Monday, April 30, 2012




Today my phone rang... I was very happy to hear from my cousin in Oregon. We talked for the longest time... I was amazed that I wished we lived close to each other. It seems we have so much in common. I could heart the passion in her voice, I recognized it... I have it for painting, colors, writing.

Colors, painting, paint brushes, art instructors... wire-wrapping jewelry. I was amazed that... she also, was so interested in everything that I loved. I enjoyed so much talking 'colors' with her. Our conversation had every color you could think of... in it.

I've been seeing some of her paintings... beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Maybe one day... I could paint something for her and she paint something for me.

I was so amazed when she said she was interested in wire-wrapping jewelry... you all know I was wire-wrapping for a while... making dragonflies in memory of Tommy. She loves the same things I love... I didn't ask her but, I'd bet she likes to do beaded jewelry, too! I have done alot of that, too. I love to 'free-style' and do all in my 'Gloria' way.... :)))

Another thing that amazed me was when she said she had discovered Donna Dewberry, One Stroke Painting! Oh my goodness... I've been in love with Donna Dewberry's painting techniques for many years! I do that when I do decorative painting. Wow.... I couldn't believe she loved so many of the things I truly love!

Linda, I sure enjoyed talking to you ... today. It was definitely the most colorful conversation I've ever had with you... I loved every minute of it! :)))


Sunday, April 29, 2012




I wonder if children play today like I did with my cousins as a child? We'd get to stay outside after dark running, playing hide and seek, tag. I was thinking we all knew the two yards that adjoined ... so well. We weren't afraid of playing in the dark. Their yard and Grandma Alma and George's yard, where I lived...was our playground ... the playground at the portal of hell.

Someone was always getting hurt there... a child would get cut badly all the time... or get some 'off the wall' injury... or get their arm stuck in the wringer of the old wringer washing machine at Grandma and George's.

There was always broken glass... where did it come from? Remember when my cousin Ray... pushed me in a wagon as a little girl... into the ditch beside the street... it turned over, throwing me out onto a broken gallon jar? I was taken to the hospital, stitched up, and my leg had a type of cast on it to protect it. Those were the kind of injuries 'us children' would get there... serious injuries. Another example is like when the blinds over the windows fell, cutting tendons in my cousin's hand... they were made of metal.

I would never let a child play outside now in the dark, we all know they can go missing... just like that. I guess that happened so seldom that no one worried about it. It was like no one ever locking the doors at nights... who was going to come in? Can you imagine leaving your doors unlocked now? Letting a child play outside in the darkness?

I remember running to keep from being tagged.... into the street ... I stopped running just in time to hold myself stiff to ... keep a car from hitting me. It didn't have its lights on. Looking back, I'm sure the nightlights were the reason someone was driving with the lights off... when they drove away it was 'still daylight'. I almost died that night, cold chills ran over my body. I wonder if they saw me? It was my fault, too.

I think I loved best the nights George would come out on the front porch. He would sit on his wooden chair with the cane bottom seat, and he'd begin smiling. I can see his kind face in my mind now... his sightless eyes slightly bulged out, his mouth opened in the sweetest smile. He'd be holding one of the youngest children on his lap as he'd tell us stories.

My favorite place to sit to listen to George's stories was on the cool cement porch... crosslegged. A child could forget for a time all the 'bad' things around them... laugh, travel into a fantasy land as George wove his stories. I could always 'see' everything in my mind... it was so real.

I would sit there as a soft breeze blew on my face, close my eyes and ...imagine. When George would laugh as he spoke, I would open my eyes to see his face... George was the kindest man I ever knew, until in my adulthood.. I met Skip. George was blind, and did for everyone... moreso, than people who could see others needing, wanting. What a good person George was.

I look back with the highest respect for George, what he went through... as a child I didn't know what respect meant. As I look back to him in my mind.. I will say I have the highest respect for my Grandma Alma, who sat in that recliner all those years and took 'hell' from everyone, who witnessed things I saw, things I didn't see..... all without just giving up ... just committing suicide to 'get out of it all'. Back then, I didn't know the meaning of respect, but, I did know I loved them with my very heart.

She sat there with her love for every one, no matter how mean or angry they were... she'd cry for them, cuss for them, try to fight and protect them... being a paralyzed woman. What a special woman my Grandma Alma was.

Any family who reads what I say will agree with me.... Grandma Alma was 'full of spunk' ... no matter that she couldn't physically get around to do things. If you were close to Grandma Alma when someone wanted to hurt you... you 'knew' you were protected.... she'd fight for you 'come hell or high water'. No one would come any closer in fear of her wrath... even if she was paralyzed... not when you were going to hurt her precious baby.

I don't know that I could have survived all she did.... then again... for the first time in my life this thought came over me just now.............. 'I have survived what she did, and more... I've lost a most precious part of myself, I'm still here... I have come through so much that no one will ever know, I'm still here. I admit several times in my life, I did 'give up'... only to come back stronger each time. Losing my only child .. all I can say is... thank God for Skip, and our Pups... there wouldn't have been anyone else in this world 'to hold me here'.

I was just thinking.... I must have 'alot of Grandma Alma' in me... I have never thought that before. Writing helps me to 'discover' things I never thought about. Isn't that amazing?

I think I 'have alot of Grandma Alma' in me... the fire, the spunk, the toughness....... I know that I have alot of my Grandmother Lola in me... she was very quiet, strong... but, one always 'knew' .... she was strong, and didn't want to push her.

My stepmother learned, and developed a very high respect for her many years ago. How do I know? She'd threaten me of what she would do 'if I told Grandmother Brown' on her.... she would make me very afraid. She played that trick when I was so sick... telling us not to ever 'let Grandmother Brown know my condition'............................................

Back to Grandma Alma... I would bring one of Grandma Alma's books out on the porch and sit crosslegged to draw, color my beautiful girls.. clothes I designed for them. In my eyes .. they were 'perfect'. Remember? Remember ...I told you that I always drew on the white pages in the front and back of every book... that was my secret. I was just thinking... I wonder if Grandma Alma ever knew of all my drawings on the white pages of her books? No one ever said anything... they probably never looked at the books.

At Grandma Alma's, I would sit and draw on the white pages of her books... at Grandmother Lola's... I would sit and play with all her grand ladies, men.... who wore ballroom gowns and tuxedos... I would sit and dream of being a fashion designer... my Grandmother Lola told me that one day she'd send me to fashion design school in New York. So, Grandmother Lola 'noticed' my talent.

I never went to fashion design school... like alot of young girls, I got married too young... before I even knew what 'real' life was all about. Young girls don't know... they just don't know. Maybe 'today'... they know better than a young girl 'back then'.... I hope so. You know how 'younger people know everything'... they don't hear the 'older ones who have been there and ..... done that'. I was the very same way.... I 'knew better than anyone'. I laugh a sad laugh at my 'youthful knowledge of life'...... sad....

Getting back for a moment, I think Grandmother Lola was the only one who 'acknowledged' my artistic talent. I would sit there and make my own paper dolls and clothes... how did I know how to do that as a very young girl? I dreamed as I did that......

When I was a teenager... I discovered the style of clothing mine were alot alike.... Frederick's of Hollywood. I don't mean the 'naughty, naughty' clothes... but, the designs, colors.... I'll never forget standing there with the first catalog in my hands, looking at it.... my mouth fell open... I didn't know there were clothes 'like what I drew'! I had finally found something similiar to what I drew, designed in my mind. I wish I'd persued my dream.....

Everyone notices talent in children today, they are encouraged wholeheartedly to develop it. There wasn't anyone to encourage my talents 'then', I was never left in peace anywhere I could just settle down and be a real child. My life was constantly 'jerked from under me ... just like a rug'.... when the urge hit my mother.

I'm sure as a very young woman she didn't realize or was even aware 'that her every action affected me as a child'.......... that's 'why' I worry when young mothers do things.... 'their very actions, every one of them ... affects their children'.

They only take care of their needs, wants.... and if they do it in 'the wrong way'....... that child is going to feel, and suffer from every little thing she does. If the parent is a woman... oh my... then, she is letting a man come into that child's life to create more ... grief.... 'all in the name of love and... trust'. I worry about someone dear to my heart this respect. This person's mother is close to being forty, and isn't a 'young' person.....

The only child's talent that was noticed 'back then'..... was my cousin, Sylvia's. Sylvia could sing, oh my ... how she could sing just like ... Loretta Lynn. I remember her daddy taking her to the tv station in Raleigh to sing on the Homer Briarhopper Show. It didn't last long..... I remember asking her as an adult what happened.... she said her daddy didn't ever take her back. I can look back and see how sad to waste a young girl's wonderful talent.... she could have went on to be a big country star... Sylvia definitely was talented.

I remember very well hearing her always singing as she did housework as a young girl... one phrase of a Loretta Lynn song always echos from the past in my mind that she used to sing... 'tippy, tippy toeing through the house to see what's the matter with the baby'.

This one phrase has always been in my mind since a child... I always associate it with Sylvia. In my mind I see a little, blonde-headed, blue-eyed girl, very pretty... in her own little world cleaning house... all the while singing Loretta Lynn songs... at that time the 'tippy, tippy toeing through the house, what's the matter with the baby' song was what she sung most.

I know you all know that singing wasn't one of my talents... you do remember, right? :))) You wouldn't believe how I wanted to sing... I really tried to but, to no avail. Once in a while at church I 'would deliberately' sing... the feeling inside was just too great to ignore!

I got tired of being told to 'just move my lips'! I can remember seeing expressions when I did that! When those times 'struck that I wanted to sing out loud'... I meant to, and would just grin at those expressions!

It was wonderful, embarassing at the same time... those were mean expressions I was getting... all in church, in the name of the Lord... where it wasn't supposed to matter as long as someone sincerely 'praised the Lord'.

I was praising as much as I could, it felt... it felt good but......... no one appreciated it! I would walk away .... in shame, when it was time for the choir to sit down. Sometimes, an elbow would meet my .. ribs... sometimes, it made me ... sing ... louder!

It was just that sometimes 'one has to let go'... the same way as in dancing. It's like when through the years I went to aerobic classes when I worked at the hospital... the music would be too much for my body to ignore... I 'would dance it all out'! Oh well................... :))) Granny Gee can be mischievious...... sometimes....

I have an imagination, I draw and create things ... I loved colors. Happy colors, all beautiful happy colors. I love anything artsy, handmade, unique, unusual. So many beautiful things attract my attention. Happy life attracts my attention, happy sounds attract my attention... just 'happy' attracts my attention.... 'good-happy' things. To me... windchimes are colors in form... colors that make sound. I really don't know what kind of person, I am... as my love of so much is... so great. I can say with certainty.. I am a for-real good person... I just love... so much!

Do you know how you sometimes sit, stare off in the distance... you really have nothing on your mind, yet.... thoughts flutter all around. This is what I've been doing ... putting those 'fluttering thoughts' into words... not important words... but, does it really matter? I tried to capture some of them here........ 'fluttering colors' of blue, pink, yellow, green, white, gold... colors both bold, and soft pastel... so many colors that... I can't name.

I was ... just thinking......... and at this moment I began smiling seeing my Grandma Alma, the love in her eyes for me... she'd have protected me if she could have.... 'come hell or high water'. She tried, just think of what she'd done if only................ she could have walked!

Now, I felt that sadness wash over me... like when you put a wash of pale blue color onto a piece of canvas.......... I miss her, I miss George, I miss Ray, I miss Sylvia, I miss my mother, my Grandmother Lola... all of these 'main characters' from my young life. I loved each one dearly. So many people that I truly loved... are gone... forever.

I was just thinking..............................

Saturday, April 28, 2012




I'm sitting here thinking about yesterday as I sip on hot coffee, and drink my glass of orange juice all along. Those two flavors are good together. Skip insists that I always have orange juice every morning, it's become a habit with me through the years.

I keep feeling like I'm supposed to be somewhere, that I need to get up and go. If it was like before yesterday... I would 'have to be somewhere'.... that 'somewhere' would be where I've had to go for the past fourteen months.

We moved fourteen months ago to a new home. During those fourteen months we couldn't just not go back to care for the 8 feral cats we grew to know at the old place. Faithfully.... every day of the month ... for fourteen months we have gone there to take food for them, and a gallon of water.

We noticed for the past week that someone had begun putting pet bowls out on an old camper to feed the cats. I can't tell you how happy that made us... someone has purchased that property, and they... love cats. They saw these cats and... cared.

I hope it is the couple I met sometime ago... they were there looking at the property, and they saw me feeding the cats. They talked to me and I was telling them how those particular cats killed the many snakes up there (there are many beautiful rocks up there... it's like being in the mountains). They also, kill mice. The woman told me how she and her family loved cats... in my mind I prayed they'd be the people to buy the property.

You see... I'm not a 'cat' person... no matter, I became attached to those cats. They were wild, and I was careful to let them 'stay as they were' while we lived there for 6 years after we lost our home to a fire.

I loved those cats with my very heart, so... did Skip. So... did our Sweet Chadwick. He would protect them when they would come to visit him... because our 11 year old Rottweiler... Mr. Fairchild... hated them, he would run at such a speed you'd never believe a big dog can run... he would kill a cat.

Truthfully, you'd be amazed at how fast a Rottweiler can run... no one would have a chance to outrun them. I have always thought Sweet Chadwick was the fastest dog I've ever seen personally... but, Mr. Fairchild and our one year old Kissy Fairchild (named after Mr. Fairchild) are close behind in their speed.

We never missed even one day making sure those cats were fed, watered. Yesterday, I went as usual to feed them. I came to the driveway and pulled in, stopped to look at the nice posts that'd been placed on either side of the driveway... at the new cable with a lock in it... attached to both posts. I looked to the right and saw... that the 'For Sale' sign was gone.

Do you know what? I just sat there while my mind registered the changes. I felt relief 'wash all over me'... I began taking deep breaths because seeing the posts, cable, lock.............. made me become aware of something. It's time to 'let go' again in my life. Something I'd done for so long ...has just come to 'the end'... again.

I sat there, tears came to my eyes and I felt that 'squeeze' in my heart... I was sad but.... I felt the glimmer of happiness ... you know how the sunshine does on a cloudy day... you know 'it's there' ... just behind those clouds.. you feel it more than 'see' it!

As I sat there, I began to smile ... it's time for me to go forward from here now. I realized as I drove up the road that both Skip and I had accepted in our minds a long time ago that we would feed those cats 'forever'... and 'forever'... had come. Someone else has begun 'carrying the torch'. It was taken out of my hands when I saw the posts, cable, and lock. They said to me 'it's time for you to go now... let go... don't look back, go forward'.

I tell you all this because my mom would have been so proud of me, us. She was a for-real 'cat lover'... in fact, my mother loved cats too much and they took over a big part of her life in a .. negative way. I remember 'how against cats'... I was when I moved back here and saw that. I just automatically 'despised' cats. Who would have ever thought that I would have cared with my very heart for 8 feral cats, enough to feed and water them for fourteen months. Both Skip and I were faithful, always.

These cats couldn't come with us as they 'were a part of there'. They wouldn't have tolerated us trying to catch them. While we lived there we fed, watered them. We didn't encourage them getting too close, I didn't want them to do that and lose their survival skills. I'm so thankful I felt that way, now.

I am a 'dog' person but, I grew to love those cats. I felt protective of them... I always thought if my mother was alive... she'd been amazed at me. She wouldn't have believed what I felt in my heart for those cats, much less to faithfully feed them that long, not abandon them.

I sit here this morning 'feeling lost'... thinking 'I have to go feed the cats'... I sit here with both sadness, happiness in my heart. I'm so thankful I saw the signs of care, love for those cats up there... you see, I'm not a 'cat' person.

Friday, April 27, 2012




I've been sitting here with the tv turned off, listening to the sounds around me. I hear birds singing outside... inside I hear quietness, excepting for the movement of Kissy, our pup.

I've read, heard that when you write... make all quiet around you so, you can write freely, be inspired, thoughts will come naturally.

What is happening at the moment is that Kissy wonders what is wrong, starts making a little crying sound... then, wants to jump up on me to look in my face, make sure I'm okay.

Truthfully... I love peace and quiet but... not quite this much peace and quiet. I love to hear the tv or radio in the background. I usually 'watch' tv like I listen to radio... I listen, and only glance up occasionally if I 'hear' something that gets my attention.

Well... for the moment ... I need sound so, I will turn that tv back up. Sound is like 'colors' to me... they are all important... they stimulate, inspire, motivate one.

I wanted to sit here and think about 'the whys' of the more intense grief I've felt recently. Truthfully, if I try to look back to last year to 'see' if it was more so, the closer it got to the days in May when the anniversaries of my son, my brother died.... I can't remember as, I have to take one day at a time.

It happens 'before' I'm aware of what's happening... it's 'there' when I think I'm fine... it 'happens' out of the blue ... at any time. The feelings of overwhelming grief, pain.... the 'real, most deep pain that's always hidden'.

This sort of pain is the pain one doesn't speak of to others, this is the pain one can't 'just put into words and have someone lightly say some off- the- wall words to make all alright'. This sort of pain is the 'pain that is there in that darkness, that scary darkness I don't want any part of... this is the darkness one could become forever lost in'.

I've never heard anyone 'speak so deeply of the feelings I feel inside'... so, I know this must be the pain no one wants to talk about, put into words. Well, I am going to always try to bring words to describe 'how it really feels'... I believe in 'meeting my demons head-on, knock them out of my path so, that I can live'. I will have to keep battling with 'this one'... this is my child, my baby, a part of 'me'...... so, I 'feel this as deep as it can possibly be'... because this is 'mine'.

This pain really is one that I'm afraid of... this pain is so serious... no matter what 'so far'... no one can say words to ease 'this pain'. So far, I haven't heard anything on how to for-real handle, cope with 'this pain'. I've got to learn on my own... just as I had to learn that I could survive from cancer and didn't know how to go about it...I had to learn on my own. I know medicines make all the difference.... but, the biggest difference is 'inside' one where you 'have to decide you want to live, fight, and mean to win'.

I'm thinking there are other mothers 'out there' who are going through this at the same stage I'm at, still going through it even if it's been longer for them. I just wonder 'why' I've never found anything to read on 'this kind of pain'. Is it too uncomfortable to write about, to read about... is it too scary to think about... because it can really happen to you, too? I think it's a combination of the above... and more things.

If it's like 'how I used to be'... maybe a mother is afraid to even for one second think about her child 'being gone'... afraid that it could 'hex' them and something happen. It's a scary thought... a for-real scary thought. This is a 'thought that actually could bring a mother to her knees'... if it really happened......... it forever does something to that mother... things no one can see, know about, imagine unless... that mother begins to tell people. I'm going to tell you like it is.... I'm not afraid to.

I won't talk to you in person, I don't enjoy talking about what I've written unless it's funny... then, I can talk to you in person. :))) I'm not going to talk about my deepest feelings, thoughts I write about... I can only write in words about them... and go on from there... 'leaving them behind me'. I try to leave them in the past .... sometimes they won't stay there... thoughts, thinking... one always does it.

I think what bothers me most is that when I begin to feel overwhelmed by this 'other pain one doesn't want to acknowledge', this grief that one doesn't want to talk of..... I think it's the fear of 'being too close to 'that' darkness' again. This is the darkness... 'The End' kind of darkness that could suck one in, they forever become lost in it.

These grief feelings I'm experiencing lately are the 'scary' kind. It's like I described to you about the other day ... when I realized I had begun speeding when driving.... you don't know you are doing this at first ... because in your mind you are trying to outrun those thoughts, feelings. It's afterwards when you look down and see.... the speedometer... 'you see how fast you were running to flee those thoughts, the darkness'.

I 'look back' to the other day, I can see, feel in my mind how tightly my hands were holding the steering wheel, how my heart beat fast in my chest, how I wanted to just scream to heaven to just give me my son back, just please give him back to me. I felt so frantic, so afraid... I couldn't run away from my feelings... I slowed down. I couldn't just go unconscious so, I wouldn't think anymore... I held my ground, straightened my back and no matter how it's been hurting me since... I'm not going to give in.

I've been trying so hard to think of words to tell you what it's like... two years (May 29th) after one's child, my child.... is gone. I can go on living and even ... feel happiness again, smile again, look forward to things again... but, there are those times this happens... again.. and again.. and again. I wonder if it ever stops... somehow I think in a mother's mind 'it's always yesterday that her child is gone'.

As a mother I can go for a time now, and live normal until 'this kind of grief rises out from that darkness to reach out to me'... to threaten my world of 'everything is alright'. This is the 'enemy', this is the real enemy because to a mother always trying to keep the pain in check, hidden from others so as not to hurt them... it's easy to overwhelm her.

This is the pain that's always there, this is the pain no one speaks of, this is the 'real pain' one keeps pushed deeply inside because... 'it's alway yesterday that my child is gone'... in my mind. This is that raw, tearing pain that doesn't go away... this is what mothers try to keep pushed so far down so, that they can live to be with the ones who love and want them... if she had no one like that... this is the pain that a mother would 'almost succumb' to. I'm speaking for myself... this I know from my own life, this I know firsthand.

In a mother's mind, my mind.... it's always like yesterday that my child is gone'... this is 'why' that scary pain can hurt me so badly... because in my mind... it's still 'not long ago'... it's like it happened 'yesterday'.

I remember a woman telling Skip ... I was sitting there in shock in my own world... when I heard her say .... 'oh, she'll be alright in a couple of weeks'! I remember looking out at her through the darkness I was sinking into, the sea of grief........... wondering how she could say such a thing. This... I never forgot........ I've never liked her since, and lost any respect for her that I had...... this woman was a professional in the medical field.

I wonder how many people she said this to, and if their families began to tell the mother ...'well, you are supposed to be alright in two weeks after your child has died, what's wrong with you'? I have noticed in the months afterwards... that ...that professional is no longer at the job she held.

How could I tell you, as a grieving mother, that you are going to be alright in 2 weeks? Especially when 2 years later I always think it's like yesterday that my child is gone... that's 'why' it still hurts... so badly.

Thursday, April 26, 2012




Soft colors of yellow, orange, red.... golden sunshine kissed my skin. The scent of fresh-cut honeysuckles with vines of lush green... comfort, comfort it brings to my mind, soul, body.

I keep my eyes closed tightly, I smell the scent of honeysuckle... I breathe deeply. I love that scent, it reminds me of my Grandma Alma... running, playing in the late evening with my cousins.

Grandma Alma told us to pick honeysuckles and pull the stem out of the middle, and lick the drop of honey off that comes out on the stem. That one little drop of honey tasted so 'golden' good.

I open my eyes... I sit in a deep tub of honeysuckle bubbles. The water is bubbly-white, the scent rising up from the warm water. I squeeze some water out of my pretty blue washcloth, place it lightly over my face, breathe the honeysuckle scent in... it's so heavenly.

I do this repeatedly, it feels wonderful. I am finding much-needed comfort as I do this... comfort words can't provide. The combination of warmth and the honeysuckle scent help me go to a happier place in my mind... one that is special to me... when I found joy as a child pulling out the stem in the middle of a honeysuckle flower to find one drop of honey to taste. In today's time, I don't know if a child could find pleasure in just one drop of honey on a honeysuckle stem.

I have felt such gray color in my soul today... it has been a day that grief has overwhelmed my heart. As I sat in my ocean of bubbles, I held the warm washcloth to my face. As the water dripped down through my fingers... so did my tears.

My tears mixed in with the warm honeysuckle bubbles... I kept putting my washcloth into the warm water to bring it back to my face. Comfort me, comfort me.............. help me to quit hurting so badly in my soul. Help me to stop crying... just please help me... my heart's in pain, I hurt.

It's been an hour since I sat in the warm ocean of honeysuckle bubbles... I do feel better now. I'm still sad but... I can make it now. I have to help myself get to a better place in my mind... climb the mental ladder to another floor where I can get far enough from 'that pain' again. Somehow... I slipped down to that floor without noticing... it really hurt. Just as my brother Rick-Rick looked at me with such pain in his eyes when he got the chest tube inserted... I can say just as he said... 'that really hurt so bad'. I 'knew'.... I 'understood' the pain... I 'know' pain so well.

I know many kinds of pain... I live with different kinds every moment of my life. Don't feel bad for me... I'm glad to feel it all. That means I'm doing something I really want to do... I want to live, I want to live life to the fullest. Everything will be alright. I don't ever feel sorry for myself... please don't ever feel sorry for me... everything gets alright in time.

Lately, I've been experiencing alot of grief ... again. May 19th... several years ago my brother, Rick-Rick... died..... and May 29th... you all know that my only child, Tommy, died. They are on my mind alot lately. I see their eyes, I see their faces, hear their voices in my mind.

I knew my son, my brother so well. I miss them. They are still so real to me... just like if one of them just appeared... I could accept that. If somehow... they could come back. I haven't forgotten their voices, their laughs at all.

You are seeing a mother who just misses her child... you are reading her very real words of how it feels, how it hurts when her child is gone. It'll be 2 years in May... the pain is still there. It doesn't matter that people say or think... some say 'it's time 'to get over it'... it doesn't matter at all what people think. My pain is my pain... I share it with ones who care, who want to know. Also, this is 'my place' to do that... and I will for as long as I live. That's 'why' I write... the pain is my drive, the fuel that pushes me on... it'll never go away.

I write here, I don't expect anything of anyone... no one has to say anything. It just means alot to 'know you are there'. Sometimes... words aren't needed, aren't wanted.... sometimes, just 'being there' is most important. I haven't told Skip today how I've hurt, how sad I've been... because I don't want to make him sad, or to worry about me. It would make me sad for him, I would worry about him.... :))) So... I come here to ... write in words my pain... my pain in words... I know there are people who experience what I'm experiencing.

I loved sitting in my warm honeysuckle bubbles... it was like sitting in the midst of honeysuckles... I could smell the fresh 'green' scent along with the floral scent... special. I could close my eyes and feel the golden sunshine warm on my skin.........

I was trying to go 'back' to find comfort... there's not alot to find... but, I try so hard.  My Grandma Alma and George were the 'softest comfort' in those very hard days... they tried to buffer me as much as possible... they just couldn't control anything in their lives. 

My Grandma Alma would try to make me 'forget' the cold, harsh world outside her sitting room by twinkling her eyes at me, smiling as she'd tell me funny, happy things of 'when she was young and could walk, run'... when she stopped, I looked around... that 'bad' world was still there.  For so long, I couldn't escape it.....

Sometimes though... Grandma Alma's words could weave magic... all I would hear was her special 'grandma' voice full of love, laughter... see her blue eyes twinkle, wink at me, see her one hand move as she talked to me, weaving her story so, I could really 'see'.  How I miss my Grandma Alma, she was mother to me, just as my mama was.  It's just another sadness in my heart. 

Grandma Alma told me about that special little golden drop of honey that would be there on the honeysuckle stem... if I would just take time to slowly pull it out.  How many times did I stand at honeysuckle vines as a little girl... slowly pulling stems out of a honeysuckle flower?  Many times... that one tiny golden drop would mesmerize me, taste extra-special... I would do that when I was sad, had no one to play with.  I would think as I stood there... I would dream, wish..... I would 'forget the pain' for a time....

Slowly pulling those delicate stems from the center of the honeysuckle, to get to taste that little drop of honey.  For a time it was magic.... I wouldn't be feeling 'bad' things around me.  My bath of warm honeysuckle bubbles ... worked its magic for me... pulling me back from the 'bad' pain .....long enough for me not to give completely in to it... to be able to gather strength to move back from it... so, I could be alright.




Wednesday, April 25, 2012



My mind raced so fast today when I was driving to the old place to feed the cats.  I was thinking of Tommy, at that moment I didn't realize that I had begun speeding from the stress of thinking about him.  I realized... I was trying to 'outrun thoughts of my son'.  It causes me such sadness, upset when I try to think 'too hard' about him.  When driving I will begin to realize that I'm driving faster thinking of him. 

When I am thinking of him like I did today, it's not in a way that is a bittersweet, sad-good moment.  It's in a way that I try not to think of him.... it's in a way that makes me feel sick inside, panicky, upset.  To understand ... think of some places 'where you walk'... the ground is 'even'... but, sometimes 'you step off in a too-deep hole' without realizing it.  You are feeling so unhappy, a gray cloud has shaded your day.... my day.  Today my day has been shaded 'gray'.

The photo above is the last photo taken of Tommy within an hour or so... before he collapsed, died on the sand at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  You can look at this photo and you see a fine, strong young man sitting there driving.  I think about how I worried about him, them getting to Myrtle Beach safely... it was Memorial weekend.  I think about how happy I was to know they were there off the dangerous highways safely that evening when he called... I think about how worried I was... I think about how I 'didn't think about Tommy dying 'while he was safe' and at the hotel. 

I look in my mind imagining little Taban being with his daddy... his daddy collapsing on the sand... I can see his expression of bewilderment.  He probably called his daddy, telling him to get up, let's play. Please get up, daddy...

Taban loved his daddy... maybe he laid down beside him for a moment or two, thinking his daddy was playing.  What went through his young mind when strangers saw something wrong, came to help, to protect this little fragile, blonde-haired boy with big eyes of blue looking at them, wondering what was happening in his protected world.  Daddy, why won't you get up?

His daddy was so protective of him, loved the very ground he walked on.  Thank-God for people who protected this little guy when his daddy couldn't, until the rescue people, his mother got there.  I know little Taban was watching with his big blue eyes... watching, hearing the rescue people trying to resuscitate his daddy... seeing his mother crying. 

My little grandson... what went through your mind when your daddy left you alone, standing there on that beach?  You can know how loved you were as you grow older... his very last moments were of playing with you until he took his last breath, walked into heaven with a soft, gentle smile on his face.  As I write this, I realize I am crying...

I am feeling grief that I try to put up and hide from myself... it found its way out to haunt me today.  I feel the raw pain that comes with having to feel, think, see in my mind... Tommy, Taban on that fateful evening.  Oh God, it hurts just so, so bad.

To even get a hint of feeling this... look at your own son, he can be adult or he can be very young.  Look at a little child... you just can't imagine them 'not being there'.  You really can't imagine how I feel 'inside'... you try but, no matter how much pain you feel trying...... you can't feel my pain.  You can just 'forget' and go on living... your child is still there... safe, unharmed.  You can call out his name and.... he will answer you, he may smile at you.  He's 'there'... my son isn't there anymore.  I can't believe it... it has to be true, I can't find him anymore.

I can't see him anymore, not even in my grandchild, grandchildren.  I can 'see him' in their photos.  I have accepted not seeing them anymore, I've accepted any bonds have been completely broken... I'm too weary to try to fix them again.  I've 'let go'..... it's up to them 'someday'.  I'm sure they'll wonder who is 'Granny Gee' is... but, they'll never know her as a person.  She'll never know them as the young children they are today... but, it's okay now.  I've come to terms with that, growing up the way I did has made that possible.... isn't it strange to be so thankful to have come from a broken childhood?

Isn't it strange to be so thankful that almost every 'family' relationship I've ever had ... was broken so, that today I can better deal with the broken bonds of my grandchildren?  I am so thankful.  It hurts so much, but.... I can bear the pain... pain is a part of my life, both mentally, physically... I know it intimately... it's a part of my very being.  I wouldn't know how to act without pain of some kind in my life... every moment that I breathe.

One day the mothers will find out how it feels when they experience such things as I have... they will think of me... they are too young to know that it's true ...'what goes around ...does... come around'.  I'm old enough to 'see now' how true that old saying is... you are going to pay for the things you do as a younger person, especially when they're done out of spite, anger... it's sad, but... the day does come when you know how it feels. Even I can't wish that away......

Of course, I don't wish bad things for my grandchildren's mothers, I wish only good things from my heart... they are the ones who are most important to my grandchildren... their happiness depends on their mothers, their mothers' decisions.  Their actions affect every aspect of their children's lives.  In fact, if possible ...I would make sure each mother had everything they needed for a good life... if they are happy, their children are happy.  I wish I could make that wish of mine come true.  If ever possible, I will make it come true.


Shades of gray... color this day
making me sad, feel this way

I find it hard to smile, see the sun
because I miss someone

Tommy died and went away
he's gone, what can I say?

The pain is so great, even today
I don't think it'll ever go away

This is one of those times
that words don't help, none of any kind

Only silence, don't say anything
it doesn't help, no comfort at all does it bring

Sh-hhhhhh... I think I'm going to cry
 I can't help it no matter how hard I try

Let me go back to my day of gray
just for now... it's not always that way

Just for now, it's not always... that way


This is just some 'colors' of Granny Gee... I do all kinds of artwork and this is just a sampling of abstract, collage artwork I did.  I also, do decorative painting on small pieces of furniture, mailboxes, and on canvas (like floorcloth canvas). 

I don't do painting for anyone now, as it places alot of pressure on me.  I only do what 'I feel and want to do'... as long as I draw and paint like this... I can be happy.

I don't work with any one medium, I combine them and do what 'I feel'.  I've never had any formal training... though I really wish I had taken time to. 

These are just a few of 'my colors' that have... made me, Granny Gee... happy.  I hope you like them, too.  I will be adding artwork from time to time.

In fact, when I take my hard drive to the computer shop ... I will have alot of painted mailboxes and furniture I've done in the past to put here.  Also, I will have alot more photos of Tommy from the past...

Happy day, happy colors to you all!  Love, Granny Gee





















Kissy, Kissy... I love you

You wiggle, you waggle

To show us you love us, too!

You know how to express yourself

Dancing around with a chew in your mouth

Going in a circle, right to left!

What a wonderful pup you are

A bundle of energy

A Superstar!

Kissy, Kissy... I love you

Kissy, Kissy, I know you love me ...too!

Kissy is a one year old Rottie with a wonderful temperament. He is always searching for something.

Kissy loves his chews, and when he goes to bed at night... he has to have one... it's like a pacifier!

Sometimes he'll drop it from the bed... he'll begin to talk with his little 'growly' voice saying 'please get that for me'! Of course... we do!

Kissy loves to lay on our feet, that way he can keep 'tabs' on us to know when we get up to go to the kitchen... Kissy loves snacks, too!

He keeps my feet warm as he lays and sleeps, how comforting for me to feel that warmth.

Kissy will stand and talk to us... he'll paw the floor like a show horse. He'll swing his big head around, he'll talk in his 'growly' voice to tell us what he wants.

Skip taught Kissy how to 'express himself'... like on the tv commercial. When Kissy hears it, or us saying 'express yourself, Kissy'... he'll run to get his 'chew-chew bone'... then, he'll begin to dance around in circles.

Kissy is a bundle of energy, he's like an electric wire... he is non-stop. He loves to be loved, we love to love him... we do with our very hearts.

Kissy, Kissy.... we love you.... we know you us, too!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012




As I walked, I smiled... laughed aloud as I talked to Skip. We love to talk, though we've been married many years... we have alot to say to each other.

I was looking at the brands of coffee in the supermarket at Walmart... I was deciding if I wanted to change brands this time. I change brands all the time... sometimes price does have something to do with it. Alot of times.... the colors (yes, the colors! :))), and the packaging help me decide what I want to get.

I was standing there laughing as I looked, trying to decide if I wanted Dunking Donut coffee or Gevalia, or Maxwell House, Sanka or Folger's. I stayed with Folger's this time. I walked alittle way to look at the teas... all the while laughing and talking with Skip.

I'd noticed several older men as they walked near deciding on their coffee, tea. Some smiled at me, and I was already laughing, smiling so, it was easy to smile a bright smile at them. I just went back to doing what I was doing, never paying any mind until.....

I began to notice espressions on several older men's faces.... why they must be thinking I'm either talking to myself... or I'm 'just plain crazy'! I did see a twinkle or two.... I do think a couple of those men thought that 'I was trying to pick them up'!

Of course, these thoughts made me begin to laugh .... making me really look guilty of doing all these things. I began telling Skip what I thought was going on, he laughed.

I'm glad I didn't feel mischievious and do something really silly. I have been known to do some silly, funny things in my life. I decided not to... I didn't want to cause a 'situation'.

I began to feel alittle embarassed as I 'talked to myself' going down the aisles... I did appear to be talking to the different products that sat on the shelves, in the freezers. I seemed to be talking to the meats in the meat counters. Why, I even appeared to be talking to the water, drinks I was buying. I was even laughing, twinkling as I selected all the things I wanted.

When I laughed, it seemed I would look straight into someone's eyes... they smiled at me, as we passed by each other. I'd forget that I was using my.... Bluetooth device, the wonderful gadget for hands-free cellphone!

I was in my own world laughing and talking with Skip... all the while 'the world looked on' thinking.... 'hey, that's a crazy woman there'! She talks to herself, not only that.... she even laughs aloud! I would look at 'them', smile brightly as I walked by pushing the shopping cart, chattering away.

I began telling Skip 'I'm sure people think I'm talking to myself because they can't see the Bluetooth device for my hair'... this would be in front of someone standing close by. This was to let them know I really wasn't crazy, and I really was talking to 'someone'.

I didn't feel so self-conscious after doing that. I did notice that I saw a woman talking as she walked alone... for a moment 'even after experiencing what I did'.... I thought she was talking to herself!

I just hope those men didn't think I was 'trying to pick them up'... or was 'hitting on them'. I really hope they didn't think I was crazy, either! I did reach up and move my hair back to expose that Bluetooth device! :)))








Monday, April 23, 2012




I sit here and 'let all my loved ones' come to my mind. I can't believe that every close family member that I truly loved has died. I just can't believe it... I just can't believe it.

My son, my mother, my little brother... that's just the beginning of the list. I just can't believe it.

I think back to the days my little brother Rick-Rick used to work on my car to keep it going for me. I remember in the dead of winter he would hurt his hands working on the motor, I saw them bleed. My heart would hurt, and I appreciated so much all he did for me. He never charged me for all he did.

My little brother... I loved you with my heart. You were always 'there' for me. I loved seeing you smile with your blue, blue eyes, seeing you get surprised. It was always fun to see you get tickled at something, tell something funny. You always came up with funny things... you always quoted the 'cable guy'...

You always loved steak, grilled chicken.... You loved going to the beach, you liked fast cars. Ricky, you had a big heart. I miss you so much. I always hurt so much when you went through so much. I always worried about you. No one can hurt you now.

I have your ashes in the special decorative chest, along with photos, your hat, some of your things. It didn't seem to be much left of your life when you left... you didn't leave alot behind.

I look in my mind for a moment and see you standing there crying for me when our house was burning down... I was seeing you through eyes of shock, but, I saw you... you hurt for me. You were one of the very few of my 'family' to come. I think you were one of maybe six 'family' members... I had alot that lived close by... they just drove by on their merry way.

Some even waved, blowing their horn while I looked with eyes of shock, pain, grief back at them. It was the same thing when I almost died of cancer. I wish them all love, and the best of everything... no hard feelings toward you. I 'know why' you all are like that... we all were 'born that way'.

My little brother, Rick-Rick ... loved me, he knew his sister loved him. I was thankful for him. In the three months prior to his death, we tried so hard to help him... for that 3 months he got to 'see how good it felt to feel good again'... these were his very words. He looked good, too... until that last evening I got to spend that short time with him... I saw that 'soft gray' on his face sitting there in Wendy's.

Ricky came to the hospital in Raleigh to see me ... no one else came. It seems I remember seeing his eyes full of tears, and that he quietly left. I was too ill to speak.

I remember the motorcycle wreck Ricky was in... I wasn't working at the ER that night but, I was the following day when he came in. He couldn't breathe and he was in pain... x-rays showed he had a collapsed lung. I remember the doctor who was a friend of mine tell me to go outside of the ER, because he was going to put a breathing tube in. I heard Ricky cry out... when I came back, I could see the pain in his eyes and him saying 'that hurt, that hurt so bad'. He was trying hard not to cry.

I can't even begin to express in words the grief, pain in my heart for my little brother... so much was against him from the time he was born until he died. For now, that's all I can bear to write about... it hurts me my very heart.

Rest in peace... my little brother, Rick-Rick. I loved you with my heart.


Sunday, April 22, 2012



Family... Skip and I had opportunity to stop by the new Sheetz store that just opened in this area. It is a beautiful, happy-colored store... I love it ..of course!

We walked around looking, talking and saying we were glad this one was close by... we could get up anytime during the night, and go drink coffee.. or whatever.

We came out of the store and walked to our vehicle and was getting in when we heard a car horn behind us. Skip hadn't gotten in just then, he turned to look. I saw recognition on his face, he told me who it was. I smiled as I got out, as I saw my cousin. He said to wait for him, he was going to park.

He came back to talk to us... all the while he stood there I was thinking just how nice it was to see him, and he was 'my family'. We left, and I told Skip that I was glad to see him... we both agreed. It did me good... it's rare to ever speak, much less see a 'family' member.

I don't miss seeing 'family' at all... but, when one sees a smiling face that reflects back at your smile... you can't help but to feel a happy feeling... I did in my heart. 

If my cousin reads this... know that we enjoyed seeing, talking to you. I was sincerely glad to see you... I just wanted you to know.

In 'our family''s unusual to be 'actually glad' to see another family member... everyone goes the opposite way... I'm no exception. I do it in a discreet way so, as not to hurt anyone. No one needs added pain to what they already carry inside. I'm the last who would want to hurt anyone.

I was glad... and look forward to another time. Take care my cousin, you made your cousin happy. She'll be glad to see you in the future.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012




I have just finished putting stories on my blog for each day until April 21, 2012, Saturday....... to be sure there's a story for each day. I wanted to make sure I had them here because we will be doing alot of things, and I won't be sitting at my computer often during this time.

:))))) Love, Granny Gee



BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES                                                                                                                                                                                       aka  GRANNY GEE

I stood looking down at her youthful face

gone were any lines, or wrinkles

Her hair was soft, clean and shiny

I saw her expression... it was one of peace.

My mother who was in her sixties

now looked to be in her thirties

She laid there so pretty

With a slight smile on her lips.

My beautiful mother, how I loved you

I feel the pain in my heart

I miss you, mama

I wish you were here to talk to.

That was the last time I saw my mother

I stood there with my son, Tommy

We both stood there with tears in our eyes

Sadness in our hearts.

I saw the tube that was hidden by the white sheets

I knew they were attached to her body

Making an impression on my mind I'd never forget

I knew what it was there for, I wondered 'why'?

My mother was being cremated, embalmed... 'why'?

I let go of that thought as grief took over

Mama!  Mama!  You called, left a message for me

'Faye, help me!  Help me'! a cry that haunts me to this day.

What happened, Mama?  What happened?

I know something happened... but, what?

Questions, more questions

Answers of sorts... in time the dots connected.

Mama, I know 'why' now... you weren't wanted anymore

It was time for someone else

To come in your home, take your place

They were already there, but.. you didn't know.

Mama, I wish I could have saved you

If you'd just told me sooner

My mama, my brother... they didn't want you there

That's why you are both gone today.

My last memory is standing there looking down into your beautiful face

You were at peace, mama... no one could mistreat you, hurt you anymore

My beautiful mother who called me, left a message crying for help

Too late you waited, Mama... when I got there... you were gone.

Rest in peace, my beautiful mother

Rest in peace, my precious brother

I miss you both with my heart...

At this moment I remember you, in my heart I cry.



BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES                                                                                                                                                                                       aka  GRANNY GEE

Today I went to feed the cats.  On my way, I noticed a mother standing over a wagon making sure her two little sons were seated comfortably.  I saw the father on his riding lawn mower ...... mowing grass, watching them.  I know he felt pride in his family as he rode along on the lawn. 

We know this family, they are good people.  All one has to do is to look at them and know their children are going to grow up taken care of.  They each will probably 'be somebody'.  They didn't notice me as I passed slowly by, so engrossed in each other they were. 

They will groom both sons to succeed in life.  My wish for my grandson, granddaughter... is for each of them to be groomed at this early age... to grow up to 'be somebody', to have confidence, to be healthy.

They take their boys to the big boy's barber shop to have their hair cut nicely.  They feed them good, healthy foods... when a child's hair isn't cut right... it makes that child look 'poor'... in school it puts a stigma on the child.  It makes life harder for that little child.  One could see even from the distance I was... these little boys got to go to the big boy's barber shop.

When that child isn't fed the right foods... it shows on the child.  It shows on the child's skin, face, eyes, hair... his/her whole body.  Unhealthy foods such as fast foods are being fed to them .  No one is making good, healthy meals for the child.  Alot of mothers don't cook nourishing meals... they depend on fast food... hamburgers, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, soda.... it goes on, and on. 

These are the foods that cause these babies to begin having high cholestrol build up in their bodies, causing early heart problems, heart attacks at an early age, diabetes.  Adults who eat out constantly have health problems, children aren't any exception.

As grandparents we all hope that our grandchildren are fed healthy food, have nice clothes to wear, have good shoes to wear, good haircuts, have a good home, treated as well as the children I saw today.  If this was so... no grandparent would ever worry again for a grandchild.

It's hard for a grandparent to tell someone to please take the best care of their grandchildren... they should never have to... nor should they ever have to worry.  When looking at a grandchild as all grandparents will do, whether anyone likes it or not... it's only natural that they do... when seeing all isn't right with their grandchild, it's upsetting.

Today, when I saw this special family who lived close to us at one time.... where we moved from.... I appreciated them.   I wished so many good things for my own grandchildren... I thought of them, as I saw this family from my window.  I know we all do.  I could hear Tommy's promise to always make sure Taban was groomed, wore the nicest clothes, and his hair kept cut right.  He wanted Taban to grow up to be somebody... he was going to groom him. 

When we lived in our home before it burned down, one of the most special families I ever saw in my whole life............ yes, in my whole life... lived right across from us in a big, old southern-style mansion. 

There was the father, mother, two little daughters... later a little son.  I remember when I used to work in my flowers, be out in the yard doing things... I would see this beautiful mother playing with her children outside.  It made me think of myself as a little girl... at one time I was loved like that.  How special .....

I think I can count on both hands the 'real' families I've ever seen... in fact, I'm not certain there are enough families to connect to each of my ten fingers.

That's 'why'.... no matter where I am, all through my life... I stop, notice real families.... in my mind I always envision a golden, protective circle around them... for them to always be together, for the children to grow up knowing they're loved, taken care of, to succeed in life.  In my mind I always say a prayer ...'Lord please protect this family'.  I say the same for my two grandchildren and their families.

No child can ever have too many people loving them... building their support system to always be there for them growing up.  Parents don't realize when they cut out people in their child's life... they're hurting the child in the future.... out of anger, hate, dislike.  I know... I grew up this way... spiteful parents can cause future grief for the very children they are supposed to love, protect, want the best for.

They also, cause problems one day when it comes time for grandparents to prepare to leave their things to... if they don't have anyone... they will think about other people's children... the ones who are in their life... who care for them. 

After all these years of living .... I have to say that 'real families' .. are fragile, special and in 'today's time'.......... hard to find.  Families are fractured by divorce, death, and all sorts of reasons.

It's strange though... people who are in families might sometimes... not appreciate it because they've never known how it feels to be alone, no one to care about them.  They stay angry at the least little things... wasting time hating, instead of loving.  You can't tell them... they don't hear. 

I know that when I see a real family... I notice them, smile.  Those children are so special, fortunate.  Their grandparents can have an eased mind... someone's taking good care of them.  They are in a ... real family.