MY DAY IS SHADED GRAY...
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/ aka GRANNY GEE
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...
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/ aka GRANNY GEE
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