Tuesday, January 31, 2012




You don't have to look for Bigfoot anymore.  I know exactly where he is!  He's in my house!

I've finally decided after much thought how mysterious little scratches like the one on my nose this morning, got there.  Ever so often this happens, I'm not aware of it until... I look in the mirror! 

There's a darn scratch on ...my nose!  How did it get there?  I touch it, it's real because it's sore... it is a very real scratch.  Okay... so how did it get there?

I take my shower, wondering 'how did the scratch get there?'  I don't recall doing anything to make me get a scratch on the bridge of my nose.  How did it get there?

I'm thinking ... it begins to dawn on me.  Bigfoot!  Yes, I think Bigfoot did it!  He's big, he's powerful and I know he would do that!  Yes, yes, I'm sure it was Bigfoot!

When we go to bed at night, our huge 1 year old Rottweiler, Mr. Kissy, comes to bed with us.  Chadwick Elsworth comes to bed with us, though he will go and lay on his covers on the couch.  Mr. Kissy will stretch himself out on the bed after he goes through his routine of imitating a bird!

Yes, Mr. Kissy will begin using one paw, then the other to gently move the top cover around to make a 'nest'.  We know when he is going to settle down to go to sleep...he begins making his nest.  He's a bird.

Mr. Kissy is something else.  He is so huge, he looks like a big, black bear!  He is as strong, and silent as a bear.  He has unusual eyes that look ...  human-like.  He has the face you want to shower with baby kisses, and it ... pure melts one's heart.  Mr. Kissy is a big bear!

Chadwick Elsworth is mixed, and a fine mixture he is.  He is a medium-sized, blonde-colored pup, he is almost 5 years old.  He has talked Mr. Kissy all he knows, afterall, Chadwick Elsworth learned from the best!  Chadwick Elsworth favors a coyote in his beautiful color, and size.

Chadwick is very gentle, though he is most protective of us.  He will bite someone if they come into his fence.  That's why we have signs around his fence, so people will stand back.  Chadwick will raise Cain when someone is here, it's his nature.

Chadwick Elsworth spent most of his life with Mr. Fairchild, our 11 year old Rottweiler, who was a force to be reckoned with.  He taught Chadwick Elsworth everything.  Chadwick Elsworth is tough, though looking at him one wouldn't realize how strong, how fast he is. 

Mr. Fairchild died, he had cancer.  His ashes sit on Skip's desk in a white tin, with black paw prints on it.  It has a brass nameplate with his name, on the tin.  We had him cremated when he died.  Skip cried when he died, I cried, too.

Mr. Kissy is tough, also.  He is a very quiet, serious pup who is constantly looking for something.  He has the nicest temperament, he loves people, children.  If Mr. Kissy ever growls at anyone... I'm getting away from them, there's something 'bad' wrong with them.  We've never seen anyone he doesn't like... if he ever showed aggression, we'd think twice about that person.

Mr. Kissy likes to reach out, that's right.  He likes to reach out and touch you.  When he does, we say 'I've been big-footed!'  His touch is full of power, and when he reaches out playfully you have to soften his touch!  It hurts!  :)))

Sometimes at night he will want to touch one of us, to wake us up... he bigfoots us.  I know that's 'why' I woke up this morning with a scratch on the bridge of my nose!  I've been big-footed!  Don't look any farther for Bigfoot... he is here, here in our house.  By the way, his real name is Mr. Kissy!  Kissy Fairchild Bates... he's named in honor and memory of Fairchild.

Now you know where Bigfoot is, and what his real name is.  Yes, Bigfoot's in the house!




She's looking at me again! I kept singing 'Amazing Grace', as I wondered 'why' she turned around to look at me. The next song was 'Little Brown Church'... I loved this song, and I sung with my best voice! It felt wonderful!

Someone punched me in the back, and I didn't want to turn around to see 'who'. We were all standing up in church, singing songs. I was in the choir at my church (I was visiting this church), I knew I could sing (later .. I would find out how badly I sang! when the choir director asked me to sing with my mouth, but.... not let my voice be heard!).

I was the youngest in the choir at my church, I hadn't been singing long. I loved it, I'd discovered I could sing! It was fun. I was catching on to little frowns here and there from the older women here at this church. I was a child and I didn't understand 'why'. Why some of those old-ass women looked right mean at me!

We sat down and listened to the pastor talk about someone was surely going to hell if they didn't change their ways. I knew I was going to change my ways. I was only twelve years old, I sure didn't want to go to hell! He screamed 'Amen!' making me jump in my seat. Hallelujah! I couldn't take much more of this! All this screaming, hollering, jumping up and down.... I saw this at grandma's all the time... I came to church where it was peaceful, no one to scare me, or make me nervous. This new church did all of that. I'm not coming back here anymore!

I was trying to stay awake, I didn't sleep good last night. Grandma and George were fussing about something. I hoped they wouldn't go to hell. I didn't want anyone I loved to go to hell, now that I've just learned about it.

Damn, I didn't want to burn up. I think I had better stop saying the word 'damn'. I'd been using that word in my mind since my mother washed my mouth out with Ivory soap when I was younger. It made me remember that word, that's what Ivory soap did! Damn! There he goes again! Amen! Give me a hallelujah!

Damn! That preacher sure can scream, he scares me everytime he screams 'amen!' and 'hallelujah!' He's talking about people who talk in tongues now... what in the ...... is talking in tongues?!!!

I'm not sure what this means at all... I only had one tongue! I was at this church 'visiting'. An older lady wanted me to come to her church this Sunday with her. I wasn't sure if I liked this church better than the Baptist Church I'd been attending. It seemed older women took it upon themselves to save my soul... I must have looked like I was surely going to hell.

What? I look to my left to see the older woman I was with.... why, that's white stuff on her mouth! Oh my God! I began panicking... I'd seen this not long ago on my mom's face when she suffered a seizure. I slid over away from the woman, staring at her in shock! I never thought about how others probably were looking at me!

This woman began to talk, she jerked like that chicken I saw one time... when someone chopped its head off! I cried for that chicken! She stood up hollering 'Thank-you, Jesus!' She began to walk like that chicken up the aisle... I just couldn't understand this! I'd never seen such in my church. I felt very nervous, my stomach had butterflies in it.

That woman's head was going backwards and forwards... she was walking, she really did look alot like that chicken! What the hell! Why she just fell on the floor, she's rolling! That white stuff coming out of her mouth!

Damn, I've got to get out of here! I'm going to hell as sure as I stay in here, I keep being shocked, scared... I keep saying ugly words!

I wanted to go outside where the other kids were playing. This was the perfect opportunity to 'get away'! I looked around, people were praying and saying 'amen!' and 'hallelujah!' They were talking but..... wait a minute, is this 'talking in tongues?' I think they were talking in tongues, I couldn't understand a word they said!

I got the heck out of there. When I got outside, a boy handed me a.... straight pin. I looked at him and asked him what that was for? He said to protect myself... stick somebody back if they stick you!

What have I got myself into! Damn that girl! She just stuck me with a pin and ran. I'll catch her ass, and show her how it feels! I ran and sure enough, I caught her. I stuck not one time, but, two times! She cried. She deserved it. I was mad now! I didn't like being stuck with a pin.

Ouch! _____!!! That hurt like ____!!! I chased that boy until I grabbed him by his shirt, and I stuck him in the _____! That'll teach you to stick me!

I've got to get away from this church... it's dangerous here! I thought my life was hell, but, this was something else. I wanted to go back to grandma and George's!

I stood on the churchsteps watching those boys and girls running, laughing and............. bleeding!!! I looked on my arms and sure enough, there was blood running down my arm. What the____?!!!

A boy ran up to stick me again, I stopped him in his tracks. I told him he would be most sorry if he stuck me with that pin, I wasn't playing anymore! He laughed and ran back to stick somebody else!

I came to this new church and feared for my very soul... that preacher said somebody would surely go to hell. I could see 'why'... those kids were mean! They needed to be inside listening to the preacher so, he could scream and scare the hell out of them. He'd already scared it out of me!

I peeped back in the door of the church... there were grownups lying all around in that floor! They were moaning, talking strange, why.... that looks like that white stuff on their mouths! Amen! Hallelujah! That preacher shouted. I can't take no more, I've got to go... no where is it calm, or safe for me!

I keep looking toward the street... it isn't far to just walk back to grandma and George's! I'm going to walk back home! No one is paying attention to me, those kids were too busy sticking each other with those pins! I walked back to grandma and George's and swore to myself that I wouldn't be going to church with that lady again. I knew I'd surely go to hell if I did... I didn't like those kids sticking me with pins....




I was thinking about a mother's face this morning when I woke up. I lay there seeing her face in my mind, and thinking how sad I felt for her.

She has been deceased since some time before Tommy died... even then, I cared but........... always that 'but'........... how could I have in any way know what went on in her mind?

I remember seeing her sad face, her eyes seeing me, not really seeing me. I remember she just didn't talk at all, no words were needed. I just hugged her, I don't remember if I said 'I'm so sorry', or if the words came out at all.

I see her face as I look in my mind... I see a face filled with grief that no words could even begin to have helped her. She seemed to have just with-drawn so much. I knew this woman, at one time I was very close to her.... many years ago. She was one who came running with my mom to 'save me' when my stepmother beat me in the face, and my dad slapped me for the first and only time. She loved and cared about me, back then... but, not for always.

I just looked back this morning with sadness that I didn't fully understand what she was feeling inside. She was on medication to help her... because you see.... she didn't lose just one child, she lost two children.

Two children within 3 months of each other. They were adults like I. Her oldest child supposedly committed suicide... there are many stories about 'if' he really did. Her middle child, her only daughter... was killed in a crash... a log truck hit her.

I was thinking this morning that it was bad enough (really the word 'bad' doesn't do justice at all when you describe grief... it's not even close to describing 'how bad').... it is bad enough to lose children through illness, or unexpectedly.... but, when something so awful happened at the same time of their death... all I can say is ... oh my God.

She lost 2 of her babies in the most awful of ways. I don't think 'then'... I stopped long enough to really think about it, than to just know it was 'bad'. It hurt my heart... thinking about it now... my heart feels the pain moreso.

I think I know why. I've lost a child now, and I can understand. What I can't imagine is......... losing 2 children in such a 'bad' way.

My poor aunt... yes, she was my aunt. I knew her, my heart felt for her then.... now.... I can understand better, I feel so bad for her.. it's too late to tell her. I love you, Aunt Ruby. What you must have suffered in your mind, what you must have suffered. I can't even pretend to imagine.

I woke up this morning wondering if I could think of a grieving mother's face...... her face came to my mind. The other day when I wrote my story about The Face Of A Grieving Mother... I was showing you a picture of my face... I didn't think past that.

This morning, I woke up ..thinking past my face. I do feel such sadness, and regret that somehow I didn't get to tell her that I cared more than even I knew. I didn't know I would know as a mother what she felt... until I, myself lost my child. The caring was there all along... it took losing my child for me to 'see how much' caring was there.

I can see 'why' people don't seem to care when you lose a loved one... they can't imagine how it feels, because this is one of those things that you have to experience... to know how it actually feels.

They care but, they never realize 'how much' until it happens to them... the caring was there all along.... it took something bad happening in their life... to know that. Their mind instantly goes to 'someone just like them... someone who has been through the same thing'. This is the moment ... they deeply care. They understand 'now'.

I feel sad about this because... if we somehow 'knew' before we each had to experience somthing 'bad'... how things felt ... we could let someone who is suffering know that we care with our very hearts. Then again... if we didn't experience these things... how could we truly know if we care or know 'how it feels'? Experience is the teacher here, I'm sure. We have to do as that old saying 'walk a mile in someone's shoes'.... in order to know how it really feels.

I have walked in alot of shoes... I know how alot feels. I was thinking that I've learned many lessons in life.. and it's amazing... I have alot left to learn.

I would hope these lessons won't be as painful as it seems most of the others in life for me... were. I would like to learn happy, joyful lessons now. Of course, I've learned alot of them in my life, also.

The biggest being in knowing how it feels to give something needed to someone who really needs........ seeing their eyes light up with joy, and hear it in their voice. I love to do that. I know how it feels to be on both ends. I have needed, also.

I know it feels so good when needing something, and someone makes it possible for you to have. It means the world.

I know how it feels in my heart when I have given to someone who is down and out, how it seemed to mean the world to them, too.

I would like to be rich now, because I would surely make such difference in people's lives... they would never have to know it was me who made that difference. I'm finally old enough to not have to have credit for everything I do. I would help people 'behind the scenes' and watch from a distance to feel and see their joy... not let them know for sometime, if ever... that I cared for them.

I can see I've changed subjects now... that means I've written what I meant to... I can go on to other things now... to talk about. I think I'll dream about being rich... and the 'good' things I could do not only for myself, and loved ones... but, for people who can't think of one person, place or anything, that could possibly cause money to come their way to help them. I know how it feels... I've felt this before, too.

I'm dreaming now...who knows... I've heard that dreams come true! I'm thinking at this very moment of special things I'll do when I'm rich..... one being to be near a homeless person who is wishing only for a coat... I would give them that coat, and warm clothing and blankets and a room paid for, for a month. Not only that, I would be seeing what resources there were to help them in their life, their future. I'd never forget them.

I have in my mind seeing so many homeless people living in the streets at night time in California. We went to areas one would never believe existed, it's a 'whole other world... many worlds within this whole other world'. I won't even pretend I understand them. They made quite an impression on my mind... I also, saw many 'dangerous' worlds... children have to live in them.

I did understand that I saw people with many needs, many people I could only give maybe a couple of dollars to, and whatever I had to drink or eat at that time. They didn't care if I'd been drinking from the cup, or eating from a sandwich... they just saw something they'd wished for and couldn't get easily. I really looked at each person I came in contact with. I cared, I cried over them... no one ever knew I did that. I think Skip did, though.

There are people like that in all cities, and I haven't seen them in small towns, but... I think they are there... where, I don't know. I've seen them all over the United States, my attention going straight to them, instead of just seeing the beauty around me. I saw the not so beautiful, too. I cared.

Not only these people... people, everyday people in my life that I know of, people I personally know. People everywhere are needing, I'm needing, we all need something. Don't you agree? Even not being rich, we give to make other people happy... sometimes we do without ourselves to do so.

I don't think one can buy what we feel in our hearts when we've done good, and know that we have. I don't think anyone can buy how good it feels in our hearts when someone is good to us, too. Gratitude, for so much. Happiness, gratitude and the feeling that someone cared. Money might not can buy that.... truthfully, money is needed to buy 'what others won't give freely' from their hearts.

Yes, I wish to be rich... I would make many deserving people have food, clothing, shelter and know what resources are there for them to take advantage of to help themselves when they are past my help. I would want them all to succeed in life.

I have wondered what it'd be like 'if every rich person' did as I would if and when I'm rich... I wonder if many people would be left that needed or wanted for anything?

I know you wonder about people trying to take advantage... well, they would be the ones making the loudest noise... I would look past them to the quiet ones. You do know alot of times when someone gets hurts, the ones who aren't hurt the worst, scream the loudest. The ones hurting most are the 'quiet ones'.

I would be so happy to be able to carry out my wishes I have in my heart... joy would be felt everywhere. I would make many smiles, many eyes light up with happiness. I would stand at a distance and smile, too... my eyes would be bright from joy and tears. It would make me happy to make you happy.

We all have dreams that may sound silly... this is my silly dream. In my mind .. I know it to be possible to come true. I have been there, done that, and want to do it again! :))) I'm back to dreaming now.............................. I wish to be rich... soon. I have a heart rich in caring, love, compassion, empathy. Now, I need the money to buy what others can't give for free... and give it freely, myself. I'm dreaming... I believe.


Monday, January 30, 2012





Diamond teardrops dancing in the rain

sparkling, shining to hide my pain

colorful rainbows in the sky

distract me so that I don't cry

I loved my child with my heart

Tommy, I'm so sorry life pulled us apart

My son, my heart, my child

I love you. Your 'Ole' Mom



I woke up thinking about this little 'poem' I wrote yesterday as I wrote 'THE FACE OF A GRIEVING MOTHER'.

I love diamonds, tears remind me of diamonds. Have you ever cried (I know you have) and your tears catch the light... as you cry you see little sparkles of shining colors shoot out from your tears?

I have cried, I have seen the colors shoot out from my tears, shining and bright. I wonder if one could interpret those colors as 'healing power'?

I remember times when I have cried, colors in my tears have caught my attention. For instance, when one night we were driving in the snow to the hospital... my cousin had just died.

Tears were falling down my cheeks, my eyes were watching the soft, quiet snow coming down. The headlights were shining on a white road ahead of us... I was looking at that when I began to see my tears between me and the headlights.

How they sparkled with color, with clarity! Diamonds made of my tears, colors of the rainbow in my tears. This distracted me from crying as I opened and closed my eyes, my lashes wet with tears. How my lashes sparkled in the reflection of the headlights.

I could see snowflakes traveling toward the windshield, my sparkling eyelashes framed this beautiful sight. Even in grief I could appreciate such beauty... God's beauty. Captured in a frame of diamond tears and rainbow colors.

I was thinking that my cousin, Jimmy, would have wanted at least something ... just something to mark the time he left this world. Jimmy, it did.... we had the softest snowfall that night... unusual as we don't always get snow in the winter here. You would have smiled knowing 'something special' happened at the time you went away... something that makes me always remember when you left this world.

That night I framed the picture in my mind forever, of that soft, beautiful snow, snowflakes in the headlights, snowflakes falling quietly against the windshield. Diamonds made of teardrops, just as for my son, Tommy... whom you loved very much. Diamonds of such clarity, little rainbows of color. Crying....

I would be wealthy if I were paid for all the diamonds I have cried in my entire life. I have had the saddest life, yet... I've had the happiest life. I forgot the sad when I was happy. I've lost many, many people I loved dearly in my life.

I was hurt deeply each time one of them died... hurt badly when I, myself, was at death's door.. never knowing until a year later that one of my most favorite aunts died. Even if I'd known, I wouldn't have known ... I was that sick for so long. I was in the battle of my life.

Patsy... my Aunt Patsy. You died when I was so ill, I never knew. I remember you with my words here. You were another person in my very young life who cared for me, just as my Aunt Frankie.

You had that soft voice that was clear in the darkness of my mind, I could 'see' what you told me. Only one thing you promised me, you couldn't be here to make come true. You meant to be... you promised me from the time I was very little into adulthood. I understand life is like that... not all promises can be kept... sometimes we go away before we can keep them.

I love you, Patsy. It's a wonder I didn't see you somewhere as I battled for life.... I was 'out there' too. It's a wonder I didn't meet you out there, just to reach out and touch your hand in hello, goodbye, I love you. At least ...... something.

I can write on, fill up a sheet of notebook paper with all the names of loved ones ... ones 'I truly loved in my life' ... who have died through the past 12 years. It seems all my life I was never around death... until just after I won my battle to live. Since then, I've seen so much grief.

So much has happened in mine and Skip's life. He was in two very bad wrecks, one being in a tractor-trailer wreck in Moriarity, New Mexico. Traveling on Interstate 40 West, it was raining and two young girls were traveling too fast on the wet road, they hydroplaned hitting the steering tire on the big truck Skip was driving.

It sent him flying through the median, across oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the interstate. The big truck hit and broke down a Shoney's billboard, landing out on the desert floor. Skip was hanging upside down, hurt. He heard some men coming, one saying 'I wonder if that truck driver is dead?' Skip yelled at them to please help him, he wasn't dead at all!

A woman ran a stop sign hitting him in the side..... only two weeks after the tractor-trailer wreck. Her van turned upside down in the middle of the road, she was lucky to have lived. Skip and my mother's husband were so lucky to have survived that wreck.

Skip was almost got broadsided a couple more weeks later.... when cops were chasing a bank robber! The bank robber barely missed Skip as he almost went through the stoplight as it changed. Skip was on the way to physical therapy. How ironic is that? The bank robber went under that light and crashed only yards away from Skip.

Skip was beginning to be very sick as he took care of me when I was ill. How he worked, and took care of me, carried me to all those treatments, tests... no one could understand. I know how, because I am like him... love, pure love. We love each other that much.

He was losing so much blood. If someone, or even you... ever lose blood when you go to the bathroom... from the rectum...... go running to the doctor. Skip didn't because he was fighting so hard to keep his world together... a deathly sick wife, his dogs he loved very much, working... he was taking care of them all, including his wife's cousin who'd come to live with them.

Skip was under so much pressure, he was so sick. I was so sick, I became aware of how sick he was... I pushed so hard to get 'well enough'... to force him to go to the doctor. Thank-God, I did.

When Skip went to the hospital for surgery... they had to give him alot of blood before they could even do surgery. I was still very sick, but... I took care of him just as he had me for three years.

We were both sick together. No one knew, and if they did... no one came around. We never told many people, we kept alot from Tommy, who was driving long-distanced then. We've went through so much..... alone.

I went into congested heart failure. The drug adriamycin damaged my heart from all chemotherapy treatments I had. The doctor didn't tell me this until long after.... it was my tradeoff for living... I accepted that ...gladly. :)))

These are a few things I've 'looked back on'.... this morning. I have so much to be thankful for. I am, from the very deepest of my heart. Believe it or not... these are only 'just a few things'... we have experienced in this lifetime. Isn't it really... amazing? I am amazed when I sit from time to time 'to look back'.

No matter how bad life has been.... it's been good, too. I'm so thankful to be past 'so much bad'. I look forward to the good things in life... I will embrace each, appreciating more than ever the happy things. At this age ..I have never appreciated so much. I have never in my life to 'not' take things for granted, as I do now. Never will I do that again. Isn't it amazing how we learn and grow through the years... just to find this out? I'm amazed... all the time!

These are my thoughts this morning... I wonder what your thoughts are this morning? :)))

Sunday, January 29, 2012




This morning I got up feeling like I was still in 'yesterday' when I sat for several hours writing about what happened to my son (The Worst Happened... Oh My God). I think it will take a little time to get past 'being burned by the flame'... I 'went into the fire' yesterday when I wrote my story.

I really got burned this time... it hurts bad... it's so hard to shake the remnants of such pure, raw, grief off ...this time. My mental skin is painful from the burns I've suffered... going back.

I noticed last evening how I felt after finishing my story. I could imagine how an actress/actor felt after playing a role in a movie. I thought that it must be hard 'to come back' to now... reality.

I felt this way when I finished writing my last word. I could still feel the grief, the pain... my eyes felt like I'd been crying alot. In fact, I was crying alot, I just didn't realize it. I was 'back then'.

My head has felt like I was still in the fog that kept my path to my memories hidden. Today, I am still pushing through the fog to get off that hidden path... I want to be on the path with sunshine so, I can see where I'm going.

I want to put mental flowers and trees in front of this hidden path to hide the entrance... I can look at beauty to distract my mind from going there. I know that I will go there. Instead of parting the limbs and flowers back... I will instead, pick a flower to smell its wondrous fragrance... maybe pick more to make a bouquet.

I will walk away... hopefully, satisfied that I've found beauty and hold it in my hands.... instead of finding the grief I know to be hidden there, and walking away with pain in my heart.

This is the first time I have made myself 'go back' to remember so much. So much has been forgotten. I don't think I could bear to go 'back to then', again. I can't describe the pain, the grief of doing that. Being a grieving mother, I 'know' that I will go back ... again. I hope not for some time.

I know there are flowers and trees there now, they weren't before. Only that stark, foggy, scary path was there. For now, I don't have to see it unless..... I part the trees and flowers to see if I'm tempted to enter. I hope I won't be... this time was 'too' much. I think in my mind, I will put a colorful rainbow there, also. I'm always distracted by colors.

The strange thing at the funeral home 'that night'... somehow, I was standing there, outside. People were all around, someone said "look at that rainbow in the sky". I remember looking up, my eyes searching for the rainbow, I saw it. I wonder if Tommy helped it to be there.... he knew his mother was always distracted by beautiful colors. I was thinking for a moment back to what I have not told you about... at that funeral home. Oh my God.

I can't think about 'this' for now. My stomach feels sick, my heart is so heavy, my eyes feel like I've been crying for so long. I will have to wait until later to tell you about 'at that funeral home', so.. you can know too, what that was like. I thought I was strong enough to do it now... I'm afraid I still have to gather more strength to be strong enough to tell you.

This is a mental picture of a grieving mother. She holds her head down, cradling in her lap a pool of clear, sparkling tears. They are the teardrops of pure, pure love for her child. They are the diamonds of her eyes, because her child is gone, they still shine and sparkle with her love. Liquid diamonds fall freely... teardrop diamonds of the purest love in the whole universe. Love for her child.

Yes, every teardrop is a... diamond. Her soul is rich with such love one can never describe in words. I am a grieving mother... you would not believe how rich I am in teardrop diamonds.... each made of the purest love for my child. They sparkle, they shine with the purest of love. I miss you, Son. Tommy, I miss you with my very soul, you were my only child, my only baby.

A grieving mother... one can't imagine what a grieving mother goes through. It's so easy to say that 'in time' she'll be alright, when in fact, it does put distance between 'then' and 'now'. It doesn't lessen that pain in her heart, the grief she'll feel for her child until the last breath she takes. Her tears will form diamonds for the rest of her life.

It doesn't matter what anyone says... how can they possibly know? I don't know if anyone 'really takes time' to sit and talk to a grieving mother to 'really see' what she thinks, what she really feels. Truthfully, others 'can care'... but, they 'don't really want to know'. I understand 'why'... they know it can happen to them... it really can... you know, it happened to me.

I was like that 'before' it happened to me. We think we can walk around confident 'those things happen to others, not to us... somehow they must choose that to happen in their life'. I promise you that it not only happens to you, you don't have to choose it... it happens so unexpectedly. It 'chose you'... you didn't have to do a thing for it to happen... to you. I know... it happened to.... me.

I know no one has ever taken the time to just stop, say 'tell me what it is you are really feeling as a grieving mother'. I think the reason 'why' no one takes that time to talk to a grieving mother is .... they can't bear to look directly at such emotion because... it's too horrible.

They would be burnt by it, just as you would be if you accidently stepped into a fire. Just that 'seeing', that 'hearing', just 'feeling' that raw emotion from a woman who has lost her child 'if' she were to honestly show it in front of you..... you wouldn't be able to cope with seeing, knowing such. You would suffer a... mental breakdown.

As a grieving mother, I know that I won't let anyone see how I hurt inside, I won't cry in front of anyone. I will walk away from you to keep you from seeing something so personal, so private, 'so... so mine'. It's mine, it's my love for my child, my only child.

I'm glad I've begun writing... now, I can talk about grief, grieving. I don't have to worry about anyone looking to see if they see tears, pain in my eyes. I don't have to feel embarassed, no one can see me. I don't have to worry about making someone feel uncomfortable around me.

I can write about the emotions, and whoever reads my words can take away something hopefully to know someone else can possibly feel the same way they have, or do. I can write, and whoever reads what I write will want to read, nothing is forced on them.

So, I won't cry on your shoulder, or make a spectacle of myself in public, nor make you uncomfortable. If you read my words, it will be because... you really want to. You can see and know inside how this feels, because........... it really could happen to you, it really happened to me. I didn't choose for it, to.

No matter that we know one day we are going to .... die, no one wants to. We don't want to outlive our children, we want to watch their lives come together and see them... finally succeed and be happy in life.

Tommy was talking about going back to school. He'd been talking to a parole officer, and he was encouraging Tommy into that field. He was very interested and he really listened.. this was just prior to his...... death. Actually...just days 'before'.......

As a grieving mother... did you know that each time I type the words 'die, death, dying', or anything to do with 'death'... I feel sick in my stomach? I make myself do it... each time I do, I feel a wave of pain in my stomach.

I just sat for a moment to let the feeling subside... it's pure grief, you know. It's just pure grief. Sometimes, I want to be so angry, I want to scream out in pain. I don't.... I know that it won't change not even one thing. I hold all these powerful feelings inside myself.

I don't think there's a body big enough to hold all this kind of pain without there being an outlet of some sort. Thank-God, I can write... I can't just talk about this verbally. I just can't do it.

I want to be positive and try to handle it all in a positive way. I don't want to stay down and not stand back up.... that's the 'easy' way out. Thinking about it.... there's no 'easy' to it, either down or up. Whoever coined that phrase didn't know what they were talking about...... 'that's the easy way out'.

In regards to a grieving mother.... no way is easy, even if they were to stay in a drugged state. I stayed in a drugged state for 3 months... I know. I've never been on drugs in my life, but, I begged to be drugged. Isn't that amazing... I begged to be drugged.

In my life, I've met things head-on to knock them out of my path, so, that I could survive, live. This time, I almost couldn't.................. I never felt the need for drugs, nor alcohol.... until this one time.

I'm glad I didn't continue with the medicine, I almost died from taking too much. I realized Skip kept calling me back from that darkness, wanting me to be alright. In fact, I think he put his foot down about that medicine... he never 'puts his foot down on anything' regarding 'me'.

He watched over me as I slept too deeply, worried over me... he couldn't bear seeing me like that. He said he could see my breathing almost stop, and he couldn't bear it. He wanted me to fight, to come back.

When either of us are sick, such as when we both were diagnosed with cancer... we had to pull that fighting spirit out of each other.... to make us fight to live.

I promise you that Skip and I.... know exactly 'how to press the right buttons' to pull that fighting spirit out! :))) We call it 'Dangling The Bait'... our way to make the other succeed at something we find so hard to do, we make each other 'get up and do what you have to do ..to overcome'. I smile now, thinking about him 'pressing my buttons'. I know how to do it, too! :)))

Skip, my hero... you pulled me back. I've never loved a man as I love my husband. Our pups stayed by my side wanting me to be here, also. If I don't have anything else, and I really don't... I have Skip, our Pups ... who are perfect for me. I have all I need.

Do you know what's strange about being drugged 'then'... I could talk, laugh in that state. I know I had the sensation of 'floating' and 'drifting' from here to there. I described it as feeling like 'a leaf being blown about in the wind, when the wind stopped, I stopped.... when the wind blew, I blew'. Somehow... I was 'here and there', 'everywhere'.

That medicine somehow.. protected me from what I saw, felt at that funeral home... it made me 'float above it all' trying to keep me above the sea of grief, so, I wouldn't drown right there in front of my son's body.

I was like a balloon, softly bouncing here and there, everywhere.. to where he lay, away from where my child was in that... box. Back to where he lay... I don't know where I was... I only have all these fleeting images in my head.

One could imagine a balloon getting away and just taking off up in the sky until it disappeared. It made me think of something unusual just now...... that happened when Taban was born. We went to buy a gift and a balloon to take back to the hospital.

We came outside, I was holding the balloon... it got away from me. I'll never forget standing there helplessly watching it go farther, farther away from me... to never see it again. I wonder if it was an omen to let me know that .... I wouldn't see Taban anymore, one day?

I don't see Taban anymore... his mother broke that bond. Tommy would have been so sad about this, he meant for his mother to know his son... he knew that it was impossible for his daughter to know his mother... her mother made it impossible for him to know, his child. I realize the mother had to go on with her life, she began dating soon after Tommy's death. That's when mine and Taban's relationship was broken.

Truthfully, I know I sound bad... and it is bad, for now... I do hate her. This is from someone who tries very hard to be a good person. In this instance... I really am a very bad person. I'm the first to say so. I'm ashamed of it... I am working on forgiving her for things I can't write here.

No one is perfect, me being the fartherest 'from perfect'. I know I sound like the 'best' person sometimes... sometimes, I'm not. I know where my faults lay, I really work on them... constantly.

I do still feel hate, anger, dislike... I'm not sure honestly.... if any of us can truly get that out of our heart to ...never feel it again. I've tried as hard as anyone possibly could... I manage to 'almost not to' hate. I feel that as long as I try very hard, I'm succeeding. If I didn't do anything, I think that would be worse.

I've had to just 'let go'. This has compounded the grief over losing my son. I realize this has happened to many grandparents, I'm not the first, I certainly won't be the last. I don't understand 'why' a grandparent can't have a relationship with the grandchild... though the woman is with another man.

I think possibly because that 'other man' resents both the child and the 'previous man'. Then... comes 'the next to that man', his parents. I never saw Tommy act like that with her children and their father. He even had the highest respect for their father, and liked him. Truthfully, I think the mother of the grandchild should be strong enough to make that decision... not a boyfriend.

This is my opinion... especially when a boyfriend is a drunk, a no-good scoundrel, and doesn't work. All he can see are.... money signs. This happens in this area quite frequently... women think they are loved when their husbands die... they don't know about those 'Widow Seekers'.

They 'want the money, they want to be supported, cooked for'... while they buy them a new pickup, ride around bragging that they don't have to work. Why... it's surprising how much respect they get... I've watched this for many years. This is another story I have written about some time ago... The Widow Seekers.

I 'see' them, and there's no respect 'here'... from me. They play on the emotions, manipulating them like a weaver weaves her colorful threads to get them 'just right'.... to make a cosy, soft blanket to wrap up in against the cold. Watch out for those Widow Seekers.

They don't like for you to 'know' them, they will go in the opposite way if they realize you 'see' them. You threaten their cosy, soft blanket... how else will they get to keep warm... if you stop them? They don't work... it takes time to manipulate a widow... no, they don't want you near if they know you 'see' them. I 'hide my seeing'... and watch, listen, learn.

Life can be very sad... for so many reasons. It takes so long to one day realize how petty, how unimportant the reasons were to prevent a grandmother from knowing her grandchildren, much less a father knowing his child, one who cared, loved with his heart.

Tommy always sent each week, money for his daughter... no one ever made him do it, he was never in court to be ordered to do it... he did because he loved his daughter. He began doing this at the beginning, even giving the mother his bank card to take the money each week.. trusting her to do right.

Not only did she take the money each week, she took money to pay for treating her friends, and buying other things... that wasn't the agreement. She was a young girl who didn't know what an honor it was for a man to give his bank card to her.... and they were divorcing. Amazing.....

I remember looking at that balloon as it glided through the air until I couldn't read 'It's A Boy!' anymore, and for a brief moment I wondered 'if that was a bad sign'. As quickly as that thought entered my mind, I shut it out. This is going back to Taban, my grandson. Above .. I talked about not seeing him again. This thought and mental picture comes to my mind when I think of him.

I think 'now, at this moment'... I've been getting on other subjects, I am 'getting past' my visit to that dark world now. I feel my face relaxing, my stomach doesn't feel sick and my heart is lighter. I think talking about the Widow Seekers helped me. I love to talk about them... their ways. They think they are so ..... slick.

I find humor in thinking about them... I love to find ways to describe them. These are some of the most charming creatures in the world... they sing, dance to the rhythm of ... money. They smile the brightest, they are happiest, most wonderful souls. They have it made!

You will never see a wrinkle, if you do, there won't be many (the ones that are there were put there while they were 'seeking' a widow.... it was taking too much time!) on their faces.

Truthfully... I know we need 'all kinds of people' in this world for 'all kinds of things'. Regardless... we have to have things to think about, to study, to laugh and talk about.... so, we can be distracted from the grief, pain, sadness inside each of us.

The colors of life .... can distract one. I'm glad to be seeing them now... instead of the darkness I thought I'd never escape... for a time... I really thought I would permanently be a part of. Colors distract me, I'm happy to see them.

A note...

I do work on my hate for the one person I feel it for. I'm sorry I ever felt it, because at the same time... I love that person just as much as I feel the 'hate'... for that person. I'm not perfect... I can only just try to be a better person, the best I can be.

At this moment ..truthfully.. I don't feel hate at all... I honestly think what I called 'hate' is really... pure ..... anger. I only feel that at times, so... I'm getting somewhere, I'm making progress.

I'm sure that's what really counts in life... trying to replace negative with positive... replace hate with love.

In fact.... I'm sure that in life............. love is the whole reason we live, we all need and want it, we would die without it. Yes, in my opinion only... I think 'LOVE' is the secret to life, it's so easy to do.... yet, so hard to do ...sometimes.

Love..... that's all I would like to carry in my heart. It's so light and happy, doesn't 'weigh' anything. Hate...... is so dark and heavy, and pulls my soul down to the ground. Love is like the rainbow in the sky... filled with many colors.

Colors of life.. colors in Granny Gee's life... if it's a fairy tale... I still want that! I will 'go find me some rose-colored glasses', if that's what it takes to not feel 'bad' feelings inside. I hate to hate.. I don't like dark colors unless .... I'm happy enough to wear them... lightly!

To My Son, Tommy:

Diamond teardrops, dancing in the rain

sparkling, shining to hide my pain

colorful rainbows in the sky

distract me so that I don't cry

I loved my child with my heart

Tommy, I'm so sorry life pulled us apart.

My son, my heart, my child

I love you. Your 'Ole' Mom

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates






Saturday, January 28, 2012




I was in my artroom when the phone rang. I answered it, and heard Tommy's wife ask me "are you by yourself?" I said that I was, sensing something was wrong, I quickly asked was it.

She told me that it was, but, she didn't want to tell me. I reminded her that I was a strong person, and if it was about Tommy, I needed to know.

Tommy wasn't alright, but, he wasn't hurt physically. I began going into shock, how many times in my life have I been like this? I recognized the numbness, the sick sensation in my stomach. I closed my eyes and asked her to tell me what was wrong.

I knew Tommy was working, and was on the road going out west. He hadn't yet called me on this day. She told me to please go sit down and she'd tell me.

What she told me made me begin crying. My son, my son. There were hundreds of miles between us, something bad has happened to affect his life in the most awful of ways.

She told me that a man was killed, though it wasn't Tommy's fault, he was in bad shape emotionally. There were people with him trying to calm him, reassure him it wasn't his fault. What they couldn't do was to take away the horrific images burned in his mind, and what had just happened. It would affect him the 'rest of his life'.

She said she was going to him, but, he said to stay put until he knew what to do. I wanted to go to him immediately. I was sick as if it were me... I felt my son's grief and pain. She said she'd call back later, that she knew he'd be calling me.

"Mama, I've killed a man".... I had to sit down when I heard my son's voice crying softly to me. I couldn't reach out to touch him, nor comfort him when he needed me. "Mama, I killed a man".

"Tommy, what happened?" I asked him. Tommy began crying as he told me what happened.

He was on I-40 West in Tennessee, getting ready to cross the Hernando de Soto bridge. I knew exactly where he was at, I could visualize the bridge in my mind. It was a long bridge with fast moving traffic on it, 3 lanes of traffic and no.... breakdown lane if a car had mechanical problems. Skip and I had traveled over that bridge many times in the past.

I became aware of Tommy softly crying and saying "mama, I tried to get over, I tried to get over and a car cut me off and I didn't want to hit it, there was a family in it." Tommy went on to relate to me that he saw a car stopped up in the distance ahead of him in the middle lane (the same lane he was in)... he began trying to get over in the left lane, the right lane wasn't open enough for him to get over in it.

The car didn't let him come over, instead it drove up beside him. Tommy could see what was going to happen, and did his best to 'squeeze' between the car that was stopped ahead of him, and the car beside him.

The door opened ... a man stepped out of the car! Tommy began crying more intensely, but, softly. He never talked much over a whisper.. he was so affected by what had happened.

The man stepped out .. and Tommy tried to squeeze between him and the car beside him. "Mama, I saw an explosion of red in my right sideview mirror!" He broke down and cried, and kept on crying. Oh, how I was hurting for my son, my child. The worse thing had just happened to him, I couldn't help him.

I talked to him quietly, hoping to help him regain control. It worked but, he'd begin crying again. "Mama, I stopped the truck and I got out, no one stopped, mama... no one stopped".

No one stopped during the time it took the state troopers and rescue to get there. Tommy was alone in the middle of Interstate 40 West on the Hernando de Soto bridge with ....... what he saw. He was down on his knees.

Tommy sobbed, he didn't hear me, I cried with him. I felt like it was me who was there and had done it... I felt the pain from my son that greatly. I can't describe it any better than that... it felt like I had hit the man.. I was 'feeling' Tommy's grief and pain.

Tommy got out of the truck .. what he saw made him go down on his knees. My son was a tall, muscular man... I know many people saw this gentle, big guy on his knees... no one stopped to help him, nor comfort him.

"Mama, I kept thinking what, what? What is that? What is that in the road?" Tommy told me that body parts were in the road, the man's torso was beside him, he could see the man's heart.

"Mama, the blood, mama, there was so much red". I heard a man speaking in a kind voice to Tommy. Tommy told me the trooper wanted to talk to him, he had to hang up.

I sat there in shock, I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. My baby, my son.. this was going to kill him. He would never get over this. Tommy was a big, gentle guy who loved everybody, he wouldn't hurt others though, he'd fight for the underdog. He wasn't perfect, but, he was a good person. He had a soft heart.

Through the weeks following, the trucking company he worked for.. made him leave his family, and North Carolina to come to Indiana to stay at their motel to see their doctors. My son wasn't allowed to stay home to be comforted, and surrounded by his family. They had a law in that state that made it legal to make him come there to be treated.

For weeks, Tommy stayed ..constantly calling all of us. He had to cope with all that happened... by himself. He had to stay there so, he could keep his job.

Tommy went back to driving after several weeks, telling them he was going to be alright. Tommy was never alright after that. He could never be around red things again. I remember him calling one day....

"Mama, I saw a red painter's rag laying in the road, the wind was blowing it, making it move". Tommy couldn't bear to see it, he broke down. He called me to talk to me. This was only once in numerous times Tommy did this, until....

April 1st, 2010.... Tommy had been at the terminal in Greensboro, he was on his way home. He'd had an emotional breakdown... they let him drive all the way home on the truck, alone. Tommy's emotional state of mind was in a bad way.

Tommy went through things that I won't talk about when he did come home that added to the turmoil in his mind. It seemed he lived in pure hell from the time that man was killed, until..............

Soon... the anniversary date that the man was killed on, was coming up. Tommy couldn't cope, he never coped with the death of that man. The doctors said he was suffering from survivor's guilt. He couldn't bear that any action of his, though it wasn't his fault, caused the death of a person.

Tommy came home and he called me everyday. His wife was in nursing classes to be an RN, and when she was gone to school, he'd call and sit, and not talk alot. I held that phone many times ... he didn't need to say anything, I didn't need to say anything... he just wanted that connection with me, his mama.

I think Tommy somehow knew something bad was going to happen... I think subconsciously 'he knew'.

I sit here, feeling sickness in my very soul because I've visited the past to a very painful time. Yes, that's a tear that rolled down my cheek... it does hurt so bad, it really hurts so bad.

I can't in words describe the grief and pain Tommy suffered... I could see, sense, and feel it as his mother. I'm feeling it right at this very moment. I know there are many things I haven't remembered because pain,shock, grief has a way of numbing one's mind, one's memory.

I do know that a month or so, before Tommy was home in April... he introduced me to Farmville, the Zynga game, and I went on Facebook... Tommy wanted me to. He did get interested in that game and he spent alot of time on it when he came home... while he'd sit with his cellphone in his hand ...with his connection to his mama... me. No words at all had to be spoken. It seemed to calm him.

Tommy knew his mother loved him with her heart. I think he 'knew' something was going to happen... it was his way to give me something to hold on to... when it did. I don't know this... I am looking back and I feel maybe that's 'why' we both had that special 'mother and son' connection.... 'just before'. Really... at this moment ...it's hard to think about it all for the pain.

May 19, 2010... the day came ... it was May 19, 2009 when the man stepped out in front of the tractor-trailer Tommy was driving. It was the day that destroyed Tommy's emotional frame of mind... he never got over it. Tommy was never the same anymore.

The strange thing is ... later when we saw pictures of that car sitting on the bridge.... only the door was gone. One always says 'if"....... we kept thinking only 'if' that man had stayed in his car... 'if' he just didn't step out ...... the man's dog stayed in the car, the dog nor the car was hurt... only the door from when the man stepped out of the car.

The man was on his way just over the state line to his elderly parents' home to mow their grass. We never learned 'why' his car was stopped in the center lane on the Hernando de Soto bridge.

May 28, 2010... Tommy came to our home that Friday to pressure wash our home. Skip came home early that day, it was unusual for him to come home early in the day. This was our last day, evening with Tommy.

Remember... I told you how he was smiling and saying he really loved those sandwiches I made? We were sitting at the picnic table... he said those were the best sandwiches he'd ever eaten in his life. Remember?

His smile was like the sunshine, his eyes were full of laughter... isn't it amazing we got to see the 'old' Tommy just for that evening, that day? Isn't it amazing ... we got to spend time with him at all that day? I look back and I .... thank God with my very heart.

May 29, 2010.... Tommy went to play and share his first time with his little three year old son, Taban, at the beach. He was looking forward to it. Tommy did get to run, and play with Taban as he sent me photos from his cellphone of Taban. As Tommy was videoing Taban, his fingers let go of his cellphone............

Tommy walked into heaven at Myrtle Beach having done what he wanted most to do.... the first thing to make him feel excitement since the man died... he got to play with his little son at the beach.

"Hello"... I said. "Why do you have my son's cellphone?" I recognized the signs again... I was going into shock.

"Ma-am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he isn't breathing!" I began slipping into the dark world of grief, pain...

Do you know something strange? I found photos Tommy gave me that was taken on May 29, 2009... they are of Tommy and little Taban at a big lake... both of them were squatting down with their backs to the camera... looking out over the lake.

Another photo of Tommy and Taban... father and son walking up the dirt lane at the lake... with their backs to the camera...... at the same big body of water, father and son spending special time together.

One year later on the exact date... May 29, 2010... father and son at an even larger body of water, the ocean...... spending special moments together.... until one was called home.

I don't know that a mother ever gets over the grief of losing her child. I know I haven't. I am thankful to be out of the dark world... I fought very hard to climb out of it.. the whole time it pulled me back.

I'm here in the sunshine now. The pain still hurts but, it's easier to cope with grief in the sunshine. I can see my path now, it's not dark anymore. I think I may be fortunate to have come out of the dark, I didn't know that I would.

Everything's going to be alright now. I think Tommy might be smiling at me this moment. I'm sitting here with his navy blue jacket on, I wear it sometimes. It feels like a hug. I always felt special when my son hugged me, and said "I love you, mama".

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nannie Gee.... this is to you!

Nannie Gee, would you email me at gloriapaintsat@yahoo.com   ..... I've tried to find you on my and Tommy's FB to email you!  Granny Gee/ Gloria

I can't tell you how honored I am for you to look forward to reading my stories.  It means the world.. and you should see my smile... now!  You made me feel good!




I went to Rex Hospital to have carpal tunnel surgery. My hand had grown progressively worse as time went by.. the pain was unbearable. I was glad to be getting surgery.

I changed clothes, put on the gown provided, got up on the hospital bed, pulled the sheet up. The nurse came in to put an IV in. I lay there nervous, wishing for the surgery to be over.

The doctor was going to be late... I laid there for an hour with the IV still in me, taking in fluids that later... would almost take my life.

The doctor finally came, the surgery was done, we left the hospital with discharge instructions. That evening I began having a little cough, probably from an allergy. That happened sometimes. That night I told Skip I couldn't breathe, we went back to Rex Hospital Emergency Room.

I had an x-ray, all seemed to be okay, all the while I had IV fluids. We left the hospital and went home. I was still coughing.

The next day I coughed throughout the day, not feeling the best, but, going through the day okay. That night when we went to bed... I began to lay my head on the pillows. My pillows are always like 'stairsteps', and I have three pillows... I sleep good that way.

As I laid my head on my pillows, I sat straight back up, I sat there a moment calmly, not worrying about anything... when the thought went across my mind like you see a ticker scrolling across the bottom of a screen. My thought was: you are going to die if you don't go to the hospital now.

I thought for a moment that it had something to do with my imagination as I wasn't suffering at all... just this allergy that affected my breathing... and made me cough. I began to lay back down when... I stood straight up and spoke to Skip. I said "Skip, get up, please take me to Rex Hospital, I'm going to die if you don't". Skip never questioned me, got straight up and began dressing quickly.

I began dressing quickly, also. As I put my shirt over my head blocking my nose... I began to feel suffocated. For a brief moment I panicked. The thought went through my mind: get to the hospital now.

I never panicked, I was calm, twice this thought had come to my mind. I 'knew' something was wrong with me.

We got in the pickup and drove toward the hospital, as we got to the stoplight... I told Skip to take me 'now' to the rescue building. He looked at me and said " but, I thought you said you didn't want to go there, even if you were dying!'

I turned my head, looked at him calmly and said "Skip, take me there now, I'm going to die if you don't". I had no idea of 'how I knew this'. I never felt panicky, excepting the brief moment my shirt covered my nose. Skip never said a word and drove the couple blocks to the rescue building.

I was coughing more, it was aggravating me, I was sick but, didn't know what was wrong. The cough I thought was from an allergy was making things worse.

Skip went inside and came out with an EMT, a young guy. He walked to me and began asking questions, he noticed I was coughing alot, and I told him it was allergies, it seemed to have just now gotten worse. He bent down to look at my ankles, and immediately made me lay down in the rescue truck.

The next thing I knew I was fighting for my life.. I was embarassed at first .. I don't like to make a public scene. I tried to be calm and 'not make a fool of myself'. It became impossible to be still and stay lying down. I didn't know what was happening to me, I only knew I couldn't breathe ... my hands were grabbing air, my body wanted up from that stretcher!

I began fighting and I had no control to stop myself. I couldn't breathe. I heard a calm voice speak to me that I recognized. It was Randy, one of the EMT guys that I knew from working at the hospital. He asked me if I wanted to hold his hand. In my mind, I said "yes", in reality, the fight for my life had begun.

In my mind I knew the road to the hospital was ten miles, I knew as the amulance traveled where I was. I kept thinking in my mind of where I was, how long it would take to get to the hospital. I was fighting to breathe and sit up as these thoughts filled my mind.

Randy kept telling me to lay back down. I couldn't breathe! I couldn't breathe! In my mind, I was so sorry I was fighting, but... I couldn't stop. I couldn't breathe! I remember for a moment I even felt ashamed for not doing as he asked ... I couldn't just lie flat down when I knew I was dying!

I could hear the siren sounding overhead, I knew cars would move out of the way. It wouldn't be long, I would have medical attention! In my mind, I could 'see' them working on me. I knew what they would do, I'd watched many battles to save lives, there.

I was beginning to lose consciousness. I remember the rescue people on both sides of the stretcher, rolling me toward the glass doors. All was blurry and moving quickly now. I saw Donna! Oh Donna, please help me! Please help me, Donna! I screamed to Donna to please help me. The blur of the nurses and recognizing Donna faded away... I heard someone say "get a catherer in her now!"

I woke up smiling, my eyes looking for Skip. I saw a blonde-headed woman standing beside me. She was smiling back at me, I felt so glad to see this woman, though I didn't know her!

I could see I was in the emergency room, as I was looking, she introduced herself as Dr. Smith. I looked back at her smiling, so happy to be alive. I said "I think I must have had a panic attack!"

Dr. Smith told me "oh no, you didn't have a panic attack, you had the real thing!" She said "do you see this ventilator?" I looked. She said "I was getting ready to put you on the ventilator!"

I understood what that meant! I'd worked in that very hospital and knew what happened in the emergency room when patients were in crisis. I was so fortunate to be alive! I had made it!

I smiled when I saw Skip, I could see he'd been afraid. Skip and I are very close, and I'm his world as well as he is mine. Skip was glad to see me. I was glad to see him! I learned that fluids had built up in my lungs, beginning to 'drown' me!

I was transferred to Rex Hospital to the Intensive Care Unit for heart patients. That night I smiled at everyone from the sheer joy of being alive! I was so happy to be alive! Everyone smiled back at me, some wondered aloud about me seeming to be so much better, so quickly... after what I'd just come through.

A young guy came to get me ...to take me to x-ray. He asked me if I'd like to go slowly in the wheelchair, or would I love to fly? I smiled at him and told him "Oh, I want to fly!" He smiled and said "let's go!"

It was an amazing, wonderful flight of life. It was late at night, no one was in those long halls of both floors we traveled on. I felt the wind rushing by my face, touching my big smile of happiness... I'm sure the wind thought I... was the sunshine! We were on a flight of celebration... I was alive!

The tests that followed afterwards, the rest of the night were uneventful. I was ready to go home, I waited for Skip to take me home! I was ready to go back home to my life, to my pups, us.

I just wanted to live, I smiled in happiness to have come back from that dark place, again... the dark place of death.

I can feel 'me' smiling now... I don't remember everything from that night, but... I do remember all I told you, very well. I just can't inject enough of how wonderful I felt that night.... I'd just been to the brink of death, I could fall to death or fall back into life! I'm so thankful I fell back to life!



Thursday, January 26, 2012




What a beautiful, sunny day! I stood on the deck looking down the circular driveway where I could see Tommy riding his Yamaha motorcycle. We lived up on a small mountain in the foothills of North Carolina, where we owned 19 1/2 acres of land.

Tommy had lots of room to ride his motorcycle without getting near the highway. He was a tall, young boy of ten years old, very handsome. Strawberry-blonde hair, blue eyes and a sunshine smile! My son!

I stood there watching the clouds moving, shifting to make new shapes. I loved watching the sky... I always let my imagination free to dream, trying to see what the clouds had shaped into.

I became aware of the motor on Tommy's motorcycle, he was at the top of the driveway now, and drove around to where we had a huge garage we'd just had built. It was a 32'x 54' structure with a big sliding door and a cement pad in front. Tommy stopped on the cement to look at his bike, then, he took off toward the rock quarry not far from the garage.

He rode around the edge of the water and the big granite rocks there. There were always short, thick gray snakes sunning themselves on those rocks. They were water moccasins.

I went back inside to get my glass of tea, and came back outside on the deck. I could see Tommy down at the foot of the driveway, getting ready to drive back up the driveway. I heard him accelerate fast and up that hill Tommy came straight toward..........

We had a water spigot at the edge of the driveway with Dewberry bushes on either side. There was a centerblock sitting there, the reason for it being there was forgotten some time ago. The spigot was in line of the driveway coming up the hill from the road.

I stood there on the deck frozen in horror as I saw Tommy coming fast on his motorcycle straight toward that spigot and centerblock! I began screaming to Tommy to not hit that centerblock! Tommy never looked toward me, nor did he hear me!

Tommy kept coming fast and hit the centerblock, throwing him high into the air, his motorcycle going forward and turning over in the grass. I began running toward Tommy, as he raised up off the ground. He stood up before I got to him and began laughing!

I was crying, I knew in my mind that my child was going to die. I saw it coming... I screamed trying to get his attention waving my arms, he never saw me and kept going toward his....... "Oh, thank-God, you are alright, son!" I

I held my son tightly so thankful he wasn't hurt... all the while he was squirming to get away to check on his motorcycle. He was laughing and I was crying, but... finally smiling. Tommy was alright. I breathed a deep breath as I looked up and thanked God.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012




I have been giving writing alot of thought. I've been writing all my life just as painting, drawing and doing things I love to do. I have always had someone to share them with ... someone to appreciate what I did... whether it be good, bad.

I have Skip who loves all the things I do.... excepting what I did yesterday! We were standing outside yesterday evening talking to our good friends, Stephen and Carol. We enjoy seeing them and always, it's nice to see their special smiles! They have smiles like Tommy... the special sunshine smiles that are real, and touch one's heart.

We were standing, talking, laughing until I saw a big mosquito (yes, in January!) .... land on Skip's cheek. I knew I couldn't let that mosquito 'just stay there to suck his blood!'

I knew I had to kill the mosquito, it wasn't going anywhere ... it did want Skip's blood. I knew I needed to save his life! I didn't waste time giving it another thought...

Smack! I got that little devil! Skip said 'what the hell!' and Stephen and Carol began laughing! I realized that I was so engrossed on that mosquito harming Skip, drinking his blood... I'd concentrated on killing it... that I hadn't given thought to.... 'what lay beneath that mosquito's feet!'

Yes, Skip's cheek lay beneath that mosquito's feet! I'd 'done' slapped Skip's face! My hero, the love of my life, my husband, my everything! I've 'done' slapped your face!

I did as I always do when I've done something I shouldn't that really is funny! I began to laugh ...alot. I couldn't stop! The more I thought about the expression on Skip's face, how he said softly 'what the hell!' the more I laughed. I was hysterical with laughter. I've laughed about it... since... like right now.... it's so funny!

I did apologize, I know you all wonder 'if' I had remorse. Of course, I did! You all know Skip is my everything, I love the ground he walks on. I 'know' none of you would ever 'think that I did that on purpose'..... would you?!!!

Anyway... back to the 'I finally figured it out' thinking. I have given alot of thought as to 'why now'... have I begun writing and can't seem to stop?

I 'have figured it out'... it came to me this morning as I woke up and got out of bed. I 'now know why'... I have begun writing and can't stop.

Tommy.... you wonder 'why Tommy'? I don't have Tommy anymore, he was my only child. I was talking to Skip about this, this morning. We know how we take for granted that our children know 'all the important things about mama or daddy' to pass on to their children, right?

Well, the most important link isn't there now... to do that. My child, my son, Tommy isn't there to carry on the things that wouldn't mean anything at all to other people, but.. eventually would to his children, my grandchildren.

I won't ever have the chance to know them as they grow up... I realize this, as I know the circumstances of each. I don't hold against the mothers this... they have to go on with their lives.

I learned as a little girl how to cope with losing people in my life all the time.. through the years that... has helped to pull me through so much. I know when to 'let go'... if it's meant for people to come back in my life... it will happen. I will be there with arms wide open.

Now... I've said all of this... have you noticed that I didn't mention the pain that goes along with learning to be like this? I can only say that the reason I don't mention the pain..... is because there aren't enough words to describe how it feels. People who are going through such as I.... 'know' how it feels though, they'd be hard-pressed to describe it in words.

After coming this far with me in my writing journey... you all have been there all along, it means the world to me... can't you already 'see how'... as that little girl... how that little girl began to learn how to be strong, no matter how bad it hurts?

Isn't it a wonder 'just with the few things you all know'... that she lived... to write about her life? You don't know anything... yet.

A little girl ... a little fragile girl... yes, one like your daughter you are probably looking at ..at this moment, or thinking about.... a little girl thrown into so many different situations, one more horrible than the other.. looking back it was like she was thrown in those situations 'just to see if she'd make it out'... to graduate to worse. I never did win a prize!

Stop for just a moment... it isn't pleasant at all... look at your precious little girl... could you even imagine her in anything I've written so far? I know you can't... if I had a little girl and was looking at her at this moment... I couldn't bear for her to know how so many things I knew as a little girl... felt.

I can't imagine how in the world a little child against the whole world... possibly survives to become a teenager... much less to survive to become an adult. Look around you... they do.

Thousands and thousands of these children ...do. They touch my very heart. I see in my mind's eye....... little fragile child-bodies standing there looking up at the very people who inflict hell on them... their little eyes looking up at them, wondering 'why?' Why are you hurting me, I ....... just love you? Why?

I sit here at my keyboard this morning thinking about all these little children... they are babies. Little innocent babies who didn't know they made you angry for getting pregnant and bringing them into a world... to just abandon them, leaving them alone for all these 'bad' people to use and abuse them. Why? would you do that?

I know there are people reading my words at this moment who have really done this. I 'know' it. Maybe it will make your heart soften, make your eyes open... to see that little girl or little boy in a new light.

Look.... can you see that little miracle standing or lying in front of you? Why.. that's the special part of you lying or standing there. Yes, that's the most special part of 'you'.... you as a human being.

Look... at that little person. Doesn't it just touch your heart? This little person probably looks, sounds alot like you... that's 'why' we all have to learn to love ourselves... because that's alot 'why' people hurt children.... they hate themselves and if they dare to see, dare to hear 'themselves' in that little child... they hate and want to hurt, destroy them.

I 'know'. I was a little girl everyone wanted to knock down, slap, be screamed at, shunned ...because everyone hated my daddy. I'd never met him! When I did meet him as a little girl for a time, I still didn't know him... I did know those mean eyes and expressions he made when he looked at me. Even he hated me!

'Family' slapped, screamed at, knocked around my daddy..... somehow.. my daddy stood there in front of them .... in disguise as a little, fragile girl named Gloria Faye.... they didn't 'see me'. They 'saw and heard'.... Gloria Faye's daddy! They beat, slapped and knocked his ass down so many, many times. Maybe he had looked at them like he did me... and pissed them off!

Not only that... there stood Gloria Faye's mommy in front of everybody.... when people were angry at her mommy.... why, there she is right in front of everybody ... they see and hear her mommy, and knock her around for that! They don't see this little girl.... she's become her own mommy and daddy... and whoever is angry at one or the other... strikes out at this little girl.

Some of those people even drew blood... this little girl's blood. They made her bleed from wounds they left on her body... why even once... she was made to fall on a very hot wood stove ... her side, hip and arm was covered in burns (not only that in this memory.. she has visions of who did it, with their burning eyes and screaming mouth as that happened to her, no matter that ..that person cried afterwards and was so sorry for causing that to happen).

This little girl loved all the people who hurt her mentally, physically. She loved them even looking at the scars left on her body that she can see.... and the scars that she can't see, but, can 'feel'.... even to this morning... even to this minute. She feels sick inside thinking about what she has written and thinks 'how about that?' Why, I thought 'all of that was gone!' I think I could cry right now... but, I won't.

Back to writing... I think we all feel the need to pass 'ourselves on' to be remembered ... we lived a life, we have been a real person with real experiences, we have been liked, loved, hated as people.

Why would a person be born and live a life... not to ever be remembered? That's why I won't let my 40 year old son ever be forgotten.

I'm not going to be forgotten either... I have been here in this world too... I wasn't 'seen' alot of that time when people didn't 'see me as a person'... but, I promise you while you were looking... I've been here the whole time!

If you come across my stories... you are going to remember me.. I've been here in this world, too. You won't forget me, I was somebody too... just simply 'Me'. :))) A good ole person!

Every minute of that 40 years Tommy lived, and was a live human being with feelings, thoughts, dreams, experienced so much, knew so much, loved so much, proud of so much, not proud of so much.... just like you, me... our children..... how can I forget my son?

If we forget each other... it makes all we ever went through, suffered through, learned in life, loved, hated, or all those feelings you and I felt in our lives........ it would make our lives worthless, we have lived for nothing. It wouldn't matter that you or I lived. Does that seem right? Each person should be remembered.

Personally... I think we should all have a book with our names on it... so, if in the future someone wanted to know about us... they could go to a bookcase and choose a book like 'Gloria', like 'Tommy', like any of my readers' names. They can see them as the people they were in real life and feel some of their real feelings, cry over some of the things that made that person happy, sad, and 'know' the person they was.

If it's a grandmother, father, sister, brother, mother, or any relative... each family member could choose that book and see if they share some of the dreams, likes, hates, happiness and love of anything... with the person whose book it was. Then, one could say... I think I'm alot like uncle so and so, or .... I think I took after my daddy, or my mommy. You know.... things like that. Have you ever thought of this?

Now... you can 'see why' I'm writing. I went through so much to get here... to this very moment.. I can't let it go to waste. My life meant something, too.

I made it to ....... here. :))) Everything is going to be alright, it always is.... we may have to go through 'bad' things... somehow, everything gets alright .. again. I promise you I 'know'.

Who knows.... maybe I can make a good difference in someone's life just by them simply reading about mine? Wouldn't that be something! I wish when I was very young... I could have had something to let me know things would be alright.. or even 'if' other people went through what I did.

I never knew others could even know about such... that's 'why' I had such pride and would make people think my life was 'perfect'... when it was completely the opposite.

I didn't want help, I didn't want pity... and I suffered in ........... silence. All because of 'pride'. Amazing, isn't it? Amazing too.... that even today I'm learning the reasons for 'why' to alot of things. :)))

I am learning 'why' I held my head up so high... in my life. I do now.... but, in a much better way. I'm seeing things now, that I have read and heard through all the years.... when we are older and can look back in our lives... I can 'see' now.

I can 'see and know now ...why'..... to most all things that happened to me in my younger years. It doesn't mean that I excuse, or love someone for hurting me... but... I can 'see, know' now.... 'why'.

I can see that alot of 'nice' people ... aren't always such nice people when no one is around... excepting little girls, little boys. I can 'see why'... they are different to those little girls, little boys when no one's around. They don't think anyone would dare to believe what those little girls or little boys would say 'if' they decided to molest them.

I can 'see' that people who abuse children can't in their wildest dreams even imagine those children growing up to be big people like them! They just can't imagine! So... how can they see that not only that child's going to grow up... they are going to remember what they did! People wonder 'why do they hate me so bad, what did I do?' They forget... the children don't!

That was just a couple of examples. I can remember 'respectable, upstanding citizens of our community, who would never do anything wrong'......... yes, they can ... some of them 'do.. do wrong'.

We put a label on someone such as 'pastor, cop, teacher, grandfather, uncle, aunt, so forth'.... we expect them to be 'just that'..... I promise you that there will be some that are not just that. Just because we say they are such and such... doesn't always mean it's true. It doesn't mean that 'they can't do wrong'.

I can't tell you how scary, strange it was as I grew up to learn through some of the worse shocks I ever had in my life, how true this is. I learned that so and so 'would do such a thing!' I can't even begin to count the times I learned 'people are not what they seem'.

One example was when my girlfriend walked out of the room to be gone a few minutes... only her father and I were left in the room. I was fifteen and very pretty, and if I liked someone I would smile and talk. I liked my girlfriend and her dad alot.

Her father was just as nice as he could be.... until my girlfriend walked out of the room. I was on one end of the couch... he was on the other. That man jumped... literally jumped from that end on top of me, began trying to kiss me, touching me fast! I can't even describe the shock of that happening.

I was fighting to get that old man off from me! His slimy kisses repulsed me, and his nasty old hands....... he heard his daughter coming back to the room... he got up calmly and put his 'daddy costume' back on... and sat back down on the other end of the couch.

I'm left there ...sitting in shock, disbelief, knowing that if I told her what her daddy did, she wouldn't believe me! He is sitting there with a kind smile on his face... as if nothing had just happened! He'd just touched 'my world' making it feel so awful!

I know she wouldn't have believed me, because once a girlfriend told me what my father-in-law did... and in my mind 'there was no way he could have done such to her! No way! Until one day many years later... I realized..........and learned by my own experience.

Later in time, I did tell that girlfriend what her daddy did. I'll never forget her standing, looking at me with 'blank' eyes. There was no way she believed her daddy did such a thing. Guess what I did? I 'let go'... I never said another word. I realized this was a situation that I 'felt ashamed of'... through no fault of my own, but, I was ashamed. Her expression made me 'know' that she didn't want to hear or believe such about her father.

I look back and see and feel the shame I felt inside.... as if 'I was the one who did wrong'. I was as innocent as one could be. I didn't jump on that man, kissing and trying to touch him where I shouldn't. I went on to feel shame... I bet he never felt anything, only a little fantasy or two later, when he was alone.

It must have been worth doing that for him to do that to me. I could have destroyed his life by going on to tell. 'These days' young girls do tell, they don't keep things secret like I did, or girls from the time I was younger. I guess what makes me angry at this moment in time.... is 'how I felt like I was a bad person' when that old man did that. Interesting.....

I have sat here thinking, wondering and questioning 'why'. I have written 'some of why'...now. I'm not going to let my life, nor my son's life just pass by without someone remembering.

I would hope that everyone would be remembered.... after-all we all have been through so much in our lives... we've earned the right to not be forgotten... or why else did we live?

I'm not the only one who has ever suffered, been happy, sad, hate, love in this world... though when you read what I've written, you might think that.

Well, since it's 'my story, my life'... that's okay, I think it's supposed to be like that. :))) Maybe if you begin or do write your stories, I can read and see you as the person you are and have been in your story... you should be the main character.... just like 'me'.

We have earned it... it doesn't matter what another person thinks or... says. We are talking about something that is only 'ours, yours, mine'. They could have been sitting right beside you when things happened... and never know how something touched and affected you at all.

It happened to 'you, me, us' Just the same when I have talked with someone about past events... I was there, but, I would learn that the way 'we saw, experienced, heard' was completely the opposite of what the other interpreted. The same things affected us all ....differently.

I will go now, and think of life again, see what I will decide to write about next time. I never know until I actually sit down and put a title at the top.... then, go on to write, go back and change the title several times... what I'm going to write about. It's like when I paint or draw... my brush or pen keeps going to here and there, putting stokes of color or just pencil lead to where I think it needs it.... all the while trying to 'complete my picture'.

I write the same way with words. I think I'm going to make a picture I have in mind... but, it turns out to be what I imagine, but.... different... and most of the time, I feel happy and satisfied with what I did.

I like to paint with words. I can paint my world in words. I can see them, can you? What do you think about this picture... it's more of a 'Doodles by Gloria' picture... there are many things in it! Alot of people know my 'Doodles by Gloria' drawings, some have them in frames, so they recognize what I mean when I say that! I have been called 'Doodles'....