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


  1. It is nice to remember Lena on her birthday. I remember you telling me about Lena and how she inspired you. I wish the two of you could have met in person before she died. That would have been so nice. Maybe she is watching over you--kind of like a guardian angel. Can't you just see her and Tommy watching over you? I would never tell anyone "I know how you feel" when they have lost a child. That would be an outright lie. I couldn't begin to imagine how it feels to lose a child--no matter how old they are. Love, Ms. Nancy

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