkey from the moment I first held that blue eyed blond haired wonder in my arms for the very first time and it was to change lives but not necessarily through his life but rather his eternal life.  The moment Hugh handed George to me that awful cold January morning; I knew my baby was gone.  I had to still try everything to save him but through the chaos, an internal calm came over me as I told the hospital staff to stop working on him.  George would never have been that happy smiling baby and it would only be my own selfishness to want him to stay.  I wanted the best for my son from the moment I knew he would be mine to watch over, and I knew then that the best thing for him was heaven, even though I knew my arms would forever ache until I was reunited with him again someday.

The first person we asked to be called was a minister, followed by our family.  The very last thing George wore was a baptismal outfit because we knew we were turning him back over to God.  Never once has our faith waivered, even though we would like to know what God is thinking sometimes.  We have our good days and bad but both Hugh and I were not concerned for ourselves or even George; it was for our children that were left behind.  Richard was 11, Joshua was 4, and Michael was 2 and Joshy and Mikie witnessed all the chaos of that morning. Along with other family members, we spent hours poring over the internet praying for God to help us find somewhere our children could get the help we knew we were not capable of giving them.  Trying to find help for them was virtually impossible, add in that you wanted a faith based program or therapist along with our financial problems and the only program listed was the Rainbow’s program.

By the time we found the listing I had given up on finding help that was so desperately needed and my mom actually made the first call.  Brother Sim was the person to return her phone call.  My mother thrust the phone at me; I rolled my eyes at her figuring it was another dead end.  As when I called all the other places, he told me that the program wasn’t running because of lack of interest but that he would hold onto our information and get back to me if they were able to come up with enough people the following summer.  I was at a loss as to help my children when they would just break down crying in sheer pain over the loss of their brother and the deep aching they felt that I could not ease no matter how hard I tried.  So many nights I cried myself to sleep not only for my pain but for that of my children and how I could not help them.  Often times I could never even formally pray and would just cry out in pain to God asking him to help me…”Please God, I can’t do this alone!”  Finally that phone call came and God answered all of my prayers!

Hugh and I were excited to be able to attend this program as a family but the kids were reluctant at first.  I knew if we could get them to the first meeting, it would all work out in the end.  The second week, we didn’t have to even tell them when it was time to go, they were telling us when it was time.  We found ourselves looking forward to, and also needing the camaraderie of others who knew loss.  Each of us had a different type of story and loss, be it divorce or death, but we were all able to respect one another in such a way that we found God was with us at these meetings.  You could feel his very presence during the moments we laughed and cried, through the kind words of another, passing of tissues, a much needed embrace, or just having someone to listen without judgment.

In our day to day lives, neither our children nor we adults found this sort of love and compassion like we did when attending a Rainbows session.  The facilitators, all not only gave of their time but they gave of themselves.  They showed us that there are people who care and understand.  Compassion and God’s love were what so many were seeking and only found here through the Rainbows program.  The skills we learned transferred to daily life on so many levels and everyone who attended walked away changed for the better and knowing God’s love like never before.    These walking works of God,  gave not only us the gift of themselves and God’s love, but they gave our children things we could only ask God to do.  All of the children, along with us adults were so sad to see the program come to an end in August…if we could have done it every single week I think we all would have and there were families who drove an hour or more to attend a meeting ever week. 

By your church allowing this program to take place, you have come to change the lives of many people who will also go out in the world and change the lives of others…there will be such an outpouring of God’s love to the world by those who allowed our Lord to call them to do his ministry through this program.  Thank you just is not enough to express the gratitude of all the families who were blessed to attend now hold in their hearts.  The last night we all gathered just summed up the road we had traveled as a newly found family that had started out as strangers.  There was laughter, tears, embraces of facilitators, children, and parents alike, but most of all there was this amazing feeling that filled the room as we all crammed in for a final prayer.  There was not a person who left this program not wishing it was not ending and praying for it to continue in years to come.

Our family still knows loss every single day; September 3rd the home we brought all of our children from the hospital to went up for sheriff sale.  In all of this we have to trust in God’s bigger plan but this program helped our whole family come to terms with this obstacle, unlike before when we faced another loss in our life, this time we were able to place it in God’s hands. We don’t always know why things happen when they are happening, but applying many of the tools learned from the Rainbows program, we are able to fully trust in God and know he has not abandoned us in our hour of need but is instead using these moments to glorify His name.

Hugh’s loss of his job did ultimately lead to the loss of our home but it gave him all of my pregnancy and the 4.5 months that George was with us,  to get to really know George as a little person. We were able to show George unconditional love, and there is no price that can be placed on that.  Our home is always where we are, not a physical place, and God’s greatest gift to us was time with George; his gift to George was that he never had to know the pain of this world.  Even through all of this, God has also blessed our family with our own personal rainbow, Gabrielle Grace.  She is what, in the child loss realm, is known as a rainbow baby; a child that survives after a miscarriage or the death of a child.  Every day God shows us mercy and grace through the people he has put in our lives.  Our family is slowly learning how to live without George, but we know with God as our foundation, we will stay strong through it all.

One of the biggest things I learned from this program was that, it is how we adults allow our children to view personal tragedies and our reactions to them. God uses us to help these precious souls, process obstacles that have caused them to know the trails of this life early on.  Many of you probably don’t know, but the adult part of the program is called Prism.  In order to create a rainbow you need the sun, God’s grace and love, and a prism, the rain or personal tragedy, to form a Rainbow.  “The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.” Our children are now able to go into the world and show they are a rainbow. God is using them to show his grace in the face of tragedy.  We need to accept and learn to process our own grief pertaining to our loss in order to allow these children to be just that…God’s walking Rainbows.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Takes Me Back

Missing you so much...had a hard day today...on the way to taking Joshua to the doctors, an ambulance drove by with is lights and sirens on.  Just hearing them brought me back to the morning you hurts so bad today.  I was fine only to find myself with tears running down my face and trying to keep it together at the doctors office.  That siren just kept blaring in my mind and the events of that morning just came flooding back yet again.

No one will ever really know what that does to me.  Daddy yelled the other day and it was just like that morning when he screamed for me after he found you.  My god this is nothing anyone should have to bare in their lives.  You weren't suppose to die.  I wasn't suppose to live my life like this.  Every day I try to do what people want me to do and live life as best I can but living without you is like having to live without air.  I'm told to look at the brighter side of things and be happy for the things I do have and I really want to but it doesn't work that way and being told that only makes all of it so much worse.  I'll have my moments and should just be allowed them...God will get me through it even if it is during some moments by just helping me to breath and put one step in front of another. 

Tonight I went to get Josh a milkshake since he has strep throat and the guy at the window told me how I have beautiful blue eyes.  I thanked him but could not think past how this boy had no idea what these eyes have seen and how they have really lost the happiness that used to be there.  Never again will they shine with joy like it used to be, true joy without pain.   You had those same blue eyes that God blessed me with and all I kept thinking was how beautiful they were and how much I missed seeing them.  I see them in pictures but they are not the same...I miss seeing that love and connection that we had with one another that no one else did or knew.  It was funny because I remember having you in my belly wondering if you would have mine or daddy's eyes.  All those moments are gone. 

I think with all the other things and having to drive past the house all the time now since the RV is parked in the driveway, I just die all over again. We used to park in the driveway so it didn't matter what way we came down the road but now it does.   I'd be lying if I said when I got in the van or coming home, I don't try to find another way to not have to go past our old house where I felt your's like you are in arms reach but just ripped way each time I drive past.  Today I looked at your garden and just was so overgrown and resembled nothing like it used to when we took care of it and tended it. 

I had to leave so much behind but that is one of the hardest...especially the boulders that no one would go get for me.  After we found out Gabby was going to be part of our family, we bought one for each of us to put in your garden.  I asked over and over again for daddy and poppy to get them but they told me they couldn't.  We got them back there but no one could bring them back...just another sad thing that breaks my  heart when I think of it.  In the end I was really the only person they mattered to and there was a lot of meaning behind them to me.  I know you knew...I'd sit on one next to your plaque and talk to you or just spend quiet time there trying to just make it through another day.

It seems just as I have it together something happens and I am back ten steps just praying that God will get me through because I know I can't do it.  Never do I feel more alone than the moments where I miss you the most.  I don't know how they say that it gets easier because for me it has just gotten harder.  I'm not sure if all the other stuff like loosing our house and generally crappy life circumstances adds to it but I keep waiting for a time when it doesn't have to be so hard and we don't have so many challenges.  I know you are with me in my heart but it is nothing like when I had you in my arms...they feel so empty when I miss you. I know that heaven is great and I am so glad you are there but I want you here and I'd be lying if I said anything different.  Besides your daddy, you are the love of my life...just in a different way...our connection was so unique and I was the center of your left this world knowing your mothers love...something that was never changed because you never got to grow up.  I know you understand even if no one else does.  If only I could hug and kiss you right now!!!  For now I will just go as tears run down my face and yet again I pray to God to help me through all of this.

Calling Glory, Don't Give Up - Official Lyric Video.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Feels Just Like Home Lyrics

This song is for myself and family/friends.  I am really working hard on moving forward after the tragic death of my son.  Thank you all for standing by me even when I was lost but I am trying to learn to live this new life without my little monkey but I never forgot what home is to isn't a place, it is a place in my heart!

The Car Magnet 20 x 12 I designed on

We created this magnet in Memory of George!!!

The Car Magnet 20 x 12 I designed on

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Am Blessed!!!

If I am honest with all of you and myself, this past year has been a year full of me fumbling through the grief process.  I've been praying a lot coming up to George's birthday knowing we are coming up to what I call our season of grief.  Deep in my soul, I know this past year was not how I wanted to handle it all for so many reasons.  This process of grief is not easy and it comes with so many ups and downs and trials and errors along the way as we try to find a way to live this new life we have been given.  Life is not what I wanted for myself and my family and I have not found it fair and where George was concerned, I felt cheated.

Until recently, I didn't realize that I was so angry with God and all the trials he has given us.  We are good people who would give the shirt off our backs or our very last penny to a person in need.  Growing up, I thought that being good was all it took to not have bad stuff happen and even a small part of me wants to believe that now.  The thing is that God didn't promise that and so often he is using the trials for his own glory.  I was angry that he did not save us from this pain and suffering...I've done what he has asked of me and been "good" and yet I hurt more the day he died.

The pain I talk about is such a deep rooted pain, down to the very core of my being.  There were days I had wished I could have just curled up and died.  I would lie in bed and just beg God to take the pain away and to help me through this to make it so I am able to find a way to glorify God through all of this because otherwise there is no purpose to all we are going through.  It took me so long to want to do that through George's death but all along I have been trying to do that through the fundraisers, donations, random acts of kindness, and other things we have tried to do in George's memory.  What I was really asking God was to allow me to do this not only on special days but every single day of my life. 

I have come to realize that I can't wait for God to do this or help me do this for that matter but rather I know I need to take each day and live it for not only George but myself and my family included.  George needs to live on through me and all that I do...I know he has but now I cannot count on others to help me through this because they can't.  So often we have felt alone in this journey because so often when we did fundraisers or had a special thing in his memory not many people would respond or help us with it and so many times it came down to begging.  His birthday really made this apparent to me when we asked people to tell us how George changed their lives or to even donate items for our stocking project and there were only a handful of people who did.   This past week my niece had her 2nd birthday and I sat there thinking of how many friends and people my sister and her husband have in their lives as we went to my nieces second party and saw the gifts that where piled under the table from the day before.  A part of me was jealous of this sort of love and support they had because so often I feel like we don't even have that when we are trying to do something good like our stocking project. 

People so often misjudge us, not knowing our whole story, rather than embracing us for who we are all the way down to the worst part of who we are.  Last night as Hugh and I discussed this, I said the same thing and as it came out of my mouth, I realized there is no one that will be able to ever do that except God.  I spend my life worrying if I am doing things right or wrong by everyone elses standards worrying what they will think but not ever listening to that voice/gut feeling I know is God calling me to allow him to live through me and I live for him.  He knows our story and loves us for our worst flaws and things that we do that are "good" will find a way of coming to fruition because he has placed them on my heart and I will do what I am called to no matter how much support there is and I will cherish those who do support us and love us no matter the number.  This is hard for me but I have really prayed about it and plan to work on this part of myself.  I know I have to just put my faith in God and do what he wants me to do rather than what I think others want or even what I want.  My life is so far from what I wanted for myself and yet I would not change any of it because it made me who I am today and no matter what anyone thinks, I know I can stand before God today and be proud of who I am and what I have done.

I've come to find that the harder I try to listen to God the more opportunities I have had to be called to show love and support to someone else.  Without George's death, I would not know how to connect with those who have had a significant loss in their lives and I know first hand how hard it is to find support and love because no one understands unless they have walked this path.  We all grieve differently, myself included and there is no where for judgement from those who have not walked this path...we have a RIGHT to grieve how we need to...there is no map or directions on how to survive your child dying.  This past year was not how I wanted to live but it has also taught me how NOT to live this new life.  I needed this year of feeling lost because without it, I would not know what it is like to be found.  Never will I be the same person I was before and at one point I yearned for that but now I am learning how to embrace the new me and the new life we lead.   It isn't easy but I have to trust that God will provide what we NEED not what we want.  God is using all of these trials to glorify him and also to show me he is here ALWAYS, especially when I feel so lost and alone.

I know I get tired of being the one there for so many others and when I need it or ask for it, it just isn't there or people are busy with so many other things.  I'm sure that others judgement of us comes to play in some of this but I have come to realize that if God places things on my heart than he will make them happen.  He will provide a way and support me no matter how I FEEL inside.  Life is really all about perception because if it is real to that person in their mind(even if that is not truly how it is) than that is their truth and what they are working with in their life.  So often we discount people's feelings and tell them that they shouldn't feel that way when in fact we are just denying them the ability to address their feelings so they can move forward.  I've done so much work since George's birthday and so much personal reflection and really praying. 

Since that time and now each day, I have been given some very great opportunities to show God's love to someone else by simple acts of kindness.  It is about showing God's love and getting past our own hang ups in life.  I don't need someone elses support to be kind and show love to others.  The other day I paid for a mans bill at Walmart.  He was in front of me and his card wouldn't work.  He was not well dressed and you could tell that life had hit him hard and I could feel it in his spirit.  This man was embarassed and fumbling to pay the bill.  With that I just asked the cashier how much it was and I don't even know why I did because I was going to pay that bill no matter what it was that we had in our bank...I knew God ment for me to do that.  This stranger to me just kept telling me no and I just swiped the card and told him to let me do it as my gift to him because I could not buy my son a birthday gift since he was in heaven and I wanted to do that for him.  He just kept thanking me and I handed him a card I carry in my wallet that had George's info on it and asked him to pass along the gift when he could in whatever manner he could.  I didn't need his thanks nor did I want it...I knew I was meant to do it.

Today I had to speak with a woman from the welfare building in order to do our yearly update.  Yes we get public assistance and I am not hiding husband works hard and just doesn't make enough money.  He still pays taxes out of his paycheck and we contribute to the world in a way we are called to do.  This woman was calling me to do her job and at the end of the conversation I just told her I needed to thank her for her job today.  With that she told me how much she needed to hear that today.  Every day she has to tell people how she can or cannot help them...they are in there often times in tears at their rope end.  She hears stories like ours and yet can barely do things to help these people like us.  People have such a horrible perception of those who need help...we aren't just living on the system and drug addicts, we are eveyday people who life has happened to.  I'm not going to deny that there are people who take advantage of the system but most of them are people who life has tossed  around and who are grasping for something or someone to care or who can help.  This woman was not the person who was suppose to call me, that person got transfered today last minute and she was given her desk plus the work she already had!  She was having such a bad day and something in my heart compelled me to just thank her.

Why did I post about these moments I was given to show God's love?  I don't say this to get sympathey or praise but rather the employ you to make a differenc in someone elses live just because you have listened to the holy spirit calling you or for those non believers, that "gut feeling" You could be changing someones life and not even know it.  You never know where your simple act of kindness can go and how it may be passed on and change so many lives.  How do I do this and why do I do this...I can do this because of the compassion I have learned through my life trials and why do I do this, because I know what it is like to be that person in need even just for a simple hug or kind doesn't have to cost a dime!!!  When I do this, that is when my son is living on through me...I get my strength, love, and understanding from my little monkey in heaven who still and will always live in my heart. 

When I give part of my spirit to a person out of kindness, it is then that my son lives on and still changes lives...a 4.5 month old little boy has changed lives and yet he didn't speak, walk, or own a thing.  Immagine what you can do...and if you choose to do something just based on reading this, George lives on through you too!  It is amazing what love can do and how it can change the world!  Reflect and consider all of this and see if you can find that place in your heart to share with others. If you ever feel compelled to share how you may have taken something from any of my postings, I would LOVE to hear from just lets us know how much further our love and our son's love lives on through the world and changes it.  May God be with you all today and always and you feel his love and show it through your own actions...this is not always easy but allow him to do his will and even mistakes will somehow be glorified or changed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Little Monkey

Sunday was George's 3rd Birthday.  It was such a hard day for me...probably the worst birthday since he died.  I kept going back to the day he was born and could not get those images out of my head.    The pain was so real and so deep in my heart that tears just rolled down my face throughout the day.  We shouldn't be  doing this...going to his grave and having cake without him here.

I had to sit back and think about why it was so hard this time around.  Afer some contemplation, I realized it was because less and less people recognize it and celebrate it with us.  Our confirmation was that morning but we invited people back to the house to have cake with us and very few people showed up.  The only three people that were here, besides my parents and our little family, were my mother in law, sister Tara, and niece Talia.  No one else came.  We did have a few people send a card but most of them were strangers to our family.  My one friend did send us an edible arrangement because she had the shingles.  All in all, I have never felt more alone and my heart hurt more than ever but at least I know now why...Hugh and I have tried not to be disappointed in others but I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother us at all. 

We have asked people to do a good deed in George's memory and I don't even know if anyone did or did not.  I had asked people to leave a message on his page or on our facebook event page but no luck and yet more disappointment.  It hurts enough to know you are celebrating the life of a dead baby but to think that people couldn't find a way to come and support us on such a horrible day.  From now on I think I am not going to invite others and just opt to do something with our little family because the let down feeling is so hard to cope with.  Even with our confirmation, only a few people showed up to the church for that too.  It was very important for us all and I am glad we did it and knew we at least had people there from our church family and also also my mom, my uncle, Richard's father/father's wife, and Barbara(a woman we met through one of Joshua's fundraisers)  Richard's big brother from grief camp had wanted to come but I didn't get his email asking for our address until Monday.  My Aunt Cathy did email me.

My brother said to me "I figured it wouldn't be bad since you have already done it twice before." That very question was what made me really think about why it was harder and when I realized it was the total lack of support that we felt this time around.  I also could not get the thoughts of how three years ago he was alive and I got to meet him for the first time.  I'm hoping that this season of grief isn't as bad as last year because I thought last year was worse than the year before and the way this season is going, I am praying that it only get better from here not worse. 

I've found myself throwing my pain into cleaning and things like that to keep busy instead of being sad.  At the end of the day it doesn't really help but it does make it so I can get through the days at least.  My next big goal is to begin work on myself inside and out.  If Hugh and I want one more baby than I want to be in the best shape all the way around.  I know it seems odd to even be talking about that but we both want our last child in the next two years.  I've gained quite a bit of weight because of medications I've taken and now it is time to get rid of that part of it.  Part of my feelings will hopefully be worked through during that time because I want to work on my mind and body.

Please pray for strength and understanding on our part...we want to not feel let down by other people.  It is just so hard to watch as no one shows up for things that are special to us and yet they show up for things others in our family do.  Often it feels like a slap in the face.  When we went to the rainbows program, the people there couldn't believe this sort of thing but I told them that in general that this is my life.  I am there for others and yet when I need it the most I am often let down and sometimes that hurts even more than anything.  You would think that since this has been pretty much my whole life, I would be used to this by now but I just am not.  As we move forward, I pray for myself and my own feelings of inadequacy that comes with this sort of thing and the strength to look beyond all of this and to work on myself as a whole person.  Thank you in advance for your prayers. I'm not sure how much I will be updating the next few weeks since it is so much harder right now to sit down and write.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Request

To all our friends and family, and those who read our blog...we are requesting that you find it in your heart to send a card for George or a small gift of some sort for his birthday.  His big brothers feel he deserves birthday gifts/cards even though he is in heaven.  They will be so excited to see cards coming in the mail.  I know this is last minute but we just had this coversation not that long ago so I have just now posted the request.  George would have been 3 years old if he was still with us on September 9th.  The address that your heartfelt mailings can be sent to is:
                                                                                                      7 Ellis Avenue, Lumberton, NJ 08048

We thank you in advance for thinking of us and being willing to share this special day with us in this manner.  I also wanted to remind people about doing a random act of kindness in his memory on  Sept doesn't have to cost a dime to do something nice.  If you would like a card to give to the person please email me at and I will be glad to email you the cards we are using. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Closer

George's birthday is getting closer with each passing day.  The only thing that I can think of is how three years ago he was safe and sound, alive, and in my womb.  Now he is dead and my life is full of pain and such a huge hole in my heart where he took part when he left us here.  This was not suppose to be our life...he was suppose to be here running around and he isn't.  All that excitement of his arrival three years ago is now a time each year where I just have a sad feeling fill my heart because I remember what joy I had then but now it is all just pain.  We have lost so much these past few years and no one will ever truly understand the extent of it all.

We did find out that this year our family will have something special happening on his birthday.  Richard, Hugh, and I will be making our confirmation at our church.  It came as such a surprise to find that it was scheduled on George's birthday.  These moments when things like this happen, I know he is sending us signs that he is with us but it still hurts so bad when I think of how we should be having a birthday party but that won't be happening.  I am glad however that this is the date we will make such a huge step in our faith and that we get to do this as a family.  It will be very special and meaningful for us on so many levels, even now as I write this tears run down my face.

There are so many times that I wish I could visit him or just hear his laugh one more time.  It hurts to think I can't even remember what his voice sounded like and how I never got to hear him say mommy or even just say his first word...we lost out on so many firsts and got dealt a whole year of firsts full of grief after he died. So often I have to just stuff my feelings away to be able to live but they always come back on such a greater scale.  The closer we get to his birthday, the harder it is on me.  Now I find myself crying in the shower or when I go to bed at night and even during the day there are times I just can't keep it together.  I try to draw from my faith but sometimes I just don't know what God is thinking and feel it so unfair that we have had to endure all of this.  Just three days before his birthday our house goes up for is that fair???  Why in the world do we have to endure this all right now.  I'm trying to stay strong but every single part of me wants to just fall to pieces.

As we get closer to the 9th please pray for all of isn't easy for any of us.  I miss my little boy so much and my heart just hurts so bad right now.  I know I need all the prayers I can to make it through this horrible time in my life...I know this will just be the way it will always be for me but I know God will get me through the moments when I want to just die and be with him so that I can still be here and do what I am being called to do.  God's will is not always easy but it is also the road that will eventually lead me to my son again some day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Third Day - Agnus Dei

This was played at George's service by my brother in law and it has always had a profound impact on me whenever I hear it.  It brings me to the very moment when I felt God's presence during communion at our son's life celebration.  I know He was with me during the most difficult time in my life...the day I burried my son and had to completely let him go to God.  We are however coming up on what I call our season of grief that starts with his birthday and ends in February around when we had to completely release him into God's loving arms.  Please pray for us as we go through this because this past year it was just horrible and I need to get back to that place where I find comfort in knowing he is with God rather than utter pain and saddness that he is gone from my arms.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

September 09...George's Birthday

As some of you know, George's birthday is coming up.  George was born 09/09/09 and every year we try to do something special on his birthday to celebrate the blessing he was to our lives and the joy he brought to our family that day  he joined it.  I've been tossing around ideas as to what to do and I think I'm going to ask people to preform a random act of kindness in his name like we did last year.  I've set up a Facebook event where you can leave comments on what you chose to do in his memory.  We had very few people leave us comments last year and it was hard because we were hoping to read them on his birthday and know that he was being thought of and still changing the world so I am asking again that you take just a few seconds to leave a comment on the facebook page or here on his page. 

We are also asking that if you feel it in your heart to send a card to the house so we can open them on his birthday, that would be greatly appreciated.  If they arrive early we will just make a pile and open them as if we would open a gift.  Also, should you find any monkey themed items, we always love to get them and the kids are always so excited to get packages/gifts in the mail, even if they are for their brother.  These items can be sent to : The Garman Family 7 Ellis Avenue, Lumberton, NJ 08048  George's sibblings are young and still feel he deserves a gift/cards and I have to say it helps us all as we celebrate here on Earth without George here with us on such a special day. 

Last but not least we are also going to begin to collect toiletries so we can continue the now yearly tradition of making Christmas stockings for the homeless at a local soup kitchen.  This past Christmas was the first time we did this but it was so successful and helped us to get through the holidays without George being here.  We are also going to allow people to sponsor a stocking again this year in honor/memory of someone who has touched their own life.  If you would like a little blurb added about the person who you are sponsoring the stocking in honor/memory of we will gladly place it inside the stocking so they can be recognized/remembered by those who's life they touched with this simple gift.  Sponsoring a stocking will be $5 again this year and donations can be made through the paypal account listed at the right. 

We thank you all well in advance!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Missing You

I miss you so much Little Monkey!
Not many people know that I had a spot on my wall at our old house for your handprint but we never got to put it there...after you died I put a dragonfly on the stem of the flower I had painted and left open for you!  When I read this I thought of that and how sad it is to me you didn't get to add yours and now all your big brothers are gone too:o(

Bad Days

I can't really say why I have been having such horrible days but I have been having them.  Often times you can't see on the outside how much I am dying on the inside.  I've gotten so good at faking it that by a simple glance you would think there is nothing wrong with me.  Little do most people I know or see in a day know, inside I am just dying.  Almost three years later, it is just as hard as when I let him go, I've only got better at putting away the pain for longer periods of time.  The kicker is when it comes back and I can no longer control it, I am a mess for such a long time even if it is just inside of me or that I cry in the shower or in bed as I attempt to go to sleep. 

This is when I miss having my own house the most.  There I was able to just be open with my feelings without having to having to answer as to why I am just not myself...God sometimes I don't even know other than I feel often that my life sucks and I am tired of being in this living hell.  God, if I said that now, I would face some sort of lecture as to how I have to look on the possitive side or how I need to be strong for my other children.  My son is dead and although children die every day and there are worse situations, mine is pretty shitty and I get to have my moments when I feel that way.  To me it is the worst.  This of course doesn't come only from those I live with but also others around me on a less common basis or those who don't even know me at all.  If I could wipe some of these damn sayings out of people's vocabulary, I would!!! 

One of the other main reasons I miss my house was because that was the one place I felt my son's presence.  I could go to his room and just sit for a while and feel like I was with him and now that is all gone...I feel him no where at all and that just kills me inside.  No one will ever know how hard it is to look out the back door and know the one place he was, I am never allowed back to.  Its been about a year since we have moved in with my parents and "leaving it all behind" has not helped one bit and rather has been worse for me than living there was.  It may sound stupid to some but not to me...that was the place I brought all of my children home to and the home my husband and I built together litterally and figuratively.  It was the one place where we could let our walls down and be the people we are without fear of judgement.  All of that is son is now gone again.  I HATE to even drive by the house because it causes so much pain in my heart.  When I am caught looking at it from the back door here I am told to "stop eating my heart out"...ugh...another phrase I would like to oblitorate!

We are heading into another season of difficult times and I am just dreading them because I don't feel as if we can grieve for the things we have lost in a way we need to.  Last year I tried to get through it by taking anxiety meds and that shure as hell didn't do anything but get people calling me a drug addict.  Little did they know, all I wanted was to escape the pain and anxiety that they have no real idea about.  I was willing to try anything!!!  When I got to February, I got asked when I was going to get over this "first it was his birthday, and then it was the holidays, and then it was his death date and now you still aren't over it"  .  Really???  Unless you can bring my son back from the dead this whole season is going to be difficult, all the way up until and mabe even past the day I burried him, and I am not going to get over it anytime soon.  No mother, or father for that matter, should have to watch the horror unfold before their eyes as their child dies unexpectedly with such trauma.  If I could erase the memories of that awful day, God knows I would because I keep reliving it over and over again by no choice of my own but rather the lingering anxiety that comes with a traumatic situation.  All I can say is be me and then we will talk.

This past week has had me going back and thinking of George and how much I miss him and hurt.  It is the anniverssary of us loosing the only place I knew as his home and is followed up by his birthday, the holidays, his death date, the horrible days in between, and his burrial date...all the days that suck!  It always seems as if you just finally get a grips on the one date and the next one is there making you start all over again.  This will only be my third attempt at facing these days and trying to figure out how to get through them as much in tact as possible.  Yeah, I know I have to deal with it every day so it seems like I've had more time but think about your own family and if you were missing someone how you would feel worse on certain days that were special to you.  The other part is that so often people forget that Hugh was his father and deserves some slack from time to time.  Even if his feelings/actions may seem completely wrong, they may be right for him or they are his truth.  He deserves just as much respect and support as the kids and I do and yet he is the one they easily redicule or tease without any thought as to why he would do/say something or his feelings.

I really do ask that you pray for me, for us, and for the children.  On my end, I am hurting so badly inside and even if the kids or Hugh aren't feeling the same thing, that doesn't mean they don't feel it through me.  I've already talked to Richard and he is having his own issues himself right now when it comes to his brothers death.  The two of us have both felt the lack of ability to truly show our feelings to others even if we are really only feeling inside that others don't understand.  This may very well not be the actual truth but it is our truth, the way we see it and as any therapist would tell you, you have to deal with the person's truth as if it is because for that person that is exactly what it is.  For now I just ask you pray for us all but especially me as I find it harder and harder to keep my emotions in check...three years ago he was in my womb safe and sound, happy and playful, and now instead of running around with his siblings, he is gone with very little knowledge of this world he was suppose to share.  For now, I just pray that these bad days go away soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

George is a Cousin Again!!!

Talia Michelle is here!!! 10lbs 4ozs 22 inches!!!
Yes you read that right!!!
I am sure that George met her before she was sent to bless our family!!!

Pain of All Kinds

Lately, George's loss has been so hard.  Every moment of every day is full of sadness deep in my heart even when my face says differently.  Whenever we do something fun, I want him with us and can feel that hole in my heart just throb with pain.  Events from the past few weeks have not made it any easier as we had many family things that make me wish he was with us.  I have also been plagued by feelings of even deeper heartache as I have come to face ridicule and pain from find out others have been talking about me behind my back about a lot of things.  If only they could walk a moment in my shoes the would understand.  I've been called a failure and said to be a moocher(that of course is boiling it down to the simplest meaning behind what has been said), all of which just hurts so bad because no one knows the REAL truth.  Hugh has also been feeling a lot of this pain and had a bad day on Monday.  So often we both feel trapped in hell and moments like these add to the fire.

I've been thinking about George a lot too because we hit the two and a half year mark on Sunday.  It was hard because we were at a family get together where I felt so out of place and had to not show my breaking heart.  Hugh and I both sat in a corner table trying to just keep it together and stay out of the way for so many reasons.  I was so relieved when the day was over and we could just go home and to bed.  So many nights I cry myself to sleep because I know I can't do much of that during the day.  Often I am told that I owe it to my other children or that I need to be happy I have other children and so many other things that just want to me and see how well you do!

My sister is also having her baby today.  She uses the same docs I do and is headed in for a csection just like I have had with my kids.  Whenever I think of her, I think of the day I had George and the joy we had that day as we held him and got to love him in our arms rather than in my womb, not even knowing his/our fate.  Hugh and I have both been feeling that pull on our hearts again to have our last child.  Since this will be our last, I don't want it to be one where I'm full of hurtful emotions from others who don't want us or feel we should have anymore children.  Every single one of my pregnancies has been full of that and I don't want that.  The odd part is that I know that no matter how it happens or when, we will be met with tons of this yet again but yet I keep holding out.  No one knows how we know it is part of God's plan for us.  Gabby's pregnancy was full of so many up and down emotions and we both want to just enjoy this last baby in such a different way.  We needed Gabby and I know that is exactly what is happening with this last child of ours that will someday is a calling but also a need.  No one can ever replace George nor do any of our children live in his shadow but I believe that not only are they a calling from God but also a way for us to heal and find strength and happiness that we have yet to know. 

All of this is so hard.  I don't understand God's purpose in it all but I have to trust in his will for our lives.  We have been attending a grief/loss group at a local church and it has been very interesting and helpful in a very unique way.  I'm sad to know that it is coming to and end in two weeks and wish it could be something we had all the time.  The group of people that attend are wonderful and yet small.  We all support one another and are there for one another in just a different way than other support groups we have been to.  The kids attend at the same time we do and they all love it too.  I find it so interesting that strangers can be more supportive than some family.  Not all of my family is judgmental and supportive and I am so thankful for those who are not.  These people have in someway become part of our extended family and feel the ability to talk openly without holding anything back.  They are what we draw from when the hard stuff becomes too hard.  Those of you who read this and have been supportive, non judgmental, don't talk negatively behind our backs, and are just there, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, even if you are not related biologically, for you have no idea what you bring to our lives.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just So Hard

Lately, things have just been so hard for me on all fronts.  I think I try to hide my emotions where George is concerned and comes out in some other way.  Life since George is so much harder than life before him.  Our live have always been hard and faced criticism from others but it got so much worse after he died.  Just like before...we had good and bad moments and we have those now but even the good moments have something bad lurking in the shadows and it is that he is dead and not here.  So many people don't understand that and try to tell us to look only at the good things but it just isn't possible.

Today I have just not felt myself after a long day at Sesame Place yesterday.  I've been feeling kind of off and now I am really off.  I was getting ready to take a shower when I heard someone yelling and my hear just sunk to my stomach.  A panic attack started the moment I heard a yell I could not understand.  A second or so later Joshua yelled again, he was looking for my dad.  With that, I fell apart and just started to cry and continued to through my whole shower.  I mustered up whatever strength I had left and got myself together enough to go downstairs in case someone was outside the bathroom and I had to walk past them. 

Finally, I got to my room and just stood there so sad that this was now my life.  Never would I have ever freaked out and had a panic attack the way I did before George died.  I hate living this way.  It's easy to say that I am capable of changing that but the only person/people who would believe that would be someone who had never been through something like that.  You can't watch your child die before your eyes and not be changed but especially not loose it when you hear someone yell when that was what called you to those horrible moments in your life.  How do you ever go back?  You can't!  NO amount of counseling or group sessions fixes something like that.  The funny part is that all my fellow angel mothers completely agree no matter how many years they are out if they were not the ones who found their child. 

I want so much of my life back but besides George, the one thing I want back the most is the ability to not have insane panic attacks.  This whole thing has made have a new respect for those who live with this sort of thing their entire lives all day every day.  I have always had anxiety about people talking about me or talking behind my back but that is a joke in comparison to this.  All the anxieties are warranted but what comes with George's death, it just is so  much greater than anything and I cannot talk myself out of it.  Anxiety from those who talk about me, I can often talk myself out of and even if they are talking about me I can take a step back and say that it is their loss they are not in my life or that they have to answer for it someday.  The anxiety that comes from George's death takes over, holds grip, and doesn't let go until I am sure everyone is ok.  Directly following it, I break down in tears and sob uncontrollably as I relive that horrible morning in my head or just cry because he is dead and I know where the panic attack came from and the horrible anxiety I now harbor because of his death.  Living like this is so hard...watching him die was hard but living without him and all the stuff that comes after is even harder.  Having your child die is just so hard.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


This week has been full of babies for me.  Yesterday I held my cousins son, the first boy baby I have held since George died.  As I held him part of me wanted to die and just not even look at him and yet part of my heart sang as I remembered holding George and I didn't want to give him back.  This has stirred up so many emotions in me.  For so long I have kind of tucked George away deep in my heart to stop feeling the pain of his loss for a while so that I could keep it together the way everyone wants me to.  When I say that I mean that no one really wants to see me sad or watch me in pain so to get away from the horrible feelings that come not only with his death but also the way others react to me I have gotten good at just pretending I have it all together.  Instead, I die inside while I put my son deep in my heart because I cannot hold him in my arms like I could that little boy the other day.

We also held a baby shower for my sister who is going to have my niece on the first of August.  These things are so damn hard for me and no one really understands that.  I need to be part of these things for the sake of my family but it is so hard.  I don't want to steal their happiness because of my pain.  For me though I have to do this stuff in increments but that was not really how it all happened.  I am a planner by nature and hate waiting until the last minute but when this stuff happens I NEED time.  For some people waiting to the last minute is because they are trying to avoid it but I am opposite and I want to face them but I need time.  It all went well but God I cannot tell you how hard it was for me but I was able to at least not burst into tears like I did at my sisters first shower so I guess that is one step in the right direction. 

I also look at others who don't face the life challenges we have had to and I can admit that I am jealous.  In my heart I just cry out in pain for the life I yearn to have that was taken away from me so many years ago and just got further away year after year.  Looking at my life now it is so far from where I wanted to be and not because of my choices but rather life happening to us.  I've also always been the one to seek approval from everyone and yet have always been the one person that people talk about behind my back and criticize or judge unfairly without really knowing me or walking my shoes.  When people talk behind your back and you know it is not good most of the time it gives you an insane paranoia and pain just from the thought of it all.  It just hurts and adds to my already difficult life.

Being homeless has been like a smack in the face and made me feel like I have gone back to being a little kid.  I'm constantly looking for approval and feeling as if I am being talked about even if I am not and not doing the things I feel called to do because I am afraid to have to live with the judgement and anger directed toward me over these things.  A lot of it has been related to my kids and how people don't understand my calling to having children at the times I have been called to this.  These are deep rooted feelings that I know come from God and I try to put them off as long as possible until I feel like I am going to go out of my mind.  All of this baby stuff has been exacerbating the calling for our last child and yet I know this would only bring ridicule and pain when it should just be joy but for me that is not the case.  I know these are not ideal circumstances and I wish I didn't have this calling in my heart because I don't want to live that all over again but I also know there is only so long that I can run.  God I can't imagine being Mary!

Our family has just changed so much in the last few years and is just becoming more unrecognizable to me.  We have always struggled and had challenges but none like this.  My kids know a pain they should never have to know and if I could carry that for them, I would.  Hugh struggles on his own in ways I cannot help him and faces so much criticism from others.  I constantly feel like I am being torn in a million directions and don't have any energy left at the end of the day for myself.  When we had our house it was just different.  We had our own space to call home and although this is my home, I also feel homeless.  Mixed emotions are so hard to deal with.  I LOVE that my children get to be so close to my parents but also feel so out of place at times.  Maybe that is more it, I feel out of place in this life and as if I have never really fit ever. 

My entire life I just didn't really fit in and have always been the underdog.  Every part of me has given 100% and I always have to work so hard for the simplest things.  After a while it becomes exhausting and for me I become emotional because I don't know what else to do.  I will either get nasty or I will just cry and often times it is a combination of the two.  Never do I mean to be like this but when I don't know what else to do that is all I feel I can do.  There are even times I don't even know why I feel this way and I have been this way my entire life.  For now I have to deal with what God has handed me even though I don't get it.  I know I can't live in sorrow and sadness but I surely have my moments and right now that is what it is for me.  God has a plan for all of this and I get that.  So often the only reason I do a lot of things is because I don't want to rob someone else from the good things in their lives because mine is so damn hard...I want the best for them, not what I have and I won't be the reason for their pain if I can help it.  If I ever have hurt anyone, it has been done accidentally.  All that being said, that doesn't stop my heart from feeling broken all the time as I yearn for my son and the life I wanted but have never had.  I miss that baby that I held in my arms that was suppose to grow up but now forever remains a baby in my heart.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

God I Miss You!

I sit here thinking of how long it has been since I watched you die.  My heart is so very heavy and I miss you more than words can say!  No one knows how bad I hurt sometimes.  I've gotten so good at keeping it all inside and putting on my happy face.  It hurts so bad to pretend like I am happy when inside I am crying.  Life is nothing like I wanted it to be and I have no control over that.  It hurts when I hear people judge me when they have not walked my shoes and have no real idea how hard it is.  Nothing is fair when your child dies and you did nothing to warrant this kind of pain.  I can't even look at your picture without wanting to cry and right now I miss more than ever our house.  No one understands how much it hurts to loose it.  It was like loosing you all over again because this was the only place you knew as home and the only place I really have memories with you.  They feel it is better for us to move forward but it isn't the case and moving and having to have a happy face on now almost 24/7 makes this even harder to handle.  The pain can be so bad that I want to explode inside but can't...instead I have to wait until night when I cry myself to sleep.  There isn't anything in the world that I wouldn't give to have you in my arms again.  I miss you more than you will ever know.  Sending you kisses to heaven because I can't give them to you myself:o(

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rays of Sun

It has been a while since I updated what has been going on in our lives.  The summer always is harder to write since the kids are home from school and need my attention.  Every day I have been thinking and praying for the Green family who lost their son recently.  I know I asked for prayers for them prior but my  heart is just so heavy for them since I know the pain of loosing a child.  The mom of the family, I knew from Cub Scouts and she was always supportive of our family so I am very drawn to them and want to help any way that I can. 

If I could take away their pain, I would because I would not wish this hell on Earth to anyone.  That being said, I know I can't so I am doing all I can do and just offering our services and prayers for them.  We have signed up to take them a meal once a week on Monday's.  I have also sent the mom emails and just keep letting her know I am here for her.  I don't want to be a nudge but I also know that she won't ask since I didn't and you are just focused on surviving.  Your live goes into survival mode and you feel like the rest of the world is spinning and going on while yours is staying still.  I think of the road ahead for them and know how difficult it really is so I want to do anything I can to ease it because I just kept praying for someone to help me and give me guidance or just to hug me and listen to me talk about my son and the horrible events of the day.  You often find that other people don't know how to do this and you forget they don't know what this is like and you would never wish it on them so you just have to rely on someone who really is able to be there and push you forward even when you are digging your heals in and trying to go back to your old life.  I just want my old life back with my child in it so you want to turn around rather than to forward. 

The resources and things I had to hunt for I have given them also because I don't want them to go through what we went through.  I felt so alone when George died because people didn't know how to help or what to do so they did nothing.  Everyone would tell me No one set up meals for us on a consistent basis, not even our church or extended family.  There were individuals who did make a meal or bring something over but after his funeral the support started to disappear and that was when I needed it the most.  I don't hold anyone at fault because I didn't know what I needed so that meant they didn't because no one had ever been through this before other than two people I know and they have disappeared from our lives all together.  At the time this was all happening, I was quite angry and hurt by those that I felt I could count on and they didn't step up.  Looking back now, I know how bitter I was about all of it and I couldn't look past my own pain to see theirs but I couldn't at the time.  I was also shocked by the few who stepped out and helped that I didn't think would ever be there.

I was unable at the time to also see that God was there helping me by bringing little rays of sunshine because I was so lost in the storm of my grief.  There was a lot of misplaced anger and things of that nature and people I hurt unintentionally and I have had to ask God to forgive me along with those who I am now aware that I hurt.  I'm sure there are other people I have hurt unknowingly and I have asked God for their forgiveness to find their hearts and ask him that they can see how lost I was.  This is the kind of thing that you can't prepare for or learn ahead of time.  Yesterday I actually had one of our issues cleared up.  I have been praying for this for so long!  The clouds are starting to part a little and allow the sun to shine through all of the pain. 

We had an altercation with a neighbor the day after George died.  It has been one of the worst relationships I have ever had in my life.  I've been praying for this to stop and have tried on several occasions to make peace with the neighbor only to have it end up in a fight of some nature.  The kids have wanted to play with the little boy in the home but we have held them back for several reasons but mainly because of our issues with them.  Two days ago the little boy came here and I didn't have a problem with it, I don't have and never have had an issue with the child but insisted that if the kids wanted to play that it had to be here.  These kids had so much fun and I have to say it brought me back to being a kid myself and I had to start to rethink things.  Yesterday, they wanted to go swimming in his pool at his house.  Our pool was having issues and the air conditioner in Joshua's play house was not working so if the boys wanted to go  outside and play it had to be in a pool or they had to have access to a pool.

I sucked up my pride and told the kids it was ok if Richard was willing to go and take the boys.  They convinced him and I was in the middle of something so I told him to ask the neighbor first.  Much to my dismay the kids came back and Michael was in tears and Richard was upset.  He told me that it was a problem and that the neighbor gave him a hard time.  Something in me said that I needed to go even though I didn't want to.  This needed to be fixed for these kids sake.  With that I got out of my PJ's and headed over there and with every single step I prayed to God to give me the right words.  The neighbor met me on the sidewalk and definitely had attitude but I stayed calm and kept praying.  I'm not the type of person to deal with confrontation and have always been the one to walk away so this is out of my character.  She started talking at me, not yelling but with plenty of attitude and I just let her go and say what she needed to. 

There were times I wanted to just say something and cop an attitude with her too but I didn't.  I stayed calm and told her that I want to put things in the past for the kids sake and to move forward.  With that I told her that I am a different person and that I apologize for anything that may have transpired between our families.  I also explained that I don't even remember some of the stuff that was said or done and that we both have our own perception of what happened and that somewhere in the middle is where it truly is and no one was right or wrong and that we needed to just move forward for the kids.  Her demeanor changed and her heart was softened and we were able to patch things up.  I am still thanking God for his presence and work in this situation.  AMEN God is Good!!!

We had recently gone to FL for a big family vacation.  Things didn't go as well as they usually do and we wound up coming home two days early since the kids missed Hugh.  Hugh was unable to go with us because they are doing inventory.  It was so hard without him, especially since we flew and it was me with 4 kids on my own with all their stuff.  During the trip all sorts of crazy things happened and it was really the worst trip we ever had but the kids had fun and enjoyed the company of the adults and were oblivious to what was going on.  During our trip to Downtown Disney I saw the water fountain working and it has not worked since we went with George...every part of me wanted to cry!  I know it sounds stupid but it is one of the last family pictures we have with him in it and it was such a happy time for us all.  I thank God for that trip every single day and that we got to share that experience with him.  He LOVED the water fountain and the Christmas lights that they had decorating all of Disney. 

Those are memories I will forever cherish...and yet they also make me sad since I though we would be able to bring him back later.  We had also eaten in the T-Rex restaurant for the first time with him and it was so awesome.  This trip we did too and we took Gabby.  She absolutely loved it and fell in love with the fish!!!  Deep in my heart I could feel slight sadness for George but happiness because I could share that with her.  We had to have her make her own dinosaur from their version of Build a Bear since all the kids have one but her.  She named it Chi Chi after my cousin's Chihuahua that she fell in love with at my uncle in SC house.   Although it was a rough trip there were also rays of sunshine that shone through and every single time I go there part of my heart heals a little more because I feel so close to my son there.  It truly is for us The Happiest Place on Earth!

This is such a long and draining process but God's promise to walk with us every way has been what we have relied on to make it through this horrible tragedy.  As much as I hurt, I am also grateful for the blessings.  For our family there are big rays of sunshine coming through as I follow the guidance I have in my heart from God even if no one else understands.  I am sure that Mary's family was not so happy their daughter was pregnant and they probably took a lot of criticism at that time.  I'm here to do God's will and not my own or that of anyone else and somewhere in all this I forgot that.  I have sought approval from those around me when in fact it is God's love and will that I should be doing.  People will always talk about me or say nasty things but I know I am doing what God wants and that all of this is to help mold me into what he wants me to be.  I think that being there  for this family is one of my purposes so please pray for them and me so that I may help them walk this path...if George had not died I would not be able to do this...he is still touching lives now that he is gone and instead of living here he is living on in my heart and he shines through my eyes as I do the things God has planned for me.  Thank you Lord for the sunshine in the storm!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Funny Michael Moment

Michael had a difficult night after he saw a spider where he normally sleeps. We tried to convince him that there were no more and that his daddy had successfully killed the creepy crawly. I do have to give the kid credit though...he wanted proof and asked to see the spiders ashes!!! I'm guessing that we should have explained cremation a little better!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dedicated to the Green Family Why-Rascal Flatts

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prayer Warriors

I am asking everyone to pray for the Green family.  This is a family in our community who lost their 15 year old son.  Right now it is thought that he committed suicide.  He has left behind 5 siblings and his parents.  They will need all the prayers they can get and I know you all are wonderful prayer warriors!

The Best Kids Ever!!!

With Father's Day Sunday, I wanted to post this in honor of Hugh and my father.  Both men have struggled with George's death and yet are overlooked so often.  Please take the time to respect a father you may know who has lost their child or a grandfather because they too hurt.  If you feel so inclined, please consider sending Hugh and my father something to let them know that you are thinking of them and their loss on Father's Day.

I also wanted to share a quick story about what happened yesterday.  The kids are all finishing up school and have been on half day since yesterday and are out completely today.  Yesterday afternoon, Joshua came running inside screaming and crying.  I tried to figure out what was going on but all I could think about was how long of a summer it is going to be if the two of them are already starting their antics.  I finally made out what Josh was crying and it was "Michael stay away from my teeth!"  In my mind I thought it was just something silly between the two of them and I was wrong.  Michael came running in behind him telling him to stay still.  When I asked him what he was doing, he said "I need teeth...Joshua you are older and your teeth come out sooner!"  Never was I more confused.  When I asked him again what was it for he told me "I need all the teeth I can get so I can give them to the tooth fairy.  The tooth fairy will give me money and I can give it to you and daddy to buy a new house since we can't go back to our old one.  I know we are poor."

Have you ever been stopped dead in your tracks?  This whole thing did just that to me.  My heart just swelled with huge emotions.  On one hand I was so proud of him for thinking of us and being selfless but on the other hand I just wanted to cry.  My children have been through so much and it pains me that at 5 years old that he has to know this sort of thing.  I explained to him that we are not poor but that daddy doesn't make as much money as he did before so we can't buy our house anymore. He asked why we just can buy a different house that daddy has money for.  It is so complicated for a little kid, he thinks he can knock his brothers teeth out and get the money from the tooth fairy to pay for a house.  Every part of me wants to just hug and squeeze that kid and then just cry.

We are so blessed to have children like ours, they all want to help...if only it was simple.  If all the problems of the world were solved by love the world would be a better place and our family would be rich!  Monetarily we don't have a lot but by love, we are wealthy. I even think of this where George is concerned...the garden bench we bought when he died said "If love could have saved you, you would live forever" We are blessed in abundance by love and for that I will praise God no matter what goes on in our lives to knock us down.  So often children are so innocent and loving...we need to all take their actions and choose to be like them.  This is truly why God says you must come to him as a child!  Please keep us in your prayers as we start the summer with the kids home!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

~ Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT

Friday, June 8, 2012

We Have to Stay

Yesterday made me know that we cannot move and aren't meant to move.  I know financially that my parents can't stay here but I know we have to find a way to stay.  You are probably wondering what it was that made that change so fast.  Yesterday Joshua graduated from Kindergarten and Michael had his Kickball Tournament.  Both boys are in classes that have children with all sorts of challenges.  Our experience with both classes just made us know we had to stay for them because they thrive and shine and it is all due to the school staff and their hard work with these children.

I wish I could explain the feeling in these rooms yesterday.  The beginning of our day started with Michael's class of 5 children with challenges that all vary and yet you would not know there was a thing wrong with any of them by the way they acted.  Not one of these children let their challenges get in their way of playing this game of kickball.  They had to practice for 2 months to be able to do this but they were so proud  of themselves and couldn't wait to show their parents all they had accomplished.  We laughed and cried as the parents of these children and knowing where each one came from.  There were two classes of 5 that played two hard innings and finished up in their classrooms with their proud parents spending some time and eating snacks.  The atmosphere created by these children was nothing but amazing and such a gift and blessing to be able to experience.

Two things crossed my mind as I sat there cheering on these children.  First of all I was so proud of Michael and knew he needed to remain in this atmosphere of support and love created by all the work of the staff and our ability to put things in place to make it easy for him to succeed.  I was afraid for him if we were to loose that.  My next big thought was about how George should be following in his footsteps.  We were joking about how the teacher didn't have anymore Garman's in the wings that would make her classroom cold.  After the joking I got to thinking about how he would have been there or getting ready to attend her class and it made me sad.  It wasn't long before I had to snap out of it and head to Joshua's class.

Joshua's graduation was such a HUGE milestone for him that all of us made it and so did Hugh's mom and mine.  He has worked so hard to get where he is!  The teachers and therapists did not think he would be where he is right now.  We all knew where he came from and how hard learning came to Joshua and yet how hard he works to try and accomplish something.  This was his second year in this class and each year he grew so much.  We also know Michael would be going into this class and that he would benefit from this classroom greatly and the idea of him not being able to have this just broke my heart and I got sadder as time went on and also prouder.  I was sad for the fact that our dreams for our life turned out nothing like we had planned and that was mainly the fact that we were all there but George and that hurt.

I also though of how hard our lives have been and how hard we have struggled even before we were married and if you thought of all that, you couldn't help but be sad.  The other side of it was that I thought of the people we were then and the people we are now and our blessings.  My children have been my teachers and shown me how often times one tiny step deserves more praise than a mile being ran.  They taught me how much I personally cherish life from the very moment it starts as little tiny cells.  They also made me realize that no one person deserves life over anyone else based on challenges or accomplishments and time here doesn't determine impact on the world.  Every single day they teach me more than I will ever teach them.

This entire thing made me realize how much more I want them to thrive and how it is this environment that allows that.  We need to do whatever we can to stay in our schools for the kids.  Richard will also be going to HS soon and will struggle in a typical HS and here he has the option of a vocational school where I know he will succeed.  Hugh is a supervisor and although the pay isn't great, it is experience as a supervisor and it does pay the bills.  The kids have health insurance here in NJ and if we were to move to SC they would have to  loose it here until I can try to re qualify the kids.  We also just found the best medical staff for the kids and I would have to go through that all over again and I am so afraid of that for them and myself.  Deep down, I felt that we need to stay here and make this as possible as can be for all our sakes.  I'm really praying that we can find a way to get ourselves a new home here and asking God for his guidance through all of this.  Please pray for us and that God guides us each day to get where he wants us to be.

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