Friday, November 30, 2012

I Will Never Forget...

I Will Never Forget...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee

She came home to where she was living now
With her little bag of apples
Someone gave them to her
She didn't know how to say no

Say no, because where she lived wasn't normal
She had nowhere safe to put the apples
She knew visitors would come in the night
To steal them from her

She came home, went into her tiny bedroom
The only room she could call hers
Where to put the bag of apples
There was only one place, that was on the wall

She found a hammer, nail
Hammered a nail into the wall just above her bed
She hung her bag of apples on the nail
She went about her business, forgot the apples

That night she went to bed, fell asleep
Until she felt a sharp pain on her hand
She sat up quickly, saw in the nightlight
A big rat with yellow teeth

The pain was severe, she felt something wet
She got up, turned on the light
There was a deep gash in her finger
She looked up, on the wall was a hole in her bag of apples

She felt tears in her eyes, anger in her heart
It quickly subsided, as gratefulness settled in
She was thankful to have a place to live
A place she could call 'home'

It was given with a generous heart
From people who didn't have a lot
Yet, they shared with her, kept her safe
Thank God, she wasn't alone when she could have been

She didn't see the awfulness around her
Nor smelled the smells, she accepted with her heart
The offered kindness, no strings attached
She saw Heaven when she looked around

Thank you, Lord... for these people
Who fed her, sheltered her, asked for nothing
I'm so grateful to be here
It means the world to me, I will never forget

Hey... I Had To Share This... :)))



by grannyscolorful
OUCH!  That Damn Mouse Bit Me!
OUCH! That Damn Mouse Bit Me!
I Can't Believe I'm putting this photo here ... Tommy and I used to play being silly ... I always did silly things such as this, to send to him while he drove long distance on his big truck. I don't have him to send these silly things to anymore... I wanted to be silly today... so, this photo goes well with my story of when I was little, living in Hell... when I found something precious in the flower bed............................................................... I am thinking of you, Son. Mama loves you with her heart, misses you with her very soul.. sends love to you wherever you are........................................................................................
That Damn Mouse Bit Me!...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
My little girl hands parted the green blades of grass
The leaves of the different flowers planted there
I wanted to find the bottom of the flower I had chosen
So, that I could pick it for my Grandma Alma
Instead my eyes were riveted on the nest there
With little baby mice in it, how sweet they were
My heart melted as I pick some of the babies up
It quickly became cold when one of them bit me hard
I put it back down, tilted my head
Looking at something so sweet, precious
Then, looking at my finger to see the blood
I said 'that damn little mouse bit me!'.... on the finger
With that on my mind, I ran into the house of Hell
To tell my Grandma Alma, George
About the little nest of mice I'd just found
Someone mentioned they'd have to kill them
I ran back outside, quickly found that nest
I took it to another place, hid it well
Someone came out to kill the babies
They didn't... because to this day they never found them
Mouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
grannyscolorful | November 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Categories: HUMOROUS | URL:
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That Damn Mouse Bit Me!

That Damn Mouse Bit Me!...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My little girl hands parted the green blades of grass
The leaves of the different flowers planted there
I wanted to find the bottom of the flower I had chosen
So, that I could pick it for my Grandma Alma

Instead my eyes were riveted on the nest there
With little baby mice in it, how sweet they were
My heart melted as I pick some of the babies up
It quickly became cold when one of them bit me hard

I put it back down, tilted my head
Looking at something so sweet, precious
Then, looking at my finger to see the blood
I said 'that damn little mouse bit me!'.... on the finger

With that on my mind, I ran into the house of Hell
To tell my Grandma Alma, George
About the little nest of mice I'd just found
Someone mentioned they'd have to kill them

I ran back outside, quickly found that nest
I took it to another place, hid it well
Someone came out to kill the babies
They didn't... because to this day they never found them

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Listen, You Don't Have To Say A Word...

Just Listen, You Don't Have To Say A Word...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Memories come flooding back
Overwhelming an older woman
Who remembers well being a little girl
Memories sad, full of pain

Don't feel sorry for me as I
Tell you about them because
I needed to be treated this way
As a little girl to toughen me up

For all the years of grief, bad things
That have happened in my life
Just think if I'd been treated like an angel
I could have never stood all these years

I'm a fighter, a survivor
Life has knocked me down many times
I get back up every time
Sometimes, sooner... sometimes, later

Several times though, I almost didn't get up
But... I did, here I am
To stand like the big Redwood tree
That survives the worst of storms

I hope life will take it easy on me now
I have grown older, more fragile
I would like to know peace, happiness
No one dying, no bad things anymore

My son has gone to Heaven now
Tommy was my only child
I knew he'd always be there for me
Now, he can't be... he's gone away

I have Skip and my Pups
They are my life, my world
So, everything's going to be all right
This I pray for always, every night

So, when I tell you my stories
I have to get them out
Some are sad, some are happy
Just listen, you don't have to say a word

I'm like a dam that's been waiting to break
I have many little holes through time
That's been plugged up
Now... I'm breaking open gently, the water's coming out

You don't have to say a word to comfort me
I'm already comforted knowing you are there
Just let me flow along as far as I need to
It is time now... the dam has opened, the water's coming out

Just let me let my pain flow along in words
In the waters of time
I would like to live the rest of my life
With peace of mind I've never quite seemed to find

My stories, my words will be sad, full of pain
That's the way most of my life has been, that's all right
It's the way it had to be I'm sure, I'm still positive
Even when I write negative things... everything is going to be all right

I'm thinking if I write all this pain out
That I'll empty myself like a glass of water
The water making good things in my life grow
To brighten, make my life all the better

I'll water my soul, water my heart
Growing good thoughts, feelings to spread to
Everyone, everything that comes in contact with me
That's why life has been hard for me, so... it'll be good now

Please Come Back... Please Don't Go!

Please Come Back... Please Don't Go!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

She sat there in silence
No one noticed her
She was a little girl of nine
No one wanted her, now

She used to have a nice home
But, something bad must have happened
Because the little girl's life changed to bad
Faye had been sent to Hell

Hell was where two good people lived
Grandma Alma and George
They were as good as good could be
Only good things never happened back to them

Grandma Alma was paralyzed
George was blind, both depended on each other
There were lots of people around
Only... not that many wanted to help them

They were too focused on whipping ass
Too focused on having fun
Focused on dominating, black-mailing
Taking someone's man

This was Hell where everyone was mean
Sure, sometimes someone would have a heart
That was soon taken back when someone
Didn't do their will, bow down

The little girl watched it all, they didn't see 'her'
They saw another little person no one wanted to care for
They did find a use for her
They could slap her around, say 'you look like your God___ daddy!

Slap her around, they did
Blooded her little nose, bruised her tender skin
Shut up, you little brat, you aren't wanted here
Be glad someone took you

The little girl would cry, no one heard
She learned to keep her feelings, pain to herself
The little girl grew up to be most private
She vowed never to let others get 'but, so close' to her

The little girl learned to hate, she'd never hated before
She learned to not smile anymore
Hell..... Hell had no place for sweet smiles
It only got you slapped down

She wanted her mama, her mama was gone
For long periods of time
Forgetting she had a little daughter
Who would cry for her with her very heart

When her mama would come back to Hell
The little girl would be so happy
Now... no one would slap her, be mean to her
Her mama would .... whip their ass

No, mama, please don't leave me here
No one wants me, they hurt me
Mama would say let me know when I come back, who hurt you
I'll whip their ass to make them wish they hadn't

The little girl stood there weeping as she
Watched her mama go, mama... please come back
Please mama, don't leave me here
I want to be with you, please protect me

I'm just a little girl
I just want my mama
I don't want to be here in Hell
Where I'm no one special anymore

Mama, please come back
Please, mama... I love you so
She'd cry as someone would hold her
To keep her from running to go with her mama

Her mama would walk away, just turn her back
Leave the little girl sobbing, falling to the ground
I hate you, mama!  I love you so much, please come back, please don't go!

In Memory Of Grandma Alma...

In Memory Of Grandma Alma...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

She sat there looking off
Not seeing anything
Her mind was within
On her life, her world

She yawned big, closing her eyes
Felt the tears run down her cheeks
By God, I'm bored
She thought

Bored to tears... unmotivated
She wanted to do things
She wasn't inspired by anything
It's a sin to be this way

To waste all God has given you
She thought..
It's a shame not to get up, do something
Move, talk, do things, to show appreciation

She sat there, yawned again
Tomorrow, there's always ..tomorrow
I'm too tired, sleepy
To do anything... today

She yawned big, again
Laid her head on the back of her chair
She fell asleep
She did do something... she dreamt

That she could walk again
Just move again, do things again
She was paralyzed now
She dreamt in appreciation of life

She woke up when she heard a voice
I love you, Grandma
She smiled her beautiful smile
At the little girl standing near her chair

The little girl looked at her
Never knowing Grandma was different
That Grandma couldn't walk, do things again
She knew Grandma could love... smile at her

Her Grandma was the best
She would fight for her
Her ammunition being a glass of ice water
Thrown at anyone who dared to hurt her

Grandma would hug her when no one liked her
Talk to her when no one else would
Grandma was always there
Sitting in that old, upholstered chair

Grandma was a fighter
Though sometimes, she cried
The little girl saw it all
Because no one thinks to hide 'all' from a little girl

The little girl is a big girl now
She still thinks of her Grandma... Grandma Alma
Sometimes, she gets tears in her eyes
She misses her Grandma Alma, after all these years

Rest in peace, Grandma Alma
God knows you never had peace in your life
I wish you love from my heart
To you in Heaven where I know you've gone

Love Your Granddaughter, 'Faye'

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Try To Describe Darkness...

Photo of Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee... 2012

I Try To Describe... Darkness

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

All was dark around me, though it was daytime.  I could see the sunshine at the corners of the world I was in... it didn't quite reach to me.  I was in a 'dark room' seeing the light outside beneath the door where there was a crack. This was my world for so long... no matter how much sunlight I was in.

I could see several tiny spots of sunlight in this 'room'.  This was the world I lived in... I didn't know very much outside this dark world... sometimes, I could get to a sun-kissed spot, touch it with my hands... I wished to see the sun clearly.  I would hold my face toward it, straining my eyes to see what I couldn't see.  My body wished to be out in the sunlight.  I lived like this for three years... it seems like my life is full of ..... 'threes'.

From time to time... no, a lot of times ... I wished to be strong enough to escape from here.  I couldn't, my body was in a weakened state.  My mind was medicated from potent medicines to keep pain at bay, to help fight the cancer in my body.

I could hear well, my sense of smell was perfect.  I couldn't see well... I could feel things but, the potent medicines had affected my fingers, my legs.  My fingers seemed to be made of rubber... I couldn't grasp things for long at a time.

When standing, I had to hold on to things to walk... oh my God, the pain in my chest... and the strange numbness that was there. The pain would roll out like an ocean wave, come crashing down on me until I was crying, almost to the point of screaming.

I didn't help matters at all... even in my fog-filled mind... I was afraid of becoming addicted to pain medicines.   I would wait long as possible to take it... making it so hard to control such horrific pain.

I had surgery... thoracotomy surgery... a rib had been removed to get to my lung.  I had non-Hodgkins lymphoma... a large mass rested on my left bronchial tube, my heart.

I had to have it removed by a thoracic heart surgeon.  I had come almost to the point of dying just before having this surgery. (One year later, same month, one day's difference... I had this same thoracotomy surgery in my other (right) lung).

Unless you've been through a thoracotomy surgery, you can't possibly understand the pain one goes through... nerves are cut.  I'm left with this pain for the rest of my life... it's my trade-off to live.  I accept it gladly.  I can't describe what it's done to me physically... nor do I want to at present... I don't like to seem 'weak'......... I can tell you about the pain at any second... it's always there.

My body had lost all its weight, my voice had been reduced to a whisper because the mass had almost closed off my bronchial tube.  I was in such a weakened state... freezing to death, I couldn't get warm.  My body itched, I kept coughing constantly.

This went on until I was confined to my bed as we went for test ... after test with specialists.  I was first diagnosed with sarcoidosis of the lungs... no one knew what caused this.  Soon after, the diagnosis was changed to non Hodgkins lymphoma... cause unknown, also.

What I know about non Hodgkins lymphoma is that it completely changed my whole life... at first, I thought it would be my death.  I even came to accept dying at one point in time.  I became interested in helping myself to die if needed.... I didn't want to die suffering.

I remember sitting at my computer, my desk had been moved into the bedroom where I could sit there for hours.  When on the computer, I could 'forget'... time would go by before I realized it.

That's where I met Lena, my systervan, in Sweden.  She came into my life to stay there for 12 years until she, herself became ill with cancer.  She died, I was devastated.  She died not so long after Tommy died.  Lena was a part of my immediate world just as Skip, Tommy, our Pups were.  She was always 'there'.  We had such a bond... I want to cry now, whenever I think about Lena.

Darkness... I have lived alot in the world of darkness.  I've been thinking about that all morning.  I think to describe darkness such as I was in, is that it's similar to being in a 'cocoon'... or what I would imagine as a cocoon.  Darkness protects one... but, it's terrible when one struggles to free themselves from it.  It doesn't want to let go easily once you are a prisoner of it.

My mind still goes back to 'just before' having my first thoracotomy surgery... I was almost 'gone'.... I was staying in bed under heavy blankets... in July.

I look back in my mind, my eyes half-closed... I can see that I would answer whenever spoken to, I don't remember very much excepting I thought I had eaten, and would say 'yes' whenever Skip would question me to see if I'd eaten when he had to be away.  Truthfully... I don't know 'why' I would say 'yes', excepting I could hear relief in Skip's voice.

I couldn't 'see'... though I did see.  It doesn't make sense.  I wouldn't remember taking my bath, doing things.  Skip said I did that... I loved my baths.  I'm sure that was 'somewhere' in my mind... I always wanted to be clean.

One time in the shower just before going into that deep darkness, having surgery.... I was in the shower.  So much steam in the bathroom... I couldn't get my breath.

My bronchial tube was almost closed off making it impossible to speak above a whisper... making it almost impossible to breathe.  I was begging Skip to come help me, I was so weak.  He almost didn't hear me... I almost fainted before he helped me.

Soon after that.... darkness.......

DARKNESS... by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee... 12-28-2012

Darkness was my cocoon
All snuggled there unaware
Of the world that passed me by
How could I possibly know

I could see no farther than my eyelids
I could hear farther than .. I could see
I could, couldn't feel things near my hands
Dying wasn't on my mind, I didn't know I was alive

I didn't know I was alive
Because I was past knowing what either meant
I was somewhere in darkness
Where, I didn't even know

It was scary, it was 'nothing'
I did things in my mind
On the outside it appeared
That I hadn't moved

I ate, I slept, I did housework, laundry
How could I know if I did or ...didn't
I've never known, I can't remember
In the dark world, one doesn't know ... anything

Nothing... just 'being, existing'
Not even knowing that
I  lived...  not aware if I was
Alive or dead... darkness surrounded me

I became darkness
I was alive, how could I know
I was just before dying
I didn't know the difference

I would have never known it if I had died
At that time, I wasn't suffering
I didn't feel anything
It was the first time in my life

That I wasn't afraid of dying
That's because I didn't know I was living
Darkness... one word that describes it all
Only one word describes death... darkness

I couldn't think any farther than that
My mind couldn't go any farther than
Inside my head....
Death hovered there... waiting for me

To embrace, hold me
To comfort me though...
I wasn't aware I needed... comfort
I was alive, I was dead... I was ... only the air

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good People Can Get Mad, Too...

Good People Can Get Mad, Too...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My eyes opened, I lay still listening.  I realized I was frozen into place by fear.  The light from the television shone on me ... I had fallen asleep on the couch earlier that evening.  I heard it again...

Footsteps on the gravel outside ... the windows were open.  Someone was looking in at me... I was terrified.  I stayed still as I decided what to do.

I knew I had to act fast but, I was so afraid.  Before I realized what I was doing, I was up like lightening!  I ran to the bedroom for the gun.  I had my own .22 rifle sitting in the closet.  Once my hands were on it, I knew I was going to be all right.  Thankfully, the curtains were pulled together.....

I began to tiptoe toward the window, I pulled the curtain back only slightly... I didn't see anyone.  I could feel pounding in my ears from the fear I felt.... then... I heard footsteps close to the house... oh my God.  I prayed that I wouldn't have to hurt someone to keep them from hurting me.  I knew that I would do what I had to do, to protect myself.

I was young, only nineteen.  I was very pretty, and men paid a lot of attention to me.  Sometimes they would stop by with the excuse to see my husband... they would always try to give me a message with their eyes... I would look away.  I was faithful in my marriage... sadly, my first husband wasn't.

My mind was working... I was backed into a corner by fear.  I had to do something instead of staying in this limbo.  I was going to do something wild!  I began running quietly up the hall, I went straight for the front door, opened it quickly and.... slung the storm door open...

I pointed the gun straight up in the air, began shooting!  As I began shooting, the storm door slammed back on me... the bullets shattered the glass!  I slammed the wooden door closed, locked it.  I ran quietly back to the bedroom... this is where I was taking my stand to ... fight, if needed.

I waited... forever, it seemed.  I heard a car drive up the driveway!  Up the driveway.... shouldn't someone be driving 'down' the driveway?  It didn't make sense... the fear was taking my breath away... I waited.

Someone began knocking at the front door!  I was so afraid.... I peeped out the window... oh my God!  That was a deputy sheriff's car that had driven up the driveway.  Did I shoot someone when I shot out the front door?  Would a deputy come that quick?  I ran to the door, opened it.

When I opened the door, the deputy could see that I was frantic with fear.  I told him I was so glad to see him, that someone was just outside.  He took his flashlight to look around.  He found nothing.

He asked me how did the storm door glass become broken.  I told him that I had shot straight up in the air when the door slammed back on me, shattering the glass.  He began laughing... when he did, I began to relax.  It really was funny... only tomorrow, it wouldn't be so funny when I had to tell my husband what I did.  That meant money to be spent on replacing the glass... 'if' it got replaced.  He'd probably be .. pissed off...

The deputy stayed for a while talking to me... when he left, I wasn't afraid anymore.  For the rest of the night, that gun stayed beside me.  I don't like guns, but... if had to be, I would have used it.  I didn't want to hurt anyone... but, if they would hurt 'me'... I would fight back.  I didn't live in Hell for nothing... I did learn some tricks... to survive.  I was a fighter... to the end, if I had to be... I would win... I wanted to live.

I lived there for fourteen years... that many miles from the nearest town.... fourteen miles.  I got my divorce, went my way to travel down other roads... some good, some bad.... I always came back to the 'good' roads.  I learned many of life's lessons the hard way... but, thankfully... I learned.  If I hadn't, there's no telling the person I would have become.... it wouldn't have been good, that's for sure.  Oh... if I'd continued to go on to be 'bad'... my enemies would have had some 'bad' days.  Some did, anyway.  Good people can get mad, too.  :)))

Everything's Going To Be All Right and... Christmas Music!

Everything's Going To Be All Right and... Christmas Music!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I sit here staring at my computer monitor, I let my eyes slowly go out of focus, while focusing... on the colored lights reflecting there.  The lights are on the little Christmas tree on the dining table behind me.

I listen closely... to the Christmas music playing on the tv... I have turned the channel to 801... for holiday music.  These things are bringing me comfort.

I close my eyes to listen to both music, and the soft, airy sound of the central air unit... I can feel the warm air.  All makes me relaxed... I could go back to bed, sleep.

I look down at my keyboard... I think... 'what can I write about today?'  I see an envelope I've painted flowers on, addressed to a friend... even I like the artwork I did ... I wanted my mail to be special.  I've always painted, drawn on my envelopes ...they bring smiles to people.  I love when I receive such.

I hear happy bells, people singing ... 'ding-dong, ding-dong..Christmas bells are ringing' in the background.  I can imagine a group of people of all ages, with red cheeks, dressed in vintage garb, standing in the snow by a nightlight... the globe looking like an old-time lantern.  The snow softly falling as they... softly sing....

'Santa looked a lot like daddy, daddy looked a lot like him'..... is playing now.  I felt a smile... we adults know 'why'....  when we are so young... believing in Santa Claus was so magical, wondrous, so... real!  I believed, I really believed!  I was still very young, living in Hell... when I began to realize that Santa Claus didn't know I was in the world... but, he did remember all the children around me.  I never understood until... I was an adult.  Grandma Alma, George didn't have money... when living in Hell... there wasn't much of anything.  Strangely enough, they had a lot of love, though.

I stare out the window on the door.  Oh, what a most beautiful winter sky.  It's almost daylight... I see the softest pink mixing with blue, white.... with a golden light beginning to shine through.  I feel so fortunate to get to see such... usually people are asleep at this time.  I don't know if young people notice as they stand at bus stops, waiting for their bus.  I would think their minds are on their exciting, young lives... and what they'll do at school.  Maybe... be nervous about a test coming up.

I look out at my Expedition ... it's an older model, but... still looks new from being taken care of.  I really like my 'truck'... for me, it's ... perfect.  For the time being, it looks as if it is covered in shiny diamonds... with golden light beginning to shine on it.  Soon, the diamonds will melt away!  My favorite jewelry in the whole world are diamonds, and yellow gold.

If I chose another stone, I would maybe choose an emerald... because it's green.  My eyes are green (hazel).  My most favorite stone after diamonds are the amethyst... my birthstone... my birthday is February 14th.  I love 'purple and green'... somehow, these colors are 'magical' for me.  :)))  I believe in magic.... I believe in miracles... I believe in strange things... I pay attention to 'odd'.... I love 'good things happening to others, myself, my loved ones'.

I see Skip in my mind... his special smile for me.  I hear him say 'I love you'... in my mind, I say 'I love you, too.'  I turn from my computer screen, see two Pups lying on the couch, love seat in the living room.  They are sleeping so peacefully... Kissy just snored as if he knew I was writing about him.  The Christmas music comforts them, as it does me.

Music... is 'everything', don't you agree?  Everything we do special... there's music.  When one has a happy birthday, there are special songs for them.  When watching tv... there are songs for buying toliet tissue, for getting rid of heartburn, mopping our floors... so, we can do all in a 'merry' way.  On our programs there's music to let us know when we should laugh, cry, be afraid......

We can't wait to go buy things while the 'music is in our heads'....... I know better, but.. sometimes, I let myself get caught up in it.  I will go buy something because 'the music is in my head'.... :)))  I will 'see in my mind' the commercial... I want that!

I see a big snowman!  He has on a shiny,black hat ... on it are red holly berries, holly leaves.  They are attached to the velvety Christmas green band that goes around it.  He has on a matching velvety Christmas green coat... oh, his mittens are red!  His face... are two big blue eyes that twinkle!  His nose is a piece of black coal... his mouth is like a banana laying on its side.... it's smiling so happy, I can see his pink tongue!  Happy snowman!  Beside him is a huge... Christmas gift wrapped in gold, ribbon of red... whose name is on the tag?  It's..... mine, of course!  :)))

Silly, fun thoughts keep coming as I sit here listening to holiday music.  For now, they are comforting, good thoughts.  I'll think all them that I can.  I will try to fill me up with good, happy, comforting thoughts... to last me through the Christmas holidays.  I hope they don't go away... I need them.  This will be the third Christmas since Tommy went to Heaven......  I felt sadness... I need to ...go back to my happy thoughts!

But, my mind goes to Tommy... it always does.  No matter the smiles, laughter, funny things............  I miss my son.  I wish for my son.  You just can't understand unless you've lost your child... but, I know you can 'feel, sense'... I really try to tell you honestly the pain that I experience.  I tell you so, you can know.

So, if someone in your life is like me... you might understand them better.  The pain is greater than any... this mother has ever known in her entire life.  The pain can make one feel like a baby again, crying their heart out, curled in a fetal position.... for so long, like a baby... I couldn't 'see anything in front of me'... I was in the greatest of pain.  Nothing around me 'was there'... I didn't see it.  That world of darkness....

I am like the sunshine in the clear blue, white sky... for a moment a cloud just passed by my smiling face!  It's all right now!  I'm okay.  Sometimes, this happens.... until the winds of time gently blow it on by... so, I can shine brightly once again.  Everything is going to be all right.....

Jingle bell, Jingle bell time... is a swell time!  I love this time of the year!  That's the Jingle Bell Rock!  I love that Christmas... music!  Now, if I could find me a 'one horse sleigh'.... oh, and some .... snow!  Everything is going to be .... all right.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sh-hhhh, Don't Say A Word...

Sh-hhhhhh, Don't Say A Word....

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

The woman sat talking quietly to a teenage girl.  The girl looked at her with tears in her eyes.  "Mama, it's okay... I don't have to have those things to graduate.  We need money for more important things."

I watched the woman turn her head, stare off into space.  I saw sadness in her eyes.  I saw her shake her head, look down into her lap.  I recognized hopelessness, my heart felt pain.  I know how it is to go without things I need, much less want.  I know how it is when one's child needs, wants something... the parent sees no way to pay for those things.

I sat thinking of how I could make a difference in this mother, daughter's life in a positive way.  A way without them knowing it... if not that... a way that I wouldn't hurt their pride.  I wanted to do something special for them.

As we waited for the bus, I looked around, listened to different people as they talked, laughed.  I saw some people sitting with the saddest expressions on their faces.  I know how it is to be sad... that's why I recognized sadness.  I not only recognized it, I 'felt' it deeply in my heart.

I got up to go to the bathroom... it would be an hour before my bus came.  I walked into a stall, closed the door behind me.  I pulled the diaper station out to sit my purse on.  I opened it, and pulled out several envelopes, then......

I took a bank envelope out of my purse.  It held several thousand dollars in one hundred dollar bills.  I stood there in deep thought, then decided what to do.

I put a thousand dollars in one envelope, one hundred dollar bills in ten different envelopes.  I was going to make a positive difference in people's lives today.  I did this often, finding that it made me feel the most happiest inside.  It was time...

I walked back out into the waiting area... I walked over to the mother, daughter.  I sat down, blended in with them by talking.  I found that we all had a rapport that would make it easy for me to do what I wanted to do.

I smiled at them, told them that I wanted to tell them something special.  I made both promise not to make a sound when I told them.  I didn't want everyone to know that I carried such a large amount of money.  Also, I didn't want people to know that they would have that kind of money on them.

I asked them if they would walk with me to the bathroom that I wanted to show them something as I told them something special.  I saw trust in their eyes... I felt good inside.

We walked into the bathroom, thankfully ... it was empty.  I looked at both of them, smiled, told them that I had no way to remain private while I did what I wanted to do.  

The woman looked at me smiling, wondering what in the world I was talking about.  I told her that I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but, then again... I did mean to.  That was my purpose in life... to find people who needed things... to make dreams come true.

I took the envelope out of my coat pocket, handed it to the woman.  As she took it from my hand, I told her that this would help to buy the things her daughter needed, plus... she'd have money left.  I told her to not let anyone around us know what I just did... it was dangerous for people to know they had that kind of money on them.

The woman opened the envelope, gasped when she saw the hundred dollar bills.  I told her there were ten of them.  She began to cry softly, thanking me.  I told her in a quiet voice to not say anything, she didn't need to.  She, her daughter both hugged me... I turned around, walked to the door.  I looked back at them with a soft smile, put my finger on my lips, walked out of the bathroom.

I walked by an older man sitting alone.  His clothes were very worn.  He had a cane.  I sat down beside him, he spoke to me.  I listened as he told me about himself.  He was on his way to see his daughter who needed him.  He used his last money from his social security check to take the bus to her.  He didn't know what he'd do when he got there.

I opened my purse, slipped out four one hundred dollar bills.  I took one envelope out of my pocket, slipped the four hundred dollars into it along with the one hundred dollar bill in it.  Now... the envelope held five hundred dollars.  I knew what I was going to do with it....

I gently took the elderly man's hand in my two hands.  I told him that I would like to help him if he didn't mind.  I saw instant tears in his eyes... I told him to not say anything, that what I was about to do had to stay quiet.  He nodded his head...

I took the envelope with the five hundred dollars in it, placed it in his hand.  I told him that now... he would know what to do when he got to his daughter.  He opened the envelope, peered inside.  He began to speak... I put my finger to my lips, shook my head, whispered to him.... "don't let anyone see this money, stay safe now, you don't have to say a word."  I got up and walked away....

I felt such happiness in my heart... for now, I had done what I needed to do... I would know when it was time to help someone else the next time.  For now, I was through... for now, I was tired from the built-up emotion inside me.  The best kind of 'tired.'

My bus had arrived... I walked out to it... I never looked back.  I didn't need to... I had left 'good things' behind me.  That was my purpose in life........

Note:  This is a short story I wrote about a dream I have... I would like to really do this in my life.  Whenever I have had huge sums of money, I have done similar to this story I wrote.  I was at my most happiest when I made good things happen for others.  This story is my wish that's always in my heart.... I wish I were rich enough to make many dreams come true.  I would turn, walk away knowing I had done good.  This story was written while I was day-dreaming...... wishing....   :))) Love, Granny Gee

It Was Only... Yesterday

It Was Only... Yesterday

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Sometimes.... like this morning... I stop for moments at a time to think about things one takes for granted.  Even I do, to a certain extent.  Yet... I know better than to do that... I know how it feels to do without.

It doesn't feel good at all... but, many thousands of people have to.  Think about it... you wouldn't believe the homeless people in our own country... I've seen them when 'out west' in Los Angeles, and such big cities up north like New York City, so on.  I could almost swear 'I'm beginning to see it here, in the smaller towns'.....

I'm no expert on homeless people, but.... I know I saw often such scary things you wouldn't believe.  A big truck goes into areas... you wouldn't believe.  The drivers of those big truck 'sees life as it really is'.... people don't pretend around truck drivers.  Some people don't hide the things they do, either.

Have you thought about how it feels to wake up in a cold house on a morning such as this morning.  The temperature is 27 degrees.  I can remember even now, how miserable it was as a child to wake up at Grandma Alma and George's on a cold morning.

Poor George was responsible for everything to keep that house going.  He had to build a fire each morning... I look back in my mind at him.  He'd be shivering as he worked on the kindling to get it to burn in the wood heater... George was blind.

George's hands would be shaking from the cold as he would put wood in the heater.  Wood that as a little girl, I watched him chop.  He would build a fire in the wood heater in the 'arena/sitting room' they sat in every day of their life for twenty-some years.

George... George was someone very special to me.  He was my grandfather... I never knew my mother or father's .... father.  I was always curious about my father's father... no one ever wanted to speak of him.... he must have been a really 'bad' person.  I have no idea how he looked... I never saw a photo of him in my whole life.

I saw a photo of my mother's father... he was a handsome man.  I'm sure at one time he must have been a 'ladies' man'... I say that from looking back at all my family members... we 'all' thought 'we were something' at one time, or other.  We've all been vain at one time, or other... yes, even Granny Gee has.  We all were handsome/pretty when younger... extra-pretty.

George.... was the most special man I knew in my life as a child.  Skip is the next most special man I ever knew in my life.... he is so much like George.  George, I guess I could say... was the father I never had as a child, also.  I know Grandma Alma was... my mama when... my mama would disappear.  Of course, 'now'... Skip is my everything in this world... him, and our Pups.

At their house on such cold mornings... one had to either take a cold water bath... or take time to heat water up on the electric range.  I remember as a child, I didn't understand that.  I would freeze my hands trying to take a cold water bath.

I would see George take his hand to see if the electric burner was on... he would reach out to feel.. sometimes burning his hand before realizing it was too close to the burner.  I would feel a really sick feeling inside when he hurt himself...

I remember I would run cold water in the old claw foot bathtub in the bathroom, try to get into it.  I couldn't understand 'why' the water wouldn't be warm.  I never knew that kind of living until I was nine years old, and came to live with Grandma Alma, George.  Oh my God... the things I learned... there.

I do remember the pain from being in cold water... how did I do that?  How did I take my little girl naked body, climb over the side of that old bathtub .... and sit down in that freezing water?  I would cry.... I know I must have been some kind of red when I came out shivering uncontrollably.  I know my eyes would be red, too.  Not only that... there was never heat on the back porch, or... that bathroom.  Freezing...

Welcome to Hell, little girl.... somehow you must have been bad enough in your previous life to deserve it... I didn't know it, but... I'd lived... and went to hell as a nine year old child.  It took years to understand that was what had happened to me... I didn't know the word 'Hell', then.  I did know what pain, fear was though.  I knew the word 'hurt' very well... everything 'hurt'....

Grandma Alma, George had a rotary telephone that sat on the old dresser ... 'her dresser'... on the left side of her old upholstered rocking chair.  On the top of that dresser sat her many bottles of 'everything'.  Medicines, lotions, alcohol.  Her glass of ice water sat there, also.  Sometimes, a small Coca Cola, would sit there, too.

The old dresser had a mirror on it.  I would sometimes, stand at Grandma Alma's chair on her right side.... on my tiptoes to try to see myself in it.  Even 'today'.... I can't bear to see a mirror that looks like the one I saw ... then.

I would see a mirror that seemed to have a fog on it... and see the harsh light reflected in it... it was dirty, it was awful.  I could only see 'me' but, not my features.  I quit looking.  I don't know if my Grandma Alma ever tried to see herself in it.  She had a hand-mirror.

My poor grandma... my poor, poor grandma.  Poor George.  How my heart hurts even at this date in time... thinking about them.  They never knew what luxury was... nothing buffered them from the harsh realities of this world... nothing gave them a break from the hard life they lived.

I think I would have taken all those bottles of medicines I remember always seeing (that did something to me as a child, also) ... and just died.  Isn't that an awful thought, thing for ... Granny Gee to say?  I say this because I 'know' very well ... being suicidal.  I experienced this several times in my young life.... of course, I wasn't successful.... see, I'm still here... now.  :)))

These are other stories ... for another time.  You see 'now'... I learned to never give up ... I'm here.  I'm not sorry to disappoint 'some' people... I know now, that my real father, and his wife... hoped I 'would go' as a child.... insurance money.  They still made out like 'fat cats'... they are both gone now.

I'll never forget when I was only nine... I went to stay for a time with him.. meeting him for the first time.  They took us, my two half-sisters on vacation to the beach..... they called my two half-sisters back closer to shore... they let me wander on out as far as I wanted to.... I'm sure they stood there in anticipation.....

I'll never forget turning around to look back.... everyone was so far 'back'... I was the only one out in the ocean that far.  I was so afraid, I didn't know I had went so far away......  no one had called me back to safety....

That telephone on Grandma Alma's dresser had a cord on it.  It wouldn't work unless it was plugged into the jack on the wall.  No one heard of cellphones.... then.  Children today... can't ever imagine not having cellphones 'now'.... it honestly hasn't been as long as they think... when 'it used to be that way'.

At one time, it seemed 'to be a big deal when someone had more than one telephone' in their home.  It seemed to impress people....

Heat, telephone, cold/hot water... things we take for granted... I don't take any of them for granted at all.  Believe it or not... I still remember too well being that little girl.... who felt pain from being too cold from the weather, the water.  No, I promise you I don't take such for granted.

I feel for others who have to go without.... even that.  I would settle for 'even that'... if I didn't have the luxury of being able to turn up a thermostat on the wall, or use my wonderful cellphone, turn on either the hot, cold water.

I'm so grateful for ... all.  Thank God for those things... I thank God every day when there are things in my path to make life easier for me, us.  I could be without them... you could be, too.

I am so very appreciative of being able to take photos, text, email, play on the web.... all on my cellphone.  As a child... I think I'd been in Heaven if I'd had such then... especially a computer.  I wonder if children today can possibly imagine not having these things?

No, it's like when we were little... we never knew... when we were told... it's like it happened 'way before our time'.  It really happened 'yesterday'... but, you couldn't convince a child that.

Aren't you sometimes amazed at things man has made?  It's mind-boggling when one stops to think in detail ... it's magical, it's the 'impossible'... it's... wonderful.

Tommy always loved his toys, his new gadgets.  He was up on everything... and through time, he gave me alot of his toys when he 'upgraded'... I loved it.  I love new things, change.  I miss getting his toys when he got new ones.  :)))  We (he, Skip and I) always shared ... we always wanted the other to have 'something good' if one of us did.  I miss my son.

Remember when all television/tv was 'free'.... there wasn't any such thing as charging for tv... unless it was for the electricity.  Now... we pay for it.  Children couldn't imagine tv like we knew it 'just yesterday'.  They play games on tv, record movies and such things.  We even use our computers on tv's.

I love change, I love modern/new things as they come along.  I'm one of the first who would want to use them.  Skip loves things that are familiar.  There are many things I would wish to enjoy but, they are too expensive.  That's okay... I'm so thankful for what I do get to experience....

I could be getting up to make a morning fire in the wood heater, trying to heat water to take a bath in the dead of winter, not having the freedom to go places or take photos, be in communication by texting, email... with my cellphone.

I could be... homeless, not have anything.  I'm so sorry people have to be homeless....  they are at the mercy of the world.  When we really stop to think about it..... a lot of us are closer than we know... to being homeless... there's a fine line 'there'.....

The memory of that wood heater at Grandma Alma, George's lasted through all these years... oh no, I wouldn't want to have to do that.... but, if I really needed to... I would learn how to keep warm.

It was just 'only yesterday'.....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Pure, White Snowflake...

A Pure, White Snowflake...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I thought I saw a snowflake fall from the sky
I stood there watching for others that would surely come
Another snowflake fell on my nose
As two more fell on my cheek

I felt excitement inside my heart
It's snowing, it's snowing
I wanted to run, and twirl around
Like a little girl, a little child

This is the effect snow has on me
It makes me feel happy, light in heart
I want to make snow cream
Eat it by the crackling fireplace

I love to snuggle up in my warm coat
Along with a colorful scarf
Put my soft mittens to my face
Close my eyes, feel such happiness

It's snowing, it's snowing
There's no telling how deep it'll get
I don't care how deep it'll be
I just want to play in the snow like a child

Forget all my grief, sadness
That weighs down my heart
I want to be like a snowflake
Run, twirl, fall to the white ground

Look up into the sky as the flakes
Fall on me, into my face
I'm a snowflake on the ground
No thoughts, no sadness, no pain

I jump up and run, twirl around
My hair turns white with all the snow
I have no thoughts to cause me pain
Because I can only concentrate on... being a snowflake

All I can see is white
All I can feel is white
I know nothing more than
Being a snowflake... a pure, white snowflake

Saturday, November 24, 2012

She Writes The Pain From Her Heart...

She Writes The Pain From Her Heart...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

He lay there in the box
His mother stood at his head
Looking down at him in disbelief
Trying to see, to know

Oh God, my son is dead
Is this really my son
She asked as she looked
Through a curtain of tears

Tommy!  Tommy! Tommy!
Please don't be gone
Come back, Tommy
This hurts so bad

He lay there so still
She stood there even stiller
Frozen in shock looking at her son
Her only child she brought into this world

Her hand reached out to touch his hair
As tears rolled down her cheeks
Her chest began to heave with
Big sobs ... she wouldn't let come out

Her fingers touched the curl in his hair
Until they came upon something new
A roughness, a .... it took a moment to realize
They were staples from the autopsy

Her mind screamed with pain
Her fingers traced the scar beneath his hair
Her hand began shaking
Her mind telling her what it was

Her eyes closed as her fingers gently patted
His head, her hand touched his precious cheek
Tracing the familiar face of her child
Her hand softly touching his forehead

She looked up, out through her very red eyes
Eyes full of pain unlike any she'd ever known
To look at Skip, to see such grief in his eyes
Oh Skip, Tommy's gone, Tommy's gone

It seemed all was blank around her in the world
There was only a box sitting there
Her son lay in it
Only she, her husband standing there all alone

Her only focus was on her baby
The child, the son she had brought into the world
He was lying there, to never get up again
Or to say 'I love you, mama', again

I love you, son.. please God don't let this be true
Though she knew her child was gone, she still couldn't believe
He was such a personality, so alive
That she felt he could somehow come back

But, he lay there silenced forever
Her son, her only child
Would never again get up
He really was gone, never to be anymore

Tommy was cremated just after that
His ashes went to his son's mother
A tiny bit of his ashes went into a teardrop
And a heart, each had a tiny urn

They were given to Skip and Gloria
His son's mother took his ashes home with her
To one day scatter in the NC mountains
Stone Mountain, near where he grew up

He died on May 29, 2010
It's now November 24, 2012
His mother still grieves for him
Grief is there no matter how much she smiles

She still cries for him, but... no one can see
She hides her pain well
When she laughs, she is crying
But, when you look... all you see is a smile

The holidays are here once again
She's determined to make them happy
She has Skip, her Pups to think of now
They won't see her cry, feel her pain

She will hide it, she will write it quietly
So, no one will know
No one will feel sad or worry for her
As she writes the pain from her heart

I Still Have To Live Until I Die...

I Still Have To Live Until I Die...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I sit here listening to the sad music
Playing in the background on the tv
It keeps touching something in me
Pulls at me to make me feel sad

I feel afraid, it makes me think of death
Think of Tommy when he lay there
In that box at the funeral home
The box Taban wanted to climb up into

To be with his daddy
Little Taban knew his daddy went to heaven
What he didn't know was that he had died
Wouldn't ever be coming back

My heart broken, shattered
My eyes seeing this small child, knowing
That his daddy was gone, soon he'd realize
Daddy's not coming back home to him

He has to grow up without his father
His grandmother has to grow old without her son
Without her only child
He died that evening running, playing on the sand

Tommy died doing what he looked forward doing
Running, playing with Taban on the beach
Where he collapsed onto the sand
To never get up on his own again

My son died, my son died
Oh how I have cried, I have cried
Wanting my son to come back
For this to not be true

As time goes by, I am learning to accept
The death of Tommy, my only child
My son, a part of me
Is never coming back

He's never coming back
A part of me died that fateful evening
With my precious son
I have fought the darkness since then

I may seem to be okay, though
Grief is my constant companion
My black shadow
It follows me everywhere I go

It strikes at me when I begin to smile again
When I begin to feel happiness inside
I constantly push it away
Just as I would a spider web that blows in the wind

Stay back, grief... stay back
Let me have some peace
Let me smile, feel happy again
I still have to live until I die

I Just Had A Bad Time... Writing The Pain Out

I Just Had A Bad Time... Writing The Pain Out

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Well...  this evening, guess what I did?  I asked Skip to bring several things from our outside building... to the house.  I was paying close attention to myself, my feelings when he brought all in.

I waited to see if I'd become sad... feel panicky, want to cry.  These are the emotions I have experienced for two years now.  It's awful... the pain, the pure grief.... holidays have a way of making all worse.

Why?  Because that's when all of our loved ones gather for a time to feel close, happy, glad they have each other.  It's a time of such pure happiness looking around yourself, thinking 'I love my family... these are my special someones in my life... I'm so thankful for them'.  I feel so safe, loved by all of them.... I'm special to these people, they are special to me.

Then... someone is all of a sudden 'gone' didn't get to tell them 'goodbye forever'.  Like Tommy... I did get to speak to him on the phone less than an hour 'before' ......... when we ended our call we said, "I love you, son."  "I love you, mama."

We said 'goodbye'......... but, we never said 'goodbye forever, mama'.... 'goodbye forever, son'.....  When I said goodbye, I only meant until he would call me in an hour, or so... to tell me about playing with Taban at the ocean.  I didn't say ...'goodbye forever, son'.  I didn't .... mean 'goodbye forever'.....

Now... at this very moment, I look at what I've done... I could become very upset easily... but, I mean to do as I told you all I would do... that's to make our Christmas a happier time for us... Skip and our Pups.

I just made it through Thanksgiving... and I heard Skip say... 'This has been the nicest Thanksgiving'.....  I did it, and I'm so thankful I didn't make it another sad Thanksgiving.

Skip is so fortunate to see this Thanksgiving... I'm so thankful to have Skip this Thanksgiving.  Wouldn't I be awful not to appreciate, be thankful after what he has just been through when he became deathly ill?  I could have... been all alone ... only the Pups and I on these holidays.  My world is complete with Skip, our Pups.  I'm so fortunate.

I'm happy, I'm sad... bittersweet is the only word I can think of to describe what I am.  I looked at photos of Skip I had taken of him in Rex Emergency Room when he was very ill, when he was in the hospital that week.... one could see 'death was close by'... my heart hurts, I want to cry looking at them.  One photo, he was lying on the bed with his eyes closed... so still, so sick... he looked like... he was 'gone'.

I showed these photos to Skip this evening... he didn't know I took them in the emergency room... he knew about the ones while being hospitalized... I took them because I could see that he was getting better, and better.  Skip said, "I looked like I was dead, I've seen dead people look better."  I smiled at that because Skip is funny... he is the most wittiest person I know... quick on his feet to say something hilarious.  He's... my special someone, he's all I have in this world... he means everything to me... him and ..our Pups.

I look again... I stop writing to turn around to see... what I've done this evening.  I'm determined not to get in the condition I have been in for the past two years... I may be sad but, I'm going to be a... strong sad ... mixed with gratefulness...

There.... on the table is a 4 foot Christmas tree, decked out in shiny red balls, colored lights.  That's what I've done this evening... 'I've put up the Christmas tree'.......  I tell myself 'everything is going to be all right'....

I keep experiencing this feeling of wanting to cry... I feel tears threaten to fall... I'm so happy, I'm so sad.... I have Skip, I don't have Tommy.  I'm caught in the middle... I could have had ... no one.  I could have been all alone.  I feel I want to lay my head down, and just ... weep.

All of this is from thankfulness, mixed with grief.  One of my loved ones is still here, one of my loved ones is... gone.  One whom I didn't say 'goodbye forever'... to.  I only said goodbye for a little while....

For a few moments... I want to cry out for Tommy to come back, please don't be gone!  I know I sound foolish... grief can make one do, think foolish things.  No matter how happy one can appear to be... when they've lost someone that is a part of them.... grief is only beneath the surface.

I see that I'm going to have to cope with this... I feel inside that the darkness is trying to come near again.  I can't let it ... happen now.  I just can't.  I love my son, I miss my son, it hurts so bad.  I wish for my son to be back... Tommy, I wish you weren't gone.

Today I saw a young boy ... he looked alot like Tommy looked when he was a child.  I stood there, watched that boy... 'seeing Tommy' for several moments.  I made myself turn away... what good does it do to 'see Tommy'?  It hurts me deeply.  I feel ................... I feel ... so much.

Sitting here in darkness around me... I have the lights out... I sit here in the light of my computer thinking, writing.... I'm beginning to feel calmness inside.  See... how this happens when I think I'm ... all right?

I just turned around again to look.... at that pretty Christmas tree.  I'm so happy that I put it up for us to enjoy.  I'm so glad that I can write this pain down here.  Now... I can feel better... Skip never has to know how sad I became because.... now, I'm all right.  Everything is going to be all right.

I can smile through my tears... because I see, hear Skip talking... he's here.  I know Tommy is gone... it's like the glass of water.... half empty, half full.  I wish I could fill that glass right back up... Tommy to be back.  

I know that he can't come back... but, it still doesn't stop the pain I feel.  That can come back at any time... no matter how happy I am determined to be.

Everything is all right now...  I wrote out the pain.  I was having a bad time... I have been writing the pain out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It Was A Happy Thanksgiving For Pups, Too!

It Was A Happy Thanksgiving For Pups, Too!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I mashed the warm sweet potatoes, added real butter to mix both together.  I put a big mound in each of the two plates I was preparing with Thanksgiving foods.

I sliced turkey off the breast of the turkey I had baked to a golden brown color, placed slices on each of the two plates.  I now, had the plates ready to serve to .... two most special Pups, Kissy and Chadwick.

"Happy Thanksgiving, Kissy," I said, as I placed his Thanksgiving dinner in front of him.  I walked over to put Chadwick's plate in front of him.  "Happy Thanksgiving, Chadwick."

I stood beside Skip watching them eat...  I felt so thankful to have them.  They mean everything to Skip and I.  They are all we have, Tommy is gone.

We don't see his two children, we don't hear anything from anyone to let us know how they are.  Nor, do we know where our grandson is at.  They've moved, never told us... we told his mother when we moved, our new address, phone number.   We cared.  Happy Thanksgiving, Taban and McKenzie.

Skip and I made plates for our friends, our neighbors... and guess what?  One of our friends had made plates for us, too!  Not only that... she made us a Hawaiian pie which was wonderful.  I wonder if I have the nerve to say what happened to that good pie?!!!  By the end of this story... we'll see. :)))

Throughout the day Skip and I ate the different Thanksgiving foods I'd prepared, including the foods he came back with when taking our plates to our friends.

Later in the evening Skip said, "I couldn't have had a better Thanksgiving".  I felt happy inside... I wanted it to be so nice for him, the Pups.  He's been through so much for the past months... no one would believe.  Also, he's been deathly ill... I'm so thankful Skip is here... he almost wasn't.

Hawaiian pie... what a wonderful pie!  It's sort of like whipped cream... only the texture is different... has bits of pineapple, I think coconut in it.  I have to say that pie disappeared over a short time!  That was too good... Skip and I enjoyed it so much.  :)))  I'm glad it wasn't a giant pie!

Our Pups enjoyed their foods all through the day.  It was a happy Thanksgiving for Pups, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

When I Was Sleeping You Thought Of Me...

When I Was Sleeping You Thought Of Me...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

While I was sleeping one night
You thought of me when I didn't know
When I found out about it
I was so honored, so amazed, awed

Thank you, wonderful angel for what you did
It means the world to me
You have made my life so much nicer
For you being in it

For when I was sleeping
You thought of me when I didn't know
Made my life feel sunshine
At a time when it was needed

I can't ever forget you
For touching my life in such a special way
To bring some peace into it
To put smiles on our faces, tears in our eyes

Thank you, you'll always be in my heart
Today is Thanksgiving, I thought of you
I am so thankful for you, and so many things
I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me

This is to the angel who thought of me when I was sleeping.  You mean the world to me.  Thank you.   Love, Gloria

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving To You... You All Mean The World To Me

Happy Thanksgiving To You...  You All Mean The World To Me

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I made it through yesterday... Tommy's birthday.  I did have several times when I felt grief try to push in on me, crush me down.  I felt the real pain try to make me forget about my determination to make it through his birthday, and, upcoming Thanksgiving.

I have meant to make it through these holidays, come out on the other side still in good shape.  It does take a lot of strength, determination... if I didn't have it ... I would have decided I can't cook special foods for tomorrow... Thanksgiving Day.  I have Skip, our Pups to think about.  I need to make all happy for them... in return I will feel good.

I roasted a turkey today, made a big potato salad, big pan of dressing.  I baked sweet potatoes to make a pie with... tomorrow.  I kept thinking to myself when I finally finished... "I'm so glad I did this, tomorrow will be a happy day".  I will make more special dishes tomorrow.

When I was peeling the shells off the boiled eggs... I thought of how Tommy would pop up every time.... he loved to eat boiled eggs.  I even looked around the kitchen to see if I saw anything unusual... I didn't.  I really wanted to... but, I didn't.

I still can't believe my son is gone.  He was so... he was just so real that it seems like he can't be gone.  I do feel tears beneath the surface... but, I'm not going to let them flow this time... I have to accomplish my goal... that's to make sure Thanksgiving is nice for us.

This will be the first for us since Tommy died in 2010.  I can't remember now, the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays after he died.  I try to look back... I can only see darkness in my mind.

Yesterday, I felt sunshine inside for the first time on his birthday... I felt it today as I prepared Thanksgiving foods. 'I felt sunshine again in my heart.'  Do you know how thankful I am to actually feel such a happy feeling like that ...inside... at a time like this?

At this very moment ... I feel the pain that's inside me, I want to sit and cry... my nose burns.  I think about how I felt today, I don't want to let grief take over ... I can't let that happen.  I've made Skip happy knowing 'I'm going to be all right'.....  I'm going to make sure it is.  :)))

This will be a real Thanksgiving... we'll be sharing food, food will be shared with us.  I'm really looking forward.  It's going to be a real Thanksgiving in our home tomorrow.  I have so much to be thankful for .... for an angel who thought of me while I was sleeping, for Skip and our Pups.... I could have lost Skip recently as he was very ill... oh, how thankful I am that he's recovered.

Oh yes, I could go on and on.. naming things I'm so fortunate to have in my life, to be thankful for.  I am thankful also, to be here 'now'... I've been in the darkness too long... it does feel good to experience the sunshine in my heart again.  It's like Tommy's smile... it was like sunshine coming out on a cloudy day.  Happy Thanksgiving to us... it will be, I'm so happy to say.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you... my dear readers.  I'm so very thankful for you... you all mean the world to me.  Thank you for being here for me... I'm so glad I have you all to come here at any time to talk to.  Yes, I am very thankful for... you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Son... I Miss You, Tommy

Happy Birthday, Son... I Miss You, Tommy

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

November 20, 1969... Thursday morning at 11:28 am a little baby was born.  He weighed 8 lbs. 4 1/2 oz.  He was 21 inches long.

This little baby had a lot of blonde hair.  He was perfect, beautiful.  Tommy was born... my son, my only child was born.

May 29, 2010.... on a Saturday evening at Myrtle Beach, he collapsed on the beach, died.  He was playing with his little three year old son for the first, and last time.

November 20, 2012... Tommy would have been 43 years old today had he lived.
I miss you, Son.  Your mama loves you.  I miss you, Tommy.

True Love... I Wonder If He Knew I Looked Up Into His Sightless Eyes To See...

True Love...  I Wonder If He Knew I Looked Up Into His Sightless Eyes To 'See'....

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

They sat there in their chairs... Grandma Alma sat in her old upholstered recliner... it rocked.  George had a chair that always sat beside her chair.  Day in, day out... this was their place to sit, side by side... for many, many years.

Grandma Alma was paralyzed.  When she walked, one of her arms would hang to her side while one leg dragged.  She'd walk holding onto her walker with her good hand.  I look back in my mind.. I can see her walking, her face smiling at me.  I can 'see' the twinkle in her eyes... a glow about her face.

George was Grandma Alma's second husband.  He was the only grandfather I ever knew in my life.  I loved him with my little girl heart.  He could be loud sometimes, that was his way.  George would 'holler' when he felt pain, or became upset.  He could ... holler good!

Every morning, George would cook (yes, George cooked and he was blind) Grandma Alma's breakfast.  Sometimes he'd burn his fingers and I would hear him ... he could sure holler loud!  He would say a 'dirty' word... I would laugh because George could be funny.

I would feel sad, too... George got hurt sometimes.  It would touch my heart.. I would tilt my head to the side, and look up into his face... sometimes I saw... tears in his eyes, his sightless eyes.  It did something to my little girl heart.  

George would wash the dishes, I'd try to help in my little girl way.  When he got through, he'd get a pan of hot water, add cold water to make it lukewarm... take it to Grandma Alma.  She'd take her bath with her good hand.  I would hand things to her if she asked.

George would take the pan of water to the back door, toss it out.  Sometimes, I would laugh so much... one of my cousins could be coming to the back door as he tossed the water out!  He didn't see them!  It was bound to happen 'sooner or later!'

Grandma Alma would dress while he was emptying the water.  I would help her all I could.  George would come back to sit in his old, cane-bottomed chair to 'rub Grandma Alma up'... he did this faithfully every day for twenty-some years.

George would begin with Grandma Alma's right leg... he would rub it with alcohol.  He would massage her leg, and put it through range-of-motion exercises as he rubbed her leg.  When he finished, he would rub Beauty Ray lotion into her skin to keep it soft, supple.

George would rub Grandma Alma's right arm, hand.  His fingers would work her skin gently as he rubbed alcohol on it, put it through range-of-motion exercises.  He'd rubbed Beauty Ray lotion on her arm.

Grandma Alma's left leg, left arm was 'rubbed up' next.  Each was given range-of-motion exercises.  Every day this was done several times a day.  Faithfully George would 'rub Grandma Alma up'....

Grandma Alma had the smoothest, softest skin.   Her facial skin never aged with wrinkles... it was as smooth as a young girl's.  She stayed inside all those years, also... so, sun didn't damage her skin.

If Grandma Alma could have been made to walk.... George's love would have done it all those years of rubbing her body up in alcohol, Beauty Ray lotion, doing all those range of motion exercises faithfully several times a day.

She never regained her ability to walk, run, to work in her flowers.  She did use her one 'good hand' to touch a grandchild, to reassure it, to pull that grandchild to her bosom to hug them.  I remember... Grandma Alma got tears in her eyes, too.

Grandma Alma, George.... true love if I ever saw it.  No... their love wasn't full of glamorous things, lots of money, beautiful clothes, cars, people.  Their special love was in a world of being severely handicapped, being blind... paralyzed.

Their special love was in a home built over hell... all hell broke out around them in the arena at any moment.  This was where all the fights were held for their entertainment.... no, they weren't entertained at all... they just didn't have a choice in the matter.  I saw tears in their eyes.

Their love was in filth, poverty, no frills, no thrills... no luxuries ever.

No one did anything for them without 'raising hell' first, anger, cursing about 'who is going to do this or that for them?'  They never minded asking Grandma Alma, George for their last cent though.

Grandma Alma, George didn't 'cuss about it first', though.  They gave with a free heart... oh, how I loved my Grandma Alma, George.

In their world of love... there were roaches, rats, spiders... and (don't laugh... I had a deadly fear of them with their fat little human-like bodies, eyes).... kid-diddle hoppers!  These things would jump out, fall on a little girl, terrifying her so, that she'd tiptoe, walk quietly to the kitchen, bathroom.  Everyday she lived with fear of some kind there.... from those scary things, people who needed someone to take anger out on...

Their house was scary.... the 'old homeplace' was the house from hell... built over hell.  Don't let anyone tell you 'this was the old homeplace as if it were a special place'... I know 'why' they do that... they just want to find some place in their young life to be 'as nice as anyone else's'.  It looks nice today... but, something's not right about that old house... bad things still happen there.

I walked to the door of that old house one day in the last two years... I stood there looking in... I felt my breath stop, my heart felt afraid... I had to walk away... I couldn't enter it.  It affected me for several days... at this moment I 'feel' it, while writing about it.

They don't think anyone else remembers.... they were there as a 'great' grandchild... already a generation of grandchildren had been there, known hell... as little children.  Some were 'their' parents... no, they just don't know.

I can say this... you hear people say it's important to give a child a solid foundation to build its life from, to go in life from.....  that was my foundation such as it was... but, I know that's why also, I'm still 'standing' today.  So, it must have been a 'damn good one'.......

Hell 'raised' me... it gave me the strength I needed for my life... so many bad things have happened... but, I'm on this side of it all now.  I'm thankful to have turned out to be a good person because 'in hell' I didn't see many 'good' things.  I could have been a 'bad girl'.................. in more ways than one.  I knew how to be....

I just didn't choose to go down a lot of paths I started down... curiosity led me toward things in life I found out that I didn't want any part of.  I ran back the way I came, getting delayed, lost on the way out... but, I didn't give up until... I was back to 'good'.

I don't like bad things though.... in this life I've learned that 'it takes bad sometimes' to make 'good things happen'.  Sometimes... it takes 'bad people' to do good things... because they aren't afraid to take up for the underdog, and such as that.  We need 'bad' along with 'good.

Getting back to true love... Grandma Alma and George sitting there in those old chairs with 'hell all around them', punishing them every day of their life, demons performing in the arena constantly, shrieking.. screaming.. fighting, flesh on flesh, pounding each other, blood... pure raw anger, hate, blackmail.

Doesn't it sound like a 'war zone' with debris falling all around... while they sit in a little bubble?  Only in their little bubble... all affected them.  I wonder what in the world they did so bad to have deserved all life threw at them?  I don't think they deserved such bad things...

True love... that's what held Grandma Alma, and George together against the whole world.  They suffered so much... I only remember very few moments of peace of mind for them...  I always looked up into George's eyes to see if he was happy, into Grandma Alma's eyes to see.  Most of the time I saw ... stress, upset, tears.  I would then, 'feel' it in my heart... my eyes would burn with tears... I didn't know 'why'.... every time.

It was Heaven when I saw them smile... I loved it when I saw them..... 'them' smiling at each other, gently teasing the other over some silly thing.  I loved hearing them talk with each other, instead of being upset.  When this little girl lived with them in hell... she saw ...true love.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Parade 2012... Thankful... Tommy, Are You Smiling?

Christmas Parade 2012... Thankful... Tommy, Are You Smiling?

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

This morning Skip and I got up, got ready and... left to go to Raleigh Christmas Parade.  We stopped for gas at Sheetz... I love going to Sheetz, it reminds me of our traveling days in the past.

The colors there are exciting, it feels cozy, homey to me.  All the colors are 'warm'... yellow, red, green, orange... the colors of fall time, my favorite time of the year.  The colors of a fireplace, that keeps one so warm, so cozy.  The colors that say, "It's so cold outside, come on inside, I'll keep you warm."

Skip pumped gas, I made cups of hot coffee for us.  We were now, officially on our way to the Christmas Parade!  We had one more stop to make... that was at Dunkin' Donut in Raleigh.

The owner saw us, held the door opened for us to come inside.  He and Skip are long-time friends.. they love to talk about the Vietnam War.  Both of them are Veterans.

Myself, I walked inside...  closed my eyes for a moment, and smelled the wonderful aroma of Dunkin Donut coffee, freshly made doughnuts.  I always love doing this at Dunkin Donuts.

It is a wonderful experience for me... the aroma of that good coffee, the warmth inside when it's very cold outside.  Cozy, special... I don't mind waiting at all for Skip and his friend to finish their conversation.  I stand there ... and enjoy the moment.  Special moments never last long.

We left, drove to our favorite spot to sit and enjoy the Christmas Parade.  We set up our chairs, blankets... went back to sit in our vehicle.  We talked, people-watched as others came early to do the same thing as we did.  We were waiting... we'd gotten the doughnuts and coffee... this is our tradition every year.

Finally... it was time to go sit in our chairs.  Oh my... it was so cold, windy outside.  I was glad to have blankets... one to put over my fold-up chair to block the wind... one to place over my lap.  Our neighbors who sat closest to us were very nice. All around, in front of us were little precious children. Some were standing near me, some sat on the curb in front of me, and to the right of Skip.

It was wonderful watching the floats go by, the different dogs, horses.  People dressed in all kinds of garb... lots of.......... happy colors!  Bands marched by to the beat of their own drums :)))  girls danced, twirled their batons.  Lots of old cars, lots of Harley Davidson motorcycles drove by... bicycles, segways, wagons.  People jumping rope, doing all kinds of 'impossible' things/

At the last, Santa Claus came riding by with his reindeer, he was waving to everyone.  What a wonderful parade!

All through the parade, I watched little children's faces.  I saw how happy their little faces were, I heard it in their voices.  One little boy in particular touched my heart.  He always looked quietly at me, his eyes would make a little smile.  He was the age of Taban, my precious grandson ... I have to look for Taban in other children... I never see him.

I saw a little girl on one of the pageant floats... she had strawberry-blonde hair just as my granddaughter, McKenzie.  I looked at her sweet face 'trying to see my granddaughter' in her...

I watched a couple at the beginning of the parade... the woman reminded me of Tommy's wife... the man looked like Tommy.  I only saw his hair, face, his body-build.... he had on sunglasses so, I couldn't see his eyes.  Yes, I was looking for Tommy... he's gone now but, you all know that... you have been here for me all this time.  I even... looked for his wife.....

Skip and I watched in amazement the huge Nutcracker soldier being pulled down Hillsborough Street.  They had to continually lower him to pull him beneath all the Oak trees!  I took close-up photos of him towering above me...

One of our favorite bands... Helping Hands Mission... for some reason was the last to march/dance down the street.  Santa Claus came through just before them!  I didn't understand that because... I didn't really care.  There they were!  They are my favorite to watch because....

Those girls can dance!  I love the wild, happy music and the way the girls, the guys in the band 'get down'!  They 'let go'... making people cheer, laugh, happy watching them.  I felt happy, I felt my spirit soar with the excitement their presence created... this was such fun!

Today... was the first Christmas Parade I've enjoyed since Tommy's been gone.  This is the 3rd Christmas Parade......  Tommy, I missed you with my heart... I thought of you, I didn't forget you at all.  I looked for you, Taban, McKenzie, even your wife at this Christmas Parade.  I didn't see you all, but... I did see lots of reminders.  I was happy to have that.  I have so much to be thankful for.

On the way home, I looked at Skip and said, "Skip, I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving... you could have been taken from me just a few weeks ago, I would have been left alone.  I'm so thankful for you, for our Pups, a warm, nice place to call home, good food... for our friends ... for the miracles, and amazing things that have happened to us.  We have been through so much... for now, all feels good, there's peace of mind.  I can make it through these holidays... I'm so thankful."  Oh God, I am so very thankful.....

In my mind I have one person in mind... I know there are angels who walk among us... she touched our life in a most special way.  She has ever since Tommy died... her soft, quiet voice has always 'been there' speaking to me.  I heard her words, she stood out to me, because she was so ... quiet, caring.   She sort of reminds me of my Aunt Frankie when I was a little girl... quiet, soft, always there.  So comforting...she thought of me when ... I was sleeping.

She shared her new granddaughter with me when she was born, in photos... because she thought of me, the grief I go through not knowing mine.  She didn't have to do that... that touched my heart in such a special way.  She has thought of me in a most meaningful way... thank you from my heart.

Thank you for touching our life in such a wonderful way... you know who you are.   I'm more thankful for so much... more than my words can possibly say.

The holidays... are coming.  I really feel inside... I am going to make it through them.  I haven't felt this way since ... Tommy had to go away ... it doesn't mean I don't hurt ... the pain is there beneath the surface.

What I think it does mean is.......... a lot of special things that are happening has created a very thick, soft, strong blanket of good, happy feelings to throw over that pain... and it is heavy enough to hold that pain down where it won't want to come up to the surface to strike at me, to destroy any happy feelings I might have.  I think the weight of it might carry me through all the holidays this year... I need that peace of mind, I want it so much.  I'm so determined in a good way... I believe everything will... be all right.

So much more happy feelings, so much more to be thankful for, so much more... peace of mind is 'heavy' enough to hold that pain down.

What a wonderful Christmas Parade, I have so much to be thankful for... and I'm not afraid for ... Thanksgiving to come this week.  I know everything is going to be all right.

So far, so good... I feel I will make it through now...  Tommy, are you smiling?  I am smiling... with tears in my eyes.  I 'feel' my son's smile in my heart... I see his smiling eyes in my mind... it feels like the sunshine came out inside my heart.  Tommy, are you smiling?