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. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pure Grief Is Pure Love ... Pure Pain

Pure Grief Is Pure Love ... Pure Pain
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/GeeGranny on Twitter





My son, Tommy ... holding his only son





It's hard to describe grief ... imagine being trapped inside yourself with such pain ... you can't get away, can't breathe. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee





I have always promised my readers/followers that I would let them know when I went through a bout of grief.  I will always keep that promise.  That's why I began writing ... it's what I know best  ... grief, pain.  I've made myself go through all in a 'good' way ... I chose to do that.  At first I couldn't ... I couldn't think enough to do that.  I was shrouded in pure darkness.

It's been 6 years now ... somehow I keep my grief hidden beneath the surface but ... at times, even I can't keep it suppressed.

Imagine looking out over a beautiful body of water  ... ever so often you see disturbance in the water.  You see fish jump out or surface the water.

My grief is like that ... it's like fish 'just beneath the surface' of the water.  Sometimes ... like a fish ... it unexpectedly jumps out.

That's when the panic attacks happen.  Like two days ago I began to feel panicky ... and when I thought about why I felt that way ... my thoughts turned quickly to the loss of my son and only child.

I felt as if I wanted to just cry my Heart out.  I couldn't cry but tears rolled from my eyes ... and the pain in my Heart was deep all the way to my very soul.

It's a strange way to feel ... it's an awful way to feel ... it means someone loved with one's very Heart is gone ... forever.  This is pure grief.  Pure grief is pure love ... pure pain.

When it's your child, only one at that ... you have no one to look forward to in life ... no one to watch grow older so you can tease them playfully.  No parent should outlive their children ... it's very sad.  Very sad when that child is the only one ... there aren't any children left.

All parents would like their children to always be there ... especially as they begin to age.  Their children's love means the very world to them.  An older person is never alone when that child is close to them.

When I experienced grief this time ... that day I saw a man in his 40's who looked just like Tommy ... from the back.  I kept turning my head to 'see Tommy'.  When the man moved I could 'see Tommy' move for a few minutes.  That's a game grieving mothers play ... just to see their child alive for a few minutes.  At least this grieving mother does that.

Of course, I realize that Tommy's gone forever and I only play the game just for a few minutes ... let go, be realistic.  Tommy's gone ... he can't come back.  He can't move ... he can't speak, laugh ... he can't say 'I love you, Mama' ... ever again.  I know that.  My son is gone and I have no choice but to accept it.

I've coped with my grief in a positive way.  I still feel the pain deeply, I always will.  I can be alright as I live the rest of my life.  I really had so far to come on this Grieving Mother Journey.  Do you know ... I never knew I could?

Losing a child is the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life.  I've battled cancer (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) ... I've lost everything in a house-fire, I've lost all my family ... the very people I loved with my Heart until I have no one but, Skip and our two Pups.  Many 'bad' things have happened in my life ... losing Tommy over-shadowed any of them.

Losing my child hurt worse than any of all the bad things that have happened in my life.  In fact now ... I don't think of the other 'bad' things ... when Tommy died ... it became all the pain mixed with my grief for my son.

All the pain I live with inside ... makes me stronger for it.  I have to be for me to live with such knowledge ... knowledge that my child is gone, my child is dead ... he isn't coming back.  The knowledge was bigger than I ... there was a time I couldn't hold it all ... I almost died from it ... I couldn't get away from ... myself.

I was trapped with my own grief inside me ... for over 3 years that's all I lived, breathed ... pure grief.  I couldn't see for the darkness that surrounded my mind ... I couldn't see outside me for looking in.

I am so grateful to begin seeing little patches of light ... I kept fighting to come back.  It took so long ... I wrote and wrote all my grief, pain ... many of you have read it for almost 6 years now.

Many of you let me know you were 'there'.  It meant the world to me.  Writing ... saved me, gave me an outlet for my pain.  I know I couldn't have lived if I didn't let it out of me ... I was like a roaring river ... damned up.  Thankfully ... writing was like removing the dam ... so, my words could flow.  As my words flowed ... the pain began little by little ... flowing out until I can live with what's left inside me.

May 29th makes 6 years Tommy has been gone.  I am so glad to be able to think of him without going into darkness to protect my sanity.

I'm so glad I can think of him, hear his voice, laugh in my mind.  I'm so glad I can see his sunshine smile, twinkling eyes in my mind.  I can do it now ... though tears may come ... I know ... everything is going to be alright.  I imagine it raining and seeing the sun shine through the raindrops as they fall.





Note by this Author:

I made a promise to always write about grief to let my readers/followers know how it feels.  I never sugar-coat it, I write it just as it really is.  This way you can know how it feels and I pray you never get to know it.

You can hopefully understand a little more when you see a grieving mother.  The pain is greater than the mother ... the mother is trapped inside herself with such knowledge she can't get away from. Imagine being trapped in a room with no air ... the panic ... oh my, the panic.  Grief is worse than that.







Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's So Nice To See You Again!

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee







I have missed writing so much ... it's like I've held my breath for a long time. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee #writing







It's So Nice To See You Again!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee





I haven't been around for sometime ... yet I have been around the whole time.  How is that?  I've been living real life ... and it's been too real ... you know how it is when it seems all keeps going badly ... and all you want is for it to all be alright again.

Since the middle of June my prayers have been coming true.  Skip and I have gotten on an even keel.  Skip was deathly sick many times since January of this year until June when he began to get better, become stronger ... and today (August 14, 2016) is doing fine.  I'm so, so thankful.  Three times I was told he almost died and it was good that I got him to the hospital in time.

If you kept up with my last posts which are several months ago ... and my Facebook where I kept everyone updated daily (you can come friend me at Facebook.com/grannygee if you want) ... Skip's health took a turn for the worse in January 2016.

He had a stroke ... his heart rate dropped so low that he needed a pacemaker, 2 stents in his heart.  He went into congestive heart failure 3 times.  Skip suffered kidney failure, had stents in his ureter, had surgery.  He was placed on a blood thinner ... he had 3 life-threatening nosebleeds ... who knew one's nose could bleed so badly!  He had to be hospitalized, given 2 pints of blood.  He had a heart catherization ... and almost bled to death when they pulled the sheath out ... he could have bled out in 7 minutes.  It took 2 nurses 'digging their fists' into his thigh to put pressure on it for 30 minutes to stop the bleeding ... they had to give Skip morphine while doing it ... the pain was awful.  After 30 minutes, they placed a contraption on his thigh to put pressure on for another hour.  

Skip suffered so much during those 6 months ... that it's like a whirlwind trying to remember it all.  When he wasn't in the hospital we were going to his many appointments.  On top of it all I was going to my appointments, had surgery.  I was running back, forwards to the hospital 80 round trip each day.  I never went to bed to rest from my own surgery ... in fact, I was so afraid for Skip that I was going to the hospital, walking long distances to get to his room ... I didn't focus on the pain and how I felt, I didn't have time.  Skip and our Pups were my priority.

This moment as I think back ... I can't believe how much went on and how it never stopped.  I didn't have any family ... any money.  I began panicking about how I would be able to afford gas to go 80 miles every day to the hospital .... I needed tires for the pickup, and an oil change.  I needed dog food, I needed everything.  I turned to my Facebook friends and asked them for help.  I was so amazed, so thankful ... everyone began helping me.  I was grateful ... no amount of words could express how I felt.  

We made it through all those bad times.  Now ... we are making it on a limited income ... no extras, no frills.  That's okay ... Skip is doing good and for about 7-8 weeks ... Skip has been on an even keel doing well.  I am so thankful!  

We had many, many prayers sent our way ... I don't know about you ... but that means the world to me.  I am a believer of prayers and miracles ... I know what I've seen ... experienced in this life of mine.  I know wonderful, strange things happen in mysterious ways when we least expect it.  I believe in God.

Skip is wanting to go back to work soon.  He won't be driving long-distanced anymore ... we want him to work locally in sales, or driving locally.  

I will be writing once again ... I have been wanting to write for some time.  I didn't have time to sit, organize my thoughts.  Now ... I'm back.  I'm so glad to see you!





Note by this author:

I am so glad to be back writing.  I've missed it with my Heart.  My whole world was upside down ... in the past weeks it seems to have settled back down.  I was on a roller coaster and couldn't get off.  I held on until it stopped.  I'm so thankful Skip is on even keel.  I'm so thankful for Skip, our Pups ... they are all I've got.  They are my whole world.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Looking For Gloria ... Let the Sun Shine!




Looking For Gloria ...  Let the Sun Shine!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter








Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee ... with Gloria's Garraway (my Basset Hound) ... on my birthday.






I go from mirror to mirror looking for 'Me' ... I'm on a mission to find Gloria. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.








Skip and I went to look around at the local flea market this past weekend.  Lately, we've been rounding up things we don't need anymore ... to sell to pick up some extra money.  Skip isn't able to go back to work just yet.


As we were leaving ... we met a couple coming in the door just as we opened it to go out.  I saw the woman's mouth open, a smile come on her face as her eyes looked me over.  It was someone we hadn't seen in several years.  She never said anything about how I looked ... but, I knew she saw the dramatic change in my weight.  I didn't mind ... her expression told it all.


Today, we stopped to get gas.  I went inside to pay for it.  I heard someone say my name.  It was a lady I used to work with in the business office at the hospital, years ago.  I could see she was noticing the difference in me ... she never mentioned it at all.  I smiled, spoke a few conversational words ... paid for the gas, left.


This lady was one of the ones whose mouth fell open ... when she saw how bad I looked after my son's death.  She never asked me what was wrong.  I never told her.  Now, that I'm looking like a real person again ... she never mentioned it.  I did see it on her face.


Not long ago, we were picking up meds at the Walmart Pharmacy.  We met up with one of our friends.  We all hugged, talked.  Skip mentioned to her about how I was losing weight.  She looked at me, said she really couldn't tell it ... 'maybe' I had lost a little bit.  I've lost 50 lbs. or more ... my clothes were 'hanging off' me.  I smiled at her.


Just two days after that, we went back for something at Walmart ... the woman who greets customers called to me.  She told me how nice I looked, and that I was really losing weight.  It made me so happy.  She was the very first woman to compliment me.  She asked me would I recommend the surgery for her son.  I told her that for me ... the surgery was the best decision I ever made.  As time goes by, my health only gets better.  No more diabetes.


On that same visit, we were in the store, walking.  I heard someone call my name ... it was someone I thought a lot of.  She didn't mind telling me that I looked nice, really good.  I was so happy ... two women told me they could see such a difference.  I felt validated ... I am the kind of person who needs that.  I need to 'see myself' in others' eyes ... I can see how I look ... but, if someone else sees it ... then, I feel I've done good.  It means the world when someone is truthful in a good way ... I don't need lies.


Skip says I'm always complimenting people.  He is right.  I told him that I feel when people look nice, do something nice, or something about them stands out to me ... I'm going to tell them.  We all want to know when we look nice, I feel they should know.  Don't you agree we all hope, want others to think we look good when we strive to?  or if a particular color we have on ... stands out in a fun way?  How would we know ... if no one ever told us?


I'm no exception ... I've been an awful-looking person for the majority of 6 years. Grief destroys one while they are in the darkness.  So, now ... I'm beginning to look 'like myself' once again ... it tickles me to no end ... when people see 'me' once again!  You wouldn't believe the happiness I feel ... it helps me to know ... I'm on the right path to ... looking for Gloria!  Let the sun shine!




Author's Note:

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

I'm on a weight loss journey ... I'm sharing real feelings, thoughts ...  as I travel on my new path in life ... looking for 'Me' ... Gloria.




Monday, July 4, 2016

Six Years Later ... I'm Finally ... Finding 'Me'




Six Years Later, I Am Finally ... Finding 'Me'

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









I've seen a stranger in my mirror for so long ... it's good to finally recognize someone I know, like ... 'Me'. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.





Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee









Six years ago, my only child died.  For the first 3 1/2 years I wasn't aware of anything but, my grief.  My son had died, I didn't care about anything at all, excepting our Pups, and Skip (my husband).


I have to say that today ... looking back ... everything is dark.  I don't want to see through that darkness right now.  It takes so much out of me when I force myself to go back.  It's like being trapped in a dark, foggy, scary place ... There are times I will go back to describe to you very real grief ... not tonight.


I am writing tonight about trying to find myself in the mirror.  When I became aware of myself after the first several years of grieving ... I would notice myself standing in front of the mirror, staring.  I didn't know the person I was looking at.  I would peer closely, ask myself ... 'is that me?'  I couldn't recognize the person in the mirror.  I had never looked like ... that.


I was very overweight ... my face had no happiness, sunshine in it ... whereas before ... I always smiled.  My eyes had no light in them ... no life.  I couldn't see myself anymore ... I really was gone.  I was on a journey no mother should ever have to travel ... the one traveled after her child has died.


Where I used to be very pretty ... I looked so awful.  I couldn't bear to see ... me.  I didn't have the motivation, nor desire to look better, then.  I didn't care how I looked ... I had died inside ... my child was gone.  How could I live ... even smile ... feel any happiness at all ... my child was dead?  Tommy died ... Tommy was dead.


I began to tell myself I would grieve in a good way ... a positive way.  I was beginning to think thoughts about the future.  I wanted to grow older in a good way ... no bitterness, anger, hate.  I began to work on myself, how I thought about things.


Sometimes, I would catch a glimpse of 'me' in the mirror ... sometimes, 'me' ... smiled.  I would try to capture 'me' in a photo with my cellphone.  Photos of 'me' were just damn awful ... I looked so horrible.  The truth is the truth ... I never thought I would be, or find 'me' again.


I did try harder to look better ... I just didn't care.  This is someone who used to have to dress 'perfect' before going out the door even to a store.  My hair, makeup, clothes had to look very nice.  I always was known to look nice ... people would say I was ... beautiful.  Well ... when I became aware of those people who used to say that ... when they saw me ... I saw mouths drop open like ... what the hell?


Not one person ever came to me to ask me what was wrong.  No one ever knew my son died ... I never bothered to tell them.  I could only write about it ... not talk about it.  Writing helped to save my life ... my grief was bigger than I.  Six years later ... people are just finding out that Tommy died ... they are shocked.  I don't elaborate on his death ... I can't bear to talk about it.  When asked how he died, I just tell them he had 4 blockages to his heart, collapsed at the beach playing with his son.  I walk off ... leave Skip to talk ... I don't want to.


I've never carried anything so heavy in my life.  If you saw me then ... you saw a wreck of a woman ... who moved automatically in life ... who only existed because ... she couldn't just lay down, die.  I almost did ... I never cared.  So ... you can see, maybe understand the 'whys?' ... it means so much for me to 'see myself' again.


Six years later, I'm ready to be myself, enjoy looking nice again.  I almost gave up ... almost.  A year ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes ... that was something I couldn't accept even for a moment ... it made me angry.

I already had several medical conditions ... brought on during the three years I fought to survive cancer ... Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  I'm a 16 year survivor ... and am fortunate to be here ... not many people who had it when I did ... made it.  My oncologist told me last summer I shouldn't be here.  Can you imagine being told that?  It brought home to me how fortunate I was ... I felt cold chills when he told me.


I decided on studying, joining support groups on weight lost surgery.  I did this for over a year ... I began to ask questions.  I found out that Medicare would pay for my surgery.  This was back when Skip was working, driving a truck.  My part to pay was $457 ... Skip paid that months before he, himself became sick, had to stop driving.  Even after that ... the tests I had to go for ... over a 6 month period ... I was still undecided.


Skip became very ill in January ... and until a month ago ... he went through so much.  I wasn't going to have my surgery ... until Skip was on even keel.  He stayed very sick for 5 1/2 months, almost dying 3 times.  He wanted me to have my surgery ... he knew how much it meant to me.  For a short period of time ... he stayed on even keel ... just long enough for me to have surgery.


Just after my surgery, he became bad off again.  I didn't have time to recuperate from my surgery ... I was traveling 80 miles daily, to and from the hospital every day ... no sooner than he come home from the hospital ... he was back into the hospital.  I never let my pain stop me ... I just kept going.  I had to be strong for Skip, and I was.


April 20, 2016 ... I had my surgery.  July 20th will be 3 months since surgery.  I have finally begun to feel good each day ... and I am seeing in the mirror ... 'Me!' again.  I am just beginning to feel joy in seeing the weight come back off ... feeling how good it feels just to feel good, again.  It's wonderful.  I'm finding ... myself ... at last!


I couldn't open my eyes to see 'me' ...  until Skip got on an even keel, getting stronger and stronger.  For 5 weeks now ... he is doing well.  I pray he never gets sick again.


Since January, I have lived in fear ... Skip had a stroke, went into congestive heart failure 3 times, kidney failure/surgery, hemorrhaging nosebleeds that required him to be given blood, he had a pacemaker put in, 2 stents put in ... he almost hemorrhaged to death just after the heart catherization when the shaft/sheath (I forgot the name) was taken out of his thigh.  This wasn't all that happened to him during that time.  It was one nightmare after the other.  I was on a roller coaster I couldn't get off from ... I held on for dear life.  I had to be strong for Skip, our Pups.


Today ... Skip is stronger.  He is driving ... moving around like 'Skip'.  I am so grateful, thankful.  He and The Pups are my whole life ... they are my whole world.  Not only that ... I am so grateful to all my friends who helped me make it through that awful time.  Do you know the song ... Wind Beneath My Wings?  I think of that song when I think of the ones who helped me with tires, oil change, and gas to be able to make it through.  I have no family ... I didn't have one person I could go to ... to ask for help.  I will be always grateful to everyone who cared for me ... they never had to, but ... they did.  I'm so thankful.


Now ... today ... I am finally beginning to see, find ... me.  When I look in the mirror at times 'now' ... I don't cringe every time when I see me.  I'm beginning to recognize myself, again.  I'm so happy with my decision to go through with my surgery.  I wouldn't trade doing it at all.  I no longer have diabetes, something I just couldn't cope with.  I am feeling better, and better as Skip becomes stronger, himself.  The Pups are doing well ... I took the best care of them during the months Skip was so ill.  They are happy Pups, know they are loved.


Today ... I saw 'me' in the mirror ... I am seeing 'me' in the mirror more often, now.  I'm finding myself after being on the longest, hardest journey in my life ... as a grieving mother.  I'm finding myself after almost losing the one person I have left in this world, who is my world ... my husband.  I have so, so much to be thankful for ... I am.


I've shared my journey as a grieving mother ... I will still share those times that happen when grief hits.  Now, I'm on another road in life ... never forgetting my son ... but, going forward.  I am on a weight loss journey ... and in the process of ... finding 'Me'.






Note by this author:

As long as Skip and The Pups are doing well ... I am happy.  Each morning I get up ... I thank God for everything.  I can smile at myself in the mirror ... because I am finally recognizing myself again. This means the world to me.





Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Sign From the Other Side






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





(Dragonfly tattoo done by Jason Wilkins ... in memory of Tommy)






The dragonfly came from nowhere to hover, fly
In front of my face, close to my eyes


I stood waiting for the sign I knew would come
From the other side ... from a young man I loved


Sure enough, when I blinked ... the dragonfly
Landed on my nose ... his little wings became still


It sat there ... looked at me ... I looked at it
Tears began to roll from my eyes


The dragonfly touched a teardrop with it dainty foot
He rose from my nose ... flicking the teardrop into the air


Drops from the teardrop rained on the little dragonfly
Making him shimmer, shine in the golden sunlight


My eyes saw such special beauty
I knew this dragonfly was giving me a sign from the other side


Love reflected in the sunlight as the tiny drops flew off its wings
Touching my cheeks like a child's kiss


I knew my son had sent me a sign through a dragonfly
A special sign from the other side ... I love you, mom








Dragonflies do strange, wonderful things whenever I see them ... I know it's Tommy sending love from the other side. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee    








Note by this Author:  My son died 6 years ago ... for 6 years I've noticed dragonflies do unusual things.  I know the dragonfly would be the way Tommy would communicate from the other side so, I wouldn't be afraid.



Photo/poem owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Monday, June 20, 2016

My World in Photos ... I'm Finally in a Happier Place

My World in Photos  ... I'm Finally in a Happier Place

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







Sometimes ... my photos can express more than my words can. My world is a happier place after almost 6 months of pure Hell. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.





















After 5 1/2 months of medical emergencies ... this is my world, today.  Skip is doing very well after being in the hospital ... going through medical emergencies that threatened his life ... since January of 2016.




I'm so happy to say that for the past 4 weeks ... he has been on even keel.  He did have 2 nosebleeds that required trips to the emergency room.  Thankfully he didn't need to get blood those times.  The first nosebleed ... he had to have 2 pints of blood.  I had to go to the emergency room, once.  That has happened in the past 4 weeks ... I still call this even keel ... because no one was admitted.  Skip has been admitted 6 times since January with life-threatening emergencies, several surgeries.  I had surgery in April.




We are walking more, and feeling better physically ... mentally.  As Skip becomes stronger ... so, do I ... mentally.  I become happier.




So, for today ... this is my world in photos.  Doesn't it look like a happier world?









Note by this Author:






I feel the stirrings of wanting to write again.  I was afraid that all that was happening in my life would crush my writing spirit ... I'm back.  I have also, been interested in my second book book I'm writing about Victoria Fairchild ... I have begun working on it once again.  I am re-writing it as I go ... to become familiar with all I've written ... to get into my story, my special world once again.





So much has happened in our lives for the first 6 months of June.  You can read back to see all ... I won't bore anyone trying to name everything, now.  It's hard to believe all that has happened ... even the doctors have been shaking their heads.  We are recognized in the emergency room and on the floors at the hospital ... gracious.




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