Saturday, June 30, 2012




We were in Vermont, beautiful Vermont.  I loved this state, not only that we were going to a state I always thought I'd want to live in.  Maine...

The curvy roads, beautiful landscape captured my heart.  I was engrossed in trying to 'drink in' everything to fill my memory so, I would never forget seeing all the wonderful things I was seeing.... when....

'Skip, why are they doing that'!  A carload of men had just made Skip swerve sharply to keep the car from hitting us.  They passed us in the process... I thought they were going to go on..... the car swerves like someone almost lost control... are they drinking?

Their car slowed down, making Skip pass them.  I saw Skip frown as he passed them... the car speeded up and was side by side with us, swerving toward us trying to make us go off the highway!  We were going to wreck!

'Why, Skip, why are those men trying to hurt us'!  Skip never said a word while he was trying to control our vehicle.  I was so afraid, I felt as if I'd faint, I was holding my breath.  Why?!!!

Skip has sped up hoping to shake them, for a moment it seemed we would lose them, but no.... they were back along side of us and began trying to hit us, trying to force us off the road to go careening down the side of the mountain!  Why?!!!

Skip had to drive faster in hopes of leaving them behind...  all the while when those men would get along side of us... I would look at their faces trying to see if they were laughing, playing.  Those men meant to do what they were doing... they wanted us to wreck, to either be hurt or die.  Why?!!!

Skip began going at a high speed and it looked as if we were going to get away from them when... oh my God!  Oh my God!  That carload of men began losing control of the car, it began spiraling out of control, hitting the ditch, jumping up in the air, flying toward... oh no!  the car crashed into the tree!

We never knew 'why' those men were trying to run us off the road like that.  I always wondered if maybe it was because we had a out-of-state tag, maybe they did that to 'outsiders' to wreck them.  I know that those men didn't mean for us to go along on our journey safely.  'Why' were we singled out ... what would have happened had we wrecked down the mountainside?  What would have happened... if we pulled over, stopped?

Why would someone out of the blue do such a thing?  It was a beautiful day, we were enjoying our drive, minding our own business.... what made those men do that?

Friday, June 29, 2012




Today I was listening to Anderson Cooper's mother talk on his show.  She was talking about grief...  about when someone says your loved one who has just died .... 'is in a better place'.  How can they 'be in a better place'?  'How do ... you ... know?

I was thinking of the people who have said that about Tommy.  They haven't lost a child, how do they know 'he is in a better place'?

Tommy liked to live... he 'liked this place'.  Tommy thought 'here was a better place'... how in the hell did you think he had gone to a 'better place'?

Do ... you ... want to go to a 'better' place and... not live all you can live?  Do you 'want me to tell you when your child dies... that your child has 'gone to a better place'?  'Who would I think I am to say such a thing to you'?  I couldn't do it... never.

'I understand how you feel'...comes from people who have never lost a child.  How do they know what it feels like?  How can they know the soul-wrenching grief one goes through losing their child... if they've never walked on that path?  How?

One day 'they could' know... just as I have found out... as I 'keep on finding out' how it feels.  It could happen to them.....

Who is someone to tell me that I should be over my grief... over my only child, my son... dying?  Who do they think they are when they say such a thing... they have never lost a child?  Just... who do they think they are?

It's possible you will one day 'see how it feels'... let someone tell that to when your only child dies... or when one of them dies.

Someone will be dumb enough to tell you that... you'd be shocked at the thoughtless things people say... thinking they are 'saying the right things'.  They don't listen to themselves as they speak..........

Today... I have felt anger at some of these things that have been said at one time or other to me since my son's death.  I'm not the only person in this world .... that this could happen to, does happen 'all the time'.

Be careful what you say to people who are grieving... they may act as if they didn't hear you, or nod their head while smiling when someone says 'some off-the-wall comment... I promise you... they hear you, and ..... never forget you for those comments.

I was in the deepest grief but, when something 'stupid' was said to me... somehow I 'heard' it... somehow I never forgot.  Now... at this late date and time... I am finally remembering more and more... and today I feel very angry.

Of course... I won't stay that way long... I won't hold it against the people I remember saying the things I'm telling you about.  I just ... won't forget ... and now, I would never 'not' say something if someone even said it to me... now.

The memories of such comments will come back to the surface... just as has happened today with me.

I feel such anger... I 'see the faces of different people' ... as they said such comments.  I feel anger toward them...  I'm seeing faces in my mind who stood in front of me... with their 'know-all' selves telling me that my son has gone to a 'better' place.

There they are standing in front of me never knowing what it feels like to be a grieving mother...  'how dare you'!  How dare 'you' said such a thing to 'me'... 'you' don't know anything about grieving for someone, something lost.

You have everything... I have been losing something, someone ever since I was a little girl.  I've grieved all my life... 'now'... the worst has happened ... 'my child' is gone.

My very one most treasured someone, a very 'real part of me'... has died.  I brought this child into the world... my body felt the pain of him being born.  I have scars from carrying him.   I suffered through time when he was hurt, sick... missing for three years and I didn't know where he was.  No one knows the grief I've been through while my precious child lived... the grief he suffered... no one.

Don't ever tell me he's in a better place again... don't ever tell me I'm only going to grieve two weeks for him... how the ........... do you know?  Your son, your daughter, your everything still lives... so how do 'YOU' know?

You... don't know nothing about the grief, or things I've experienced in life.  Another thing... I won't talk to you about them.  I will write about them when the time comes... but, I won't talk about them.  I feel so angry... so mad... I'm really, really .... mad today.  When I say 'you'... I am thinking of 'those faces who said these things to me' when my son just ...died... he really died.

Another thing... 'don't tell me 'you' know how I feel when you've never walked the path of grief, never have been on a life's journey to experience such a thing.

I promise you... you will feel all the things, think all the things I have, and still do.  I can promise you that.... I can promise you that you'll know pain unlike the worse pain you've ever felt in life.

People say these things to be sure that I won't begin to talk about Tommy to them because it's so sad... they don't want to hear it.  What they didn't know in the very beginning is... that I didn't want to share my grief in the first place.  I rarely talk about things that truly hurt me deepest... to anyone.

They say these kind of things to prevent one from saying anything... to be ashamed for feeling grief.  I just think when someone says that... they've successfully 'shut off-up' the person who might need to speak about the grief, pain they are holding inside.

What they did accomplish was.... to let me know they wanted me to keep my mouth shut... when I had no intention of 'opening it' to them, anyway.

They also, accomplished another thing... I don't want them around me... nor do I want to be around when their most treasured loved ones ... die.  I 'might have real compassion, caring' for ... them.  I 'might say something real, meaningful to let them know... I care.

Someone doesn't want to take a few minutes to listen, it might make them sad or even cry... shame on those grieving people.... they might need comfort.  I say 'shame on those people who have no compassion in their heart... it's going to come back to you'.

I don't need you to stand there and feel sorry for me... I'm used to going things alone... but, most people aren't used to that, they are used to someone caring what they feel, think, if they hurt.

They 'know' everyone's going to care about 'them'.  So... life is good.  I have one person, two pups and one friend who care about 'what I go through'... they are real.  I'm thankful for them.  If it hadn't been for my husband, Pups... when I lost Tommy... I wouldn't be sitting here writing to you now.

My grief is too private to 'just talk about to anyone'.  That's one of the reasons I write.  I don't have to talk about anything to anyone in person... people who are curious, people who mean well, people who want to be nosey.

I 'don't want to talk about things that hurt me'... in public... it's private.  My grief is private.

I don't need false words, false comfort... give it to someone who will settle for 'at least that'.  I won't.  It's best to just ... leave me alone if you are false... because later, I will remember you... just as I am doing ... today.  It adds to the anger I feel because my son is gone.

'Damn, damn, damn'... my son, Tommy... is really gone!  I am angry... I'm very angry at my son being.... dead.  I could scream at the heavens, God... I won't, I'm not angry at the heavens nor God.

I wonder how many people they have hurt like that?  I wonder how 'they will feel' when one of their loved ones die?  I bet they'll be whining, crying to everyone.... then.

I don't have to listen to comments like that when I write... I can say what I want in written words.  No one is going to talk back to me to tell me I should be over my grief in two weeks, they know how it feels when they've never lost a child, or understand how I feel.... when there's no way they could.

People have said these things and more through time... thinking they've done 'good' when they say them.  I never comment, I stay quiet, smile, listen... I go my way.  When I go, I haven't left hurt feelings behind.... because I don't say what I actually think.  If they knew.....

What people don't seem to know... is that they've left a bad memory behind with their thoughtless comments..... for a person to bring back to mind 'later'.... when someone such as myself 'remembers'.

I remember more lately... I feel pure anger 'hearing things said' in my mind when Tommy died.   I feel pure anger at the faces I see in my mind... standing 'there... then' saying such things to me.   I'm sorry ... I don't like you at all... anymore.  

What everyone doesn't want to hear or think about... especially people who are cruel.... you have 'somebody in this world you love'... and guess what?

That means you may walk in my shoes one day... you may get to feel what I feel, go through.  What in the world 'makes you think' .... you won't ever know anything about... death?

No matter how big, strong, mean... ugly, beautiful .... it is going to happen in 'your' life ...sooner or later.  It's happened alot in mine... no one can get by with not... dying.

Don't you know... it is going to happen sooner or later ... to all of us?  All of us... will need comfort, real words of caring at that time in our lives... be careful what you say 'now'... 'before your time comes to feel grief'... you get back what you give.

I agree with Anderson Cooper's mother (who is Gloria Vanderbilt in case anyone wonders).... you don't have to say such things... you can say two little words and just be quiet, just be 'there'...... just say those two little words.... 'I care'.... no more, no less.... then ...just go on your own way.

Don't say 'useless words' that leave a bad memory in a grieving person's mind... they won't ever forget you.  A grieving person goes through stages of anger from time to time (some stay in that stage... I can't)... they remember things you think they don't... don't let them feel anger toward... you.  It will happen....

I love writing... I can think about things as I write them... it helps me get things into perspective so, I can look at them... especially something such as I wrote about today.  I thought about keeping this private... but, I'm not going to.  I'm sharing it with everyone... do you know 'why'?

Because they are real feelings of a grieving mother... I just know I'm not the only one who feels these things.  I have no way of knowing... I don't know what other grieving mothers feel.  I only know 'as I go'... I 'learn as I go'...

I have learned many of life's lessons the 'hard way'.  This is no different... though I wish sometimes... it wasn't ... so hard.  I'm very strong... I have to keep finding more, and more strength... I wonder 'how strong do I have to be'?

My answer is .... 'just as strong as I need to be'.

NOTE:  I'm not mad anymore... this kind of anger comes and goes.. each time getting weaker, and ... weaker.  I don't like to feel anger... though, it's there.

I'm thankful to write... I have a place to vent... I don't have to hurt others to 'get it out'.  I'm not really angry at those people... people do say things without hearing themselves to know how it feels... even I know that.  I just felt anger toward them... I forgave them as soon as the words left their mouths.

I've fought anger since I was a little girl at things, people... who have hurt me knowingly, unknowingly, deliberately or not deliberately.  I've forgiven a long time ago...

I've fought anger at losing people, things I treasured in my life... somehow they were taken away from me... broken home, broken family, broken 'everything'......... the sad thing is that many years later when one meets back up with 'family' that was taken 'back then'... too much time, distance has happened... once again... more pain.  Bonds are broken... forever.

At this 'late day and time'... I no longer desire to be close to anyone else... it's gone now.  Too many tears have been shed, too much heartbreak... I'm not strong enough for more... yet, I am... I'm just as strong as I need to be.  I tell myself that... so far, I've been strong enough 'to come this far'.  No one knows all I've come through since 'now and then'...

I 'know how so many things feel'... because I've experienced them in my life.  I've been through more than the average person has had in their entire life, I've experienced many things most women never get to.... no one knows.

I've known more loss of loved ones, treasured things than the average person has... they only read about it in books.  I hope to write a book some day... I wonder how long it will take to 'learn how to go about it'?  I haven't even touched on many things in my life... I have to travel back down dark tunnels, alleys, scary places.  I don't know if I'm strong enough................................ I'll only know when it's my time to go... if I ever... got that strong.

I am sorry that I feel anger, though I always put it back up... so, it doesn't dominate my everyday living.

I'm sorry I feel it toward people because I care about people... life is about love, caring.  That's what I want to feel always inside of me... love, caring.  I'm not perfect ... though I try to be as good as I can be... but... I'm still not perfect at all.

I have come through many, many of life's storms... I've come through alot of them alone... no one there to hold my hand or to comfort me... of course, my pride prevented me from asking.  I'm the one who helps, I'm the one who is strong enough to go on... it seems.  So......

I have to be just as strong as I need to be........

Thursday, June 28, 2012




I just came from my artroom... back to my computer.  I printed out something I wanted to slip into Tommy's Chest.  I do this quite often... but, I only slip something in very quickly... I don't want to 'see anything'... I can't, yet.  I keep thinking I will ...look inside... soon.

'Soon' hasn't come yet... I 'know' I will be sick if I do it now.  Sick with pure, raw grief that physically hurts... I don't know if my body, my mind could take that now.  It may just crush me to death... the grief weighs 'so heavy', though I can't see it.  Isn't that strange?  The grief weighs 'so heavy' but, it can't be seen?

I took Tommy's photo that sits in a gold frame on top of his red/gold upholstered chest, sat it on my art table ... long enough to barely lift the lid on it.  I can't bear to look in it.. yet.  I slipped a neatly folded sheet of paper into the chest along with other neatly folded 'papers'.  On these pieces of paper are things for my grandchildren to read one day when they get their father's chest.  My grandchildren are going to know they are loved at a distance, and are thought about, cared about... one way or other.

Through my writings, they will know.  It doesn't matter now, that we can't have them in our lives... we've accepted something we can't change.  It's okay now.  Things have a way of working out....   It's just the way life is, whether we like it or not.

When I took Tommy's photo off the top of his chest... I held it close to my heart, kissed the face that smiled back at me.  I 'know' that smile... I felt the most overwhelming pain come through my heart... piercing pain.

Oh God, that hurt really bad... enough so, that my stomach just felt sick.  I turned around and looked on top of my art cabinets.... there are three more chests that sit there.

Three more chests... Mom, Rick-Rick, Jimmy.  Oh, the terrible, terrible waves of grief that rolled over me.  I felt so weak from the weight, I put my hand on my chair as I looked at all four chests... four people whom I loved with my very heart... one of them a very part of me, my son... my only child.

I gently put Tommy's photo back up on his chest... came back here to my computer.  Oh God... that affected me in  a 'bad' way... unexpectedly.  I didn't know that was going to happen.

Do you see what I mean?  Grief, no matter how 'you think' you have learned to cope with it.... has a way of coming back to bring one almost to their knees from the sheer weight of it, the pain from it.  It's 'too heavy'... I almost can't stand up from it.

Now my head feels achy, my eyes hold unshed tears, my nose is stuffy... I could go look in the mirror and 'see that pain' in my eyes.  What I can't see is... the weight pressing my soul, trying to squeeze any happiness I've begun to feel again... out.

Oh God, it does hurt so bad.  If you haven't lost a child... you can't ever know the pain physically, mentally.  You can't know the 'weight' of it ... I didn't want to ever know any of this... I always worried in my mind at how Tommy would be 'if I were the one to die first'.

Tommy loved his 'Ole Mom' (just an affectionate name... :)))  Everyone knew how much he loved me.  He couldn't bear for anything to hurt me, much less think about something happening to me... or Skip.  I always through the years talked to him 'just in case' I were to become very sick again, and something 'should happen'.

I wanted him to be prepared so, he wouldn't suffer and feel such grief.  I wanted him to think of happy things to make him smile... instead of cry.  I always told him to 'look for me, see me' whenever he'd see 'alot of colors in one place'... happy colors.  'See me' in the bright sunshine, in the beautiful moon and stars at night... 'to know his Ole Mom loved him with her heart.  He'd smile when I'd tell him these things.... I would 'see' a little flicker of pain at the thought of something happening to his mama.

I 'see Tommy' now, whenever I have occasion to see Celadon trailer-trailers going down the highways.  I see, hear him in funny things Skip and I say, we say them to remember Tommy.  Like yesterday we heard some truck drivers talking, we heard one say 'damn it, driver'!  Skip and I laughed, Tommy used to say that, laugh.  He loved to learn funny things to say, do.  Tommy had a wonderful sense of humor!

If something should happen to me... if you should see alot of colors in one place, happy colors... think of me...  Love, Granny Gee

Wednesday, June 27, 2012




This morning I went to Walmart to pick up meds at the pharmacy.  I decided I would go into the Subway shop there, sit down and enjoy a sub sandwich.

I went inside to order a six inch meatball with marinara sauce.  It was on sell for $2... what a deal!  What a good sandwich!  :)))  I told the lady that I would like to get American cheese, red onion, bell pepper, and jalepeno pepper ... and have all on the Italian herb and cheese bread.  I, also, ordered tea.

The total of my purchased was less than five dollars.  Usually it's almost eight dollars when ordering a sub sandwich with tea, chips.  I think Subway sandwiches have risen in price... I don't see how young families can afford to eat there.

I guess they slice the sandwiches into smaller pieces to give to the children.  In fact, I don't see how families can afford to eat at any fast food place now... unless they all share.  I was thinking... it's probably healthier because one isn't all the 'bad' food.... just a small amount.

I chose a booth to sit it where I could 'people-watch' as I ate my sandwich and chips.  I love to people-watch, it's interesting to see what kind of clothes people wear, hairdos, shoes, handbags.  I'm amazed that there are so many people... no one looks alike!  I've always been fascinated by that.  I've always been fascinated to see families... how the members of a family look alike.  Interesting!

While I was sitting at the table, I noticed a blonde-headed woman come into the Subway shop.  She was pleasingly plump, had on a summer blouse, and slacks to match.  She was wearing comfortable-looking shoes.  She didn't go to the end where one starts from to select ingredients for a sub sandwich.  This woman began at the cash register....... where all the freshly baked cookies were!

While the woman behind the counter was making a sandwich for a gentleman that came in... the blonde-headed woman was slightly bent over so, she could study the little shelves of cookies.

It took a little time for the gentleman to make his mind up.  He was telling the woman behind the counter what he wanted, how much he wanted on his sandwich.

The whole time I just watched the blonde-headed woman as it seemed she 'blanked out' everyone, everything... her mind 'zoned in on the cookies'.  I was sitting there trying to imagine what she was seeing, thinking as she 'chose just the right cookie for herself'.

Mmmm.... that cookie is fat, there are alot of macadamia nuts on this one!  Wait a minute... maybe I'll pick the chocolate chip cookie with all those chocolate chips on it... but, which one would I like to have?  My mouth is watering, I have to swallow... I'm so hungry!  I think I'll have.... I think ... no, mmm-mmm .... I think I'll have a macadamia nut cookie!

I was imagining what the blonde-headed woman was thinking as she stood there bent over peering at those cookies.  I saw her straighten up and wait... I 'knew' her mind was made up... she didn't look at the cookies now, she was ready to tell the woman which cookie she wanted.

I watched as the woman walked to the cash register to take the man's money, then... wait on the blonde-headed woman.  I was curious to see 'if' she would select the macadamia-nut cookie.

Sure enough, she chose the macadamia nut cookie!  I 'knew' that she would... I knew she'd choose just the cookie she did!  The reason I know is because... I had stood in that same spot 'thinking about getting that same cookie'.

I had studied the cookies just as she did, taking my time... when I became aware again moments later... I realized that .... for the moment my cookie was the most important thing in my life!

Note:  I didn't get that 'best-looking' cookie... I just looked to see 'which' cookie I 'would have chosen if'.... I had gotten it!  :)))

During deciding, I realized that all sound... everyone else 'faded away' ... while I was in the 'deciding mode'......... that cookie became most important in my world... just for a moment.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012




Skip helped me out of the Expedition... I stood there for several moments to 'gather strength'.  I meant to walk the distance to the hospital, down the long halls to go to the oncology department.  It hadn't been long since I had the first thoracotomy surgery.

I had major surgery ... a thoracotomy.  I understand today thoracotomies are done differently.  Mine was a major thing... not only that year later I had a second one on my left side.  This was in 1998 and 1999.

I can not even describe the pain I feel today from those surgeries... pain every day of my life.  I live with it without taking pain medicine for fear of getting addicted to it.  Sometimes I cry from the pain, sometimes the terrible pain makes me feel anger ... anger at hurting all the time.  Some times are worse than others.  It's something I will live with the rest of my life, I have no choice.  But... if I feel pain... I am alive...I want to live.  It's my trade-off... I will bear it.

I do have a choice on 'how' I live with it... I choose to live with it in a positive way, though... I'm human.  It really hurts so bad, like right now as I write this.  It's rare that I take something for pain. It's rare that I speak of it, complain with it... but, sometimes like 'now'... it's so much that I'm like a glass of water..when it has been filled too full.. water spills over.

Getting back to walking inside, not using a wheel chair... no matter the distance... I was determined to walk in.  I did this most every time for all my appointments no matter how weak, how much pain I was in.  I had alot of appointments for chemotherapy, tests, doctors.

As we walked to the oncology department I had to stop several times, I was in agony.  Skip held onto me as I stood, waiting patiently until I was ready to walk again.

It had been only a short time since I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.... cancer.  I was still coping with the fact that 'I had cancer'... 'I really had cancer'... 'I couldn't believe that 'I' had ....cancer'.  I was going to die, the end of my world had come......

When we went inside the oncology department we went to the desk where a red-headed woman worked.  She wasn't very friendly, really she had no business working in a medical office with the attitude she had.  As sick as I was I dreaded seeing her... worst was hearing that hateful, hateful voice of hers, seeing her unkind eyes.

At that time we had the best of insurance, we were so thankful.  I say that because since .... we learned how it felt to 'not' have medical insurance... how bad one feels when walking in those shoes.

We had just sat down when that red-headed woman called me back up to the desk.  Everyone could hear everything she said... I heard her talking to other patients in that hateful voice she had.  If I had been well... I would have taken up for some of the very sick people she 'talked down to'.

It seemed it was my time to be talked 'down' to.  She asked me for my co-payment of twenty dollars, our insurance would pay for the rest.  When she asked me for it prior to seeing my oncologist... she said the reason for it was because 'the cancer patients seemed to forget they are supposed to pay a co-payment and would try to leave without paying'.

When that red-headed woman said that... she caused me to experience another shock.  I stood so still while looking at her... I was so sick, I'd just learned I had cancer.... and this mean woman was saying that 'the cancer patients'.......................  'the cancer patients'........... 'the cancer patients'..............

My mind was trying to cope with being called that... at that time I couldn't.  Skip gave her the money and got the receipt... he walked me back to sit down.  All I could hear in my mind was 'the cancer patients' ....meaning I was one of the 'cancer patients' that red-headed woman meant to collect money from.... because I might go out the door without paying a small co-payment.  I was very sick, I also, felt terrible anger and upset.  How she must have demeaned many very sick patients before me..... 'cancer patients'... like I'd just become.

I told the oncologist about it and how it affected me to hear the red-headed woman say that... I told her that I hadn't fully faced up to having cancer... I couldn't believe I had it.  Then... there's that mean-mouthed red-headed woman driving it home to me just as if she were nailing a nail in my coffin.  Her hateful voice, her unpleasant expression making sure 'I knew I had cancer, I was a cancer patient'.  I can't describe the grief, the pain I already felt... she only added to it.

To her... I was 'a cancer patient who might try to leave like the other ones without paying a co-payment'.  I used to work in a medical setting... there is a way to ask for money without hurting or demeaning patients.  Also, one speaks to patients in a kind voice, their eyes are kind when a patient looks at them.  When speaking to a patient one doesn't have to 'broadcast' their illness, their business to everyone in the room... I always spoke softly.

That was when I wasn't a cancer patient trying to sneak out before paying a co-payment... that's what that red-headed, mean-mouthed woman really meant.  I wonder if what she said ever 'come back around to her'?

Monday, June 25, 2012




The lightening was furious, the wind was whipping the trees, rain was blinding us as we drove along on the interstate.  We were looking for the campground we wanted to stay at for several days in Tennessee.

It was getting late, we wanted to have our travel trailer parked.  We wanted to be in it.  We were so tired from driving many hours, the storm made it worst.

We reached our destination, Skip jumped out to set up the travel trailer.  I helped by holding the umbrella over him... we both still got drenched.  The storm was really bad.

That night we slept sound for a few hours until we heard the loud crack of lightening close by.  We jumped up alarmed... I got up to look out the windows never expecting to see anything but, rain.

Oh my God!  Skip!  I began panicking, Skip got up quickly as he realized something was wrong.  I pointed out the window.

It was flooding where we were at... picnic tables were floating in the water!  Water had gotten up to the top of some of the little buildings in the park.... water.... was almost to our travel trailer!

Skip went into action, he got dressed.  I grabbed the umbrella, followed him outside.  The wind, rain was still whipping making ripples in the water that would soon engulf us if we didn't get out of there!  No one warned us!

The lightening was so violent, sharp as it felt at any moment we'd be struck by it.  I was very afraid for Skip as he began unhooking the hoses, then....connecting the travel trailer back to our truck.

Finally, we were inside the truck ready to go .... the water was touching our tires by that time.  Skip drove easy through the water and by the time we got out of that park, I was weak from relief... pure relief.

I couldn't believe my eyes ... it was surreal... trashcans, and picnic tables were floating on top of the water..  If we hadn't been woke up by the sharp lightening.... our travel trailer, truck would have floated along with everything else.  No one came to warn us!

Sunday, June 24, 2012




I was thinking about when happy things happen, you want to be able to share those special moments.

Do you know how it would feel 'if there wasn't anyone to share them with'?  The happy things would still be nice for you... but, if there's no one share them with, it feels very sad.

I think that in my life when happy things occur, it means alot to share them with someone... especially when there's something to give to them.  I love to share, my reward is to see a big smile and happy eyes looking back at me.  I am like that when someone shares with me... for a moment I really do 'feel special'.  I bet you feel like this, too!

Actually... I get very shy when someone gives something to me... I don't know what to say except for 'thank-you'...' it means so much'... when all the time I am thinking.... 'wow, this means so much more than you know', or 'isn't that special'?  or 'how about that'.

I'm the giver, not the taker as you can tell.  So, when something is given to me... it really is ... amazing!  :)))  I 'see how it feels'... it's a 'warm, happy, good feeling of being special just for a few moments'.  I love that feeling, I wish I were rich enough to spread it all over the world.  :)))

Suppose there wasn't anyone to do for, or give things to?  Suppose there wasn't anyone to share when something special happens in your life?  Just suppose you were all alone in this big old world... who would you share your life with, talk to, give things to.... share your sad things with as well as happy things?

Once in my life for a time I was the loneliest person in this world, though people were all around me.  I knew no one to share something very happy that happened in my life... not no one where I was.  I remember having to keep it to myself.

I remember walking around in my home looking at how nice it was, how all was in place.  I looked at my clothes, my car... so nice.  I looked in the mirror and saw a nice person.  I was all alone... I had no one to share the happy thing that'd just happened in my life... it was such a strange feeling of............. 'happy-sad'.

I remember looking out the windows at the beautiful trees, green-green leaves, the flowers, the sunshine.. watching them as they swayed gently back and forwards in the soft, warm breeze.  I remember thinking:  I'm so thankful I have somebody in my life, I'm so thankful for Skip and Tommy, and our Pups...they mean the world to me.

For a short time I was all alone, Skip and Tommy were in other states.  For a short time I 'pretended' I had no one so, I could see how it felt.  I was so sad... for a short time 'I walked in those shoes' to feel, to 'see' how it felt.

I realized how thankful I was for my loved ones, they meant the world to me.  'Now' ...I'm so thankful for Skip and our Pups.... I'm so thankful for having known my son, Tommy.  I'm so sad that he is gone for I was so thankful for him always being 'there'.  I miss you, Son.  You 'Ole Mom' loved you with her heart.

Skip, Kissy, Sweet Chadwick... you mean the whole world to me.  I'm so glad I can share happy things with you!  :)))  I do have have someone to share happy things with.

Friday, June 22, 2012




Soapy suds, white bubbly bubbles!  The scent that comes from the suds are magic... they can transport me in time!  This always comes to my mind when I use Dial soap... truthfully, it's rare that I do.  I used Dial soap this morning in my wonderful shower!

When I use Dial soap it is to remember... I prefer my bars of perfumed soap.  Skip bought a package of Dial soap and gave me several bars... now, I can go back into time to remember these things whenever I want to.

The warm water from the shower ran over me as I stood there mesmerized by the bubbles, little ones... big ones.  Wonderful soapy bubbles that smell so.... so familiar.

Dial soap bubbles... I close my eyes, hold the bath cloth close to my face... my bath cloth is as sudsy as a bath cloth can possibly be.  As the water from the shower flows over me, I am taken instantly back into time while smelling the bath cloth.  I smile as I go back............

Little children who were innocent of their little naked bodies were running around, squealing with delight.  Some were in the old-fashioned porcelain bathtub that was filled with lots of warm, soapy water.  The bathroom was very spacious, everything was white, sparkling clean... I loved that bathroom.

The children bathing in the bathtub were all lathered up, smelling of wonderful Dial soap.  Bubbles were everywhere... it smelled wonderful.  I was on the outside looking in.... I was the extra child who lived in the house next door at Grandma Alma and George's.

I had come to play, only all the kids (there were six children) were bathing.  They were going to go somewhere!  Their mama and daddy were going to take them in the car ... take them to the drive-in movie.  There was no mama and daddy to take me anywhere.  Grandma Alma couldn't go anywhere, she couldn't walk.... George was blind.

I felt a sick feeling in my stomach... I wanted to go so badly.  I was afraid to ask... someone might 'get that expression' that meant they wished I hadn't asked.

Sometimes though, I'd get lucky... when everyone was in the car driving out of the driveway.... they'd happened to see me standing there watching them... a little girl whom everyone looked through... looked past most of the time.  I was a 'thrown-away' child... Grandma Alma and George's house was the 'catch-all' for the kids who weren't wanted.

'Come on, Faye, you can go'!  Sometimes, someone would call to me to come on, and I would feel instantly excited, happy.  I could go and play on the playground, watch the movie while outdoors at the same time!  I might could get a wonderful hotdog, french fries, and a wonderful cold, icy drink!

Looking back, I must have looked a pitiful sight... a little, unkempt girl no one wanted... who always was in the way.

I never got such at Grandma Alma and George's.  If they could have afforded it, they would have gotten that for me I'm sure.  Grandma Alma and George were poor... I was poor.

Looking back to 'then'... I smile inside thinking to how my heart would break seeing a little child on the outside of everything... how I would want to do things to make he/she happier.  Life is already very hard for a child like that.  I look back to 'then'... I can 'see now' that once in a while they .... felt sorry for me... once in a while.

I close my eyes, I see a big, airy bathroom full of laughing, squealing children running to get into the warm, sudsy water.  Each child was taking turns lathering the bar of Dial soap... the scent was 'everywhere'...  clean, happy, wonderful.  I could see that warm water full of ... beautiful bubbles.

I loved bubbles, I used to get bubble baths, get to play in the bathtub... but, not anymore... George and Grandma Alma's bathtub held only very cold water... I was too little to know how to make it warm.

Life was so different at Grandma Alma's, it was so hard.  This was a life I didn't know ... I was just thrusted into that life with no warning, no anything.  I had to learn survival skills...  learn them, I did.  I have the scars inside to prove it... no one can see them... I promise you they are there.  I feel them to this day... I never forgot.

Dial soap makes me think about 'happy as well as sad'.  Truthfully... I don't remember a happy time without ... a sad time to go along with it.  'Happy/sad'.... it seemed always that 'I had to pay for a happy time by something sad happening'.... Strange, but.... true.

It was like when I described to you all.... the time I wanted to go on a trip to see my mother.... I was told I had to wash the car in freezing cold weather by hand if I wanted to go.

I wanted to see my mama bad enough that while everyone sat inside in the warmth, I washed that car.  I was just a young girl, newly married, two hundred miles away from everything I knew.

As I think about the happy scent of Dial soap... I mentally 'push away' the 'sad'... so, that I can focus on just the 'happy'.

I loved that sound of my little cousins running, squealing with happiness, getting their baths in that big, airy bathroom.  Seeing them getting in and out of the porcelain tub to get their bath, to get a towel to dry off.

I loved that wonderful scent that wafted through the whole house from many bath cloths being soaped up to bathe many little children!  I take a deep breathe now, with my eyes closed.... I 'pure love that smell'!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012




Mama.... my mama.  My mother's smile was beautiful, especially when she bestowed it on... me.  In my mind's eye, I can see the light in her beautiful blue eyes, the way they lit up when she used to see me.  Her smile made me feel that she was always glad to see me.  I miss my mama.

I chose to live in North Carolina to be close to her, my family.  I loved my mom very much.  I loved my brothers, my mother's husband very much.  They were good to me.  When I needed them, they took me into their home to live.  I felt safe, protected.  I was a very young woman at that time.

I miss the 'family' I knew at that time.  They are all gone now.  Some have died, others drifted away.  The strange thing is that only a very few miles separate us... it doesn't matter, it could just as well be a 'million' miles.  I've learned to deal with that... I no longer reach out to anyone.  I love them, I understand.  Life goes on.

My mother's husband treated me very good, I came to know him as my father.  He was the only father I ever knew, ever.... loved.  He was real, he never mistreated me, he would tell me I was his daughter.  He would always 'be there'....

My mother's husband forgot that when my mother died.  He no longer wanted me to be around.  When we'd take him things to make him happy, things to eat, to wear... after mom died... he began to act differently toward us.  He was seeing women... now, it was time for us to move on.  He was no longer ...'my father'... he forgot what he said all those years  when I knew him as 'father'.

It's been a very long time since I've seen him.  I saw him once meeting him in a doorway of a store.... I held that door open for him, all the while smiling at him... I was happy to see him, until..................

'Thank-you, ma'am, I appreciate it', he said.  His eyes didn't recognize me... he'd forgotten.  I used to be his daughter whom he was proud of, he loved.  I never forgot how much I loved him.  Now, he has become much older and more fragile.  I heard sometime ago, he couldn't understand 'why, Faye didn't come to see him now'.

He has forgotten so many things.  Life is sad... it's more sad as a person 'becomes old'.... they begin to be childlike, innocent, they forgot they hurt someone a long time ago.  Someone who depended on them being in her life ... forever.  She trusted he'd be her father... always.  He forgot.





I'm more concerned about her than you at the present.  I could hear her though, my eyes were in another world seeing the worst grief, pain... that was mine... I couldn't see her.

Skip wanted me by his side constantly after Tommy's death.  Just after Tommy died... Skip kept a doctor's appointment, he took me along.  I say 'took me along'... when I look back... that's what he did... 'took me along'.  I was light as a leaf, floated to where I was moved................ I 'floated' to the doctor's appointment with him.

How I knew to sit down, or to walk, or to do anything... I must have done it all from... lifelong habit.  I didn't think of how to do anything... I was like a white wall... I was ..blank.

His doctor talked to me... I couldn't talk alot, my son had just died several days ago.  I was on medicine ... it was more powerful than I... Skip said he had to listen, watch to see if I was breathing when I slept.  He was afraid for me.  I was afraid of.... nothing... I was 'nothing'.......

I was walking in 'darkness'... if one could see my colors 'then'..... they were the blackest of black color.  There were no happy colors in that world, none at all.   When my mind tried to come back to the real world, it quickly went back to this world for comfort, for being able to hide in it ...hide from facing the knowledge ... 'Gloria, your baby, your only child.... your son is.... DEAD'.

As I write this very moment, I feel the cold chill of ... death.  I feel such grief wanting to rip itself from my chest... it's been two years now.... that grief is still there.  I feel sometimes that I could scream.... and never stop.......... T0M-MMMMY!  PLEASE COME BACK!  PLEASE COME BACK!  PLEASE-EEEEE..................

I always have to push, tuck the pain in just as a mother gently tucks a child in bed.... just as I remember my mama tucking me in bed at night as a little girl.  She would pull the blankets up to my ears... to make sure I was warm, cosy.  Mama, how I miss you, how I loved you.

I am crying now... again.  I'm so thankful for computers... one can write at their worst... the world no wiser.  Damn... damn... damn... yes, I am saying that word ... again.  Damn!  I am feeling anger for a moment... I'm really, really mad... I don't have my son anymore... and it hurts........... damn bad!  It hurts just so bad.  My own mind hurts me when it tells 'me'..... 'Gloria, your son is... dead, face it'!

You can't imagine the pain .... two years later... it's really still 'there'.  What is so strange, is... when I was at Skip's appointment... I did hear her say ... 'she'll be alright in two weeks'....... I couldn't see her but, I heard that doctor say in two weeks I would get over this... be alright.  Is there wrong with me... because it's been.... two YEARS... I didn't get alright in two weeks.

Oh yes, I can go through everyday being 'normal', fool everyone into thinking everything is just lovely, now... but, there's no denying the pain that lives inside my 'self.... mind.... heart'...... it's there, still 'new'.... even after two years.

People just seem to think after 'this long' ... a mother should be completely recovered... until it is 'them'.  I would laugh at 'them' if I hadn't experienced what I have, know how it feels.... all I can say is to be careful what you say.... it 'does come back to you'......... 'please be careful what you say... it really does come back to you'.  I've seen it since in these two years... I 'see your grief'... you've forgotten your words about mine, now.

It was Skip's appointment, yet... the doctor wanted to talk to me.  She wanted to find out all the details of what happened to my son.  I'm sure she couldn't wait to tell members of her staff all the details of the young man collapsing, dying on the beach while she was there on vacation.  Why... she had all the details now... 'from the horse's mouth'.  She took advantage of the situation for her own benefit.... the next time I was with Skip, she hardly remembered 'me'......................................

She.... and her family.... were at Myrtle Beach at the hotel next to where my son and his family had come to stay for a week.  She heard about what was happening on the beach.  'Now'... she actually was speaking with 'that person's' .... mother, his parents.

I vaguely remember trying to smile, but, I cried in front of her.  I tried not to cry in front of her... nor cry in front of anyone.  It is my way... 'Gloria's way'... don't cry in front of anyone... they misinterpret it as... weakness.

I was at my most weakest, it was the weakest I've ever been ... even when dying from cancer... at least I had a chance of 'coming back'.  Tommy couldn't come back, no matter what... Tommy couldn't come back!

The medicine took over for me.  I wasn't afraid, I wasn't.... anything.  I didn't feel... anything.  Thank-God.  When I tried not to take it... I couldn't cope with even a minute once I became aware of 'why' I was taking it.  I ran back to it just as a frightened child would run to its mother for comfort, protection.

I realize today 'looking back'... when on that medicine and not protected... a person is at the mercy of 'the world'.  You would give everything you had away without thought, you are most agreeable to everything.  Why... one can even smile at other people to keep from being impolite.... while your child lays dead in 'a box' close to you.  That's how powerful that medicine was.

For a moment... I allow myself to 'see to the right of me in that funeral home'.......... I see white light off to my right... I 'sort of see' Tommy's face, his hands together, lying there..... in that light... he's in that 'box' as Taban called it (it became 'box' once I heard him say that).  I hear myself whisper very softly... that's my baby, my child, my son... my head hurts..... I become 'white'... blank.. nothing... I'm going back to my cocoon of darkness.

I drifted all around that room, the whole while I could 'see to the right of me'... that 'box' that held my son.  'That Box'... held my son... for all those people to walk by, stare down at him, comment on 'how he looked'... how his neck looked swollen, how........................................................................ while.... while they were laughing, talking, visiting with each other.

It was like at a party?  My grandson wanted his daddy... he tried to climb up on the box to his daddy; my granddaughter was with her mother... I never heard her say 'daddy'.

I don't remember, I can't remember... strangers coming up to me, smiling at me, shaking my hand, telling me how they liked Tommy, telling me things that I can't... remember.

Deep breaths, I am having to take deep breaths as I remember, I can't breathe, my chest hurts alot.  I'm on the brink of crying, not being able to stop.  I have to 'let go' now... I will think about this again at a later time.

One tear just rolled down my cheek, I feel it as it does.  It's cold, sort of tickles my skin... not to make me laugh.  It's one of the many tears that are 'forever in me'... that is falling.  I just wiped it away.  My day has to go on now... it's almost time to put 'that happy face' on... smile at everyone so, that I don't affect their day in a negative way.  It also, makes me feel better.

I can't even remember the name of that medicine now.  I took it for several months, I slept in that world of deep darkness... I wonder if that's how we as unborn babies feel before we are... born.  'Nothing'... feel nothing.

Yesterday, I remembered some things I wished I hadn't remembered.  These things triggered emotions I am feeling this morning.  I feel at this very moment ... pure, white-hot grief, anger.  I, also, feel bad for 'feeling this way'... because no matter what I feel, do, say, think..... Tommy's not coming back.

I have to go forward... and be positive if I want to live out my life in a 'good' way.  I choose to do exactly this.  I have tried over and over to 'tell myself this'.... but, still at times... this happens.

Yesterday, one memory that surfaced to my mind... I voiced it to Skip... was of my fingers touching my son's head... sometimes, my fingers 'feel the scar, the stitches on his head'... I'm feeling that sensation of my fingers touching his head ...again.  It hurts me so bad.

I  rub my fingers on my other hand back and forth gently just to feel the smoothness of my skin... trying to make the memory of feeling the 'hard puckering of skin' between the stitches' on his head.... go away.  It tears at the inside of me, ripping pain that I can't describe.  I have to stop for now... I have to quit thinking of this... and 'for now' ... become like a white wall.... become 'blank'.........

Monday, June 18, 2012


Colors In My Life...: I'M SORRY, SKIP... I DID SOMETHING AWFUL: I'M SO SORRY, SKIP...  I DID SOMETHING AWFUL BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/ aka GRANNY GEE I've had you on my mind alot lately.  I've ...




I've had you on my mind alot lately.  I've wished for recent photos of you.  I've wanted to see you, to know you.  It's too late now... the bond has been broken.  I wish to see my grandson, my granddaughter... I don't feel good about ever asking to ... again.

Since your daddy has died I don't get photos of you anymore.  I wonder 'why' through the years I never got photos of my granddaughter.  I, at least got photos of my grandson when his daddy was living.  It helped to make up for never getting photos of my granddaughter.  

I shouldn't have to ask for photos of my grandchildren.  Normal people just simply send them if they don't go visit a grandparent.  That's never happened... now, it's too late.  Yesterday... I faced a very real fact in my life now.... it was brought home to me when I did something awful... I didn't know it at the time.

Tommy wanted to make sure my grandson and I were close always.  He knew the pain in his heart missing out on his daughter growing up.  He knew the pain in my heart of never knowing her.  When he did have the chance to know her... it was too late.   

He'd lost out on the years with her, the visits he had with her... she never called him daddy.  She wouldn't have very much to do with him, she'd be standoffish... she paid more attention to Skip.  She would come to me sometimes.... she would never call me 'grandma'.  Skip was her favorite, no matter how much Tommy and I showed her we loved her.  We were glad she loved Skip... he is a good person.

Those are the two names we never heard her say.  She would call Skip, Grandpa Skip.  Children 'reflect' their parents, their wishes...... we all felt she wasn't allowed to call Tommy and I... anything.... so, she didn't call us 'anything at all'.  She called her step-dad 'daddy'....

Tommy would just smile that sweet 'Tommy' smile and act like he never noticed.  He would look me, his mother.... oh God, I would see, 'feel' the pain from him.  It hurt his very soul.

Tommy always paid weekly one hundred dollars, and always had medical insurance on his daughter.  He truly loved her, he was proud of having a daughter.  No one cared what Tommy felt... he learned that by the vicious fight he had to go through to get joint custody of his child.  It was a very ugly time in his life before he died... that helped to add to all that caused his death... stress, pain, grief, sadness.

Obstacles were placed in his path... his daughter wasn't allowed to call him daddy... when we all asked her 'why'... she would put her head down and not answer.  We knew she'd been told not to call him daddy... what else could we think?  Skip and I felt sick to our stomach as we witnessed that pain in Tommy's eyes.  I would feel physically sick.  I was hurt, but... like Tommy, I would smile and 'not notice'....

When she did come to visit him after he was awarded joint custody, they would spend money they needed... to take her to places to make sure her visits were very nice, interesting, sometimes educational.  

The sad thing was that Tommy never knew that his daughter wasn't really wanted.  No one liked her at his home.  I know my granddaughter felt that... but, who would she tell?  She would go back home knowing the things said to her, how she was made to feel.  Tommy never knew.

I think resentment would accurately describe the visits... extra money was spent on her, the visits were planned to make 'her' happy.  That little girl never knew how much she was loved by her daddy, how everyone wanted her to love them.  At first.....

I remember one day sitting in my living room, everyone was there sitting around talking.  I remember the children talking openly, making unkind comments.  I looked at them thinking ...'don't you know that's my grandchild you are talking about'?  I just smiled, listened.  I didn't want to hurt their feelings.

I could see they thought she wasn't as smart as them, she didn't dress as well as them... they looked down on her.  It hurt my heart.  When I looked at my granddaughter, I saw a beautiful soul inside.  Her smile, her eyes so like my son and grandson's..... touched my heart.  This little girl was a part of me, too.

The children's mother told them that maybe they didn't want to talk about my granddaughter in front of me... she made sure they knew that I was her grandmother.  I just sat... and smiled, listened.  Children reflect their parents, they are so honest.  

I was thinking that all the photos I have of either grandchildren... I have been the one who took them.  If I tried to put a stack of photos that were 'given' to me of each child... it'd be sad.  My grandson's photos are alot more... when his daddy was living.  

In today's time ... photos are sent easily on computers.  No one even has to package anything up to mail anymore.  It doesn't cost anything.  Use a camera phone, send photos just like you do to everyone else... and there, you've done it!  

I went into Skip's study and rearranged his things as I dusted... I never thought about something I did while doing that.  I took all of his treasured photos that he had sitting around in his study... and stacked them, placed them in several piles on his desk.  I didn't put them back around .. I left them in stacks.

Skip didn't want to tell me that I'd hurt him when I did that, he would make vague hints that I'd done something that upset him.  I guess I took several days to think about what he was trying to tell me.  

I realized that something that no longer has meaning to me.... caused me to take all of his treasured photos of me, the grandchildren, Tommy, so on.... off his credenza, desk, bookcases... stack them up on his desk.  I don't think I was 'really thinking' when I did such a thing.  I have no excuse.

When the realization dawned on me of what I had done... I 'cried inside'.  I saw that my actions had affected Skip in a 'deep way'.  He's always loved his photos... I 'used to love mine'.  I took away something 'just like that'... from him... that meant the world to him.  Unknowingly....

It made me feel physically sick... when I looked into Skip's eyes and saw that I had hurt him.  I told him I was very sorry, I honestly wasn't thinking.  I told him for the first time that photos didn't mean anything to me now, since Tommy has died.  I told him that that must be 'why' I did that.  I wasn't trying to hurt him... I 'knew' he loved, treasured his photos.  I just wonder 'why' I took all of his down 'just like that'?

Yesterday... I dusted all the frames, arranged his photos back 'where they belong'.  I saw how happy that made Skip, I 'saw his eyes'... it touched my heart to my very soul.  I'm sorry I hurt you, Skip.  My pain caused more pain to you.  You never got upset at me for doing that.  As I write this, I 'feel such emotion' in my heart... I think there are tears in my eyes.  

Unknowingly... I really did do such an awful thing... I took away something that meant so much to you, things that you treasure.  I'm sorry, Skip.

Saturday, June 16, 2012






I was driving to Wake Forest when my cellphone rang.  I answered it and it was my cousin, Linda, who lives in Oregon.  She called to tell me that she'd painted me a swan.  I had admired the beautiful swan she painted not so long ago... remember?  I put it here on my blog, it was so pretty.  I love the special colors she used.

She won't be able to mail it for some time... she painted it in oils... they need plenty of time to truly dry.  I already have the special place picked out for its new home.  :)))

I'm going to make something special for Linda... I've been thinking about it for a while.  She asked me for a hint.  :)))  I told her that it had to do with 'hats'... because I knew she loved hats.  The second hint has to do with a time when we were little girls and the impression she made on me... when she drew a girl that was prettier than mine!  I was so impressed.  She's forgotten this... all through the years I never forgot it.

I wanted to share the special swan painting here.  I'm so excited about it.  Not only excited... I'm honored that she painted something 'just for me'.  I know how much time, thought goes into such... when I do artwork   for someone... that means they are special to me.  I was thinking that my cousin, Linda... might think I'm 'special'!  :)))

Linda, thank-you from my heart for painting something so special for me.  I treasure it and it hasn't arrived in North Carolina, yet.  It means the world to me.






Some years ago, I decided I wanted to grow Shiitake mushrooms.  I talked Skip into going to a workshop ... it was so interesting.  I became excited... I was going to grow Shiitake mushrooms!

There were several things I wasn't aware of.... neither was Skip!  First of all, I needed 200 'logs' cut ... each one costing a dollar apiece.  Each measured 4 feet long.  Well.... my hobby began to be 'work for Skip'!  Not only that... it began to be very expensive!  My hobby was becoming a 'business venture'!  :)))

My catalog came, I sat down and began ordering the tools I needed, the spawn, the bee's wax, little metal tags, Shiitake paper bags, and such things.  By the time I had ordered supplies, and paid for the logs... it was close to five hundred dollars!  I still wasn't finished....

Skip bought me a nice drill... to drill hundreds and hundreds of holes in each of the 200 logs!  He bought a big crockpot for melting beeswax to seal each hole after I injected mushroom spawn in each one.

At first... it was so much fun... Skip and I drilled the many holes and took the injection tools and injected spawn in each hole.  Then... I took a little sponge brush, dipped it into the melted beeswax, brushing wax over each filled hole.  The wax dried hard to form a protective coating for the spawn.

The intensive labor got to be too much... Skip had to leave on the tractor-trailer.  I called my two nephews... they both wanted to earn extra money.  They came over and helped me... they both done so much work.  They began stacking the logs for me like you would stack lincoln logs... this was so, when it came time for the mushrooms to spawn... one could pick them from the logs more easily.

It took weeks for the mushrooms to grow/spawn for the first time.  I soon, learned after a rain... to go look for Shiitake mushrooms.  It was so much fun to pick them... I put them in the special bags and gave them to friends... sometimes, they would come to pick their own Shiitake mushrooms.  I shared them, instead of selling them.  Everyone seemed so happy to get them!

Shiitake mushrooms could be dried, either whole or sliced.  Later, one could reconstitute them in water (let them sit for about twenty minutes), then... cook with them.  The Shiitake mushrooms could grow very large, enough so that one could fill both of my hands when holding it.

I loved to saute the Shiitake mushrooms with butter, onions.  They were good to eat with a grilled steak... or just by themselves.  The one thing that I didn't like was the 'wood-like stem', I cut them off.  They can be used in soups, and such.  I didn't like them.

Though I loved Shiitake mushrooms, I loved looking at the special stacks of logs, each with its metal tag on the end... they weren't my most favorite mushroom.  My favorite mushrooms are the button mushrooms.... they have to be grown inside... they can be grown in sawdust, and kept a certain temperature.

My Shiitake mushroom logs lasted for almost five years.  They produced alot of mushrooms... alot of people loved getting them.  I loved sharing them.  When we moved from that 'little mountain'... the logs were decaying into the ground... only the little metal tags with their numbers were left.  I'm glad... because ...Skip would have had to find a way to bring them all ... with us!  :)))

Friday, June 15, 2012






Just a few days ago, I was sitting in the dining room with the door open.  I was putting together pieces of art, I'd drawn, painted, cut out... I was 'building' a beautiful greeting card for my special friend, Tori.

Tori had sent me a gift bag with lots of special things in it.  She is constantly creating, making wonderful things.  She also, draws.  For a year, she and I, have been making, creating things for one another.  She is first person who has ever made things just for me.  I am so honored to have her for a friend.

Tori will be 20 years old soon.  I can't help but, to think of McKenzie, my granddaughter who will be 12 at the end of this year.  I paint and do things for Tori, just as I would have for McKenzie.  I'm sad she has to miss out on knowing her creative grandmother... someone who would have enjoyed so much doing things with her.

Skip and I speak of her often... Skip still calls her 'the baby'... he sure thinks the world of her, he laughs about the trick she pulled on him once... when she squirted him with a garden hose.  He never fails to say she was such a nice little girl.  I never forget the walk we had and I saw a beautiful little girl on the inside, as well... as the outside... whom I really liked, as well as loved.  A part of Tommy, a part of myself, my only granddaughter.

Anyway... when I'm doing things for Tori, I can't help but, to think of Taylor McKenzie, my granddaughter.

I was sitting at the dining table in that special world of 'colors, creating' when for a brief moment ... I was thrown back in time....

I 'felt Tommy'... I even saw a brief shadow for a second, it was so fast!  It was as if Tommy 'all of a sudden'.... stepped up the step to come inside silently.... just as only Tommy ever did.  He could move so quickly, so lightly..  he could 'be there in front of you... that fast'!

You would never hear him.... there he would be all of a sudden... grinning that Tommy smile... that beautiful, special Tommy smile that brings tears to my eyes as I write.

I turned my head to the left to look back to the door, for a brief moment...I fully expected for Tommy.... to actually step inside the door!  I 'felt' Tommy so strongly that it made my stomach feel sort of sick.  For a moment I was 'confused, disoriented'.... sort of like 'back in time to ....back in today's time'... that's the only way I know to describe it to you.

Just a few days ago... I saw the wispy smoke in the air in front of me as I talked to Skip... I was describing it to him.  This is in my story 'WISPY SMOKE IN THE AIR...DID TOMMY TRY TO COME BACK?'.

Twice in several days I've felt him so strongly.  I know things happen that have no explanation... I've experienced them since I was a little girl.  If it hadn't 'been me'.... I would have never believed them.  Since 'I saw, felt, experienced' them... I know they are true.

This is the second thing that has happened lately and... I wonder ..'did Tommy try to come back'?

Thursday, June 14, 2012




I walked out to the back porch to sit at the glass table.  I was talking to Skip on the phone.  I sat there enjoying feeling the breeze, seeing the sunshine.

I love to sit on the porch, I love the canvas shades with bows on them... I like to see the bows move gently as the breeze sways them back and forwards.  I love 'looking out' seeing the big, fluffy white clouds moving, shifting shapes.

It was so pleasant sitting there talking to Skip when... I sat up alittle straighter in my chair.  I was studying the air in front of me.... I saw in 'one spot' a long, wispy 'smoke'.  I couldn't understand 'why' it was only in that one spot.

I began looking around trying to see the source it was coming from.  I've been afraid of anything that looks like smoke since we lost everything in a housefire in 2004.

I was beginning to go on high alert... to find that 'smoke'.  Strangely... it 'wasn't coming from anywhere'... it stayed in that 'one spot'!

I began describing it to Skip, telling him that on 'each side of that 'smoke', at the top and bottom of it'.......... there wasn't anymore of it coming from any direction... not at all!

I've seen many strange things in my life... so, I'm accepting of things happening that have... no explanation.  I instantly thought of Tommy....

The last time I'd ever seen that 'wispy smoke' was when my Aunt Frankie sent me a big, brown envelope with some of my Grandma Alma's flowers (from her funeral) in it.

When I opened it... a 'wispy smoke' flowed 'up' from it into the air.  I looked around to see if my cousin, Jimmy.... (who'd come to visit me) was smoking a cigarette... he wasn't!

Wispy smoke in the air 'trying to take shape'.  It wasn't like the 'smoke' that filled our bedroom where my mother's ashes sat on the mantelpiece over the fireplace.  That room looked like a 'smoke-filled room with no smell'.

This 'wispy smoke' might measure approximately 3 feet in length.... it appeared to be 'slanted' in the air... sort of like how smoke comes from a cigarette, but, alittle 'thicker'.

As I was describing this strange sight to Skip ... the wispy smoke 'seemed for a moment to move around quickly'.... my mind wondered... is it going to take shape.... am I going to see Tommy?  I watched closely... I really was expecting to see.....................

I know such things are possible.  It didn't take shape to be Tommy, it stayed in the air for several minutes until... it disappeared in front of my eyes.

I sat there... looking, waiting to see if it'd reappear... it didn't.  I sat there... disappointed.  I just felt...........felt.......... sad.

A second thing happened just several days later... to make me feel strange.

My next story will be about that.... 'A SECOND THING HAPPENED TO MAKE ME FEEL STRANGE'...... (THAT WAS SO 'TOMMY'!).

Wispy smoke in the air... coming from 'nowhere... it was right there in the air in front of me'.... was it Tommy trying to come back to see me?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012




He was putting down the new plywood on the kitchen floor, to later lay tile on it.  I was excited to be getting fresh color into the kitchen, a new floor!

We stayed out of his way, and found things to do.  We never thought of 'not' trusting this guy to do things right.  His uncle highly recommended him, saying he was the best.  He recommended him so highly that.... he said 'he would replace the floor' if his nephew messed up.  We couldn't resist the deal... also, the price for him to do the job was $300.00.

I walked into the living room, called to the guy, I asked him how was it going.  He said the floor sure was 'looking sexy'!  I took it to mean that it was 'looking very good'.

Later that evening when it was finished, he told us to come look at our new ... sexy... floor.  I couldn't wait to look, I knew it was going to be beautiful!  Skip and I hurried to the kitchen to look at the floor... we stood completely still as we stared......

Oh my God!  Oh my God!  I said to the guy with shock...'what in the heck have you done'?  Skip was upset.  We couldn't believe our eyes when we looked at our 'sexy floor'!

It was 'sexy' alright!  That guy had built up in places with 2 layers of plywood, when there should have been 1 sheet to make it even all over.  The floor had high 'ridges' in it.... We were in shock... we asked why was the floor like that?

The guy told us that when it dried (the glue underneath)... it'd all be just fine... it'd be so pretty, so 'sexy'!  He asked Skip if he'd pay him right at that moment because he had to be in court the following morning.  Skip went ahead and gave him 3 one hundred dollar bills.  The guy left us with our 'sexy' floor.....

I walked on the tile later on that night, glue squished up between the tiles.  I'd been around all kinds of home construction, remodeling... I 'knew' something wasn't right.  That floor wasn't at all .... sexy!  No, not at all.  I felt anger at the guy... I just felt he did it wrong.

We got someone to come over to check it ... that guy had used 2 layers of plywood in some places.... 1 layer in others.  The man who came to check it out.... couldn't understand 'why' this was done.... also, he discovered that the glue underneath the tiles... was too thick!  He told us that he didn't think ... we had a sexy floor at all!

We never could find that guy again... we also, found out that he was a drug addict and that was probably 'why' he ruint the kitchen floor.  We ended up paying the man who checked it out for us... to make our floor  Oh... the uncle of that guy never came to see us again... nor did he try to help us have a 'sexy' floor, either.  He broke his promise.

The floor turned out beautifully that time.  Oh... the first guy had brought an old picture in a scuffed up wooden frame for us to hang in the kitchen... I don't know 'why' he did that either. When he came to make our floor 'sexy'... he said he had brought a 'sexy' picture to go in the kitchen.

 Skip and I took pleasure in throwing it away... after we broke it into pieces.  Our reasoning for our actions was..... 'it just wasn't sexy enough'!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012




We drove into the rest area, it was out in an isolated area, it was so cold.  I was dressed warmly, I still dreaded to get out of the Bronco.  We were in Colorado, the weather was freezing.  I walked to the building to go to the ladies room. I took in breaths of cold, fresh air.  I was looking forward to 'the mirrors'!

Inside I saw a piece of paper taped to the mirror.  I kept in mind that I would read it before exiting the restroom.  I wanted to 'see myself' in the mirrors, anyway!  I had a ritual that I did everytime I was around mirrors... when no one else was around!  It took my breath away thinking about it... it made me feel 'on top of the world'.

I loved mirrors... I loved looking at myself, my beautiful clothes... how I looked in them.  I had on a new pair of Acme boots, they looked beautiful with my burgundy long skirt with white lace, it came down to mid-ankle, flaring out.  I had on a starched white blouse, and a black belt. I was very tiny, very attractive.

Skip was very attractive, people always commented on how well we went together. We liked how we complemented each other.  We both dressed well, we took pride in our appearance.  We were a beautiful young couple.... we were noticed wherever we went.  It made us happy!

When I came out of the bathroom stall, I was adjusting my belt... I was looking forward to looking in the mirrors!  I felt excitement inside.  My stomach felt butterflies, the good kind... I felt myself take a deep breath... I walked to the mirrors forgetting about the paper taped on the mirror.

I walked to the end of the bathroom until I was just out of sight of the mirrors.  I did this each time so, I could do my 'special walk'... it gave me a high!  I didn't have to take anything to get a high... all I needed to do ... was to see myself in the mirror!  I was beautiful, I knew it... I loved looking at myself.

The only person who knew my little secret was Skip.  He thought I was beautiful, too!  He thought there was some narcissism there... well, maybe he thought there was alot.  He was right.  I loved myself, I always had a love affair with every mirror I saw... I loved how I looked... all in a 'good' way.

I felt the warmth in my face, as I began to walk ... I began to see myself in the mirror.  My cheeks held a lover's glow... I looked at my face for a moment, I closed my eyes.  Taking my hands I began to play with my hair... I had pretty, blonde, curly hair.  I was shaking it out, shaping it around my face.

I looked back into the mirror and smiled at... me!  I began to hold my face this way, that way... my lips began to 'purse'... then, part slowly.  My eyes held a twinkle... they sparkled, they were so happy, beautiful.  I liked seeing 'myself'.

I walked slowly down the length of the bathroom, seeing myself in every mirror on my walk down.  I moved gracefully, softly... turning my head, playing with my curly hair with my hands, all the while fluffing it.

This went on until I felt my hair was just right, my clothes were showing my body off in the best light, until...... it was time to go!  Skip was waiting for me!

Oh!  The paper taped to the mirror!  I turned and walked back and just casually looked at myself in the mirror, smiled.  I had already 'done my special walk'.  I pulled the paper gently off the mirror, leaving the tape attached to it.

I read:

Please help us, we are broke down.  We are the older couple sitting out in front in the broken down van.  We have 2 small white dogs.  If you could spare money to help us get back home, I will give you my wedding rings.  Thank-you.

I felt something pull at my heart.  Oh God, there are two older people with 2 little dogs sitting outside this bathroom... it's so, so cold.  I, then.. felt distrust.  We were always running into people who tried to scam all the time... everyone tried to hustle.   I told myself that I would just walk out and look 'over there' without appearing to do so.  If I felt good about it ...I would tell Skip.

I slid my eyes over to the white van sitting to the right of me as I walked to our Bronco.  I got inside... we could go on, I didn't have to tell Skip what I read.  I couldn't just not at least .. mention it.  I was thinking that ... I wanted to help them.

'Skip, I saw a paper taped to the mirror in the ladies' bathroom'.  Skip looked at me and replied, 'I saw a note taped to the bathroom door in the men's bathroom'.  We began discussing 'should we or should we not help the couple sitting to the right of us, in their van.

We'd always helped other people 'when we felt all was above board'.  Skip and I looked each other in the eyes and decided...... that .... we would help these people.  We could just drive away without a word, but, we found that we felt the need to help them.

Skip took his billfold out of his pocket, took a hundred dollar bill out.  He said he was going to give that to them.  I looked in my handbag... I took out my purse, got a fifty dollar bill out.  I folded it up, and closed my hand over it.

I told Skip I wanted to put that money with the hundred dollar bill when he gave it to them.  He said the hundred was from both of us.  He understood when I told him, I wanted to give... too.

As we began to get out of the Bronco, I told Skip that we didn't want that lady's wedding rings... Skip said he'd already thought of that.

We both walked to the van, the woman opened the passenger window.  Skip began talking to both of them, petting the little dogs who had climbed up on the lady's lap, to the window.

I stood back quietly to 'listen, to observe' for any sign of a scam.  I saw a flush underneath the man and woman's skin... sort of feverish.  I saw in their eyes .... pain, the need to just 'please help us get home'.  I felt their pain by listening to their voices.  I felt the need to help them.  I nudged Skip in the side... he 'knew' I wanted us to help these people.

He opened his hand and reached out to place the hundred dollar bill in the woman's hand.  It was unexpected, they had no idea we would help them.  The woman began crying... as she cried I saw her begin taking her beautiful wedding rings off her finger.

There was a wedding band, a beautiful diamond ring that any woman would like to have.  I didn't want them.  I reached my hand out, placed it on her hands to stop them ... I placed my fifty dollar bill into her hand.  The emotion at that moment was more than I can express in words... I feel it 'now' ...through all these years.  I can't bear to think about it long... it could make me cry, even now.

The man had gotten out prior to his wife taking the rings off... he had opened the side door.  He wanted to give Skip a little tv, he began taking other things of value he had out of the van, to sit on the ground for Skip.  Skip wouldn't take them.

'Please, put your rings back on your finger', I told the woman quietly.  'We don't want your wedding rings, my husband has given me beautiful rings, I don't need anymore'.  The woman couldn't believe we didn't want her rings. She kept asking... 'are you sure'?

The man handed Skip a pen, paper... 'please write your name and address here so, when we get home we can mail you the money back'.  Disbelief filled his eyes when both Skip and I told him simultaneously.... 'we don't want you to send the money back'.

We said our goodbyes, got back into our Bronco, left.  Both Skip and I were choked up inside... we felt such emotion from those people.. from seeing how much it meant for them to get that money.  We couldn't talk for some time... we rode in silence.  We both felt warm, happy inside .... giving is a wonderful feeling.

We felt good inside from giving... from giving freely without taking a thing for it.  We loved to give to people, we did often in our travels, we did it unexpectedly.... to people we saw along our way who asked us for nothing.  If we had extra... we'd give it away 'in a heartbeat' to help someone who really needed it.  

I knew that 'I loved myself' because I looked beautiful... it stemmed from being a young child when all 'was taken away from me', when I'd been used to dressing well, having baths, having someone to care for me, having good food to eat.  Not only that, I 'knew' how it felt to need help... I had a beautiful, good heart... too.  Though I was like I was... my heart was made of gold.

As a young woman, I had 'everything'... and I was so happy to 'see me look nice again, I was so happy to be beautiful at the same time'.  It sounds so vain... I was, I wasn't.  I was a very nice, good person.  Having said that... I still 'loved myself'.... when I looked in the mirrors ...'I was the fairest of them all'.

I smile when I think back to 'then'.  I've come through so many 'bad' things since then.  Things that will take 'forever' to write about, some things I won't write about.  It has changed me so much, 'inside and out'.

I can't even begin to tell all life has taught me, there aren't enough words.  I've always looked for the lessons in life, I 'knew' there was always something to be learned.  Things happen for a reason.....  I believe the more one gives, the more one cares about others..... I believe 'it all comes back full circle'.

When we give, we expect nothing back... we 'let go' when we give.  Even with so many 'bad' things in our life, there have been many good things to happen, also.  I never forget how it feels to get help unexpectedly when I've needed help in my life.  It meant the world to me... so, I know how it feels.  I saw how it made the couple in the white van feel... I 'felt' it....

'THE NEWS'...Granny Gee's Thoughts/Opinions

'THE NEWS'....  Granny Gee's Thoughts/Opinions


I am doing what we all do each morning... I am listening to the news.  So far what I have heard is... downright scary.

I watched 'disturbing video' as a man was violently pulling the door of a store open to grab the woman who desperately was trying to hold it close.  He pulled her outside, threw gas on her, set her on fire.  He was the father of her child.

What bothers me, also, is when the news comentator said that the video showing the man setting the woman on fire 'might be disturbing, some people may not want to look at it'.... is that I looked at it.

It hurt my heart, as I felt pain for the woman engulfed in flames, running.... I realized that we all must be watching such things on video that has happened through time... bad things.  We watch because 'now'... we are so used to watching things on tv.  This has become another thing we can watch because we are used to seeing such.

The photo of a young woman with a stunned, scared expression popped up on the tv screen.  The news person told why her photo was there... she stole from a patient in a nursing home.  Stealing from patients... she stole a patient's debit card and used it for several months at grocery, department stores.  Employee, someone patients trusted....

I watched as an older man walked with handcuffs... gracious, he's abused young unfortunate boys in a sexual way.  My thought is how shameful... how he looks so like a 'good' person... he got by with doing such because he looked so 'innocent'.  He worked at a college, he was important there.... he used his position.... he loved to take showers with young boys....

Police are looking for a gunman in an apartment complex, he shot a man....... another man pleaded guilty to the deaths of a young woman and a small child.... something to do with satanic acts.....

I would like to hear good news, but... here in our area... there's so much death now.  We are now overpopulated... with it brings people from every walk of life, every country and their new ways to do things, to live, their beliefs.  Life is very different here, now.

There are many shootings, deaths of young people who will never get to accomplish their dreams, to grow older, to have children.  If they were on the wrong path in life, they never had opportunity to get back on a good path to succeed in life.

We can remember being young... our minds 'then'... had no way of knowing the things we know as an older person.  God, how innocent we all were... at that time we believed we could do anything, we were invincible.  It was easy if a young person wasn't alert ... to be led onto different paths by older kids, people.

It was easy to be led to do things if a young person didn't have a sense of right and wrong.  Kids learned from those mistakes... they could 'come back from them'... back then, the mistakes young people made... weren't the 'end of the world'.

The mistakes 'today' that kids make... makes me wonder 'how in the world can a young person come back from that, have a future 'now'?  How can young people who kill... come back from that mistake to have a good life?  How can anyone come back from doing hideous things to others, animals?

In my mind, I can't see it.  They have ruined their lives, not counting what they inflicted on others.  I don't believe a person can 'come back' from doing such awful things to another person, animal.

I feel sad watching the news... I shake my head.  A refrigerator failure has caused brains not to be used now for research.  As I was writing, I had to stop.... that's what was said.  It was so out of the ordinary... as when you just read it.

I look back in time as I began to notice that each morning on the news... there has been one or more shootings... someone has died.  Death every morning... it's never stopped.   So many young people killing other young people.... their faces reflect no shame, no regret on their mug shots.  In fact, their faces reflect anger because they've been caught, arrested.

More shootings... I look up from my writing to see a lighted doorway in the darkness... deputies are walking around inside... seems there's been a multiple shooting....

Another teacher has molested, taken indecent liberties with a young student.  This has become so common now, in our news.  Teachers doing the unthinkable.  I know it's been going on since I was a young girl... I remember young girls doing things to get attention from older men, teachers.  Young guys showing off to the female teachers.

When we are young, growing up, we naturally do those things to attract mates for life, to marry, have children.  It doesn't give older people the right to take advantage because they know the 'right' things to say or do.. because 'they've been there and done that'.  Young people are vulnerable.

What is sad is when a young person is at the mercy because they are unfortunate... they don't have both parents, they don't have a good home, they are 'nobody', they live bad.... someone older comes along that knows exactly how to 'use them up'.

That doesn't give the teacher the right to cross that invisible boundary... when a teacher ... one becomes a role model, someone the whole community can look up to.  Same way with our pastors, priests........  I remember my own experiences at school, church when I say what I do.  I was a young girl once... I remember many things I saw, experienced.

Each morning when I listen to the news... I listen, form my opinions just like you see above.  I say prayers constantly for victims of 'bad' things.  My heart is touched each time I see someone, animals... who are abused, hurt, killed.  I despise injustice, unfairness... I see, hear it on the news, real life 'everyday'.

I couldn't live without the news each day.  We would be like the old days if we didn't have the news.  We wouldn't know about terrible storms in other places, tornadoes, scams, the latest trend...... we wouldn't know 'so much' if it wasn't for the news.

I am going to continue to watch the news every morning.  I want to know what's going on in our big, old world... be it good, or bad.  Every morning,,, this is how my mind thinks as I process all I hear, see on tv.  I'm constantly thinking, forming opinions...

I will just keep on listening to the news... watching as it seems to get 'worse' through time.  I think alot of what happens now is reported... when back in time... it wasn't.

I don't believe 'everything' I hear, see on the news... through the years I have seen evidence of juries convicting someone wrongly of crimes they didn't commit.  I have to use my judgement when I hear something that's happened, follow up on the stories before I believe.

Remember Susan Smith... she killed her children?  I didn't believe her the from the first moment I heard her open her mouth.  Those little boys would be grown up now...... following their dreams.  I wonder if she thinks of that?

People, cameras 'everywhere'... it didn't use to be like that.  Everything's mobile... people and cameras can be everywhere in the world... satellites....

To bring us ..... 'THE NEWS'.....