MY MAMA'S ST. CHRISTOPHER NECKLACE, MY GRANDMA ALMA'S ENGAGEMENT RING...
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES
At fifteen, I came back to live at my mother's house. I was glad to be with my own mama. She and my Aunt Ruby had come to save me! I was living in Roxboro, NC with my real father and stepmother, and 2 half-sisters.
They confronted my stepmother and told her I was leaving with them, if she tried to stop me they'd simply whip her ass! "Go get your things, Faye!" my mama told me. I was so afraid of my stepmother that I wasn't sure if I should... but, when I looked at my mama, my beautiful angry mother... I knew I didn't have anything to be afraid of.
My stepmother had better not hit me again! My Aunt Ruby was right beside my mama, and she looked just as angry! I 'knew' what they were capable of! They didn't take any junk off anybody!
My stepmother had beat me in the head and face with her bare hands, making blood go everywhere in that bathroom. Not only that, my real father came into the bathroom and looked at me with such anger and... hate in his eyes.. and drew his hand back and slapped me with all his might... it was the first and only time he ever hit me. The pain he inflicted on me.... reached into the depths of my very soul.
My stepmother loved that, as my father walked out of the bathroom she began slapping me in the face again, screaming at me. I was hurting so badly in my heart, the physical pain, and I could smell... all that blood! It was going to be a mess to clean up, didn't she know that! We kept everything so spotless!
I could see the blood making splats of red dots on the white porcelain sink, up on the sparkling clean mirror, on the white floor of the bathroom. In my shock and pain, I could see the mess it was making. The front of my blouse was... soaked in red blood! I couldn't believe 'how wet' my blood was! I touched it with my fingers... it was so red, so wet.
I tried to tell them that I didn't do that, I honestly didn't do what they accused me of! No one listened. They didn't want to believe I didn't do it... of course, my half-sisters would 'never do such a thing!'
My half sisters had told them I'd went into my father's bathroom to take his razor to shave my legs with it. I didn't do it, to this day I can honestly say... I really didn't do that. I never-ever would have thought of using his razor. I knew exactly 'who did it', but, I never told.
One of my half sisters used that razor, and I got into trouble for it. It wasn't the first time I got into trouble for them... I was the oldest, I felt protective toward them. Also... I wanted them to love me. It never worked, looking back... they were too much their mother's daughters... they never saw me as someone to love... they always saw a red flag instead.
When they looked at me, they saw anger.... they never saw past that to 'see me'. I was my father's first child... and here I was 'in their house!' How dare I be there.
I can understand... strangely enough I understood 'then'... I tried to always be quiet as possible, and help clean up, iron and rake leaves, make good grades in school, stay out of the way sitting in our bedroom. I would speak quietly, and smile. It didn't make any difference if I tried to be 'perfect'... all it did was to keep me in trouble.
I asked my stepmother for my mama's St. Christopher's sterling silver necklace, and my Grandma Alma's engagement ring. She had taken them from me one day when I was washing my hands. I'd taken Grandma Alma's ring off so, as to keep it from getting wet. It was laying on the sink.
My stepmother, came into the bathroom. "Gloria Faye, you are going to lose that ring!" Give me that ring and I will put it in the mosaic box where I keep things to make earrings one day for your sisters, she told me. She told me to give her my mama's necklace, also. I was afraid of her, and of course, I handed them to her. I didn't want to let her have them.
"Gloria Faye, you lost that ring and necklace, I don't have them!" My stepmother glared at me, daring me to say more. I felt fear as a young girl going up against her. I told her she had taken them to put in that box for my sisters, to please give them back. She said that I lost them.
Mama told me to come on, I wanted my treasures back, they meant the world to me. I had to go, forever never knowing what she did with my mama's sterling silver St. Christopher's necklace and my Grandma Alma's engagement ring! I never knew all these years. It still hurts me to my very soul.
To this day, I remember how my stepmother looked me right into my eyes, my face........ and lied. I remember how I never would have believed 'she' would have lied.
I hadn't yet 'opened my eyes to really see' .... that 'perfect, good people' can lie, and they aren't always as perfect and good... as one would think. I think maybe my eyes began to 'open' at that time... I was on the brink of 'seeing' people do things that..... no one else could believe they'd do.
I was just a young girl, I was still believing in right and wrong. Though my stepmother mistreated me, lied to me.... she was 'good, and she was perfect'. So, how could she have lied like that? I knew she mistreated me... but, I didn't know she..... lied, too. I can look back at how that bothered me.
I didn't think 'she would lie'.... she always made sure the house was beautiful, our clothes were starched and ironed perfectly, our hair and make-up just right, everything was 'perfect', even down to the wonderful meals that I couldn't eat because I couldn't swallow for being so nervous (I lost so much weight there).
So... even to this day.... I think about her lie.... and how she looked me straight into my eyes, daring me not to believe her. I'm even amazed... now. I sit here and 'see her face' at this very moment. That woman lied.... and that wasn't the only time.... she lied just before she died ...a lie that affected my whole life. I'm amazed.
That woman could lie. I've forgiven her.... Strangely enough, I still loved her. I just shake my head ...thinking of her. What a woman.
I know anything is possible... I wonder if it possible that my mama's St. Christopher necklace and my Grandma Alma's engagement ring could.... come back to me. If not, I would wish to know what happened to them...
Colors As I Go
grief (32) only child (4) Scary (2) Boiled eggs (1) Distrust (1) Don't call me Faye (1) Dying (1) I hate to be called Faye (1) I'm afraid of the dark (1) Middle age woman (1) Pain that reaches the soul.. can't be seen (1) Running (1) Where did my youth go? (1) dying in a beautiful way (1) life is fragile (1) light on my path (1) my son (1)