George Charles Garman 09/09/09 to 01/29/10

January 29, 2010 our world was turned upside down when our 4 month old little boy earned his wings after a battle with Mitochondrial Disease and awoke in the Lords loving arms.

"Life can not be measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

George's Guardian's of Grace Projects

Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Speaks to My Heart

Yesterday Hugh and I went to see a lawyer about the house and bankruptcy. There is still nothing we can do about the house since we don't have enough money to pay the mortgage each month but he can stay the sale that was scheduled for the 12th to give us about 60 more days to get our stuff out. It has been hard to do that since Hugh has had to work so much for the holidays and we are always swamped with things on his days off. We have not been able to get help from other people so it has taken longer than we thought it would but we are down to only one room left so that is a good thing. The lawyer had to ask questions and of course it gets down to how you got this way and once he heard our story, he just wanted to cry. He kept saying to us with each addition of struggles that he could not believe our story and how he was going to get in his car and cry the whole way home! You know that is bad when a bankruptcy lawyer says this to you.

Prior to this Hugh and I were out in the van and I picked up a book that I had intended to read but just had not gotten to and eventually forgot about. It is called Prayers of Comfort, Healing Words of Hope. It is a religious based book talking about all sorts of life struggles. I know that God wanted me to read this because it just spoke to my heart right then and there and even after reliving our story with the lawyer, I still left in a better mood than I went in with. I wanted to share some passages with you that have truly spoken to my heart and I hope you too will be able to take something from this.

What happiness there is for you who weep, for the time will come when you shall laugh with joy! Luke 6:21 TLB

It was so odd to read this because just the other day I sat there with Gabby watching her in a completely new way and finding myself really smiling again. The very thought made me realize how I am learning to smile and laugh again for real and how I had lost this. Even in my darkest despair I have found that I still have these moments and I appreciate them in a way like never before. I got so used to faking it for everyone around me that I had not been able to even realize it when it did happen for real. With that I prayed to God and thanked him for this gift.

My Creator, I know in my heart that these tears will one day give way again to joy, yet for now I know only pain. Help me to find the courage to let these tears flow, to feel the loss and heartbreak, so that I may come out whole and cleansed again. For on the other side of my sorrow I know life waits for me. I want to laugh again.

I am like two halves of a walnut, God. I am of two minds:despairing and hopeful. Help me feel your hand holding me together as I rebuild my life when at first it seemed too hard to even try. In order to get to the meat of a walnut, it must be split into halves. May the brokenness I feel get me to the nourishment-the meat-I need in order to move on. Amen.

This explains it all to the many mixed emotions and knowledge that only God can help you through this.

Father, make me resilient like the sandy beach upon which the waves crash. Make me strong like the mighty willow tree that bends but does not break in the high winds. Give me the patience and wisdom to know that my suffering will one day turn to a greater understanding of your ways, your works, and your wonders.

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11 NRSV

God let this sorrow wash over me like cleansing water. Let it rush over my rough-hewn heart and turn me into a smooth and polished stone glistening in the sun. Amen

When each heartbeat hurts and each breath aches, I pray, God, that you will take some of my blinding pain away. Lift me out of my pain, and give me peace. Amen.

Oh God, I know you will never give us a burden to bear without giving us the grace to endure it, but some burdens just seem so heavy we find ourselves wondering if they can be survived. I ask that you send an abundant amount of strength and grace to all those who suffer so. Let them feel your presence in a very real way, Lord, for without you, they have no hope. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12 NRSV

Heavenly Father, help us examine every passing day in order to find purpose in our lives. We want our time to be worthwhile. Remind us to count all our blessings, big and small. Amen.

God I hold fast to you at this present moment, for it is the only way for me to have perspective and hope for life beyond this pain I have. And yet, come quickly for I am tired. Fill me with your strength for I feel weak. Add meaning to these days of pain, and finally call me to a new day and then I can swerve you with a renewed purpose and passion. Amen.

This short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 TLB

I pray that you can find something here that speaks to your heart as it did doesn't fix my problems but it helps me to endure them. As I read further I will share more of these passages that speak to my heart. Life for us has been so hard and as of late, I have just been so overwhelmed by it all and the mixed emotions I have on so many levels. As George's Heavenly birthday becomes closer, the pain that I feel for his loss becomes greater, however I have learned to laugh and smile again amidst all of this. I can feel God's calling in my heart to things and now feel the ability to do some of these things even if I don't feel I can do all of them. Lately I have been feeling the calling to have another child but I know that right now it just isn't possible however I do know we are suppose to have one more child...for what reason, I have no idea, I just know we are suppose to. I've told myself that I need to get my body back in shape and I have got to get off of some medications in order to make this happen. I'm determined to start this process so that I can fulfill God's calling in my life for this. People may think I am crazy where this is concerned but truly I tell you that God speaks to my heart and it has never been wrong when I listen to it.

I am posting a picture of the kids I took today. It was a sunny day out but where I was there was no glare at all. Later after looking at the picture for the first time, I found these sunshine hues coming was the oddest thing and then I thought how it must be my little monkey visiting us. I leave you this beautiful picture and will let you see what you think.

Natalie grant held

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hard Days

It still amazes me how grief changes but never goes away. In some regards it is harder and in others it is easier...there is a give and take and wax and wane through the whole thing. This morning I missed George so bad. The pain was to the very core of who I am. In the beginning the shock of it all dampened the pain so it was not as bad as it is now. The only thing that is different is that the days are further the beginning it consumes your every thought and waking moment. The days now are further between but much deeper and harder to cope with pain/anxiety. As we get closer to the day he died, anxiety becomes worse for me and my mind will often get the best of me. I will have panic attacks over things that aren't even happening and then I can't get past the images in my head of the day he died and the horrors that came with it.

I am fortunate to have online support groups of other moms and also others who are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder every day. This helps me to know I am not alone and that all I am experiencing is normal no matter how much those around me may think it isn't or that there is something I can do different to make it not happen or not so bad. In the end, I am right and they love me and mean well but they are wrong and cannot fix this sort of thing...time is what needs to happen and being patient and dealing with these moments is all that can be done. Talking to others going through this helps on many levels but it does not ease the pain or moments. My heart just breaks and there is nothing I can do about it but ride it out and ask God to carry me.

Every single day I look at Gabby and think that if George did not die, she would not be here. She brings so much joy to us and just as I could not imagine my life without her but at the same time would give anything to have George back. You can't choose between your children and so often I think that this is why God did what he did. In order to bring us all to his folds he had to sacrifice his son for all his sons and daughters. That is no easy thing to do and if I had the choice I know I couldn't make it. God knows my pain and walks me every day through the pain of this and I know it but it is so hard sometimes to keep that positive outlook on things.

For us right now, life is always has been. Hugh and I were both the two in our families that struggled growing up the most and now as adults still do the same even when we do nothing to cause it to happen. I don't know why God has chosen us and I pray every single day he will show me his plan for us so we can find some reason for all of this but for now I have to just rely on faith even if that means crying out to God in the depths of my dispare. There is a great song called "Better than a Hallelujah" It talks about a mother crying in the dead of night and every single time I hear that, I think of myself and all the moms who's children now call heaven their home. The other song that seeks to my heart is "Held" when it says "2 months is too little, they let him go, they had no sudden healing" Whenever I hear that line, I think of standing there in the ER watching my son as they worked on him and then as they turned to say there were no miracles there in store for us that day.

Today Richard had a docs appt and as we drove there, I was taken back. The cold weather and smell of the heater in my van just brought me to the days following his death when my sister Michelle drove Hugh and I to and from the funeral home. She was there almost from the moment the pronounced him and drove us to say our final goodbyes and pick out an urn. Growing up we were never close and yet somehow I felt as if she was my saving grace and she will never truly know what she did for us those days. My sister Tara was so heartbroken after her own loss and empathy for our situation...she got the decorations for the hall after the service, she bought gifts for the kids to keep them in the loop and half of the people at the church that day were her coworkers. One of her coworkers came the day after he died and spent a few hours with Richard. Both of my sisters went with us to say goodbye one last time to our son. We all saw his little body once more before he was cremated and we had moments there that night that I will forever cherish. My brother would run around wherever we needed him to go...he stayed with the little kids and helped with them when the police were preforming CPR and I refused to leave George. To this day he has a deep connection to George and was more impacted by the whole thing than he will ever let on to anyone else.

I cannot thank all of them for what they did. Every day, even now they still worry about me and watch as we struggle wishing they could fix it somehow. Not being able to help, they feel helpless and yet in some ways I feel guilty. Things somehow revolve around our family and the troubles we have and yet I know they each face their own struggles. They are different struggles than those we have had to endure but so often they get set aside because something major is going on in my life and I feel so bad sometimes. I think of their friends and I am so thankful that they do have at least one good friend they can count on because I know someone else is there when I can't be there for them. They have been here for me in my worst times and yet, I don't even know what was the hardest things they have had to face(ok well I know my sister Tara's) I wish there would be a time when my life was not so insane that things could settle in and I could be there for them when they need me to be. I hope they know how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

I am asking that as we go into the days ahead, you keep us in your prayers. Right now I know myself and know I am in need of as many as I can possibly get. Our house is suppose to be foreclosed on right before George's death date so things are just pretty bad right now and I can feel it deep in my soul...a kind of pain I cannot begin to explain. Also keep the other parents who have lost a child in your prayers, many of them have lost their children around this time of year and we are all hurting together but feeling alone even in a crowded room.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Just the Motions

I can't believe how much we have gotten into just doing things to complete them. Richard and I were talking about how this year didn't feel like Christmas at all for us. It was nice and all but nothing made it feel the way it used to. I don't know how to get that back and I want it back. What I really want back is the people we used to be. Nothing beats yearning for innocence when in fact you know you cannot ever have it. It is that proverbial once I tell you I can't untell you kind of thing. Boy I wish I didn't know and I could find a way to get back to that person I was before and somehow mix the two me's.

I know often I have said how hard this all is and how in the world we are surviving all that life has thrown at us. You know we are strong and just keep getting stronger. Even though my heart is broken and will forever carry scars, it will be stronger than ever before. I think that this trip to Florida is going to be able to do that for me. We need a new start, I need a new start. I'm so sick of feeling so sad and doing what others want or think I need to do. I've tried to do it their way by taking medicine and talking to others who have gone through this but I have not done what I need to do for myself. My whole life I have been afraid to disappoint and not be good enough. This was not something placed on anyone but me, I'm a perfectionist by nature. I think it is my way of trying to control what little bits of my life I can so I make a big deal out of the wrong bread(yes totally stupid!)

Loosing our house is so very bitter sweet. I want to save it but realistically we can no longer afford our house with the salary Hugh is making now. I've seen great strides in the kids and my parents since we have moved in, all for the better. We have our moments and it is kind of odd and hard at times to make it feel like our home too. Christmas was really the beginning when we didn't know what to decorate or what was ok so neither my mom or I just let it go. I kind of think that was why it didn't feel like Christmas. I know she says to just do whatever but I was also raised to have respect and so it is a little odd. In the end I know we will all work it out. The bumps and hurdles will be there for us and I know they won't be easy but if this is where God wants us then I will follow.

Somehow I need to look at myself as not a looser and horrible person. This isn't how my life was suppose to be and I need to accept the way that it is not what I wanted or others wanted for me. Letting down myself is easy, but letting down others is just heart wrenching. You see them all happy for you and yet you know the reality of it all and it isn't going to really happen and then you let them down and you might as well take your heart out and stomp on int a million times over. If I am truly honest with myself I put more pressure on myself than others do and I need to realize that I cannot make everyone happy so I just have to love myself....much easier said than none. When I go away I hope to really work on some of these things and accept that my home is gone and that is ok, My son is gone and that is ok, my health is a mess right now and that is ok. I am leaving it all in God's hands and listening to the instincts he gives me because I know if you don't he only pulls at you harder.

Above all things, I thank God for my family. If it was not for them, we would be homeless. They love my children unconditionally like they are their own especially at the times where it is hard for Hugh and I since we are just barely able to breath that day. We have our moments but they are nothing like they were when I was growing up here and we are still figuring it all out and testing all the waters to see what works and what doesn't. In the end I know this is where we are suppose to be no matter how much I prayed for a Christmas Miracle for our family to not loose our house but I'm ok with it. We gave up our house so that Hugh could have time with George while he was alive and I would do it again, no questions asked.

Thank you Mom and Dad! You are the best and I don't know where we would be without you have always been there sharing the pain and chaos even if it was indirectly and through us. I wish I could fix it all so that your hearts didn't have to hurt for us as you sit by and watch without any control. We will figure it all out! THANK YOU!

Thank you Michelle, Tara, and Tony. You each have contributed and supported us in some capacity. Taking the kids for 2 hrs to go get stuff for bows! Being a shoulder to cry on who really does understand. A kind soul who loved my son almost as much as I did and you carry such a heavy heart for my monkey just like I do. You are all there in our lives for a reason and I LOVE YOU and cannot thank you enough. Tara you need to think of a word better for the world than Thank you.

Thank you other angel mom's who come to this page and who have walked with me when I wanted to fall. We all lean on one another and have never met but need each other to make it through life. I am forever Grateful for you all.

My church family, you know who you are, you are the ones who silently read this page and try to do what you can on your own in some way. You have come to understand our family in a way that not many others know and that is really a gift in its ownright. The smallest things mean the most. We love you all for who you are!

To everyone else who has come across this blog and feels pain for us and learns something about safe sleep or a grief camp available to children, learned about this horrible disease, the support is more than you will ever know. you can look on here and even though no one leaves messages I see the numbers of those who follow and there are so many all over the world who have read my page. I hope that you get something and take something from my sharing. I want it to be raw emotions or feelings that are happening so that if you see another person in our shoes that maybe you could be there for them in the capacity that they need you and that you realize this is life long and there is nothing wrong if they cry for what seems to others as no reason....her heart will forever cry for the child they never got to see grow up....they are our forever children!


Strong Enough by Matthew West

Laura Story - Blessings

Happy New Year

Here is a Happy New Year from our family to yours. This has been a year full of so many ups and downs. I am praying that a lot of this comes into focus this year for us. 2011 has been rough emotionally. I was praying for a Christmas miracle...that God would somehow find a way to save our home or just get us out of this area all together. None of that really came through. The finalized Sheriff sale takes part on Jan 12th and we still have quite a bit to do to get our things out of the house. The thought of it takes all I have in me to not cry. Hugh and I knew this as home and so did our children. In such a short amount of time all of that will be gone, less than two weeks to be exact. The very thought makes me hold my breath to think that when we look at that house from my parents deck it will no longer be ours.

Every single part of me aches thinking that we are going to be leaving our home and have no say in the matter. You would think with all we have been through that God could have left us that but guess not. So often I will sit here thankful for my parents but also wishing we still had our own place. Many days I feel like I have to walk on egg shells to keep things copacetic. The kids are just now getting used to wearing clothing around their own home. For me, I just haven't found that nitch. When I was at our house I could pick up the phone without having to say who I was calling or leave something laying around without fear I will catch hell for it later on. When I am sad and want time to myself, I can't do that now without feeling like it will eventually be used against me saying I need counseling or just in general, I can't be the person I am now vs the person I was before. This is not complaining, by any means, we are so thankful for all my parents have done for us. These are just the things that I miss the most from living on our own. There is such a give and take that comes into play whenever something like this happens and it is hard for both sides. Right now there are two other families in our church going through a similar situation and we are all going through a lot of the same things.

I try to keep my mind focused on the fact that this is part of God's plan for us. The blessings outweigh the drawbacks. My children will know my parents in a way that most kids today don't. we are able to be there for one another on many levels. Hugh and I can help to contribute to the bills. Living here allows Hugh to be under less stress in terms of not having to worry about us or having to come up with money to pay all the bills/mortgage. The pros outweigh the cons or we would not be putting ourselves and my parents through all of this. The biggest drawback for me is having to leave the only place George knew as home. If God had wanted us to stay there then he would have made there be a way for us to keep the house but I guess there was more to come from us loosing it than keeping. No Christmas Miracles were in store for us just like there were no miracles in store for us that day George died.

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