BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/ aka GRANNY GEE
Kissy began howling, running through the house. In just a moment he is followed by Chadwick. Chadwick is howling, also. It's so strange to see, to hear. It's so strange to see them run, howling, crying all at the same time looking up in the air. Looking this way... that way.
'Why'? Why do they do that? I've thought about this for so long...... satori.... It has taken two years for it to 'dawn on me'... it happened just a few minutes ago... it hurts me so bad. I sit here in tears... it really hurts my heart. Somehow, it has taken this long for the answer to 'why' to come to me...
This happens every time the home telephone rings. It's strange also... that it affects me in a negative way... because....... I tense up. I feel sick inside and at this very moment ... two years later... it hits me 'why'.
The telephone rang a few minutes ago... for some reason I always feel anger when 'that phone' rings... I deliberately don't answer it. It's rare that I do. I don't care if 'that phone' rings forever... I even feel a hatred for 'that phone'. If you want to talk to me... you will have to call my cellphone... don't even depend on calling me on 'that phone', don't ever depend on me to listen to messages on 'that phone' anytime soon. I may do it later... I may not do it later.
I was just thinking about it and the thought came to me... this is the same phone (not your cellphone, Gloria) that.. you learned of your child's death. This is the same phone that rung... the same caller ID screen that showed Tommy's name on it when you answered it happily to talk to him... and a stranger's voice began telling you 'Ma'am', I have a man collaped here on the beach, he isn't breathing!' .... instead of 'Mom, I'm here on the beach playing with Taban!'
This is 'the phone' ... I learned my child, my very own child, my only child... was gone forever... my son had just died... my son was lying there beside that stranger on the beautiful sand at the ocean he looked forward to going to with his little son... his child... to play with.
This is the phone that Tommy had called me on just a short time, not even an hour... to tell me ... 'Mom, we are almost there!' This is the same phone I said 'I'm so glad, son... I've been so worried because of the holiday traffic... I'm so thankful you all are there safely'. I worried because it was Memorial Day weekend, they were in the notorious traffic going to the same place 'everyone was going to'.
I'm thinking at this moment... it'll be Memorial Day weekend soon... this month... it'll be two years on May 29th, that my child went on vacation... to never return. I never saw him again... I still feel such grief you wouldn't believe... it has just come to the surface... again.
This is the phone I felt such relief, and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing my child and his family had reached their destination... safely. I could quit worrying until... they began the return trip home.
This is the phone that in... less than an hour... my whole world changed. This is the phone that rang to destroy my life; this phone.... brought me the worst news a person will ever hear, a mother will ever hear... your child is dead. 'Ma'am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he's not breathing!'
This phone was 'the phone' I listened to with my ear.... that threw me into a world of darkness... instantly. I was smiling one minute.... in shock, the next minute.
Where did my smile go? I can't remember... my world 'blacked out'... I left my happy smile at the door just before it violently thrown open... and I was thrown in... left alone in that dark, scary world... it was over a year later that Skip and our Pups, helped me find my way out of it... when the sunshine began to find me, began to light my path so, that I could see my way again.
I don't care if that telephone ever rings again... I don't even bother to run to answer it. I don't listen to the messages on it everytime there's a message. I might listen days, weeks later. I've always wondered 'why'? I was never like this 'before'..... now, I feel anger toward that phone.
The only phone I will answer now... is my cellphone. It depends on who is calling... if it's Skip... I answer it always. His calls have a special ringer assigned to them. I will answer on this 'phone'... this cellphone. I didn't hear anything 'bad' or 'life-altering' on 'this phone'.
I worked on the hospital switchboard years ago, it broke me from sitting and talking on a phone for hours... I sat there in our office answering hundreds of calls, paged all day long... it broke any phone habit I ever had.
The only people I ever talked to for long periods of time through all the years have been Skip ... and Tommy. I couldn't talk to anyone else but, them... for more than several minutes. My phone habits were forever changed ... though I enjoyed doing that job.
I have held 'that phone' in my hands for hours talking to Tommy... I've held it rarely... since 'the voice on it told me that he was dead'. That's 'why'... I now... know 'why'.
It's just strange that Kissy wasn't born when Tommy died... Chadwick was three years old... I find it strange how the phone affects both of them. I think I know 'why'... now. It has something to do with Tommy being gone.
That phone... hurts me... but, I can't get rid of it. I talked to Tommy on it not even an hour before he... died. That phone makes me feel much anger... that phone makes my Pups cry... that phone makes me cry... I last heard Tommy's voice on ........