Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tommy 'Looked Too Strong'... To Die


Tommy's last photo... taken short time before he died May 29, 2010... they were on the way to Myrtle Beach.  Tommy looked forward to playing with Taban, his 3 year old son for the first time... he was so excited.  Tommy got to do exactly what he wanted to do... just in time.  As he was running, playing, laughing, taking photos, video... he collapsed on the sand.  Tommy died...

Tommy 'Looked Too Strong' To Die

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

For some reason my attention is on this last photo of Tommy, my son.  I look at it, I see a strong young man who had for the last year of his life had a hard time coping with the accident he was involved in on previous May 17, 2009.

Looking 'into' the photo one just sees a handsome young man driving, on his way to the beach with his family... Myrtle Beach.  They had reservations at the hotel on the beachfront... on the sand that Tommy last walked on.

Tommy and Taban took off down to the beach without telling anyone.  Tommy had been helping to load their luggage on the rolling cart to take up to their room...

I wonder what was in Tommy's mind as he took Taban by his hand and they 'disappeared' while everyone put clothes away, and such things one does when first getting to the hotel?

I think to myself that 'knowing my son'.... he took Taban down to the beach to play with him... maybe he 'felt he needed to go ahead'.

Maybe he'd been feeling ill, not knowing if it was the medicine he was taking as he'd not long been to the doctor.  I look 'into' the picture... I can't tell 'how my son was feeling'.

This photo hurts me to look at it... Tommy looked 'too strong to die'.  I look at his strong arms, the way he sat driving.  Tommy always had good posture driving, walking.

He had a smooth walk, at one time he could run very, very fast when younger.  He used to amaze me at how quickly he could run... and 'be there' in just a moment from quite a distance off.

I wonder if Taban or McKenzie will run one day so fast?  I wonder if their posture will be naturally good, one day?  I wonder if they will walk as smoothly as their daddy did?  I hope I get to see, to know.

Tommy was very good with numbers... I wonder if his children might be, also?  Tommy was very interested in the world news, what went on, what could happen.  He, Skip and I constantly talked about what was going on in the world.

What was in Tommy's mind as he drove, looking straight ahead?  I see what looks like his little remote control for his sirius radio up on the sun visor.

I see trees in the rear view mirror... I 'think' I have Tommy's black cap that is on his head in the photo.... I can't remember.  I'm not ready... to look in his chest... yet.  I ... just can't do it yet.  I think his wife gave it to me.

This is the black cap that she recognized when someone stepped away from Tommy on the sand ..down below.  She was up on the balcony watching, thinking people were ... building a sand castle.  She saw Tommy's black cap, instantly 'knew' something bad had happened.  She was running to get down there.

Tommy's black hat... laying on that white sand....close by where everyone was working on his body to make him 'come back'.

The stranger who called our house phone... had called the last number Tommy had called............. our number was the last number he called... I sit here thinking about that ... last number Tommy called....

I answered the phone... I knew it was Tommy... the caller ID on the house phone said so.  I was smiling as I answered it... he said he'd call back.

The day my world changed forever...  I lost my only child, my son... Tommy.

Lately, it seems this photo keeps 'popping up' to grab my attention.  I'm not certain as to ...why?  I sit and study it 'see'... if there's something there... to comfort me, something that I've missed.

I wonder if his wife took this photo as they drove to Myrtle Beach?  Or one of the children?  They were in there, also.  I'm so thankful to ... whoever... took it.  This photo means the world to me.


  1. Tommy does look so strong! Doesn't look like a thing is wrong with him. Dean was the same way. No one knew anything was wrong with him--except me. I did know he has high blood pressure. That alone will kill someone. I tried to get him to go to the Dr but he wouldn't. Everyone can see how handsome and strong Tommy looked! One thing everyone one can say about him. He was never a dead beat Dad! Tommy loved his children and took care of them without anyone telling him to. You raised a very good son Gloria. You have every right to be so proud of him! Love, Ms. Nancy

  2. I'm sorry. I hope his soul rest in peace.