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.


  1. I know you loved Tommy with all your heart, mind and soul!! That is one thing no one can dispute! You were always there for Tommy even if you could not be seen. No matter where he was, you were there in one form or another for him. He was a good man and a good father and a good son. I don't know of anything bad that anyone could say about him. I do believe that he is an angel among angels. Tommy loved you as much as you loved him. He loved Skip too. That much I do know. He told me several times how much he loved you and Skip and that no one was going to mess with ya'll. I am so sorry you have to hurt so much because Tommy would not want that. You are his mother and you loved him so much. Anyone could see the love that you 3 had. You know I am only a phone call away! Love, Ms. Nancy