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.