I have not posted in quite a while, pretty abnormal for me since for a long time I would post almost every single day. We have been working hard here on our grief work and moving forward as a family. There have been so many moment for us since my last post about this that it would take me hours to post about it. It seems almost every single day the kids, Hugh, or I have a big day full of so many emotions that by the end of the day I am so exhausted that I don't have time to post. We are also getting used to the idea of our home being gone officially soon and the feelings that go with that for not only Hugh and I but the kids too. My parents and our family are still getting used to living with one another and each day is surely a learning experience, especially now that my brother is living here too. We have our moments where we all want to pull our hair out and then there are those moments where you know this is what God had intended that take over you more than those bad ones.
Our family has faced so many losses in the last few years and after a while it becomes overwhelming. I think that the last few months we have really let them get to the best of us all and now we are finally all getting out of our funk and are getting out of that survival mode and learning to live these new lives we have been given. This is no easy task for any of us but it starts with Hugh and I. The posting of George's name somehow started us all on that path and we have all been working hard ever since. We have also endured some more losses but although deeply touched, we have found a way to make peace about them even though it took a little bit of work. The one I was impacted the most by was my Aunt Florence's death. I still have some unresolved issues since my sitter backed out last minute before the service, I was literally dressed and ready to leave when we found out she was not coming. She died unexpectedly and in a similar manner that George did, at the same hospital so it was very tough for me at first. My heart goes out to my Uncle Elwood who now has to find a way to live without his wife of almost 46 years.
Richard has been having grade issues with school and is now working on getting them all situated. Since my brother has moved back in he has moved into the room with the boys. I think this will be a good move for him since I think it will help him with his addiction to video games and now he cannot just escape into a room by himself. He has gotten so lost since we have moved here. There are so many factors involved but we are now on board working hard to help him succeed and get through his issues. He had been in counseling but was discharged and that was when all the grades and things began to go down the tubes and we found him spiraling into a depression funk. We have found another program that is working with us and all the kids and they come out to the home. This ends soon but at least it has helped us to all get situated and back to the place we all need to be, living life again.
Monday, I will be singing at a funeral service for a member of our church. It was hard for me at first to do funeral's since they were emotional for me but often I did not know the person and so it was not as bad as I thought. This service, I know the man and was quite close to him and his wife. They are newer to our church and yet it is as if they were there since we started. The man's name was Charlie Todd and his wife is Dianne. They always sat behind us during services and Gabby just loved Charlie who also adored her as much and always smiled at the sight of her. Both of them had 3 boys and 1 girl so often they would tell me how we reminded them of their family when they were younger. I had seen the two of them at the local radiology place getting testing done when I was going through my own. They happened to finish just when I did so I walked them to their car and made sure he was situated since he had such a hard time walking and used a walker. From that moment on it was as if we were family. The very last time we were at church, I saw Charlie and as I was leaving, I walked up to him and kissed him on his cheek and he patted my head and hugged me. We knew he was sick and he happened to ask me months before if I would sing the Ave Maria at his service when he died and I told him I would be honored to. Monday I will get to keep that promise and pray for God's blessing upon this gift of song for such a lovely man who touched my heart in ways I cannot even understand or explain.
For Easter, our family visited my uncle in South Carolina. It was nice to get away and not have to do the same old Easter dinner and things at my parents home. For the first time, a holiday was not torture. We are considering a move there with my parents since my father is now retired and the cost of things to live here are so expensive. Needless to say, my uncle had taken the pond from our old house and moved it down there so I have found a special place in my heart down there, especially since he is using it as a memorial spot for George. We took George's little urn that had the rest of his ashes that were not in his big urn and placed all that we had in the wings of an angel statue we had taken down with us that was all part of his garden at our house. This was no easy task for us but together as a family we did it and prayed to God, thanking him for the time we had and the blessing that George was to our life and asked for help and support to make it through the hard times. It was so hard to let my uncle come and take it but I am glad it isn't just left at the house like everything else we had to leave behind and I have a peace about it all now. We have had to watch people come in and take our things and it has not been easy. It was one of those your damned if you do and damned if you don't situations...we knew we had no choice and either had to let someone else take it and use it or had to leave it and watch as it was taken over when our house is. My uncle respects my loss and has done anything I have asked him to do with the space. We bought some special plants and will now use that as a place of remembrance when we go down to visit.
I know that all of this is part of God's greater plan for my life and even in the bad, I praise him. If it was not for his grace and mercy, our family would have remained forever lost wandering around alone instead of walking hand and hand down this path. Now, whenever someone falls, there is someone else there to catch them. In our wilderness it was only God there to catch us and walk us through but now he has brought us all along and when someone falls, we are all there with God helping to bring that person back with the group. Easter is such an emotional holiday for me because after loosing George, I realized first hand how great of a sacrifice it was for God and how hard it was for Jesus, his own son, to follow God's plan for his life. Each Easter now has significant impact on me as I praise God for the sacrifice and rejoice in my own loss knowing that I will someday see my son again. This is not easy and comes with many tears and questions but I know this is not something I am going to allow get the best of me and I have to allow God to work through me or this was all for nothing and I am not doing God's will but rather my own. I am also profoundly impacted because I know how hard it was for Jesus to ask God to spare his life but also be ok with God's will even if it wasn't what Jesus wanted. I remember standing there watching the doctors working on George crying out to God asking him to spare my son and bring me a miracle but knowing in my heart it wasn't meant to be and in my head telling God I would do his will even if that meant my son leaving us...not long after George was pronounced and the first thing I wanted was for him to be baptized as tears streamed down my face. I just kept thinking, God let this cup pass from me but thy will be done, and no miracle came or so I thought at the time. The miracle came when my son returned to heaven because if it was not for God's sacrifice than I would not have the promise of seeing my son ever again.
My heart still weeps for George and my deep loss but each day I am learning how to live again rather than just staying alive. This is not easy and each and every single day my heart hurts as it yearns for him but it also rejoices in all that is here, especially my other children. My children deserve a great mommy and one that I have not been for a while. I'm working each day to take one more step in that direction and to put myself on that path to being the mom that they deserve. They deserve all of me, not part of me or a shattered piece of my heart. There is a place for George but there is also room for all of them and they need to know that and feel that. I want the best for them all.
As you can see, I am in a better place than I was before and I am so grateful for that. Each day is a challenge but now it is one I am equip to handle and ready to face head on. Please keep us in your prayers as always.
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.
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!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
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!