Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Heavier Than the Box!


Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee






Our friend ordered a coat online not long ago.  When it got here he took it out of the box saying how light the box felt!

He took tried it on.  He said how strange it was ... the coat he'd ordered ... was ... heavier than the box!  

Isn't that strange how the contents of a box can actually feel heavier than than the box it came in?






Note by this Author:

True story ... it amazed me how the coat felt heavier than the box it came in!

True story owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I Was on the Other Side









I smiled as I waved to him
He looked straight at me
I smiled brighter knowing he'd see me

My smile began to fade as I realized
He couldn't see me no matter how I waved
Because I was on the other side

The other side of a tinted glass
In the vehicle I sat in
That's when I knew in my Heart

That our loved ones who have died
Must do ... try to smile, wave
Comfort, hug us but we don't see, feel

Why?  Because they are on the other side
Only once in a while will the veil slip
One will be able to see, hear their loved ones

Just like that tinted glass I sat behind
If I had just simply rolled the window down
My friend would have seen me smiling, waving

When I look around I try hard to see
If possible to see a place where the 'glass isn't tinted'
Maybe see Tommy ... my mother, brother ... loved ones

So far no luck ... I won't give up
Because just maybe ... maybe
One day I might see to the ... other side






I wonder if the Other Side is like sitting behind tinted glass ... no matter how much you wave to someone ... they can't see you. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.






Note by this Author:

Yesterday this really happened ... our friend never saw me smiling, waving to him through the tinted glass.  This incident gave me much to think about ... I wondered if Tommy ever stood, smiled, reached out to hug me ... and I never saw him ... on the other side?

True poem/photos written, owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Never Take Anything For Granted ...


By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



 Kissy Fairchild
 Camie Leigh (Precious Camie)
Skip




The surest way to lose something is to think you'll always have it ... never take anything for granted. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee






Skip asked me, "do you have anything to be thankful for?"  I said of course I do.

I have you and our two Pups ... you are my whole world I told him.  What are you thankful for?  "I'm thankful for the very things you are," he said.

We are our world ... in this big, old world.  We are all the other has who is closest, loves us most ... cares what we think, feel.  This is what Thanksgiving means to us ... thankful for what means most in the world ... love, family, ... Pups... friends.

We never take anything for granted because one can be here today ... gone tomorrow.  When I lost my son it brought home to me that if he can be gone forever ... anyone can be.

I am fortunate, grateful for my world made up of Skip, The Pups and you ... my Friends.  No, I never-ever take anything for granted.



Note by this Author:

Tonight Skip asked me out of the blue what I was thankful for.  These are my thoughts on how I really feel.

Photos/story owned,written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

I Never Take Anything For Granted ...


By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



 Kissy Fairchild
 Camie Leigh (Precious Camie)
Skip




The surest way to lose something is to think you'll always have it ... never take anything for granted. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee






Skip asked me, "do you have anything to be thankful for?"  I said of course I do.

I have you and our two Pups ... you are my whole world I told him.  What are you thankful for?  "I'm thankful for the very things you are," he said.

We are our world ... in this big, old world.  We are all the other has who is closest, loves us most ... cares what we think, feel.  This is what Thanksgiving means to us ... thankful for what means most in the world ... love, family, ... Pups... friends.

We never take anything for granted because one can be here today ... gone tomorrow.  When I lost my son it brought home to me that if he can be gone forever ... anyone can be.

I am fortunate, grateful for my world made up of Skip, The Pups and you ... my Friends.  No, I never-ever take anything for granted.



Note by this Author:

Tonight Skip asked me out of the blue what I was thankful for.  These are my thoughts on how I really feel.

Photos/story owned,written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.
Surviving Grief ... A Grieving Mother
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee







Photos of Gloria Faye Brown Bates with her son Tommy when younger.  Tommy was proud of his mother ... his mother was proud of him.








When a mother loses her child ... no one knows the pain unless you are a mother who loses her child. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee






The holidays are here once again. Families will be gathering ... mothers, sons, daughters, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins ... all mine have gone ... I'll never see them again.  Everyone is gone ... it does hurt deeply.

So much happiness to see each other ... I used to know how it felt to have my son come home.  The holidays and my son's birthday, November 20th ... are days I don't dread now ... I think of the happy times when Tommy came home to be with us for a wonderful meal, family time.

I have my most treasured world now ... Skip and The Pups (our two Pups Kissy Fairchild and Camie Leigh).  With my Heart I treasure them.

I'm amazed I have come so far.  Why?  Six years ago my world came to an end.  For over 3 years I didn't know whether I lived ... died.  I wouldn't have cared either way.  This sounds awful ... but, when one gets in that condition you know the ... worst has happened.

The worst being the very moment I answered the phone from a stranger 200 miles away ... at Myrtle Beach, S.C.  The strange thing was the caller ID.  It said ... Tommy.  I was smiling bright, happy as I always did when Tommy called me.  This time wasn't any different.

I was the first person to know that my son, Tommy ... had collapsed on the sand at Myrtle Beach while running, playing with his little 3 year old son.  The stranger had picked up Tommy's cellphone and pressed last call dialed ... it was me.  Can you imagine?

Now ... I'm glad I was the first to know ... because I, his mother was the last person he called and our call was full of laughter, happiness ... and pure relief knowing my son and his family had arrived safely on the holiday weekend to their destination.

I asked the man why he had my son's phone.  He said, "ma'am, I have a man here collapsed on the sand ... he's not breathing".  I heard him but, I didn't hear him.  Maybe my mind just couldn't hear him ... maybe I was trying to will the words to be different ... maybe, maybe, maybe.

My world ... sunshine ... blacked out as soon as I became aware of what the man said.  I never knew when I quit smiling, feeling happy.

6 years later I still look back to 'see' in my mind the years I lost ... because at that moment I was plunged into darkness ... the darkest dark you could imagine.  The most painful pains you could ever imagine.  The darkest of clouds blacked out my sunshine ... I became the living dead.

I've grieved so much in my life ... as each family member died on both sides of my family.  At that time about 19 family members I truly loved were gone.  I had almost died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma ... Skip had almost died from colon cancer ... he also, survived a tractor-trailer wreck in New Mexico and two weeks later ... survived a wreck at home when he was t-boned.

Not only that we survived a house fire ... we got our dogs out ... Skip went back inside to get his billfold ... he got lost trying to get out.  Our neighbor led him out with the sound of his voice.  He got several burns.  We lost everything.  It goes on ... one thing after the other.

Many 'bad' things happened ... we kept coming back from them.  We survived them.  No bitterness ... no 'woe is me and why did this happen to me?'  We didn't have time to roll in self-pity ... we had to pick ourselves up, keep living.

Until ... the evening I quit living.  Oh my body was still there ... it moved, it spoke ... I ... wasn't there.  My mind had soared into the vast darkness of grief ... it couldn't stay ... inside me.  My body wasn't big enough to hold such horrible knowledge that my son, my only child had died.  Thank God for darkness ... thank God for somehow giving me an escape to where I stayed for over 3 years.

At this moment I stop ... look back.  I can't 'see me' then.  I can remember only bits here, there.  How did I take my shower, dress, talk, walk, wash clothes ... clean house, etc?  How did I?  Isn't it strange what our bodies can do while our minds ... are trying to survive a trauma?  I've been in shock many, many times in my life.  You would think I'd be a pro at being shocked ... each time is new, different.  One never gets used to being told someone they love has died ... the pain is so great I can't describe it.

Even being in shock I never asked for pity, I never shared my grief with people around me ... only shared it in my written words as I sat in my darkness ... with all my friends, people online.  I did write, publish a 738 page book of pure grief ... I can't even remember doing it.

I Cry For Tommy is the name of my book.  One can only get it on Amazon ... at Amazon.com/mrs-GloriaFayeBrownBates/e/BOOBNKPW72.  I am not trying to sell my book ... sometimes someone ask where can they get a copy.

Of course it didn't become a best seller but ... that wasn't the purpose of that book.  It saved my life.  Writing it gave me a place to go to ... to put all my grief in one place.  A place to cry ... talk.  A safe darkness where no one had to see, talk to me ... a place I could be alone.  A place where I kept trying to find Tommy ... over time learn to cope with his death ... learn to accept it.

I meant to make sure my son would never be forgotten.  He won't be forgotten because every book someone reads will remember him ... and when I make golden dragonflys ... leave them in public for someone to find ... Tommy will be remembered.  My son was most special to me ... and I will take my last breath remembering him ... he was a part of me, my body when he came into this world.  How can I let his memory be forgotten?

I haven't written for the past year ... Skip became very ill and almost died 3 times.  January to June were critical months.  He recovered and is doing fine.  Now I find myself wanting to write again.

I will write the colors of my life ... and as promised from the time I began this blog ... I will write about grief.  I know it best ... I'll write about pain.  These things I know best in life ... when I write about them you will see that I don't want anyone's pity.  Why?  Because from the time I was a little girl ... all the 'bad' things that happened to me began to strengthen me for all the 'bad' things that I've survived in this life ... I am very strong for it.  I'm like the Redwood tree ... I have weathered many, many storms ... I'm scarred but, I'm still standing.

Also ... I deal with things in the most positive way possible even when it appears that I'm not.  I have to ... that's me ... it's the only way I can keep the sun shining inside ... I need all the wonderful, beautiful light possible to keep the darkness of grief away.  Why?  Because the pain never goes away ... it's always just beneath the surface waiting ... waiting like a fish to be pulled out of the water.  The good thing now is that I can be alright ... I can get past it because I have to.  I can't let myself dwell in it very long ... I might get lost in that darkness again, not find my way out.

My son, only child is gone ... I am still here.  I will live until I die loving, remembering the little baby I had 47 years ago.  If living ... he'd be an 'old' baby now ... I would surely tell him that because in my mind I can hear his laughter at me saying such a thing.  :)  He always teased me that I never could remember how old he was!




Note by this Author:

I am beginning to write again.  It felt good to write these words ... write about Tommy ... write about grief, pain.  Writing heals as I write ... I've missed it very much this past year.  I will keep my promise to write about grief exactly the way it feels.  For all the readers who didn't know that ... know that I don't write about it to gain sympathy.  I don't need that at all.  I write so others can know, understand without going through it.  Also, any mother who has lost her child will know someone is ... there.

Photos, story owned ... written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

How Did I Become Big Enough?

How Did I Become Big Enough?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee








I felt hot tears in my eyes
I remembered why
Today is my son's birthday
I'll never see him again

He's gone now, I've not forgotten him
I live with pure grief
Every day of my life
I stay quiet, I don't talk about him

Once the knowledge he was gone
Was too big for me
How did I become ... big enough
To live, hold such knowledge inside me?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

We Become a Memory as We Move On …





A poem written by me I saw on a Facebook Memory this morning:



It's a sad day when we live to the moment when we realize ... we must die. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.




We Become a Memory as We Move On …
Posted on October 13, 2015

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter









On the porch sat an old woman
A smile played on her face
Her eyes were looking inward
At memories from days gone by


She was a faded rose
Once she was a rose of all roses
Looking at her now … one could see
She had been beautiful in her time


Her soft smile used to win many a heart
Today, her smile was kind, soft
Her slender body graceful, fragile
She walked slower now


A tear fell on her cheek
Another one followed
Then … one more
She met up with a memory
That made her sad


Soon … she was smiling again
She rose from the swing she sat in
It was time to go inside
Tomorrow she would come back out
To sit in her swing


Play with her memories once again
As she did each day
She knew she’d be going home soon
How she knew she did not know
She knew she was ready to go


There was no longer a need for her now
In with the new … out with the old
To make room for the young, the old must go


That night she fell asleep with a smile on her face
She went from life to death peacefully
To the other world where she was welcomed
All her loved ones greeted her with open arms
She held her arms out to embrace them


These were the memories in her mind
She sat in the swing smiling about
Now … she had become a memory
In with the young … out with the old


People go to make room
For others to follow in their place
We become memories as they make their own


We die so that they can live
Generation after generation
We become a memory as we move on




Note by this Author:
Poem/photo written, owned by me. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.
Reality is … one day we have to die. We have no choice … one day we … become a memory.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking Death in its Face ...



My son, Tommy ... born 11-20-1969 ... died 5-29-2016 with 3 blockages to heart.  He is holding his own little son in this photo.





Sometimes when something bothers me ... instead of running ... I take a stand and face it. Death scares me. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.







Looking Death in its Face ...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/aka GeeGranny on Twitter








Lately I have been thinking of ... death.  Yes, death.  No matter that I feel good, and am happy to be alive.  The thoughts of death happen time to time.  I think that happens to everyone ever so often.  We just try to force the thoughts gone.


When I hear some types of music playing on tv ... see beautiful scenes of sea gulls flying ... see seals resting on a sandbar, hear their sounds ... watch birds walk in the waves as they wash ashore ...  I see the beauty of it all ... then my mind thinks ... death!

I begin to imagine a shark ready to pounce on an innocent, unsuspecting seal as it slides into the water to go on its quest for food.  Death ...

Walking by the beautiful water in a swampy area (something I've done when I was very naive!) where there are alligators ... never knowing at a moment's notice ... an alligator could attack and change one's life and cause ... death.  I get cold chills when thinking about it.

Driving down the highway ... enjoying the drive, sights.  One little mistake of another driver ... yourself ... the possibility of ... death.

Sitting on a bank fishing at the river ... not realizing there's a water moccasin snake with its mouth wide open to strike at you ... until moving just in the nick of time ... turning around to see it!  (This happened to one of my friends).  Death ...

Walking along a path covered in fall leaves in a strange place when stopping in the nick of time ... to see something not right.  There's a deep well ... very old ... you could have just simply stepped off into!  Looking down in it ... there are snakes.  This happened to us when we lived in Alabama.  Death ... who's going to come looking for you?  How many snakes are going to bite you.  You are in a deep hole with no way of climbing out.  Death ...

Death ... I try not to think of dying.  Sometimes, it can't be helped so, I let myself do it for a short time.  Who knows ... maybe I can get ideas to write a story, put in a story.  You may find it uncomfortable to think about death ... I do, too ... but, I've had to cope with death over and over for the last 16 years as all of my family down to my only child ... died.  I've lived with death for so long ... now, I face up to thinking about death.  I can no longer deny it ... we all are going to die one day.

I can no longer think it happens to others ... or can't happen to me ... or so and so will be here forever.  Not so.  I am going to die ... one day.  Death is going to come to take me just as it took all my loved ones ... my son.  I'm no better to die than anyone else ... I'm not above dying ... I will die one day.  Death won't be hovering around me ... it will swipe me up and take me into the darkness ... forever.  Just as it will do you ... one day.  Isn't it scary when you think about it?  I am at this moment doing what I always do when I'm afraid ... I'm holding my ground at this very moment ... facing up to one of my fears ... Death.

I had to face with my own impending death when I fought my battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma ... I was dying ... I walked close to the edge of death for 3 years ... sat on Death's doorstep knowing I'd be entering its door at any time.  Can you imagine ... knowing you are going to die ... that others don't normally survive what you are going through?  I talked to Death ... I lived with Death by my side ... I was so sick that truthfully ... if I had died I wouldn't have known the difference.

I've almost entered that dreaded door we all know is there ... Death's Door ... a few times in my life.  I don't know why I didn't enter it ... I am still here.  I don't know my purpose in life ... or how I've made any difference in someone else's life.

You know how people say that you didn't die because you are here for a purpose?  I've never known my purpose or what good am I to this big old world.  I never did save the world like I wanted to as a young girl.  Truthfully, it isn't possible ... but, we do all make it a better place as a whole.  It takes so many of us to make a positive difference ... sometimes, so long.  Do we give up?  No.  But ... I wish I could see something good, positive that just myself ... I ... have done to ... save the world.

Maybe saving the world means ... the world of one individual.  Through time I can see where I've made that difference ... and I'm happy about that when I think back to those times.  I just wish there were more times than a lot ... I wish I could do it a ... million times.  Make a wonderful difference in many individual lives.

When my son died ... Death lived by my side each day.  It was another time I wouldn't have known if I died ... I was dead inside.  I almost joined Death permanently ... no, I wouldn't have known if I died.  Three years I held hands with Death once again ... I stayed in Death's darkness before sunlight ever reached me.

I'm afraid of dying ... I'm afraid of Death.  I'm not afraid of dying ... I'm not afraid of Death.  The world is bigger than I ... I am small in this big old world ... at any moment I could be taken from it.  You ... could be taken from it.  Death ... could do that.  At this very moment I'm looking Death in its face ... even if I'm afraid.






Note by this Author:

Death is scary ... it isn't scary.  Death is what we make it to be ... we don't want it to be.  Death will happen regardless of what you or I think ... I choose to meet things head-on ... so, I when I think about Death ... I write about it ... it's my way of digging my heels in ... looking Death straight into its face ... letting it know I know ... it's there ... it can get me at any time.  I don't want to be afraid, yet I am.

Not only am I afraid of death ... I experience panic attacks when I think of my son and his death.  Death is final ... no more.  Can you imagine what a scary thought it is to know you'll never see your child again ... because of Death?  Imagine it for a moment ... just imagining tears your very Heart out.  Just think if it really happened.

I am not  a morbid person ... my mind doesn't stay on thinking about death, thankfully.  I'm too positive to let myself do that.  This happens to be one of the times ... my thoughts were of Death ... so, I wrote it to share it with you.  I know I'm not the only one who ... thinks ... of any, everything.

My thoughts, photo are written, owned by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Reflection In the Big Glass Window ...

Reflection In the Big Glass Window ...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/aka GeeGranny on Twitter





My mother, Daisy Earlene Strother, as a young woman.  So beautiful, vibrant ...




Sometimes it's best not to look back for the pain. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.




As I was walking from the pickup to the store ... I saw something moving ... I looked up to see the big glass window on the front of the store.  Mama!

In the glass for a moment I saw my mother ... then, I saw myself.  I had to lower my eyes to the pavement ... I couldn't bear to look any more.  My mother ...

I walked into the store without looking back at the glass front.  My thoughts were on my mother who died September 09, 2001 ... we picked her ashes up at the funeral home on 9-11.  There are things I can't bear to think about that happened before, and around my mother's death.  I don't like to think of my mother.  Hurts too bad.

I began thinking of all the years the store has been there.  I thought of how my mother went to that store many, many times through her life ... how many times her reflection showed up in the big glass window on the front.  I had never had this thought before ... until I saw her reflection for a moment in the window.  For a moment ... I reflected her in that big glass window.



Note by this Author:  

I miss my mother very much.  I try never to think of her ... the pain is great.  All that surrounded her death that I learned through time by seeing, being told ... break my Heart.  All my family have died ... and many of them died before their time.  Life can be very sad ... painful.  Sometimes it's best to ... not think about the past.

Photos/true story are owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

You Will Never See My Grief ... Never




Note:  This story I wrote on August 16, 2014 ... popped up as a Facebook Memory.  I read it again ... I am sharing it with you ... again.  This has never changed no matter that I've come so far on my Grieving Mother Journey.  My tears are non-stop on the inside ... where no one can see.  


The difference 6 years later is ... I can live at the same time as I grieve.  I can smile, be happy about something ... all the while I grieve. I can be around you, anyone ... no one has to see how bad I look ... no one has to be afraid they will see my tears ... because they are hidden from the world.  You will see a smile instead ... just like seeing a beautiful building on the outside never seeing the sad things going on ... inside.  


I will never let you see my grief ... you can only read it.  Don't be sad for me ... everything is alright though I write about my grief.  I am keeping a promise to you ... and I never forget that grief is ... why ... I write.     Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee






You will never see my grief ... it's always hidden from the world. You may read it ... but you won't ever see it. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.










Saturday, August 16, 2014

My Tears ... Fall Inside, Hidden From The World



My Tears ... Fall Inside, Hidden From The WorldBy Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



Photo owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.  This is the last photo taken of Tommy just a few hours ... before he died on May 29, 2010.  Who would have ever thought?  He died, running, playing on the beach with his little three year old son.  He got there ... just in time ... to play for a few minutes ... collapsed on the soft sand ...


 

Sometimes ... I pause, think ... I can't believe Tommy's not here, anymore. I mean, I can't believe he isn't ... here, anymore.

I picture him in my mind ... I see his bright Tommy smile ... like a happy glow around his face. Like a cartoon picture of the sunshine ... with happy sun rays around it. I draw them, sometimes.

I picture his blue-green eyes, blonde hair. I see a tall, handsome guy standing there. My son ... my son, whom I was so proud of.

I listen to his soft voice, fun laugh in my mind. He loved to joke, play pranks. He could laugh like the cowardly lion ... and I would laugh until I cried, listening to him.

Sometimes, we would begin talking, and talk about something funny ... both of us would begin laughing ... and laugh harder when we looked at each other's eyes. One of us would say something more funny, and we'd laugh more.

I loved my son. I really miss him. I don't cry now, as I once did. I do feel ... bittersweet. I do feel sadness in my heart.

How did I accept my son's death? I'm not sure when I did ... Sometimes, I do feel some of the old, panicky feelings inside ... I try to let go of them, quickly.

I would have never guess I would have to grow older without my child being ... there. I never had a clue that such would happen ... I knew he would be there, always.

I remember being very sick, trying to prepare him for something happening to me. I knew my son loved me with his heart ... I was afraid for him ... if I died.

I never thought to prepare myself for my son's ... death. Today ... when I think of him, I smile with great sadness in my Heart. My tears ... fall inside, hidden from the world.





Photo/Story Credit: is of my son, Tommy.  Both are owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.