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 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.
Colors As I Go
grief (32) only child (4) Scary (2) Boiled eggs (1) Distrust (1) Don't call me Faye (1) Dying (1) I hate to be called Faye (1) I'm afraid of the dark (1) Middle age woman (1) Pain that reaches the soul.. can't be seen (1) Running (1) Where did my youth go? (1) dying in a beautiful way (1) life is fragile (1) light on my path (1) my son (1)