Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do You See How Life Can Sneak Up On You?

Do You See How Life Can Sneak Up On You?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I've been thinking about 'when' one ages.  I know that life takes its toll on each of us in different ways.  In different ways... just as how the waves erode the sands through time, taking the shore away a little at a time; how the wind blows sand, dust in the desert to shape, mold all in its path, smoothing, wearing down.  Just as life comes at us, shaping... molding us through time... until we become... old, sometimes... not so smooth.

I have been studying my photos, and I 'see something that could have happened if I hadn't recognized it'.  In fact, it had begun to happen again... because life had caught me off guard with the death of my son.

Not only the death of my son... several times through time, I was caught off guard by the events that happened... time passed before I was 'aware of myself' again.  I became lost each time, several years passing 'before' I became aware of all around me once again.  Each time, I had to 'begin all over again'.....

In my life, I had several years of suffering from a major illness that would have made some people bedridden 'the rest of their life'... becoming lost in time.  I 'see' how people can be beaten by life's experiences until they are too weary to get back up again.  There might come a time, when one can see that 'it's either now... or never'... that if, they are going to 'get back up to live'... they'd better do it... now.  If one misses that opportunity......

Their bodies, minds weakened... some just stay where they are, where it's safe... they become bedridden.  They no longer have to fight... God, how good that feels.  You really don't even have to ... think.  Just exist, just 'be'.

Loved ones can protect, care for one.  They can think for them.  All you have to do is to... 'be'.  Everyone knows you are ...too sick, to help yourself.  It's alright to be bedridden... God knows your body has come through something... you have a legitimate reason to 'lay there'...

That's not to say that happens to everyone... because I know people become bedridden, there's no chance for them to 'come back to themselves'... yet... look at the fighting spirit so many have.  I admire them... they don't give up... they might seem to... but, they 'get back up'.

How do I know?  I 'recognized' the point it could have happened to me... but, no matter the family I come from, I have something they all have, had.

A 'fighting spirit'... one hell of a fighting spirit that I'm thankful to have had passed onto me.  'Now'... I'm thankful for the harsh lessons they taught me as a little girl... to survive.  To be a fighter... I'll fight to the end!

I look back in time, see where I could have stayed there... stayed where life was safer, someone could care for me like a baby, protect me.  When I became aware ... I began to fight.

I 'meant to come back', I wanted to live life no matter ...if it hurt me again, and again, and ... again.  It did hurt me again... and again... again.  I have had to start over... so many times.  Why I didn't give up... I can't say... I can just say my fighting spirit pushed me 'up'.

So many times, with pain ripping through my body, tears falling from my eyes, flowing down onto my face, cries and moans coming from my lips... I have made me get stronger.  Not only that... Skip was always there, saying things that would 'push me back to being 'me'... again'.  He wouldn't let me give up... Skip is my hero.

I look at my photos that go back in time... I can 'see' the points in time, I could have let myself 'become old, and gray'.  I can see 'where I caught myself just in the nick of time'... I thank God.

I've missed out on years of my life... didn't know I was in the living world, didn't care.  Thank God, somehow I have made it back 'just in the nick of time'... I 'would have disappeared without knowing it, I would have went on to being a person I wouldn't recognize in my mirror'...

That's 'why I look for myself' constantly... why, I try to find 'me', get 'me back'.  You, who are younger and are reading this, I promise you... my words will forever stay in your minds.  You will come to points in your life as you become older... you are going to say to yourself.. 'oh my, I 'see' what Gloria/Granny Gee meant.

Life will take its toll on you at one time or other... it's going to happen.  If you are aware of what to expect... then, that old saying comes in:  'being forewarned is to be ... forearmed'.

I've never read in words how it feels to become older, or anything like I've written here.  I've always had to learn the hard way about life... looking for what I could learn from all life has 'thrown at me'.  I've studied myself, watched, listened, trying to learn from all around me, from others.

I try to 'stay forewarned/forearmed'... :)))  If I am aware of things... then, I can be prepared.  Sadly... one can't be always... prepared for what comes in life, so unexpectedly.

Saying that is so easy...  life hasn't been that way at all.  I haven't been prepared for major illnesses, or the death of my only child, or some of the other things in my life.  Tommy died May 29, 2010.

I had to learn on my own 'how' to come out of these battles I fought, struggled to get through.  I'll say it again, Skip is my hero... he has been the light/beacon... always shining 'out there' for me to keep going toward... it took so long, but, each time I've made it.  If he hadn't been there... well, I might not be here... no one else was there for me.

Getting back to the photos of me through time... I've shared some of them with you recently.  They depict through time how life has taken its toll on my face.

Can't you see now, that you've seen these photos... how there were 'those times' that if not recognized in time... I would have went on to 'age until old'?  No one would have known me anymore.  How 'white' I was becoming through time.  Now... I have 'some color about myself', once again!  :)))

Can you see how I've tried to 'catch myself' and not let it happen until I can't prevent it?  I fight to 'hold onto me'.... I want those years of my youth that I have lost to life's circumstances.  I want to see me in my mirror, at least enough... to know it's not someone else peeping out of my mirror at me!

My body might hold such pain every day of my life... that's okay, I'm living... that was the 'trade-off I made' to get to live.  I've learned to live with such pain, I'm proud to say I don't take drugs to manage it... though, there are times I am almost tempted.  I can't bear any 'extra pain'... though, at times... it happens.

I may take medicine when a doctor prescribes it... most of the time, I don't.  I have a fear of becoming addicted to drugs... even if I never have.  That fear has been in me since being very young... watching what drugs did to my loved ones... what alcohol did.  I always want my mind to be clear... I want to know what is going on... at all times, even if it hurts.

Truthfully, the one time I didn't care was when my child died... for a time, without realizing it any longer... I did take medicine that I don't even remember the name of.  It was so powerful... I barely remember the doctor who prescribed it to me.  No, I just thought about it, I can't remember the doctor who prescribed it to me... there's no face in my mind.

I only knew that Tommy had... died.  Every minute, I 'knew Tommy had just died'... the medicine protected my mind, put me in darknesss so, I wouldn't have to see, so... I wouldn't have to feel.

I could even smile when I took that medicine... and my son had just died.  How potent is that?  I couldn't have lived if... I hadn't had something so powerful to numb me, keep me in the darkness that I... so, wanted to stay in.

For now... I'm aware of myself again... I will fight to stay younger... for a little longer.  Hopefully, it will be 'forever' before something else happens to make me 'lose myself' once again.  Just look at me, and you'll see an example, know from my words how life can be.

Do you see... how life sneaks up on one?  How it can take your youth, your years of your life... away?  If you don't believe me... look at my photos below:   Do you see how life sneaks up on you?

 Photo Left... 2010


  Photo Right... 2011

Photo on left... 2012

Photo on right (glasses)... 2013

Photo on both right, and left... 2013... 'now'

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lost In... Grief

Lost In... Grief
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


2011... one year after Tommy died :


2012... Beginning to try 'to look a person again'... failing so much of the time... so much grief inside.  I looked 'good' here, compared to how I did 'really look' ... most of the time.  Grief changes one's appearance....


All these photos below... were taken in the 1980's... I had experienced so much in my life, so much pain, grief... yet... you didn't see it permanently 'etched in my eyes'. I could still smile, you didn't see it in my face... I could hide it well... making one think 'life was perfect'... it was, it wasn't... it was... it wasn't.



2013... Now, no matter how much I smile, I can see a different expression in my eyes... it's called 'permanent pain'... my name for it. I recognize it when I see it in other people's eyes who have 'become older'.

I recognize 'how' they've let it affect them... some people will carry an expression of awful anger, hate. Others will carry forever a soft smile... a 'bittersweet smile', I call it. That's what my smile is... because at times, I do get angry, I do hate... because my only child, my son....... Tommy died. I told you that I'm not perfect... 'never have been, never will be; tried to be for 3 years, 3 'wasted' years... won't try to be again'....

So, I wear a permanent 'bittersweet smile'... one made up with pain, anger, grief, hate... all mixed with .... love, compassion, caring, empathy, honesty, loyalty, goodness. All mixed with a positive attitude... knowing 'no matter how bad it is, is going to be... I'm going to get through it... somehow, all will be all right again... no matter what'...

How can I be like this? Oh, how can I be like this? I don't know the answer in words... I 'just try to be, because ...I want to be'. I fail sometimes, miserably... but, I pick my .... ass... (yes, I'm aware I said that... it's the tone of my words)...... up off the (here I go again).... damn ground, and make me stand on my two feet.

Oh... I 'can say damn... if I want to... I earned that right as a tiny child playing in the white sand, turning it into 'tea', drinking it, getting choked, saying 'damn!', getting my mouth washed out with soap, water'. My mother was breaking me from forever from saying that word... I determined as a little girl ... 'I'd damn-well say that damn word whenever I felt like it... that's my one... damn cuss word.' I really will use that one word... if need be. No apologies.... no apologies.

So, I don't feel any ... guilt, or... remorse for saying it. I know a lot more 'cuss words'... and though I don't say them often at all... I know how, when I come 'to that point'; so, the word 'damn' isn't all that bad. :))) I told you... I'm not perfect at all... I am a good person, regardless. Now! No matter what 'ugly word I could possibly say, and will do from time to time'... I'm a good person. I just happen... to know 'all those words'....

It's just like a person who drinks alcohol, smokes a cigarette, does drugs, is a 'loose' person.... they can still be 'good people'. Sometimes... it takes a 'bad person' to ... do 'something good'..... that's 'why' good things 'come from no where to make all the difference' in another person's life. Unexpectedly, and from the ... most unlikeliest sources/places. Life can be wonderful... it takes 'all kinds of people' to make the world go round...

I fight to 'make me' find the positive in things so, negative. One way or the other... I'm going to find it... I can't live any other way. I'm not a negative person... though I may appear to be ... for a short time. That's only... until I 'find the way' to where 'I want to be'.... inside.

I try not to be angry, I try not to hate... I really don't... it's just at times, I honestly do feel that way. I don't mean to... but, life happens. It puts me in situations that I have to make the best of, find 'my way back' to where I was.

I will grovel in the dirt, say every ugly word in the world, crawl, scream, cry, pray, whatever I need to do... to get back to being... positive. It sounds strange... but, my nature would be to 'fight to stay positive'... I would be afraid to be negative all the time... what a scary thought!

When Tommy died, it's taken this long to 'come back' to a place... I can 'almost find peace'. Almost... until the next time grief strikes at me. Sometimes... it is softly, sometimes... it can be quite vicious... I never know. All I know is that like a fish thrown out of the water...I'm left floundering, trying to find my way back to ... my life, where ... I can be all right, again. I... almost didn't make it back when Tommy died... even making it, I didn't care for the longest time...

Now... I do care. I want to live, be happy. I try so hard to cope with such grief like I've never known in my entire life.

Now... you can see in my smile ... 'real life, a mixture of both good, bad'; you can see that I've tried to be very positive in my ... bittersweet smile. I mean to carry that bittersweet smile to my grave (I want to be cremated...).... I'm not growing old with a wicked, mean, hateful-ass expression like a dried-up prune on my face... if my face looks like a prune... it will be a 'sweet, ripe, soft, good' prune face!

Now... you can see that I've traveled far in life in the etchings on my face, the chiseling of my smile... now, 'I can see how'... people 'my age'... 'look the way they do'. I always wondered 'why their eyes looked so tired, washed out'.

Now... I can see 'why'..... now, that I can see why... I'm trying so hard to have a happy, colorful face ... again. I would like also, for ... peace of mind, to be mixed with my bittersweet smile...

I've paid attention to some people who are much older than I... they have a wonderful 'calmness, peacefulness, beauty' in their faces. I'm trying to 'reach for that'... I, also, want it in mine. I wonder if I can attain it.

I might not be able to... because 'those people may be the ones who have escaped life's pain, grief... all might have been 'perfect' in their lives'.... they might not have known how it feels to lose a grandparent, a parent, a brother, a sister, a friend, a pet, an aunt, uncle, cousin... or a child, a son or... daughter. They might not know anything at all about ... death.

They might not have ever had a major illness, nor nearly... die. They might not have watched a love one be deathly ill, fight for their life.....

They might have just been 'free as the wind' to enjoy only the sweet pleasures of this life... taste, feel, experience only ... the best. If you've never known something... how can you have feelings about it?

Just imagining... not feeling how it feels... are two different birds going separate ways in life... one will be fed, fattened with the best life has to offer, while the other will struggle to feed its young, struggle to survive.

They might have been so rich... yes, being wealthy does protect, buffer one from a lot of life's pain... money does help... it is said to 'be the root of all evil'.... it's also, the very difference in many people's lives. It means ...survival, hopes and dreams realized... one can realize happiness from it.

'Just because it's 'money'... doesn't make it all bad'. Personally, I know 'millions of ways'... I can make money 'good'. I know, see many people whose lives would be so much better ... with just a little money. Don't you? I would make 'good things happen'...

Getting back to pain, grief... that's what's shaped my face for the past three years... making me lose myself. I was unaware that 'I had lost myself'... until the past year. I've been trying so hard to 'bring me back'... failing, so much of the time. Why 'failing'?

Because grief would come back, find me... take me out on a new wave of pain. I had to learn how to mentally swim... back to the shore... only for it to happen again... and again. Sometimes, I'm so weary... so, so tired.....

Grief... hell are both the same to me... I've lived in both... one hurts as bad as the other. One torments as much as the other. Grief... hell... grief... hell. I don't know the difference between them, anymore.

I do know, I don't want to stay in either place any longer than I have to. I don't want to live in the darkness, the anguish.... though, I know deep down... I will have to at times. I've lost an important part of my life, never to be replaced... someone who was part of me, whom I loved with my very heart... so, it's bound to be. I can't prevent it. I've lost my child... my only child, I've lost ... Tommy.

I think about Mother's Day... it'll soon be here. I am seeing, hearing sons and daughters discussing 'what to get mama' ... for Mother's Day, when I'm out shopping. I have neither a mother to get a present for.... and I'm no longer... a mother... for my son to come see, or get a present for. The present isn't important... it's the relationship. Mother and child... in my case... mother and son.

I have to walk on by the racks of Mother's Day cards... when I wish to purchase one. I remind myself ... I have no mother to buy a card for. When it comes time to buy a birthday card... I find myself looking at them for 'Son'... I can't buy one... he's gone.

This is life... whether I like it or not... I can't change it. I can only change, make the best of the life I have left. I think sometimes, with Tommy gone... there's no future left for me. He was my future....

Whatever you call it for me, now... future... the life I have left.... I hope it can be good, I hope it won't hold such pain again... but... I know in 'real life'... it can't be 'all good'... and most definitely... there's going to be pain. It can't be any other way.... one has to strengthened themselves in the meantime... because life goes on.

I just wanted to compare photos here in one place... to 'see the difference in my eyes through time'. I've been to Hell and back... here's my proof in photos.  I've been lost in .... grief.












My Mama, Earlene
My brother, Ricky... and Mama, Earlene

On the right side of the photo is my mother as a young woman... beautiful, vivacious.  She looked enough like Elizabeth Taylor... to be sisters.  My mother was as beautiful... with a fun personality.

Oh, as a little girl... I looked up to my beautiful mother.  When I first remembered her, she had long, curly hair.  She always dressed in dresses, skirts... she was the prettiest girl around.  I wanted to be like her, I wanted to grow up beautiful... like my mama.

My Mama, Earlene...and Grandma Alma...

Daisy Earlene... My Mama... 

My Mama, Earlene...
My Mama, Earlene...

My Mama, Earlene... on left

My Mama, Earlene on left... Me, Gloria... on right

My Mama... on left
Mama... Earlene

Mama... Earlene, in front...

My Mama, Earlene... Camp Lejune, NC

Mama on right...

Mama... Earlene

My beautiful, vivacious mother, Earlene...

Tonight, I had my mother on my mind.  Can you see here, that there was once a young woman who had dreams, hopes for a good life?  She was real, had real feelings.  I knew her as 'Mama'.

Can you understand when looking at these photos of the past... what I mean... when I say 'everyone should have a book'... your mother, my mother ... anyone who has been on this earth... who was so real... so... 'the people we knew, loved'?

Don't you think it sad... they aren't remembered?  'They are gone, ashes to ashes... dust to dust.'  Of course, my Mama was cremated... her ashes haven't been scattered.  They are in a beautiful chest... with painted roses on it.  The chest is in my happy ... art room.  My little brother, Rick-Rick's (Ricky) ashes are in a white chest, sitting side by side... by Mama.

I'm so fortunate to have any photos left of my mama... so many were burned, damaged in the house fire that destroyed all our belongings.  A lot of these photos have been trimmed, cut ... because of water stains, etc.

That's okay, I'm most thankful for them.  You know, when I look at these photos... some of them are like 'yesterday.'  Isn't it strange, because in a sense... they are 'old photos', literally.

There is a lot of pain in my heart when I look at my mother... I know, remember so much about her.  Her dreams didn't come true, her life had a lot of unhappiness in it.  The end of her life wasn't good... the end of her life ... her last sounds...is recorded on a tiny cassette tape that I have put up... have 'lost from myself'... as I can't bear to listen to it.  I would get physically sick now... if I were to listen to it.  I feel a tightness in my chest... just thinking about it.

I can remember how always when I was a little girl, everyone constantly remarking on what a beautiful mother I had.  I knew that, as a little girl... why, I wanted to grow up to look like her.  They said she was the prettiest girl around...

My mother was one of the few women I ever saw... wear red lipstick, and was beautiful wearing it.  The red lipstick complimented her dark hair, skin.  I remember she loved to wear 'black and white' together in her skirts, blouses, dresses.  The colors became her... though, she could wear anything, look nice.  I never saw her wear anything that wasn't pretty on her.

No one knew my mother had a little girl... I was sent to live with a father who didn't want me... he had his second wife who had a little girl; then... they had a little girl.  There wasn't room for a daughter who was from his prior marriage... I can understand now, being older.

Later... in time, I came to live with my mother... people found out my mama had a daughter... they would always say to her, 'Ms Brown, you have a lovely daughter.'  We'd look at each other, and laugh.  There was a song out by that name.  I did become as pretty as my mother... we loved it.  We had fun... being pretty together... wearing the same clothes, she taught me about make-up, we laughed together.

I sit here looking at these photos closely... isn't it sad to see such 'life reflecting out from each photo'... and now... it's gone?  Isn't that very sad?  For instance, I look at the photo below... look at my mother's smile, the smile of her cousin, Carol.

Look at how pretty they both were in their crisp, white blouses... black skirts...  look at how white, pretty their teeth are.... their dark hair.  See, how they smile for the camera?  So 'alive'... so ... 'gone now'... but, so... alive in the photo.  They even look like... sisters.

Tonight, I share my thoughts with you... I'm thinking about my.... mama.  I'm thinking about how... I miss my... mama.

On Right... my Mother, Earlene

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Games People Play... I Have Kicked The Habit! Pass The Garlic Salt, Please!

Garlic Cloves I Purchased For... My New Habit!

The Games People Play... I Have Kicked The Habit!  Pass The Garlic Salt, Please!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Yesterday, I wrote about being 'tricked' at McDonald's here in our town.  It's no big deal... but, you know how it is when you keep seeing someone's face in your mind... thinking they've 'fooled you'.

I keep seeing the little, short Spanish lady's face in my mind... her expression of 'waiting, to see if I believed her'.  :)))  I, also, keep seeing her irritated expression... when I told her that I'd requested the fish sandwich to be prepared 'fresh, hot'.

Some people eat once a day... when they go out to order their meal cooked... they have the right to expect it to be hot.  I wanted it to be 'just right'... I was thinking about Tommy.

Sometimes, we have to 'do things the way someone else 'finds it convenient for them'... not... what we want'.

She didn't like that at all.  So... she 'played a game'... she thought I wouldn't know... she walked 'back there'... waited a couple of minutes... brought that same sandwich back to me.  I'm glad I wasn't in a 'Gloria Mood'... because no matter how nice I always try to be... I'm not perfect at all.  She was 'spared'... because sometimes....

I stood there a moment looking at the sandwich, debating on saying something... or 'letting it go'.  I decided 'to play the game'... after all, I am a person... so, I 'played the game', too.  I thanked her with a sweet, little smile... she looked at me.... 'wondering if I knew'.

I smiled bigger, took my tray and... walked off.  I almost turned around, to take it back... but, I'm proud that I didn't.  I was feeling 'white, hot anger'.

I made myself keep smiling as I sat down in view of the lady, and the cashier who'd just served me.  I would look up, they would be looking.  :)))  All they saw from me was my 'sweet Gloria Smile'... it wasn't worth hurting anyone's feelings... at least 'not today'..... :)))

They probably thought I was some dumb woman who was fooled easily... it's okay.  I remember them... and 'next time'... will be 'fun'!  I won't allow it to happen 'next time'... I went to McDonald's to order a 'double-fish sandwich with cheese'... out of memory for Tommy.  Skip and I do that at times... Tommy loved them.


I wanted to let everyone know that as soon as I developed an addiction to something at this 'late day, and time'... I have kicked the habit!

You know how 'the number 3'... is always significant in my life?  The 3rd time's out... three is 'the' number with me.  Well....

I wrote about developing an addiction to something not long ago.  I wanted more, and more......... and more of it.  I was truly hooked on it.  I couldn't believe that 'here I am at this age and time'... getting addicted to something!

It was roasted garlic cloves!  Oh my, the first time I tasted such a thing... I wanted more.  I began to think about the delicate, nutty, creamy flavor of roasted garlic cloves... how it felt to squeeze the wonderful creaminess out of the 'paper shell'..... into my mouth!  So wonderfully... good!

You know how it is... when you've been 'hooked by something'... you've got to have it... want some more of it... it stays on your mind. I was addicted.... to that beautiful flavor.  Who would have known?  I'd been reading recipes... all of a sudden for the first time in my life... reading about 'roasted garlic cloves'... appealed to me!  I began to ...imagine, dream!

The first time I ate them was... pure ecstasy.  Oh my goodness.. the delicate flavor hooked me the very first time.

The second time... wasn't like the first time.  I 'must have done something differently'... 'but, what?'

The third time... 'was it!'  I wasn't addicted, I wasn't hooked any longer to.... roasted garlic cloves!   Nope, no more can do!  No longer does... roasted garlic cloves... appeal to me!

I have kicked my new habit... to the curb.  If I want garlic flavor, I will simply sprinkle a few grains of ...garlic salt.  So, much easier!  Do you know how much trouble it was to constantly 'peel off a paper shell' that protects the garlic clove inside?  Pass the garlic salt, please!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hummingbird; Sunshine... Hurts; Cup of Java, and Trickery

Baker's Rack in my Straw Bale Garden...

Hummingbird;  Sunshine... Hurts;  Cup of Java, and Trickery
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I was standing on the back porch this morning when a quick movement caught my attention.  It was swift, and close to my face!

A butterfly?  My eyes blinked, trying to focus on what it was moving so quickly.  It was a little... hummingbird!  A little teal hummingbird.

I felt honored that it came up close to my face to look at me, flew rapidly to a spot nearby... it was looking for something.  I wished to have had nectar for it.  Soon, it flew away, and I didn't see it again.

I wonder if it was a 'good sign' of something to come?  It would be fun if it was!
Later today, I went out to my straw bale garden to 'play'.  I opened a new bag of garden soil to use in my 'containers'.  My containers being... gallon jugs from the water we buy to drink.
I cut the jugs in half, screwed the top back on the top half.  I, then, make little holes in them for drainage.  I filled each with soil, put seeds in them.  I arranged them on a hunter green baker's rack, I placed in my 'garden'.

All was going well until... I was struck in the top of my head.  The pain was awful, I felt like I would faint.  I stood there not knowing what happened... then, I realized that the heavy garden ornament I had on top shelf of the baker's rack... had fallen on my head.

I felt tears in my eyes, and I did cry... a little.  The pain was great.  I, now, have a big 'knot' on the left 'top' of my head.  It's very sore tonight.

The garden ornament is a 'heavy green glass sunshine', with metal rays all around it.  The weight, and the 'points' of the rays are what hurt me.  Behind the 'green thick glass with a happy sunshine face' is a place for one to put a candle... when the candle burns, it creates a beautiful light to glow through the green glass.

This evening, I experimented with my new Keurig coffee machine.  It is all I expected... I am very happy to have it!  Instead of making a whole pot of coffee... I can now, make one cup.  Not only that... it's richer, hotter... and lots of variety!

This is what stands out in my day... today.  Excepting one other thing... I had a trick played on me today, but... I pretended not to notice.  I didn't desire to make a scene... eventually, I will tell the woman at another time, though.

I went to the local McDonald's.  I went to get a double-fish sandwich with cheese... it's what Skip and I will do from time to time... to remember Tommy.  I specifically asked for it to be prepared fresh, be hot.  The cashier assured me it would be.

My fish sandwich appeared 'too quickly'... it was already prepared.  I looked at the cashier, and t0 the Spanish woman who gave it to me.  I told her that I'd like it to be fresh, hot.  I don't like cold fish sandwiches.

She took the sandwich back after giving me an expression that I won't even describe here... waited a couple of minutes, brought the same sandwich back.  I didn't even say anything... I 'let it go'.  I won't... the next time.

Usually at this McDonald's, all is very good... hot.  In fact, it's one of the best McDonald's we've eaten at, in all our travels.  They 'have it together'.

As I sat at a table to eat, I noticed that I'd come in at time for their shift to change... I determined that 'that was why' the Spanish girl played a trick on me... she didn't know it... but, I knew what she did.

So, my day began with a teal hummingbird, feeling pain from the sunshine, pleasure from a cup of java, to having a trick played on me.  What more could I ask for?  :)))

Wednesday, April 24, 2013



By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
What you see here ... are happy colors!  My mood is all beautiful colors because, now... I can cope with my hair.  I've been using Moroccan Argan Oil products on my hair... it's beautiful.

My hair is three colors... it's not noticeable here in the photos, but... in person... oh, how I love my hair color now!  It begins light at the top, progressively becomes darker as it goes to the bottom.

Can you see that I've come to peace with my hair now... and enjoy it?  On March 5th, I went for a perm... it almost ruint my hair.  It was an awful, awful time... I just couldn't cut it after 'finally' growing it out long enough to reach a scar on my back from the first of two major surgeries to save my life (I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma... at that time, my hair was long, curly, beautiful.... soon, after the surgery... I learned how it felt to 'have no hair'... the chemo drugs caused it to come out.) 
It's taken all these years to 'finally' grow it out... it seems no matter how many times one tells some beauticians 'to barely trim one's hair, my hair... they take that as a 'go' to 'cut it all off'.  Finally, I learn to hold my ground... and stress not to 'cut my hair short, I don't want short hair'.  It usually happened when a hairdresser began talking on a phone... their head on their shoulder, sandwiching a cellphone in between.
I have to give Felicia credit for the happiness I am feeling about my hair now.  It isn't important to anyone else, but... me.  To myself, I am very important... :)))  Thank-you, Felicia... for making me smile again, in such happiness.  I can look in the mirror now, enjoy my hair again... even while the 'bad perm' grows out.  I don't have to think about even cutting it.
New Author Card....
This is my new Author Card.... I like this one best... so far.  I love change
so, of course, there will always a different one.... :)))


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Give The Pain Room To Go... Until Another Time

Give The Pain Room To Go... Until Another Time...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


 SON... Tommy with bottle... his cousin, Ernie

 Sweet Baby Tommy... 1970

 Mother and Son... Gloria and Tommy 1994

 Son & Mother... Tommy and Gloria 1994

 Gloria... Skip... Tommy  1994

My Refrigerator Magnets... My Theme Is:

I've been sitting here looking at my photos... I see these photos everyday, all through the day.

These are on my refrigerator... they are 'refrigerator magnets'... some, I made myself.  I placed these photos here for a reason, that's to see Tommy everyday... to never forget him.

My photos have been damaged in the past... that's why one sees stains, and damage to them.  I'm so fortunate to have these photos... can you imagine... if all of them had burned in the house fire that destroyed all our belongings?  I'm happy to see the stains... the damage... I have these photos.  :)))

I feel emotion if I began to look more closely into the photos... when I try to see Tommy's face better.  See... when I do that, it's like 'the closer I look... the more I make myself realize he's gone'.  Isn't that strange?

I don't look closer... because I have to become 'more aware' that he is gone.  I have to quit... pretending everything is okay.  That's 'why' I don't stop, take time to 'look more closely'... 

I begin to feel 'that pain'... my stomach feels the 'birds flapping their wings, trying to escape being caged'.  They are in a panic, I feel those wings against my very ribs... the bars on their bird cage... 'let me out!'

I feel my face begin to contort into an expression of grief, wanting to cry.  I make it 'straighten up' so, that I don't cry.  My mouth trembles... I place the palm of my hand over my lips in a gentle, firm way to hold it still.

Something wet flows down one cheek, down the other...  I'm going to cry.  No, no... no, I'm not.  My eyes feel wet from unshed tears, I look out the window... the light makes them shine like little diamonds... little diamond teardrops.  I have little diamond teardrops in my eyes.

I pause, look down at my hands... 'why'... I don't know.  To try to make myself 'come back', not feel this pain that might 'throw me into a dark place'... where sometimes, it's hard to find my way back out.

I feel something hold my shoulders tightly, I feel cold.  I want to cry my heart out.  Do you know... in the back of my mind... no, in the front of my mind, just barely behind the curtain that is 'just thick enough' to 'blind me to the pain'... is the thought that Mother's Day is just around the corner.

There are going to be many happy mothers on that day.  I will miss being a happy mother for the second year since having a child.  He died just over a week after Mother's Day, 2010... on May 29th.

I've been trying not to think about this, it makes me sad.  I don't mean to feel sad... it's there just as the air is there to breathe.  I will always be sad until... the day, I also... die.

Tommy... Tommy... Tommy.  How I wish I could call out his name, and he say, "Yes, Mama?"  How I wish I could pick up the phone, find out where he is out on the road he traveled for years.

How I wish he could call me, speak in his proud, sweet voice that fathers have when they speak of their precious children... hear him say, "Mama, Taban's mean, he's mean, Mama".  I remember smiling, knowing he was going to tell me something fun that Taban had been doing.  

How proud Tommy was to have his little son... I always looked into his eyes, watched, listened to him when I saw him with Taban... spoke about Taban.  I was always touched by the pure love he had for his child, his own little son.

I loved how Taban wanted to imitate Tommy... 'be like you, Dad... be like you'.  They were like ...'two peas in a pod'.  'Daddy, I want to be just like you'... for some reason I can't always remember that one son that always made me think of Tommy and Taban.  Is it ... Buckaroo?  My mind doesn't want to think any farther.

I take a deep breath... now, I have a decision to make.  I could go to  my bed, lay myself down, feel the comfort of my pillow.  Find peace in the darkness of sleep where I don't have to consciously think at all.

Or... I could sit here, write my pain to share with everyone so, they can feel, see how grief comes at one... at just anytime.  Try to describe to you what one feels, what happens, let you see, know the  thoughts that run through one's mind.... my mind.  

It's pure grief, pure love... just pure pain of the deepest kind.  It's like the deepest ocean in the world.  Guess what?  I've been to the deepest of oceans, survived it... the Sea of Grief.  I can't swim, but... I'm here.  I've been thrashed violently to the shore, only to be washed out again, and again... for it all to begin repeatedly over, and over.

My tears mingled with the salty water of the sea... I wonder if the sea water is actually tears of every grieving soul 'before me'... I'm sure all together through time, every human being who ever shed a tear could have made... the Sea of Grief.  

In my mind, it's a collection of salty tears from all before me... and I shed many to add there.  I won't be the last to do so... I'm sad to think other mothers, other people will have sad things happen in their lives... they will also, contribute their tears to this deep, deep ocean.

I turn my chair to face the window, see the trees in the distance.  The sky is as gray as I feel inside... the air is cold, I know... I've been outside.  My mind tries to pull me to go lay down on the bed, cover up with something soft, warm... close my eyes and let the sounds from the wind chimes blowing in the wind outside... lull me to sleep.  

Lull me to sleep so, my mind can sleep... later to wake up, begin anew... give the pain room to go... until another time.