Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Mind Will Relax, Find Peace... Until The Next Time

My Mind Will Relax, Find Peace... Until The Next Time

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I stood there holding the dark blue jacket close to my heart.  It was Tommy's Arctic Express jacket.  I wear it every chance I get... it has to be chilly to wear it.  Knowing it is Tommy's jacket makes it feel much warmer when I wear it.

Sometimes, I close my eyes and just 'feel' my son.  I've even hugged myself, for a moment feeling like I was hugging Tommy.  I held it this evening when Skip handed it to me, I felt my heart 'squeeze'... for a moment I felt pain.

I miss Tommy.  This evening I was thinking I miss his precious smile, and the light in his eyes when they lit up.  Do you know ..... it really was like the sunshine coming out on a rainy day?  It really was.  It warmed my heart every time I ever saw his sweet smile.

I was thinking about Tommy's sense of humor.  He could make me laugh alot... the funny thing was... I could also, make him laugh alot!  I would be so happy to do that... I really did something when I did that!

I was 'hearing in my mind' Tommy's 'cowardly lion' laugh.  He would start off slowly doing that laugh, I would begin to smile.  I knew he'd have me in hysterics if he kept it up.  Keep it up, he did!  I would laugh until I would become weak.

Once Tommy called me up on the phone ... he'd disguised his voice to sound like he was Chinese.  He laughed so much later over how he 'got that over me'.  I would just smile ....

He would pretend he was calling from a Chinese restaurant, he demanded that I come pick up the Chinese food I had ordered.  I would tell him that I hadn't ordered Chinese food... he'd tell me 'oh, yes, you did!'  I would tell him to not call me back anymore, I didn't order the Chinese food!

I would hang up... he'd call back... until we began laughing so much!  He talked like himself then... he would be so happy that he'd 'fooled his mama'.

Tommy would send short videos to my computer so, I could see 'through his eyes' what he was seeing as he was driving along.  It could be falling snow... a blizzard, or a wreck, or some unusual something to share with me.

I miss all the times we talked on the phone while he was driving the big truck.  He shared so much with me.  He shared his dreams, he shared the grief he was experiencing over the accident, he shared the happy, unhappy things in his life.

One of the most unhappiest was when he couldn't see his daughter without all the obstacles placed in his path.  He wanted her to know he loved her.... the times he did get to see her... she was afraid to call him ... daddy.  I never saw my son hurt so much as I did, then.

I'm proud to say that through all the years he paid child support on his own... he paid one hundred dollars a week every week.  He never had to be told to do it... he did it.  He meant for his daughter to be taken care of.

I think there were several weeks after Tommy came home when he suffered a nervous breakdown in April 2010... that he didn't get to pay the child support he opted to pay on his own.  He couldn't work at that time, he was going through so much up to his death in May 2010.

Tommy was under financial stress on top of what he was going through mentally over the death of the man killed in the accident... the man stepped out in front of his tractor trailer on a busy bridge with three lanes of fast moving traffic.

Tommy kept seeing him in his mind... he cried so much over that man... that man he didn't ever get a chance to know while living.  That man who impacted his life so much through death.  Tommy didn't like to hurt people... he had a heart of gold.

The man's car broke down, there wasn't a 'breakdown lane'... (no room for him to pull over to the side).  The man stepped out of his car right in front of Tommy.... my son could never get this out of his mind afterwards.  We all watched Tommy that year suffer, go to pieces... die one year later in the same month.

That accident occurred May 2009... that accident began the death ... of my son, also.  Tommy went through a year of pure hell until his death in .......... May 2010......  he couldn't cope with what happened even knowing... it wasn't his fault.

The happiest I ever saw, heard him be was when he was telling me the funny antics of Taban, his little son.  Tommy would laugh so much relating things his son did.  He'd say, "mama, Taban's mean!"

He was so proud to have his own son.  He was so proud to have his daughter, though the pain he suffered when she wasn't allowed to call him 'daddy'... tore him up mentally.  The pain I remember seeing in his eyes haunt me to this day...

Tommy... I sit here tonight writing, remembering.  I am becoming aware of time gone by as I sat here... a couple of hours.  No wonder my head is hurting... I feel so stressed, uptight inside.  I feel a chill from the air-conditioning... I tremble because of it.

I will be glad to go to bed tonight, wrap myself in the bed covers tightly, lay my head on my pillows.  I will be glad to rest my mind in sleep tonight.

I am missing my son... I am thinking about Tommy but... I'm thinking about alot of things that were very painful to him while he lived... I can't forget his face ... it's in my mind tonight.  I 'hear' him softly crying, saying "mama, it hurts"....

I wanted to just think of funny, happy things.  Somehow I got side-tracked into the sad things... things that hurt him deeply... things that hurt me deeply as I watched, listened to my son when he talked, cried to his mama as his heart broke.

I couldn't make it alright for him like mamas do when their children are hurting.  I wanted to but, all I could do was ... listen.  All I could do then... was 'to be there' for him.  My son died knowing his mama loved him with her heart.  I'm so thankful... I got to tell him just that not even an hour before... he died.

"I love you, son.  I love you, Tommy.  I'm so thankful you all got there safely, now... I don't have to worry."  These are some of the last words Tommy ever heard from his mama.  Yes, he knew his mother loved him with her heart.

He was thinking of his mama, too... at his last minutes 'here'.  He was sending photos, and doing a little video of Taban as he 'slipped into the other world'.  His cellphone fell to the sand as his finger let go of the button....

I'll quit now... my head feels so strange.  I feel as if I want to cry, my chest is tight.  I feel pain behind my eyes.  Yes, I'll be glad to go to bed to ... rest my mind from my thoughts tonight.

Grief... it seems to 'stay right there'... I can cover it up with thoughts, with words... pretend I've coped with it really well... until it... comes out on its own.  When it does that... I feel the pain that reminds me... it hasn't gone anywhere.

It's still there no matter how much I pretend not to see it, not to feel it.  No matter how much I feel I've done good coping with it... it's still ...there.

No matter that I know everything is going to be alright, that I have positive thoughts, no matter that I'm so strong.... I'm bound to feel it... it's never going away.  That pain is never going away....

I sit here with a chill ... I feel that I can go to bed now, as I drift off to sleep feeling the warmth of my bedcovers... my mind will relax, find peace until... the next time.

If You Bite A Doughnut....

If You Bite A Doughnut.........

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Mmmm-mmmmmm, these doughnuts are so good!  Skip stood at the kitchen counter eating a doughnut.  He was dipping it in his coffee!

Watching Skip eat his doughnut made me want one... but, I had to wait.  You see... I did something yesterday that would 'happen this morning while Skip was eating his doughnuts'....

Skip loves doughnuts... he is the person whom doughnuts are made for.  He appreciates the very texture... he bakes so, he can tell you if they are overproofed, undercooked.

If the doughnut has a slight taste of alcohol... it's overproofed. This means that the yeast has converted to alcohol in the dough!  It isn't supposed to do that.

The oil has to be the proper temperature, not too hot or too 'cold'.  When you drop a doughnut in the oil, you watch for the rapid rise of the doughnut.  The doughnut will immediately float... that means the temperature of the oil is right.

Skip is standing there, so innocent ... so enjoying his doughnut.  Just as I turn my back.... 'it's almost time!'.......... I hear him exclaim, "this doughnut has been bitten!"  "Someone has bitten this doughnut!"

I turn around, my eyes opened wide in ...... pure amazement that 'someone would dare to bite a doughnut, put it back in the box' so, that the big 'bite' was hidden at the bottom!  I couldn't believe 'someone' would do such a thing!

"Oh, Skip!  I wonder who did that!"  I was looking Skip right in the eyes, I could see his mind working.  "Skip, did you bite that doughnut?"  I grinned at him, and said, "you really bit that doughnut, didn't you?"

Oh no, he said... he wouldn't do such a thing and put it back into the box!  He and I stood there wondering 'who' would do such a thing!

I told him that I bet some young person who was standing there at Sam's Club, where we purchased those doughnuts... bit one side off, placed the 'bite' down to the bottom of the box.  Yep!  I bet that's who 'done it'!

I just shook my head at the thought.... I told Skip that 'I just knew that was what happened'.... for a moment, I could see that he accepted that idea until...

"Oh no!  there weren't any young people there selling those boxes of doughnuts!  That man was as old as I, selling those doughnuts!"

I was so surprised by his observance, memory... that it threw me by surprise... I began laughing ...alot!  He'd caught me.... I'm the one... who 'dared to bite a doughnut, hide the 'bite' to the bottom of the box!

I ... did do ... that!!!  :)))  Yep, Granny Gee did that!  She might do it ...again!  I was thinking I did it in the 'name of answering the question'........ if you do 'an action today... does it affect someone tomorrow?'   Also... 'if you plant a seed, it goes to show it'll grow'...... or ... if you bite a doughnut... it'll be sure to be discovered sooner, or later... no matter where you put that doughnut in a box!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sweet Banana Pups!

Sweet Banana Pups!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I took a bag from the freezer, opened it to take out frozen pieces of banana.  I love to freeze bananas... did you know you can make ice cream, or a smoothie from them?  I learned that sometime ago, reading on the computer.

There isn't a certain way you 'have to do' when using frozen bananas.  Sometimes, I put the frozen pieces of banana into the blender, add a little crushed ice, and blend.  It makes good banana ice cream... the texture is wonderful... you can add a little cream, or milk to make it creamier.

Sometimes, I put the frozen banana into the blender, put just cream in with it, blend.  It's so smooth, and creamy.  You can add peanut butter, peanuts, just whatever you like.  I don't usually add anything.

One can make banana bread later with the bananas that has been frozen.  This is what Skip does.  He can puree it, add his other ingredients to it... bake.

I blended the frozen banana pieces with a little crushed ice, cream (like Half and Half we use for coffee).  The texture was just right.

I walked out on the porch to sit on the cushions that cover the built-in bench at one end.   I was going to sit there and enjoy my banana ice cream.  It taste so good that it's hard to believe you have a dessert that isn't chock full of calories.

I sat there enjoying the sunshine, looking off in the distance at the little fish pond.  I was thinking about Lena, whom I had written about this morning.  Today is her birthday.  Lena died last August, 2011.

I ate part of the banana ice cream.  I felt something bump my elbow, looked down.  Kissy, our Rottie, was standing there... he wanted some banana ice cream!  Chadwick walked up (our special mixed pup)... he wanted some, too!

I sat there in the sunshine on those brightly colored pillows, and fed those Pups banana ice cream.  I love watching their 'baby mouths' as they each took turns to get their spoonful of banana ice cream.   They closed their eyes when they ate it... how precious!  Life is good!

My heart melted as I watched our Pups enjoy that ice cream... Banana Pups, that's what they are!  I watch their little-big faces, their expressions of pure trust, innocence... spoilness!  Their little-big baby mouths making sounds like a baby eating... it melts my heart every time!  My heart swells with such love.

Oh, how I love our Banana Pups!  Those sweet banana pups!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Granny Gee's Going To The Fair!

Granny Gee's Going To The Fair!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

This evening we had occasion to be close to a county fair.  We got out of the pickup to go inside a store, we heard screaming behind us.  We turned around to look... there was a ferris wheel going round and round!

Screams were coming from people who were seated on it.  Skip and I grinned at each other.  We stood there to watch the different rides that were in progress.

The lights... oh, the beautiful, colored lights!  You know how I love happy colors!  I felt myself being pulled toward them... I wanted to go to the happy colors.  I wanted to be part of the 'happy' there!

Skip and I decided that we may go to the county fair.  We may eat a hotdog or two!  We also, may taste our favorite things we have loved, looked forward to each year 'to get to taste'.

I look forward to eating a sausage dog... you know, the Italian sausages cooked on the grill... along side of chopped onions, bell pepper.   Just fix me one, I'll put the mustard on it!  I am looking forward to this when we go to the State Fair, too!

Skip loves the funnel cakes... oh me!  I have to sneak up on those funnel cakes!  The white, powdered sugar gives me 'cold chills'.  If I can get past that.... I can eat alittle of the funnel cake.

I would like to try a fried milky way, or some wild/crazy food that I've never tried.  Maybe a deep-fried pickle!

I love exotic, unusual foods as long as they aren't alive, or ugly, or... pure awful!  Skip... well Skip loves 'normal' foods... he loves the 'known'.  :)))  He doesn't like change... I'm the one who loves change!

I want to hear the music as we walk along the edges of the crowds of people who will be there.  I've never like to walk in the middle of a crowd anymore than sleeping in the middle of a bed... I can't take it!  As a child I felt suffocated if forced to sleep in the middle.

Skip and I will go to the county fair to get a taste of going to the State Fair.  It'll make us look forward even more to the State Fair!  I'm excited now.  I know there's something unusual, and good waiting around the corners for me there!

 I want to feel like a child again, walk and stand there, see the happiness all around me.  I want to hear the excitement of young people as they are hurrying to ride some special ride.  I want to pretend I'm on my way to do the same!  Oh my... the excitement I can feel at this very moment!

I want to read the billboards advertising the tallest horse in the world, the shortest woman in the world, the biggest alligator in the world.

I want to walk in the flower and garden section where on the wooden fences or walls ..there are special doors attached to make one 'want to walk through them into a magical world'!

Just walk up the path, beautiful yellow, red, orange flowers on either side... and 'open' the door and step into 'another world'.  These special doors 'invite one to step inside'.

Of course, we know one 'can't go through them'... they are there to create an illusion, to 'invite one' to come into the flower garden... where a magical world exists.  A place to make one relax, to take a deep breath and ... enjoy.  To get away from the crazy world, to feel peace of mind.

I love these different gardens with their different themes.  I go from one to the other to see 'which is my favorite' garden.  I look for those special things that 'speak to me', invite me to come inside the garden.  I keep those images in my mind to look at to make me feel happy... later.

There's a huge body of water close by where one can walk on the wooden walkway, then... on a winding path through the trees.  You can stand there and watch people go by laughing, talking.  See the pretty colors of clothes, shoes... people-watch.

I want to sit by the big fountain at the State Fair, feel the spray of the water on my face.  Of course, I'm going to keep 'fluffing' my hair so, that the dampness won't flatten it!  :)))  Close by, there will be a band playing fun music... I love that!

I love to go into the big tent where lots of people are dancing... clogging!  I love to watch everyone keeping in step with the other.  I love to see their colorful clothing.  I love to watch the wide skirts flaring, showing the crinoline slips underneath.  I love to watch the dancing feet, all in sync.

The county fair... the State Fair!  I'm so looking forward to getting 'lost in that magical world', be a child again.  If you go there and see someone with the biggest, happiest smile... and she looks like me, Granny Gee... you'll know I'm there!  You might say "hello, Granny Gee!"  "Hello, Gloria!"  I might... just might... share my cotton candy with you!  My blue cotton candy on a paper cone!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Systervan... Lena In Sweden

Happy Birthday To My Systervan... Lena In Sweden

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I've had Lena on my mind alot lately... today is Lena's birthday.  I want to remember her birthday ... she was my systervan in Sweden.  I am remembering her also, at my blog on

I received an email from someone close to Lena, this morning.  She was also, remembering Lena.  She lives in Sweden, she is part of Lena's family.  I was honored to be remembered by her on Lena's birthday.

Everyone who knew Lena in Sweden... knew about 'Gloria in the USA'... knew about us, how we knew each other's life so well... to have never met.  Everyone who knew Gloria in the USA, also... knew about 'Lena in Sweden'.

We wrote everyday, always... numerous times a day.  We sent packages, photos to each other.  Lena called me... we laughed so hard at our accents, We would press our ears so tightly to the phone to try to understand what we were saying.  It was wonderful.

For twelve years... Lena was a part of my very world... just as Tommy, Skip and our Pups were.  I am crying inside at this moment missing her... it still hurts me very much that she is gone.

Lena is 'why' I'm writing, 'why' I'm finding that I can't stop writing now.  In a sense I 'write to Lena'.... just as I wrote to her everyday as we corresponded with each other on our computers... emailing, chatting.  I couldn't stop writing when Lena died.

Grief for Tommy... then, Lena's death... is the drive behind my writing.  It's the 'gas in the car' that makes it ... go.  I write to remember them, I write for my grandchildren, Taban and McKenzie.  Taban and McKenzie are all I have left of 'my' family... they won't know me as they grow up.

One day, they will be able to read my words... they will know their father existed, so did their Granny Gee.  They'll know they were loved very much all through time.  Life took us all on separate paths that none of us have control of....

Lena died in August 2011, months after Tommy died.  These two special people were my life just as Skip and I, our Pups, Ms Nancy... are our life now.  They meant the world to me.  My son, my systervan... Lena.

When Tommy, Lena ... died, my world became smaller.  I truly treasure my special people who are here now.  I just wrote about being afraid ... worrying that something could happen.

I know all the things we are told about 'not fearing death'... not doing this, not doing that.  Sometimes, I have to work harder at things... because so much has happened in my life.  I've known those things too often... so, it stands to reason 'why' I worry.  Sometimes it's easy for people to say things such as 'don't be afraid of dying', such things... when they've never had alot of death in their life.  

It's like someone telling you this... when your son has just died... 'he's in a better place'.... or 'I know how you feel'.... when they've never lost a child, much less someone truly close to them.  I have no comment for people who do that.... I just look at them... I do think this ... 'you might change your tune 'if' it happens to you'... 'Guess what?  Your child could die just as easily as my child did'.

You wouldn't appreciate those things said to you 'if' that happened.  Always 'know this'... when you approach a grieving mother... at that moment she is in ...another world seemingly unaware of you, what you are saying.... 'things you say do and can make an impression on her.  She 'will remember you' for what you said, did during the time you are in her presence.  I do remember... I don't forget.

Lena.... I can't believe you aren't there anymore.  You were so much a part of my 'everyday' for twelve years.  Your memory is still a part of my 'everyday' world, just as Tommy is.

As my fingers type millions of words until the day I die... I will remember you, Lena.  My hands write now, because in a sense I'm still writing to you each day... to tell the colors/stories of my life.

I hope to one day have a published book... it will be dedicated to you, Lena... to Tommy who are my drive to keep writing.  If I don't publish a both are still my drive to write.  I won't ever forget you... you meant the world to me.

Happy Birthday, Lena.  I love you, my systervan.  I love you, my sister-friend.  You meant the very world to me.

Love din systervan, Gloria

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Feel Afraid Sometimes... I Fear Death

I Feel Afraid Sometimes... I Fear Death

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Sometimes.... I become afraid.  I began worrying about... death.  I've never worried so much in my life as I have in the past ten years about death.

Everyone I've loved in my lifetime...have died.  There are only a few people left in my family that I love dearly... but, in real life... we don't even acknowledge each other.  That's all right... I understand 'why'.  'It's in our genes... we can't help it... when we try to love the other... it can't be 'forever'.  We can't help it... it's all we knew to do... we grew up that way.

The strange thing is that each time someone I've loved... died... it hurt me  deeply. No matter that I wasn't close to them, ever saw them... my memories of them were 'back when we were close at one time or other'... I remember that love...  love I felt for them 'when I knew them'.

In my 'family'... nothing is ever permanent.  We can feel the greatest love only for a short time for the other... and like a candle... 'the wind blows it out'.  Once gone... the 'candle can never be lit again'... that special love once felt is... forever gone.  Hate, disgust, anger, dislike ... takes its place.

Sometimes, worse than that.... no emotions takes its place... it's like that person doesn't exist anymore.  Who cares?  We grew up like that... it no longer matter.  Isn't that awful?

Life is like that in ... my 'family'.  If someone dies, no one cares... I have heard some say, "I'm glad they are dead, they can't bother no one else with their s___!"  "The world is better off without them in it."   What they really mean is they are glad, they are better off because that person can't torment them anymore.

How did I get born into my 'family'?  I'm different... I really love each and every one... even when they have hurt me, done wrong to me, said mean things about me, or don't like me.  God... 'why did I have a heart that loves?'  'Why' do 'I' have to feel emotions ... 'why' can't I be like 'them'?

I never forget that special love, caring I once felt... that's 'why' I hurt.  I'm not like the rest ... I always love, forgive, go on.  I never forget... though once my trust is broken... the trust is 'forever gone'... but, not the love in my heart.  If I could take all that love out of my my heart... I would never feel pain.  I can't... so, there is so much pain in my heart.  I don't forget, I don't quit loving... I do quit trusting, I keep my distance.

I am better at 'loving from a distance'... I have to do it in 'my way'.  Only a few people can understand this about me.  Once they did, they respected how I feel... they can see there is no pressure on the other to 'prove love'... such as 'if you do this, that... it'll show me that you love me'.  I grew up with this... if you don't do it... then, that's the end of the relationship.

I'll never forget one of my cousins whom I loved as a brother, hurt me deeply only months before he died.  Some say he committed suicide... one day he called me up to ask me to do something for him.  This is someone I have only seen a couple of times since I was a child... asking me to do something I felt I couldn't, wouldn't do.  I didn't know 'him' anymore, I didn't want to get involved.

When I said 'no, I really don't want to do that'... he became very irate with me.  He began trying to 'make me feel like I had to'.  I took a stand, I held my ground... 'no, I won't do it'.  He slammed the phone down, I never got to speak to him again.

He couldn't understand that after all these years of growing up... we weren't little children again who would 'do anything to keep the love of the other one'... get into trouble if necessary.

I didn't know him well enough as an adult to do what he asked... I wouldn't get in trouble as an adult 'if necessary'... to keep him loving me, to be my friend.

I did get to see him on one occasion just weeks before he .... died.  I was sitting in the Walmart parking lot when I saw someone walking close by.  I was thinking there was something familiar about this person.  It was him.

I turned my head, felt a sadness beyond words in my heart... watched him walk toward his vehicle.  He never saw me.  I sat there with a sad smile on my face thinking... 'I'm so sorry you hate me now, I'm so sorry you had to get mad at me'.  'I just couldn't do as you asked me'.  At that moment... my heart felt such pain... I really loved him.

We were born a few weeks apart as babies... he was born in January, I was born in February, we shared the same baby bed... we were told how we would fight then... and a partition was put between us to prevent fighting.  Once I sat on him and he bit me on my behind... I remember the laughs when that was told as we were growing up.  I really... loved him.

I never saw him again... I remember the shock when I was told that he committed suicide, and how everyone was saying they didn't believe he did that... and went on to elaborate on 'why, who, what'.  I really loved him, I felt such sorrow in my heart.

I have been worried about Skip.  He is my whole world, my most special person in this whole world.  He truly is the one person left in ... my world.  Without him... I would be completely alone.  He and our Pups... are 'why' I am still... here.  When my child died... I almost died, literally.

Skip and our Pups... pulled me back.... like how you would see someone continually pulling a rope that's connected on a rowboat, pulling me back to shore... the boat being lost out to sea tossing, turning.  They held on.... they didn't 'let go' of me... if they had... I wouldn't be here writing now.

Skip and our Pups used all their strength to keep me from 'going on to just overturn, drown in that sea of grief'... because surely I would have.  My child died... a very real part of me ... died.  I don't have my child anymore.  I didn't care anymore... I didn't think any farther than ... Tommy is dead... my child is really ...dead.  He's gone forever.

Just sitting here at this very moment... I realize how sobering, how serious, how 'more than my words can possibly say'... how painful, how awful this is.  My only real 'blood' family is ... gone.  The 'one family member whom I totally trusted for once in my very life with my love'... is gone.

Tommy, you are gone... it hurts me so much.  Sometimes, the thin veil that's hiding my grief... falls off... the deepest pain stabs me in my very heart.  For a moment .. this moment... it just slipped off.  As tears are falling, I am pulling the veil back into place... I have to hide it.

There's no one else left in my family... no bonds, no special ties to another family the end.  All were broken many years ago... I feel sad but, understand the 'whys'.  In my whole life, I've learned... 'life is like that'... get up, pick up the pieces and trudge on.  Try not to look back... try not to feel that pain... it really does hurt too bad.

Truthfully, there are a few family members that I do feel a connection to... but, I keep my distance so, as not lose that.  I can 'love at a distance', treasure a relationship only.... at a distance.  To not feel anymore pain ... I can't bear more pain of loving others whom I know 'could stop loving at any moment' as our 'family history' has shown through time.  They could even.... die.

Even as I write this... I know death is a very real part of our reality.  I know that it's a part of... living.  I know we are born, we live... we die.  It's life.  No matter that I don't like that, fear that... death is inevitable.  You, I ... they, them, anyone.... can't change that fact.  We all are going to ... die.  Our children are going to die, their children are... going to die.  We can't change that ...fact of life.  Life, death is... like that.  You can't have one without the other.

The good thing here is... living 'before' dying.  This is where we meet the special children that are born to us.  Know the special family members in our life.  This is where our special memories come from... from these people who have died before us... this is what makes us smile, even feel happy from thinking about them.  If they hadn't lived... there'd be no memory of them to think about.

How sad when people forget about people who have lived a very real life... just like we are doing now.  How sad that it all will have been for nothing if no one can remember you... were here at one time on this earth.

That's why I'm writing... everyone I write about 'has been here'... they really lived.  My child lived, he was walking, talking, breathing just like your son is... he was... real.  They all died... my son died.... yours could, too.  I'm not the only mother who has lost their son, their child.  But... I am the only mother who can ever feel pain from losing 'this son'... this child named..Tommy.

Death...  yes, it worries me.  I worry for the very few people I truly love in this world.  Skip and I both are alone... no family left that are close.  We don't have a 'family support' system.  Thankfully, we do have... friends who care.

Family support system... do you know how fortunate you are when you have family members who are there when you cry, you face surgery, you are going through bad times in your life?  I don't know how that feels, nor is it possible to ever feel it in my older years... it can't be any other way.

It can't be any other way... it took so many years to grow up to accept... nothing is permanent in my ........ family.  There isn't a support system there, never has been, never will be like other families.  I've never seen any sign of one in all my years.

I've paid close attention, listened... watched through all the years as this has fascinated me.  It's just the way it is... no more, no less.  It may seem 'bad' to others who've been fortunate enough to know real love, have real family.  You see... since I've never known it... I don't miss it now..... and if I had it now... I would... not trust it.  It's always been since growing up that 'we can be friends ...just for the moment'.  'I will like you today... but, not tomorrow'.  'What are you going to give me... to like you... for now?'

Death.... when Tommy died... that was the ultimate for me.  God.. I lost my only child... Tommy.  Tommy died... Tommy, whom I had the one permanent bond with.  I lost the only one person in my life whom loved me right back... just as much as I loved him.... and oh my goodness... he was my family, a very real part of me!

It was taken away... the only real family I've ever known.  We were always there for the other... and Skip, Tommy and I were ...real family... the most 'real family' I've ever known.  We 'were there for the other' no matter what, through thick or thin.  We 'knew' we loved each other, trusted each other... and when we had no one else... we had each other.

Now... it's only Skip and I.  Can you imagine how much we love, treasure the other?  How close we are?  Do you know that we both speak at the same time, say the same things... because we think so much alike?  We don't even have to finish a sentence sometimes... we 'already know'... what we are going to say, do.

Sometimes, I get afraid... I worry.  Of course, I know that 'one day' one of us, both of us... will have to ... die.  I know all that... it still doesn't keep me from sometimes... worrying, being afraid of .... death.

I feel afraid sometimes... I fear death.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We Will Be Back!

We Will Be Back!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee

Yesterday, we had occasion to go to the new Golden Corral in Raleigh, N. C.  Wow!  What a beautiful, new restaurant!

We drove into the parking lot, all the while admiring the outside of the restaurant, as Skip found a parking space.  This was the biggest Golden Corral restaurant we've seen yet.

We'd just come from the medical facility where Skip had to have some tests, procedure done.  They found something that disturbed us.  .  I won't write about this until we know what is going on... hopefully 'not going on'.

We went into the wide doors that will accommodate any size wheel chair, person.  We entered the restaurant walking to the right .... to walk in line (there wasn't a line as we went in).... to the tea dispensers, and drink dispensers, ice machine.  The glasses were nearby.

We got our drinks, walked over to the cashier to pay.  It was alittle more expensive than we have been paying at the Golden Corral that our friends own, operate.  Maybe the prices have gone up... or since it was this huge, beautiful restaurant... it was more expensive.

We paid the cashier, walked into the sitting areas... so many tables, different areas to sit.  We chose a table for two, then we went to get a salad, and bowl of soup.

We sat down to enjoy our salad... my salad sometimes ends up being a 'taste' test... instead of real salad.  It was a taste test on this occasion.  I chose spinach dip, spicy fried mushrooms, loaded potato skins, things that I felt I would like... also, different flavored chicken wings.

The food bars are set up to have different foods, for instance like the Greenhouse... there's all kind of salad makings... 'good stuff'!

There's the bar with fish, shrimp and things that go along with fish.  There's another bar with Mexican foods, one with the foods we all are used to eating... like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables of all kinds, pizza, etc.  Another bar has all kinds of desserts, ice cream machine.  Another area was just for all kinds of breads.  The Golden Corral 'here' had 'everything'!

It's like 'never-ending' foods of every kind.  We enjoyed walking, looking, then choosing what we wanted to eat.  The whole experience was wonderful.  We loved the 'sounds of people talking, laughing' around us... the atmosphere was very relaxing, nice.

Our waitress brought us an extra glass of tea.  I was happy to get the second glass.... I had experimented with the raspberry tea only to find out that I 'hate' it!  :)))

I love to taste, to see the different foods, different flavors, colors of foods.  After Skip's experience at his appointment, going to this restaurant gave us a chance to recoup, to talk, to think.

We finished up, calculated our tip... got up and left the restaurant.  The whole time we were saying as we walked out... 'we will be back'!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Snake Bite! Fang In My Finger! I Don't Want To Handle Snakes Anymore!

Snake Bite!  Fang In My Finger!  I Don't Want To Handle Snakes Anymore!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I was thinking about all the kinds of snakes that are in the Everglades, in Florida now.  Oh gracious, it seems like it would be like living in the Amazon.  I think it's a scary situation... at least it would be for me... if I lived there.

They have many exotic, invasive predators now... I wonder how everyone copes.  Is it dangerous to venture out far from one's home?  Have to worry about pets?  About children?  I would be afraid to walk into the grass... after all I've seen, listened to on National Geographic.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't go looking for one of those 'predators'... because Granny Gee has alot of curiosity... she likes to see things that are hard to believe!  There is alot of wildlife 'not indigenous' to Florida... or to the United States!  Wow!

Can you imagine the things you might see just on a walk ... 'in the right place?'  I can imagine how wonderful it'd be to see such different species we 'never had before'.

I've been watching documentaries on the many kinds of snakes there.  I wonder how it will be handled through time?  It would be interesting to talk with people who see, know about the snakes, alligators, and other invasive species.

Not only that... they are getting bigger!  At this moment I am watching a documentary on African rock pythons, how dangerous they are.  How aggressive they are... how dangerous they are to... man!  Guess what?  They are in Florida, in the Everglades... they are getting closer to homes now.

I've become fascinated by these pythons, boa constrictors, so on.  They think that people just let go of their pet snakes years ago... for them to mate and have many, many babies through time... when there were floods, that added to displacing the snakes from their habitats.  I'm betting some came over on ships.... they are mating with each other ... who knows what kind of snake that produces?  There are all types of these snakes, moreso... than I have named.

What fascinates me is the fact that 'they are here' ... and I wonder how many people are taking it seriously?  If people take precautions when they go out both day, night?

These are predators unlike we've ever known... I can't imagine going out the door and tripping over such a huge snake!  At least, I could see that one was there!

The colors... oh my... the beautiful colors ... so many different colors, patterns ... truthfully, the snakes are beautiful in their own way.  I've always liked snakes, though I learned to have the greatest respect for them... after I was bitten once!

When I was much younger, quicker... I would grab up a snake if I saw it, to get to look at how beautiful it was.  That included moccasins, and copperheads.

Thankfully, the snake that bit me was non-poisonous.  It was a beauty, it was a huge, shiny black snake!  That's what got my attention.  I went to grab it behind its head... it bit me before I knew it!

I went into shock... nothing mattered at that moment, I didn't even remember that the snake 'was just a black snake, not poisonous'... all that went through my mind was ... 'I've been bitten!'

I was trying to look at my right index finger ... it had left one of its fangs in it!  I pulled it out... oh, how my finger hurt from that bite.  I gradually became aware that I wasn't going to die, because that big snake wasn't poisonous.  I never felt any kind of sickness from the bite.  It was strange though... the shock I experienced from 'knowing I'd been bitten'... it was like my mind went numb for a few minutes... gradually I 'came out of it'.

I did learn great respect that day for snakes... I did learn that when you play with them... it's a matter of 'when'... you are going to get bitten, not 'if'.....  Even the most experienced snake handlers get bitten..... I was very fast as a younger person.

Now... back to the huge snakes such as pythons, and boa constrictors... can you imagine if that had been one of them to have bitten my finger?!!!  Better yet... can you imagine Granny Gee picking up a seventeen foot long snake to 'look at its colors'?  :)))

The day that big, black snake left its fang in my finger, put me in shock, and I felt that pain.......I learned not to be picking them up anymore.... I didn't want to be a 'snake-handler' anymore.

No, I don't want to handle snakes anymore!  :)))

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Message To My Wordpress Blog Followers... Is The Same Here For My Primary Blog! :)))

My Message To My Wordpress Blog Followers... Is The Same Here For My Primary Blog!  :)))

I just realized there are more and more people who are following me! I can’t tell you the soft happiness I feel in my heart at seeing all of you… and not only that… I think I’ve spoken to most of you in reply to your comments… like real friends! This means the world to me… I don’t take anyone for granted… I realize that like myself when I follow someone….. ‘it is an honor, it means you are special enough’ …when you/I follow. From my heart… I thank you all… everyone of you! Love, Granny Gee/Gloria :) ))))))))) This means the world to me!

I Will... If You Buy Me The Biggest Birthstone, I Will Go To Truck Driving School!

I Will, If You Buy Me The Biggest Birthstone Ring...  I Will Go To Truck Driving School!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today we went to Walmart to pick up a few items in the grocery section.  We met up with several people we know... stood and talked for a little while.

We were talking to a man who drives a truck for a living, just as Skip has for many years...  I drove team with him for 3 years.  His wife became interested in me once she realized that... I, also, knew what it was like to drive a truck... and travel out west.

She and I talked while Skip, and our friend talked.  We talked as if we'd known each other for years.  I told her about working in a hospital for years in an office... and how Skip talked me into going to truck driving school later... to learn to drive a tractor-trailer.

At that time I was attending community college, majoring in business administration.  I still had a few months to go... but, dropped out to go to truck driving school there... at the same community college.

I remember telling Skip I would do that if he'd buy me the biggest birthstone he could find.  Well, Skip did!  He found me a huge amethyst stone set in a beautiful, heavy gold ring with 8 diamonds, 4 on either side of the amethyst.

I happened to have it on, but... forgot as I told her about it, I was thinking I didn't have it on.  I told her I'd show it to her but, I didn't have it on.... then, I remembered, and held my hand up to show her.

She loved my beautiful ring and wanted her husband to see it, know the story behind it.  Everyone who sees my rings love them, always comment on them.  They are absolutely beautiful.

All of my rings have stories behind them... special stories, heart-touching stories.  I treasure my rings.  I've had most of them since 1983, they are as beautiful now... as then.  Skip bought all my beautiful rings throughout time... I have one that is most special, also... I'll write about it later.  It has to do with surviving cancer, and making it through surgery... I lived.

My amethyst birthstone is of the deepest purple... I see love when I look at it, my heart feels love when I touch it.  I love my birthstone ring that Skip got for me in  1995... that's when Tommy also, began to drive a tractor trailer for the first time.  We all had dreams of meeting each other out west... guess what?  They came true!

We used to pull up in a truck stop, see Tommy's big truck, my heart would swell with such happiness.  We could be in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Nevada... just any state in the USA!  We traveled in every state almost...

Can you imagine how excited I was to see Tommy's big truck in a truck stop, or him to see our big truck in a truck stop... so far from home?  It meant the world to us!

Can you see what memories my special birthstone ring can conjur up?  So many memories triggered by one special ring....

I will, if you buy me the biggest birthstone ring!  I will go to truck driving school!  :)))

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm In Darkness... I Have No Thoughts Now...


I heard someone say to me that they needed to get bone marrow. I was in another world... one where no matter how hard I tried to see, my eyes wouldn't open. When I spoke, I don't think anyone heard me... when I cried, I heard someone comfort me... so, they heard my cry.

Oh my God, the pain... I could feel such immense pressure on my hip, the terrible pain going through my body. All the while I heard a woman's voice saying 'I'm so sorry this hurts you, I'm so sorry'... I felt hands holding me down. They were 'good' hands, kind and caring hands.

I heard the nurse talking to Skip... I could hear them, no matter how I tried to see them... I couldn't. When I did see someone, it was from the other side of a fog... a medicated fog in my head, in front of my eyes.

Please help me, I don't know what's going on. I'm in another world... but, I'm here. I could hear someone crying... is it me? Is it me crying... why? The pain.... is there something else... my mind can't comprehend what's happening to my body. Please help me, hold my hand... I'm so afraid.

I felt my hand being held, I felt fingers rubbing my fingers, patting my hand. I tried to hold on, not drift off in the total darkness again. I could feel, and sense light just outside of my eyelids. I couldn't open my eyes to see... I want to see around me.

I cried inside, something bad has happened to me, but... what? I hear someone crying, oh ... how sad, they sound as if they are crying their very heart out. What is wrong, I wonder? I would comfort them, if I could... I never heard anyone cry like that. It breaks my heart... I think I begin to cry along.... with myself 'who is already crying'.

I open my eyes... there's a fog in front of them. It shimmers, I can't see clearly no matter how I try to blink it away. I move my head, I feel dizzy though I'm laying down.

My arm hurts, I try to see what's wrong. Through the medicated fog I can make out an IV in my hand, tubes. It really hurts.... I become aware of another pain... I try to follow a much bigger tube... it leads into my side. Rick-Rick, I have a chest tube like you did that time..... it hurts so bad.

The terrible pain rolls up into my chest, someone help me, I'm dying. A nurse comes in, I saw concern in her face. She walks to me and takes my hand, places it on something I can't see. When you hurt, press this... she said. Don't let the pain get to a point that it's so hard to control.....

I waited and waited.... I can't press that to ease that horrible pain unlike anything I've ever felt in my life. I don't want to get addicted to drugs. I'm afraid of something that is supposed to help me... I fight to 'not' press that little button to get relief. I could become addicted....

I'm dying from the pain it feels like, oh God, help me. The nurse comes to me, she tells me to use the device I still can't see... I'm still in a darkness, I can't think straight... but, I can feel that horrific pain in my chest. I'm really not in any shape to know how to press a button... for relief. I can hear but, I can't comprehend. I forget............

Pain, darkness, medicated fog... I can't see. I hear, I don't know if I respond... I don't know anything. I've lost myself .. I'm in the world between surgery and beginning recovery.

I'm afraid, I heard them say things... her blood pressure is too low. I hear them say things, I don't understand what has happened. I can't see .....

Baby Girl... Baby Girl... I hear Skip calling softly to me... I think he is close to my ear. I try so hard to let him know I can hear him from the darkness I'm in. I must have moved my hand, he holds it tightly. Help me, Boy (my nickname for him throughout the years), I cry in my mind. I don't think he heard me.

Darkness, I sink back into darkness... I don't know anymore at this time... I'm lost, I have to find myself. I have no thoughts now... I'm in the darkness.



By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Do you know?  Yesterday was a very unusual day, not only that... so, was Wednesday evening.

I was there at two separate incidents to know 'it was all true', it all would have been hard to believe ... if I hadn't seen, or heard it... myself.  I saw, I believe, I know... this all to be the truth.

It began on Wednesday evening when I saw a woman who is the kindest soul you've ever met... be attacked verbally by another woman that I'll call 'movie star woman'... for something this woman has always done in the past.

She was simply guilty of being playful in a good way like I've always seen her do.  She playfully asked several people if they had missed her?  She got an unusual answer that made her think 'uh oh'.......

The 'movie star woman' told her something, then... added the 'uh oh' part.  She said 'I don't know what the others thought'......

I watched, listened as she wondered aloud 'why' would her friend make such a statement?  She went on to forget until.... her friend emailed her to tell her off.... saying she was criticizing her, and her reputation where everyone would see.... because soon several big companies would be 'looking, studying her'.

The poor woman couldn't say anything ... she instantly went into shock.  It didn't do me any good to talk to her... she sat there, unhearing, hurt.. and in disbelief.  How my heart hurt for her.  I couldn't believe what I'd just witnessed... I didn't know 'movie star woman' was like that!

Movie star woman is a wonderful person, though during the past months she has changed to be something she isn't... she is playing the game... so, she can become famous.  I did tell her this... 'people who climb so high up... can/will fall hard'.

How do I know?  In my life experiences/lessons... I learned in my younger years when 'I thought I was so much'... that life has a way of 'bringing you down... to wake you up', to not step on others, mistreat them 'as you go up'.... 'they are the ones whose gentle hands will help buffer your fall'.

All the woman did was to be herself and do the same old playful thing she always did... she didn't know that this woman was in the spotlight... to be judged.  She truly is... she has been in a competition doing what she loves best... and is trying to make it to the top.  That's wonderful.... what isn't wonderful is how she devastated my friend's world.  She is still trying to recover from it.

All my friend could do ... was to apologize after reading the email she got... she sat and cried her heart out.  What did she do?  I'm witness that she didn't do anything wrong.

She was accused of criticizing, and trying to make this woman appear bad, her friends bad 'to the world'..... with the one little statement my friend made.... 'did you miss me?'

Shame on you for doing that, ' Movie Star Woman'.  My friend, who was your friend, loved you, cared about you when you were ... nobody.  Not only that, after you revealed your real self to her... she still loved, cared about you.

She didn't sit to judge you, she went on to accept 'you, as the beautiful person she saw', instead of dwelling on the 'bad' things about you.

Shame on you..... for hurting my friend.  I'll say it one more time.... shame on you!

This is 'time one'... that you've hurt my friend.... 'three is Granny Gee's magic number'......  I hope you won't mistakenly talk to her like that again.  Shame on you, Movie Star Woman......  Shame on you.

Yesterday, I had opportunity to watch an older friend of mine be verbally abused by someone who tries to give everyone, including me..... the impression that he is a Christian, God-fearing man.

The only thing is.... that I'd been hearing ...of...  him verbally abusing this older friend of mine... but, I didn't take it to heart.  Heck, we 'all know how older people are.... why, we just can't believe everything they say'..... 'hey, you know they are 'old', they don't know what they are talking about'.

Well... this older person was talked down to, talked to 'worst than a dog'.... guess what?

I was sitting right there listening, watching... as I felt such shock, surprise that this 'fine, upstanding citizen of the community, big Christian man among his family, friends'...... verbally abuse this older person... I listened as he talked so hateful, ugly over the speakerphone on my older friend's cellphone.

My mouth did open wide... I didn't believe I was hearing what I heard.  Mr. Christian Man.... maybe next time you'll be recorded so, 'your fine friends' can hear what a 'sermon you preach'.

I'd been hearing this in the past and I 'knew' there was something to it.... I 'know' this older person.  This person is a good person, he would 'bend over backwards' to be good to someone, to go out of his way to help.  If he gives you his word, you can bank on it.  He isn't known as a 'Christian'... but, I bet you he is 'more Christian'.... than that man will ever hope to be.

What that Christian man didn't know this time... there was a witness who respected him until... yesterday .. when it ended.

There's no respect left now... though to be fair toward the big Christian man.... he does have alot of good qualities, and has done alot of good things.  He sure looks sweet, innocent... so, God-loving... such a big, good family person... he is all those things.

So.... honestly the Christian man is a 'good' man, for real.... though he does do bad things such as talk very ugly to older people... my older friend isn't the only one.

After yesterday... I believe the other things I've been told... why, I just saw, heard it happen... I was there.  I 'even heard some of the same words that he supposedly spoke' to some other older people.

So, 'why' did he be so ugly to the older man?  Then... keep calling back to see if the older man was all right?  Why?  He told on himself as he kept calling back to make sure the older man was okay.  My heart broke for the older man...  Shame on you, Mr. Big Christian man.....

This older person has told me several times in the past that this happens from time to time.  Oh... I did forget, I did know personally of one more time this happened.... out of the blue.

Does this Christian man need a scapegoat of some sort?  All I can say is.... Granny Gee is 'pissed off' at this man..... 'big time'.  This is her friend who is being verbally abused.... then, it all be 'swept under the rug' as if it never happened.... with the big Christian man going his merry way like he never done a thing.  I'm saying 'it'd better stop'.

The Christian man is thinking 'no one knows I'm verbally abusing this older man'....  Hey, Mr. Christian Man.... Granny Gee has listened to you talk ugly to her friend, talk down to him .... this is a college-educated person who has been in the military, is a veteran... something you've never done in your life.... 'who are you' to do this to someone who has always liked, respected you?

Someone 'who protected you from Granny Gee telling you off, telling you just how ugly you've been?  Thank him for me not telling you 'just how ugly you were'.... next time I'll tell everyone so, they will know you have a dark side, also.  I know you don't want them to know you talk ugly to older people.... why, all those older people in your community think you are 'the finest thing'.

I respect my older friend, so... for now.... this has been the second time I've been witness.... 'three' is my number.....  I'm going to not intervene.  But, I am going to say this to you, Mr. Big Christian Man................................... Shame On You!  Shame on you.

Granny Gee will say it again and... stand by her words... Shame On You, Movie Star Woman.....

Shame on you, Mr. Big Christian Man......

I hold my ground here.  I know what I just wrote to be absolutely true.  Knowing my friends, acquaintances... they would have been as upset as I... at witnessing such.  Some of you may have stepped in...  I couldn't at risk of losing dear, dear friends whom I love with my heart.

I can say it again.... Shame On You!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You Know How It Is... Warm Happy Colors

You Know How It Is.... Warm Happy Colors

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today is going to be more beautiful here ... than yesterday!  Oh my, it's going to be a beautiful day!  Yesterday was absolutely ... lovely!

I saw leaves on trees that have already turned red, orange, yellow, green.  They are warm, happy colors... the colors of a happy fireplace burning... the flames merrily flickering, popping from happiness as they burn the wood below.

We don't have a fireplace here where we moved... but, we do have 'the next best thing'.  It's a heater that has a 'fireplace' inside!  I can turn it on... and the fire 'burns inside'... it's so realistic!

Last year we had it turned on for the atmosphere, and the soft heat that blew out from beneath (it's electric).  A friend of ours, Stephen, came to help us figure out how to use the DVD player that Tommy gave us the Christmas before he died.  We told him to be careful not to get burned when he stepped near it.

We laughed when he thought the 'fireplace' heater was hot and would burn one.  It doesn't get hot at all, ha!  It 'just looks like it would!'

He thought it was real... of course, we were pleased.  We thought it looked real, too.  It's even better when someone else acknowledges it... so, you know how 'it looks to others!'

It's time to take the 'fireplace' out of storage (in my artroom!), to 'light the fire' (plug it in, turn it on!  :))).  I'm looking forward to standing in front of it to warm my bare toes as the warm air circulates below.... cosy!

You know how it is.... fall time is really here.  It's time to do cosy, happy things... see happy colors of 'warmth'!  Red, yellow, orange, brown, green, gold.......

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To All My Followers... Readers... Any Family Members... Friends

To My Followers...
Readers... Any Family Members... Friends

I forgot to add that some time ago I had quite a few followers that I don't see their profile photo now.  

The reason is my fault... one day I was tinkering with the settings... and made them all go away trying to accomplish something... thinking they would automatically appear back on my blog.

They didn't.  I hope everyone who doesn't see their profile photo there now.... my followers, family, readers... will click to join .... again.

I apologize with my heart ... I know better than to do that again... it was inexperience with blogging.

Did you know when I look at everyone who is following .... I do each day... that it makes me so happy to see you.  Not only that... I know that I feel honored to have you all.  It is comforting to see you all... it means the world to me.  :)))

Love, Granny Gee/Gloria

A Storm Was Just Beginning...

A Storm Was Just Beginning......

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I wasn't feeling well yesterday evening.  I told Skip I was going to take a nap.  He suggested for me to take it on the couch, that way I'd be in the living room with him and the Pups.  We could hear the thunder and rain.... a storm was beginning.

I took several soft, colorful 'mini' blankets as I call them... placed them together.  You wouldn't believe how warm, cosy, comforting those 'mini' blankets are when you do this.  I placed my pillows just like I wanted them... promptly got on the couch, snuggled into those blankets, and almost... went to sleep.

Thunder... lightening... pouring rain.  For a few moments my mind went back to being a little girl living at Grandma Alma's house.  I was on her couch in the living room underneath a quilt.

I'm glad there wasn't a room in my view from our couch because I'd been afraid to look yesterday evening.  :)))  I did look straight ahead while I laid there... remembering.  I had gone back to the past.....

I felt afraid for the little girl in my mind... how she/me sat on one end of the couch tight to the arm of it.  Maybe pressed tightly to that arm made me feel safer... to have some kind of support.

Grandma's quilt was wrapped around my whole body... I was sitting 'Indian-style' on her couch, tense ... afraid of what I was going to see.  It wasn't 'if' I was going to see... it was 'what I 'knew' I was going to see.

In my mind... the thunderstorm was going on ... I am sitting there on that couch... seems like it was red vinyl, cold.  The quilt was between me and the vinyl.  I began to open the quilt 'just a little' so, that I could begin peeping out.  My throat felt like there was a lump of fear in it... it was.

I 'knew' it... there it came ........... rolling quietly out of that doorway of the bedroom... into the living room .........toward me!  It stopped as if 'it could see me'..... 'as if it was watching me'.  I felt fear in my whole body... I closed the quilt up quickly, sat there holding my breath!

I waited, I don't know for how long... I peeped out again.  I didn't 'just peep out'.... I very, very slowly opened that quilt just enough to see if... it was still out there.  It was!  I quickly closed the quilt again, feeling a new wave of fear over my little girl body.

I was so scared as I had in mind the vision of that .... big, blue ball of lightening... as big as a basketball... sitting there on the floor 'looking at me'.  I 'knew' it was looking at me.  Don't ask me 'why' I felt that... little girls can think ...anything.

I don't know, but... I do know..... 'why' I never called for help anymore when I was afraid.  I was becoming used to handling things on my own... what could Grandma Alma who was paralyzed, or George who was blind... do to help me?  I'd just been thrown into 'hell', I was nine years old.

So, I did the next best thing... I sat on that couch hidden underneath that quilt, frozen to the spot, I couldn't move for fear 'it'd get me'.

If I had turned my head to the left... I never thought of it... I would have seen Grandma Alma sitting in her recliner... George sitting in his old wooden, cane-bottomed chair in the next room beside her, talking.

I'm sure Grandma Alma could have seen me.... just the shape of a child sitting there on that couch... covered in a quilt.  She wouldn't have been able to see the terrible fear in that child as.. she sat there.  I never made a noise... I never cried out what my mind screamed... 'I'm afraid, please help me... I'm scared!'

I waited in fear, hoped when I looked back out from behind that quilt... that the blue-ball lightening would be gone.  I began slowly to open the quilt again to look ... to take a deep breath, my shoulders relaxing as I blew it out from my mouth... it was gone!

Skip was speaking to me... I abruptly came back to the present from the past.  He just saw lightening, he said.  I smiled, and acknowledged that we were getting quite a storm.  Yes, a storm was just beginning ..... not only 'now'... but, in my mind.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Followers...

New Followers:

I am seeing new followers... I wanted to welcome both my 'old' and new followers here on my blog.  It means the world to see you here.  I hope to have many more.  

I treasure all of you, I always look at each little profile photo in the followers' list to see 'who is there'... I am so happy to see 'you'....  'You' bring a smile to my face.

I wanted you all to know, if I didn't tell you... you might not know this.  Love, Granny Gee :))

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another... 'Tommy Time'... It Hurts So Bad

Another..... 'Tommy Time'........ It Hurts So Bad

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Everything is going to be alright....  tears falling like a waterfall of cascading diamonds onto a sea of black velvet, twinkling up pure grief.... no one can see... but, I feel with my very heart.

Pain that goes along with the grief... oh my God, does it ever hurt so, so bad.  So much so... I just can't find the right words to really describe... I mean 'to really, really describe'... GRIEF... to you so, that you can 'feel, see, know'.

I feel it all inside... I've been crying alot 'inside' for the past week.  This week has been a 'Tommy Time'... I didn't know it was going to be.

Everywhere I've went... I've seen 'Tommy'.  This happens from time to time... it has happened again.  It's so strange.  When I see a tall, big, muscular guy... who has his hair trimmed neatly, is blonde... walk as smoothly, proud like Tommy did.... I can't help but, to look.

I try not to be noticed when this happens... in this world 'today', one can get the wrong impression.  The first thing one would think is that 'there's a cougar on the prowl'... you know... an older women trying to get a younger man'.

How would someone know that all I 'see'.... is 'Tommy'... 'just trying to see, imagine him alive again... trying to 'see' him walking, actually moving.... again'.  The last time ... I saw Tommy... he wasn't moving... he won't move ... ever again.

Sometimes, they will have on sunglasses like Tommy's, a tee shirt like Tommy loved to wear, sometimes a soft smile ... like Tommy used to 'wear' on his face.  So far.... I haven't heard a soft voice like Tommy's.

It's like my time stops.... for moments while I really try to make Tommy come back.  It does sound crazy, doesn't it?  I sound 'crazy', don't I?

It's the pain, it's the grief I'm carrying inside... it does make me 'crazy', I guess.  It's a wonder.... that I haven't gone 'stark crazy'.... I just wish my son wasn't... dead.  Now, I've gone and said it.... D-E-A-D!

My son is dead, and God knows I've never felt such pain in my entire life.

I am wiping 'diamonds' off my cheeks as they fall... they are wet, shiny.... I'm wiping the pain, grief away that I can't see... I can only feel.

If you saw me now.... you'd only see some old teardrops... never knowing it's ....'pure,liquid pain.........pure liquid grief'.

They tickle my cheeks as they flow down them, my hands reach up to make it stop.

Yes, I have been depressed this past week... there have been several people who told me they sensed it.  I appreciated them caring, even to say they cared.  That was ... special.  It meant alot to me.  In fact, it meant the world to me.  Skip has noticed, cared with his heart... he knows it's a 'Tommy Time'.

'Tommy Time'... those are the words that come to mind when I try to think of how to describe what I'm going through.  I can only say I'm going through a 'Tommy Time'.

Do you know .... my mind feels like a 'scream' sometimes?  The words that 'go out from it silently' are.... 'Tommy! Tommy! Tommy!  Please come back!  Tommy, I miss you!  Tommy, Tommy.. it hurts so bad, it just hurts so, so bad.  I miss you, son.

I don't even.... ever question 'why?'  That's because I'll never have an answer... one never gets answers to such a question.

'Why?' would I be the exception?

'Who?' am I?  '

What?' would make me think I'm anymore important to know .... than anyone else who has lost a child?

'See why?'...... I don't question 'why?' the death of my son, Tommy.  I would be wasting my time.... stuck in the 'world of why?'  I know there are reasons for everything.

So far... I don't 'see' the reason Tommy had to go... Tommy had to die... but, I accept that he is gone.

I can write about the pain, grief that's left behind in the wake... in the powerful wake left ... from a big boat in the water moving forward... hard, fast.... one that crashes... all to pieces.  Pieces thrown up in the air, projected through the water... just a major explosion.  Never-ending........... never-ending.

It's more than what I wrote... it hurts more than my words tried to describe... I can't find new words to describe pain, grief... though, I will always keep trying.

For a few moments, I 'let' myself feel ... anger.  I think ...'I'm just mad, I'm just real mad... it's not fair that 'my son' is gone!'

For a few moments only... do I let myself 'drown in pity, anger'... I abruptly stop it.  I can't stay there on that level... that's 'not me'.

I've never lived 'in self-pity'.... but, most of my life I have lived with anger... though, I learned to channel it in a positive way.  I learned what forgiveness was... and how good it felt 'inside'.  I forgave 'unthinkable things others have inflicted upon me'.

I learned how to 'say I'm sorry'... that it didn't make me less than a person, or weaker............. to say ...'I'm sorry'.  I don't want to hurt anyone... yet, sometimes I'm put in a situation I do, and don't ... mean to.  I'm only sorry that I've had to... or that I did.

What has Tommy's death taught me in 'Life's Lessons'?

Alot.......  I will write that next, it'll be entitled..... 'What Tommy's Death Has Taught Me In Life's Lessons'........

For this time, right this moment.... I've written about another 'Tommy Time'... to let you know that you are right.... yes, I'm sad again, I'm missing my child, I'm wishing for him not to be gone.  I've been so depressed... but, I'm going to be alright.

I'm 'on the way up' now, at this very moment.... imagine a diver who goes 'too deep'... and is struggling to make it back to the surface, back to safety.

Oh, how they fight to live, to go on... to just get back to that boat... out of the ocean.... to lie on the floor, gasping for breath, taking deep breaths of relief... just to have lived... one more time.

To look up at the sunshine, the sky, clouds... so, so happy to have made it... to be so glad to be... alive.  To be so.... thankful to have not drowned in the sea of grief, pain... when it'd be only ...too easy to.

Another 'Tommy Time'.... yes, this has been another Tommy Time.  I think I can be like that diver now... I may be lying on the deck of that boat... looking up, so grateful to be safe... feeling that sunshine on my cold, cold body.... hearing seagulls, watching the big, puffy, white clouds as they move happily in the deep, blue sky.... yes, Granny Gee is seeing her 'happy colors', again.

Everything is going to be... alright.  It really is.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wispy Smoke In The Air...(Did Tommy Try To Come Back?)



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?

Fly, Dragonfly... Fly

Fly, Dragonfly... Fly

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee

I stood there watching the little girl
as she smiled brightly, skipped along her way

I saw her tilt her pretty little head of curls
to look down at a dragonfly that sat perched on a flower

Fly little dragonfly, fly
I heard her little girl voice say

I want to fly with you but, I can only skip and jump
I can't go up in the air like you can

Her face glowed with happiness as it soared off into the air
her eyes twinkled with sunshine lights as she watched

She began to wave her little arms, for a moment I thought she would fly
up into the sky with that little dragonfly

No, she didn't fly, but... if she could have
this little girl would have soared with her very heart

With that dragonfly to wherever it went
saying ... fly, dragonfly... fly!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tommy Couldn't Sing... But, It Was Beautiful To Me

Tommy Couldn't Sing... But, It Was Beautiful To Me

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I've been having a 'Tommy Day'...  all day I've 'seen Tommy everywhere'.  I've been tearful, wishing for my son to be here.  Every tall, muscular big guy who is blonde-headed ... has looked alot like Tommy.

I've seen Tommy everywhere.. today.

Sometimes, I just hold my head in my hands, my eyes closed tightly, tears falling... as the pain of knowing he's really 'not here'... washes over me.  It weakens me when I feel 'strong' again.

I wish my son was here, even if he wanted to 'mess my hair up'... I would gladly let him.  Tommy used to do that because he was so much taller than I... and laugh so much!

This happens through time since Tommy died...  over and over.  'When?'... it just happens out of the blue... grief.

Out of the ocean of pain one can't see with the naked eye.... a huge wave of pure grief washes over me, threatening to pull me out to sea... the sea of the most awful pain a mother ever knows in her life... the death of her child.

The grief I feel ... I really try so hard to hold it inside ... I think I can only go so long fooling myself into thinking.... I won't cry anymore, that I've reached a place in time .... the pain won't hurt now.  It's all a lie, you know.

See, when this mother lost her son... she still hurts to the depths of her heart, soul.  Did you read my poem 'Footprints In The Sand...  Side By Side'?  Did you 'see, feel' my heart breaking as I wrote that sometime ago?

I tried reading it to Skip again, I broke down crying.  So much of my 'pain, grief' was infused in every word I wrote in that poem.

Writing my pain............. I feel every stroke.... letter I type... it hurts so bad.  When I'm happy...  every letter, stroke feels so... good... when I'm typing out .. happy colors of my life.

I was trying to 'feel Tommy, feel my son'... as he left the sand that evening... that evening when... he had 'to go home'.......  when I wrote that poem.  A mother can 'think like her child' sometimes... because they know them so well.  There are things 'I know'.... because I'm Tommy's mother.

I was trying to feel my little grandson's heart... as he ran to his daddy, the big guy on the ground.  I can 'see, hear' Taban in my mind as I imagine him running to his daddy asking in his sweet voice.... 'Daddy, are you playing?  Daddy, won't you get up, come play with me?'.

Can you imagine a little three year old boy who looked up to his daddy, wanted to do things 'just like daddy'.... standing, maybe dropping to his little knees ...taking his little hands to shake, touch... trying to wake his daddy up?

You see... these are thoughts that go through my mind, torment me... and my heart feels for this little grandson of mine.  Afterwards, he would lay down on the ground sometimes to look up to the sky... and say 'my daddy's dead'.  It broke my heart.  I still see this inside....

I see his little face looking up to the sky saying, 'my daddy's up there'.  Lately ... Taban's little sweet face has filled my mind.... I wish to see him so much.

Yesterday as I drove along... there was a white pickup in front of me with two big, strong guys inside.  I didn't pay them alot of attention... at least I didn't think I was....

My mind was on Tommy ... so much.  Miles down the road, I began to be conscious of 'myself paying close attention' to the two big guys in that white pickup truck.  I became aware of 'why' I was thinking of Tommy so strongly ...

I had been watching as I drove along... those two guys 'looked like Tommy' from where I sat.  Those two guys were being playful, having a fun time riding along.  I 'saw Tommy' ... when the guy on the passenger side began 'to dance', to be 'silly, carefree'.

He put his arms up in the air, rocked his body as... he kept rhythm to the music.  I could see his profile as he turned his head... he was.... singing!

Tommy!  That's how Tommy used to do when he was happy, silly, carefree!  I began smiling, tears ran down my face.... I 'felt' those two guys in front of me.... I 'felt feelings a mother would have toward her child'..... he's happy, life is good.

I felt happy that ....they were happy.  I felt happy when my son was happy... he never knew alot of happiness.  It meant so much to me when he was happy.

My son, my precious son... I miss him with my very heart.  At this moment... as I think about those two big guys on that white pickup (Tommy drove a big, white pickup, also).... I smile, my face wet from teardrops... diamond-like, sparkling teardrops.

I called Skip to tell him, and we talked for a while about Tommy... how he did this, how he did that.  If people saw me talking... they may have thought I was talking to myself... I was talking on the bluetooth.  My hair covers it... so, sometimes I will see someone staring... I know what they are thinking!

I am seeing in my mind this morning as I write... those two big, handsome guys... sons of mothers somewhere who are proud of them... just as I was of my big, handsome son.  Neither aware ... of this mother who lost her son.... who for a few moments... 'saw her son'.................. in their sons.

I smile this morning thinking a very silly question (yes, Tommy, even if you are gone I have to say this.....).  As I watched the profile yesterday of one of the big guys sing... I wondered this......... 'can he really sing a tune?'

Tommy couldn't sing!  (I had to say it, Tommy!)  :)))

P.S.  I can 'see in my mind'.... Tommy smiling as I 'told the truth'.  He used to tell me this... 'mama, you are just jealous because I can sing, and you can't!'

The truth was... Tommy sang just like his mama... neither of us could sing.  We could draw, paint, create.... but, we just ... couldn't sing!  Tommy, just because you are 'gone'... I still have to say 'you couldn't sing'...... but, it was beautiful to me!