Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Only Have My Grief... To Compare My Grief To...

I Only Have My Grief... To Compare My Grief To...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Every time I begin to write today... it seems my words begin to talk about ... Tommy.  I wonder 'why'?  He would have been 43 years old on November 20th... and this is the third Thanksgiving he isn't ... here.

I know I'm thinking about him... though, my mind is thinking about other things.  I'm glad I'm not crying.  Do you know ...I miss my son.  I miss him with my very heart.

I don't worry that you will tire of me writing about him, when this happens.  You have the choice to go on to the next blog... post.  This happens ever so often.  I write grief, pain... it's what I know best.  Then, I write my colors/my life... my thoughts.

I was thinking today of how Tommy died... I wondered if his eyes were opened long enough to look up at the beautiful, blue sky... see the white sea gulls flying over him.  I keep imagining the sea gulls singing to him... 'Tommy, come home... it's time to come home'.

I pray that he didn't feel any pain in his chest... nor feel pain as his body collapsed on the sand.  I pray that invisible angel's hands guided him gently as he fell.

Did his ears hear the waves as they washed ashore close by where he lay?  My son died a beautiful death... people say this to me.  I can 'see' that they are right.  Everyone would want to 'go' that way.  My mind worries for any pain he might have felt... he had two blockages to his heart.  The autopsy showed this... I wonder... is it possible he didn't feel pain?

Imagine the music that the ocean, and sea gulls make as the sounds blend together... soothing, soft... hauntingly beautiful.  Doesn't it touch your heart?  I think Tommy heard this special music as his soul ... soared to Heaven.  Soared to the sea gulls singing, 'Come home, Tommy... come home'.

For the moment... I've went to the place where I don't usually allow my mind to go... to 'that moment when my son lay on that sand'.  To the moment... he... died.  I feel I want to cry... but, I know I won't for now.  I don't know 'why' I won't... I just 'know'.

I can see in my mind's eye... my little 3 year old grandson squatting down to his daddy's level... asking him to come play with him.  He probably put his little hand on his daddy's shoulder, to shake him to wake up.  Tommy was always playing with him... pretending to be asleep, and such... then, surprise his little son with a big grin, and a roar!  He didn't ... that time.

Thank-God for the little group of people close by... they were the only people around.  They came to Tommy, and Taban... watched over Taban until he was safely with his mother.  His mother didn't know where Tommy and their little son... disappeared to.  She, her family were putting luggage up in the hotel room.

I wonder when Tommy grabbed Taban by his little hand... did he feel an urgency to get to the ocean, to play with his little son as he wished to do... as quickly as he could?

He barely made it in time to play for a short time... he left on a journey that was unexpected... one he can't come back from.

The grief... in my grief, I would almost feel he was going to walk up any moment... appear from around the corner.  It felt like 'almost' anytime, I was going to see my child.  It was like when I was diagnosed with cancer... in that shock... I kept feeling somehow, I could step back 'through a door'... and everything would... be back the way it was.  Everything would be alright.

Some day I will sit, and try to explain that more... it's a very interesting way of thinking.  I've never heard anyone describe 'real grief'... I've never had opportunity to be around anyone who has grieved like I have.  I understand... no one's been around me to see me ... grieve ... like I have.  It's a very private thing.

When someone you love, dies... somehow, in the shock... it feels like you can 'shift the time' just a little... and it's like 'they can come back'.  It doesn't make sense... I just tried to 'go back' for a moment to 'feel', so... I could describe it. It sounds strange... maybe sometime, I will examine it more in my mind... and write it, to tell you.

In my mind, I used to wish I could reach out... part the air like opening a curtain... see the steps to Heaven... go up them quietly to the top so, I could peep... hopefully, to see the angels walking by... see Tommy.  I would have softly called, "Tommy"!  Then, watched for his sunshine smile!

We all wish... we all think... don't think... feel, cry... sob, weep when we grieve.  Sometimes, we do nothing...  I grieve quietly, privately... the only way to know I'm grieving is to see it in my writing.  I don't talk about it.  Only at a rare moment will Skip see me grieving... I don't want to upset, worry him.  If I'm not alright... he can't rest.  So, I write the pain...

When you look at me... you'll see my smile, and know everything's alright.  Because... really, I am.  I don't know how others grieve, I know how I do.  I only have my grief... to compare my grief to.


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Friday, November 29, 2013

I Did As I Promised... I Just... Wrote The Pain

I Did As I Promised... I Just ... Wrote The Pain
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My beautiful, handsome son.  Tommy Mitchell Sidden... Born 11-20-1969... Died 5-29-2010...............
Tommy died unexpectedly ... no one knew he was sick.  He died of two blockages in his heart... he made it to Myrtle Beach, S.C. just in time to play with his 3 year old son... he left on another journey... he's gone forever now.

Thanksgiving has come... gone.  Only leftovers are left in the refrigerator to show for it.  Turkey, dressing to make sandwiches with... later.

Our Thanksgiving was a very quiet one, once again.  We were missing someone very loved, dear to us.  This is the third year we didn't have Tommy here.  I did good... Thanksgiving Day.  Today is... day after.

I kept thinking of Tommy... feeling those little waves of panic in my stomach.  They kept threatening to turn into huge waves of pain; waves to toss me around in... twisting, turning me this way, that way.

Skip, our Pups... were my lifesaver... I focused on them hard, I held on tightly for dear life.  I didn't want to drown in that sea of grief... I've been there too many times.  It's a wonder I haven't drowned long ago... but, I made it to 'now'...

Have you ever felt waves of panic... the feeling you are going to lose control?  Want to just melt down to the floor... cry, cry... cry?  Just let go, weep until you fall asleep?

Panic... scared of the darkness that threatens to consume you... because it hurts so bad being there.  You might not come back... if you get lost.  I've been there too many times... I try so hard not to go back again.  I can't bear the pain... oh God... I can't bear the pain.

Look at your son... your baby son... your adult son.  Look at your only child... think, try to imagine them gone, never to come back.

Did you feel breathless with fear... afraid something could happen to him?  Can you even go so far as to imagine... oh, my God... he were to die?  Die unexpectedly... when you never had any idea he was sick... he was going to die?  Can you imagine?  Can you?

Now... you can smile, be thankful that your son is still here.  You can reach out to hug him, say I love you.  Some of you may feel smug because your son is still here... mine isn't.  Just remember... it can happen without notice... you could get the call I did... "madam, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he isn't breathing!"

I pray that you never do...  My fear now, is gone... my son died... he can't die ... again.  I fear the grief, pain of grieving when it strikes me like lightening from the sky... out of the blue... no warning, no clue.

Just like this very moment... my stomach feels sick... the 'birds are fluttering again, hitting against the bars of the birdcage... trying to escape.  They are trapped... if only they could be ... set free.

I take deep, quiet breaths to calm them down... I close my eyes.  Oh, my head, my head... I press it down into the palms of my hands as I sit here at my desk.  I press my palms against my eyes... hard.  Breathing in, breathing out... I need relief from such a feeling.

I don't want to go into another grieving period... too hard to come back.  I've done well... still doing well... until this very moment.  It drives me... to write the pain.

Write the pain... make it go away... I promised to write the pain... when grief struck.  It's struck now... and I'm trying to get back up.... slap the dust off my pants... stand firmly on my ground.

My breathing's become freer now... I can take a deep breath once again... instead of it becoming stuck in my throat.  I'm going to be alright now... I can feel it ... I'm going to be alright!  Oh, how good it feels to breathe the air... in, out, in... out. I hold my head back, with my eyes closed... my chest rises up, down... I can breathe again!

I made it through once again... I wrote the pain... I made it go away.  I met the huge wave head on... the one that threatened to wash me away... it's gone now.  I'm going to be alright.

I promised to share my grief with you... so, you can see, feel what it's like... without losing your child.  Now... you can quietly go your way... knowing all is alright in your world... go hug your son... your only child.

Don't worry about me... I'm just words to you, a story/post for a blog... I just remind you... how it'd feel if... you ... lost your son, your only child.  You still have your son... to tell him you love him.  You can still hug him... he's still here.  Look at him with your mother's eyes... let a gentle smile come on your face... be so thankful as I used to be... to have such a wonderful son.

I did as I promised... I just... wrote the pain.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Past Memories Are My ... Today's Stories

My Past Memories Are My ... Today's Stories...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

The photo is of Gloria Faye Brown Bates as a little baby... this is the only baby photo I have......................

I am taking time out to 'talk' to you... my readers, followers.  I have a lot of new followers on my blogs... and Bubblews.

I wanted to tell you about my writing.  I write the colors/stories of my life.  I write about grief.  I write about what I know best... 'best means 'me'.  I don't write for anyone else, or try to write their stories.  I write about me, my life... I know it best.

When I write about my childhood... I don't write about the other children who were there, how they were treated... what they went through.  That's because 'that's their story'... they can write it if they want to.  I only write my own.

Sometimes, 'those children' will reach out... to remind me they were there, too.  I never forget you... and the things I saw you... suffer from; how you were treated.  Just know that... my heart cares for what you went through, also.  I can't write your stories...

When I write about my childhood... most of it was bad.  Yes, it was a bad childhood... I don't sugar-coat it.  I tell it like it was.  Not many people were kind to me... I suffered, I was made fun of as a little girl when my mother and her husband broke up... she sent me straight to Hell.

In Hell... I no longer was dressed like a little princess, with beautiful dresses...  my long hair was no longer brushed, taken care of; I no longer lived in a very clean house.  I no longer had good meals prepared by the lady who came to our home every day to care for me, my little brother. In Hell, it was awful... scary, dirty... there were things that jumped on one....

In fact, I was no longer cared about.  I became... nobody.  I became a little scapegoat for people to abuse when they were pissed off, angry at someone else.  So... were the other children who were thrown away... too.

Hell... was the house I was sent to .... at my Grandma Alma, George's.  They lived in nothing but, pure 'hell'. Their house sat over the portal of Hell... guarding it.

No one ever knew any peace there.  My Grandma Alma was paralyzed... George, my step-grandfather was blind.  They never knew happiness there.  My aunt who lived there was the 'daughter of Satan'....

Their 'middle room' was where my Grandma Alma was 'trapped' in her old, upholstered rocking chair... George sat in his old cane-bottomed chair to watch tv (George couldn't watch tv, he could listen... I would describe to him what I saw as a little girl). This room is where they 'lived'...

The floor in the 'middle room'... in my mind, became through time what I named... 'the Arena'.  Because ... this was the one place where everyone came 'to raise hell'.  To make sure Grandma Alma, George saw, heard it all... and of course, any child that was living there.

The fights, gnashing of teeth, screaming, cussing...the blood... the hell they raised, was .... ungodly.  No one can imagine, unless they lived it.

The Arena was where everything played out that was 'important'.  It was where anyone who wanted to settle something... was there to fight it out, have witnesses to watch... not only that, if they felt like it was a war they wanted to be in... so be it!  A lot of hell-raising went on in that Arena.  A lot of blood on that old hardwood floor.

All the grandchildren who weren't wanted... were thrown down there... the mothers would take off, come back whenever they wanted.  They never knew the things 'we children' went through to survive there.  I'll tell you my stories/colors... just know that I know I wasn't the only child who suffered.  I never forget them.

The purpose of writing this is to let my new followers know... that when I write the 'bad'... don't feel sorry for me.  Don't think I grew up tormented by all of the things that happened to me.  Don't think you have to feel sorry for me... because I promise you that I made peace with it all... a long time ago.

My memories of the past... have become my stories of today... I only feel pain when I take them out to 'feel them, examine them' as I write about them.  When I'm through... I put them back up... just as you would put up your winter clothes in boxes until you needed them again.

I never think about, or hold on to the past... never.  One can't, to have peace of mind. I don't live in the past.

I will tell you this... I do grieve for my son, Tommy.  He was my only child... that pain never goes away... never.  Also... I never talk to anyone in person about my grief... it's too personal.  I do write about it... if you are interested in reading... you can choose to come here to read... go your way quietly when you are through.

You don't even have to comment on it.  This is my only outlet for my pain, grief.  I write my pain.  You can see how it feels as a mother to lose a child... I tell you just like it is.  This pain is always there...

I am thankful, and have been for years to have went through such 'bad' things as a child, young woman, an adult.  I couldn't have survived all the 'bad' things I have been through if I'd had life easy as a child, younger person.  I know 'why' now.  I've only become stronger through each experience.  That doesn't mean 'that I don't hurt'... it means... I will ... survive.  Somehow, everything will be alright.

Just know that I don't write to gain sympathy... I've never felt sorry for myself.  I never will.  I know life is full of twists, turns.  You wouldn't believe the paths I've walked in life.  Some were very scary paths, indeed. I'm thankful to have gotten off from them before 'going too far'.  I write my memories as stories for 'today'... I don't live ... in the past.

As a child, the things I lived... I never knew everyone didn't live like that.  I thought it was the way life was supposed to be.  I never knew what it was like to feel safe, protected, sheltered, loved.  I learned to never take anything for granted... even love.

I learned hate of the purest form... I have battled 'hate' all my life... I am a good person... probably one of the best people you'll ever meet.  I'm just not perfect at all... not at all.  As much as I wish to be perfect, I'm not. I'm big enough to apologize when I am in the wrong... my heart hurts if I've done you wrong.  I care about 'everything'.  I say prayers for the animals laying on the road... where cars have killed them.  My heart 'feels' everything.  I can't bear the meanness, how cruel people are to other people, animals.

I just wanted to let my new readers/followers know these things... and to remind the ones that don't know... when I write my 'bad' memories... I don't do it to gain sympathy.  My past memories have become... my stories... today.  I write what I know... best.

I know grief, pain... best.  It doesn't mean I walk around crying, wringing my hands like a tormented soul.  I don't at all.  I write it like it really was... really is.  I see that it touches people in different ways... like when I read others' writing... things affect me, also.  I understand 'that's what they write about'.... just as 'that's what I write about'.

Don't ever feel sorry for me... I have never felt sorry for me.  I would be uncomfortable knowing you did.  I do appreciate your caring words when you express them, though.  Don't feel you have to comment unless you feel you want to.... I don't ask anything of anyone.

I have to write... I'll write until the day I take my last breath.  I have to 'leave a part of me here' when I die... Tommy isn't here, now.  He would have 'been that part of me I would have left here'... that I knew would be here when I died.  He's gone.......  Not only that... this will be the only way... that my grandchildren will ever know me.  My words are 'the part of me that will always be here'....

I have no immediate family left now.  I have to write to 'pass on memories of my son, Tommy... myself. There's no one else to do it for either of us, now.  Any family I have is distant... there aren't any bonds left... maybe a kind of sad love for the other, knowing it can't be.

I don't have grandchildren who will grow up knowing me.... there's been too much deceit, dishonesty ... all because of insurance money not going to whom it should have.  One lie has to cover another one... and lies such as those... make it impossible for me to know my grandchildren.  I'm not involved in it... but, I will pay the price... I will forever be Granny Gee ... 'in name only'.

I have a message written just for them when they become older.  I will place this message here in the future just for them... for now, it's on my computer.  This is to let them know their Granny Gee has always loved them... she never had anything to do with all the money their father left for four people.... each of them, me, and one of the mothers.

One of the mothers had sole control over dividing it.......... it should have been divided equally... all of it, plus his 401K.  It wasn't.... I'm afraid it hasn't been handled right at all.  That message will be put on my blog for them to see one day... I know a lot now, that I didn't know before.

Dishonesty, deceit... lies told to cover up more lies....  it's so sad.  My grandchildren will know I never had contol of their money, never handled their money.  I was given 'my' part of it... it wasn't divided as it should have been... I never said anything.

A lot of money was spent on a drunk who had never 'had brand-name things'... he got brand-name shoes, clothes off 'Tommy's insurance money'..... he abused one of my grandchildren while he lived a while on his daddy's money.  I know what Tommy would have done... if he could have.

I write this now... and will put the message on in the near future.  I won't go to my grave having my grandchildren think that I had any part in them... not getting their daddy's money meant for them.  I was told that one mother thinks that I had control over it, by the other mother... to hide what she did.  No... I never had control... ever. I never saw any money ...only what she decided to give me.

Just a few weeks before Tommy died... he did as I asked him to... I told him he was married and to put his wife's name on the policy.  He updated the policy, put her name there... it was the worst decision I ever made.  I worry that the money won't be there when they should have it.  I'm so sorry I ever told him to change the policy.  It's strange... just a few weeks before he died.... it would have been done exactly the way he wanted if he hadn't updated it... done 'as I asked'.

This will be the only way my grandchildren will ever know... too many years, lies... now.  I have to leave the truth here... where it'll live 'forever'.  I won't ever get to see them in this life.

The purpose of this post is to let people know ... that when I write my memories of the past... everything is alright.  Don't feel sad for me... years have gone by... the pain of those memories is left in the past when I'm through with them... where they belong.

Only when I 'take them out to write about them, to 'feel them'... is there pain'... when I finish with them... I 'put them back up... the pain, also'.  I don't sit, dwell on the past.

The pain I 'can't put up' is the grief over my son.  This pain is completely different... it's the worse pain ever in my life.  Do you see 'why' I don't regret all the 'bad' that has happened to me?

I might not could survive this kind of pain... if I hadn't been so strong.  I probably wouldn't have... if it hadn't been for Skip.  I don't think I'd be here.... 'now' if Skip hadn't been 'there'.  I was 'dead', just as 'dead as my son'... I wasn't aware of life... then.  Skip is my 'everything'... and our Pups.  They are my world... all I have left.

I hope anytime you want to communicate with me, you'll feel free.  Don't worry, I'm not a 'tormented, depressed soul' who will pull you down.  I'm the opposite... I love to smile, even if I'm crying.  :)))

Remember... when I write... the pain 'is in the moment'... I don't dwell on it after I write a memory.  It goes away.  When I grieve for Tommy... it's a different ballgame.  I still know everything will be alright...

My past memories are my ... today's stories.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It Was Just Another Day In... Hell

It Was Just Another Day In Hell...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates... a little girl who knew Hell intimately

The old woman sat there in her old rocking chair
Staring off into space, thinking about everything... nothing
While listening to the sounds around her

The sounds of hell were beyond her eyesight
Soon... to be in the arena before her
Sure enough, the sounds appeared... owners behind them

I'm going to whip your ass, knock your teeth down your throat
You'll know who to mess with after this!
Two young women begin to fight, slugging like men

They were on their feet for a time, each as strong as the other
Until one made a mistake, the other knocked her to the floor
Jumped on her... to knock her teeth 'down her throat'

She slammed her fist into the fallen woman's mouth
The fallen woman screamed an ungodly scream
The pain made me come up from the floor, her mouth pouring blood

Anger made her jump on the other, tear her ass up
Beat her to the floor, began choking her until the death
Until... a blind man began feeling for her fingers, took them off the other's neck

Come on, come on... you love each other, please don't fight
He spoke gently while he pulled the sisters apart
All of a sudden, his ass was knocked to the floor

The fight wasn't over, he couldn't see what happened
The old woman sitting in her chair began to scream, cry
Stop it, stop it... you are killing each other, someone's going to die!

The two young women never heard her; nor did they see the little girl
Watching them, crying.. her little fist stuck in her mouth
Mama!  Mama! Don't hurt my mama!  I'm going to hit you!

The little girl couldn't bear it any longer, she ran to the fight
Her mother was on the bottom, she struck the one on top
Her little fist pummeled the woman in the head

She was slung backwards, fell against the wall, stunned
She watched as her mother was beaten, slapped, hit time after time
Her mama was finally released... she got up off the floor

Both young women were bloody, scratched up from the blows
Upon each other as they fought to the death in the arena
Before... their paralyzed mother sitting in the rocker; the blind step-father who was still on the floor

No one saw the little girl, until she sobbed, cried 'Mama'!
The mother walked to her, pain in her battered body
Pulled the little girl to her, held her tight

All the hell had went away for a while... all was calm again
The little girl closed her eyes, held tightly to her mama
Knowing she was going to be alright... it was just another day in... Hell
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

I Wonder... Am I Getting Old?

I'm Wonder... Am I Getting Old?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee... 2013

The chill seeped into my bones
As I made myself ready for bed
I feel aches, pains that I never felt before

Am I finally getting old
Is that why my bones are aching
Is that why I find it hard to straighten

Winter weather is surely coming
I feel it 'in my bones'
Haven't you heard old-timers say this

We are going to have some winter weather
The temperatures are going crazy
I think it's going to snow later this week

I've either become a weather forecaster
Or... somehow, old age has snuck up on me!
The weather must be going to get rugged

These aches, pains are really acting up
I can hardly stand up for the stiffness
When I sit... it hurts, too!

Come on, old lady... get your ass up
Just because of a few pains, you can't just sit there
Get up, get up... you can't get old!

I stand myself up... slowly, thinking the whole time
Mmmm-mmm... for the first time, I've never felt such
I think I'm getting old... no, I know I'm getting old

Does this mean that I'll give up, fall on my face
To never walk again, to lay back and complain
Hell no!  No matter what, I'll keep going

My body is used to pain, hurt it will
Sometimes, more... sometimes ... not as much
I'm going to make myself get up and go

I wonder if I'm getting old, you know
Because I move like the walking dead
Tottering this way, that

I moan, groan, and even growl
The pain forces such sounds from me
I wonder am... I'm getting old?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Describing A Smile...

Describing A Smile...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My mouth opened wide into ... a smile
I ran to see it in the mirror
A smile!  I just thought of something
How does one describe a smile?

I stood, watched myself smile
I saw it reach my eyes... they twinkled
My cheeks were like two little apples
Rosy, full... my teeth white as pearls

I held my mouth wide... I wasn't smiling now
Where did my smile go... my mouth is still open
There's no softness there... only a grimace
I let my face soften up, the smile came back

The light came back into my eyes
Soft, sweet... brightening my face once again
A smile... a big ole smile
The difference between a grimace, and smile... is the light in one's eyes

I looked once again in the mirror at my smile
I kept it on my face... little apples, white teeth
A happy light in my eyes
This is the only way... I can describe a smile
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

He Pulled A Rabbit Out Of The Hat...

He Pulled A Rabbit Out Of The Hat...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee... 2013

She sat there, stunned.  No, stunned wasn't the word.  She was in 'pure' shock.  Devastated.  What was going to happen to their dogs?  They were their babies, their life.  They were the only family they had left in their life.  Her only child had died three years ago... she had no one left in her life... only her husband, and three dogs.

She and her husband were traveling down the road.  Her husband was driving.  His cellphone rang... it was the call he'd been expecting.  He was smiling as he pressed the button on his bluetooth, his hands-free device for his cellphone.

He spoke pleasantly into his phone, his face was smiling.  The call he expected, was from a man who had hired him to work locally, making very good money.  He was happy, he could stay close to home, his wife, his dogs.  It meant the world to him.

He'd already met the man... both instantly liked each other.  The man called him over the next several days... and they met again for her husband to give him his driving record, and such.

His driving record was perfect... he was a good driver.  Not only that, he was good with customers... he'd worked in management... so, he knew how to talk to anyone.

She sensed something was wrong... it was taking her husband too long to answer.  She looked over at him... instantly felt sick to her stomach.  Something's wrong... why does her husband look like that!

Her husband had been driving long-distance for so long... he just wanted to be home.  He'd begun having fears that he might not see home again.

He told her that he didn't mind telling anyone that he loved being home, loved being with his wife, loved his dogs.  Not only that, he loved to be home in the evenings to drink tea, and watch his favorite tv shows.

This new job meant that his dream to be home ... was coming true.  Both felt such happiness, relief.  He'd been out of work for over a month... and they had been having such a hard time.

Bills needed to be paid... groceries needed to be bought... gas was expensive.  Pups needed food... they also, had to buy water by the gallon... they couldn't drink the water from the tap at their home.

Not only that... rent needed to be paid.  Thankfully, the man they rented their house from... understood.  He was a good man... in fact, he encouraged her husband to come home, get off the road.  The man was their friend, also.  He worried about her husband... he knew she worried about her husband.

So, now... that was the reason he was on the phone.  He'd been hired to drive... and the man was calling him to talk to him about the details.

She saw the smile slip off her husband's face, heard his voice tell the man, that he understood.  Her husband's voice was pleasant, though she knew something was 'bad'... wrong.  He pushed the button on the bluetooth, to turn the cellphone off.

"He can't hire anyone right now... the insurance company is investigating ... to do with one of his trucks burning up.  He can't hire anyone until it's over, done with.  He has only the one driver and himself to drive... and if his other driver quit now... he'd be ruint... because he can't hire anyone right now.  He said he hates to tell good people bad news.

She sat there... went into a shock.  She felt her husband do the same.  Her hands went to her face... she couldn't bear this.  Where would their dogs go... they were going to lose everything.  She didn't care about herself... just where would her dogs go?  She began... crying.

Her husband drove home in shock.  He couldn't even speak.  He felt bad for his wife.  They got out of the vehicle in silence... both went into the gate, closing... locking it behind them.  They both reached out to pet their 3 dogs as they walked up the steps, onto the porch... opened the door, entered the house.

She stopped, turned to him, said to him in a soft voice, "Oh God, what are we going to do, what are we going to do?  Where will our dogs go... who can care for them like we do"?

In a quiet voice, he told her not to worry... their dogs weren't going anywhere, and they'd be cared for by only them.  He told her everything was going to be alright.  He would show her.

She felt faint... she held onto the chair as she walked by it.  She couldn't take anymore.  They were at rock-bottom... how in the world could they come up now.

They were like a hot-air balloon... sitting on the ground... what in the world could make it rise back up in the air?  What?

She did something she rarely ever did... she only did such a thing when 'the world came to an end' for her.  She walked to the bedroom, opened the closet door... reached for her nightgown.

She put it on, hung her clothes up.  She walked out into the hall where she met her husband... she softly said, "I am going to put me into bed... I'm no good to you, or to me right now... I can't function anymore... I am going to bed".  She turned, went to the bed... pulled her covers back... turned on her electric blanket.  She was so cold.

Instantly, the bed shook as three dogs jumped up on the bed with her.  They all found their places beside her, promptly snuggled up to her.  Her husband walked to the door... talked to her.  She told him she was so sorry... she wasn't any good to anyone right now.  She said in a quiet voice, "You've always pulled a rabbit out of the hat... please pull a rabbit out of the hat, now".

She heard her husband say in a quiet voice, "I'll pull a rabbit of the hat, you'll see.  Everything's going to be alright.  I'll be back in a little while".

He left... she fell asleep surrounded by the dogs she loved with her very heart.  As she fell asleep to get away from all the grief, pain in her heart... she reached out to touch her babies.  They were all she had... them and her husband.

She began praying, asking God for a miracle.  She knew many miracles had happened in her life... she asked for one more.  She asked for a good job for her husband, one he could be happy at... one here at home.  As she fell alseep, she prayed that she, her husband, and dogs never be apart... and for all to be alright.  As she drifted to sleep... she thanked God for all she had.

She laid on the big bed... surrounded by three dogs who knew her as their 'Mommy'.  They snuggled close, tight to her... they knew something was wrong... they sensed she needed them close to her.  They needed... her.

"I have good news, I got a job!"  She became aware of her husband's voice... it sounded happy.  She woke up, sat up in bed... the dogs jumped up to be petted by her husband.

He began to tell her how he went to a friend of theirs, talked to him.  He didn't need anyone right now.  He told her how instead of turning to go in the direction he always went... to come home... he went straight.

He drove until... he saw his friend's truck in the distance.  It was parked in front of his house.  He drove up, parked behind it.  His friend and his wife, and sister came out when they saw him park.

His friend asked him what was he doing.  Her husband told him he was looking for a job... that he'd tried to retire but, there wasn't enough money to retire.

His friend said his company was looking for a good, experienced driver.  Her husband had worked for that company many years ago... that's where he had met his friend.

His friend called the company... told them he thought he'd found somebody.  He put the man on speakerphone, and he remembered her husband... her husband remembered him.

It was a good conversation.  He told her husband to call on Monday, and that he would have him come there with another driver to pick up a truck.  Also, he'd be taking a drug test, and all the things he needed to do.

She began to cry softly... when she finally looked up... it seemed everything felt 'alive' once again.  She had completely stopped living for a little while... she looked into her husband's eyes.  They were happy... his voice was happy.  He would be going to work with people he knew... who knew him.  She felt happiness in her heart... she said quietly, "You pulled a rabbit out of the hat!"

She quietly thanked God inside her heart... he'd sent them a miracle at the most crucial time... a better one than the one that came with good promises... left as quickly...  like a tornado blowing in, tearing everything up... leaving all laying in pieces... as it blew away.

She had lost faith in everything... so many bad things had happened in her life... in their life.  So many miracles had happened in their life... always restoring hope again.  This was one of those rare times, when she gave up... knowing there wasn't any hope left... only to be lifted back up by her husband.  He 'pulled a rabbit out of the hat'.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tommy Would Have Been 43 Today... Death Of My Only Child, My Son

Tommy Would Have Been 43 Today...  Death Of My Only Child, My Son
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today... I would have had you a birthday cake
With 43 candles... well, maybe not quite 43......

On the table would sit several packages
Wrapped in colorful paper, with great big, old bows

Festive dishes would adorn the table
Draped with a table cloth of happy colors

All kinds of dishes with your favorite foods
For you to pick, choose from to eat with pleasure

Oh, if I could see your face... your bright smile
Hear your soft-spoken voice, hear you laugh

You are not here today, Son... you had to go away
On May 29, 2010... when you left on one trip... only to leave on another

The evening you went away destroyed my whole world
My only child, my precious son... you died that evening

I died with you... for almost two years I was dead
I lived in a dark world, didn't know how to find the light

Thank-God for my husband, Skip, my hero... our Pups
I was drowning in the sea of grief... they were there to pull me out

This is the third year you are gone, Tommy
I miss you my son... I can't tell you 'Happy Birthday'

I can only think it in my mind, you aren't here
I can only remember you... I can't see you now

Today is my son's 43rd birthday, I can't forget
I write this ... to remember Tommy ... I miss you, Son

Tommy Mitchell Sidden
Born:  November 20, 1969
Died:  May 29, 2010

Tommy walked into Heaven on May 29, 2010 from the sand at Myrtle Beach. He was

doing something he'd been looking so forward to doing.... playing his first time

at the beach with his little 3 year old son, Taban. I'll never

forget him standing on the deck the evening before, smiling his big, happy

'Tommy' smile, saying he was looking forward to playing with his son for the

first time, at the beach. Tommy had changed his mind, no one knew

'why'.... to not going with the family to Myrtle Beach... to going. It was his

last trip... his first, last time to play with Taban, his little son.

They were running, squealing with joy, laughing ...Tommy was sending

me photos on his cellphone to my computer back home. His fingers slipped off the

video ... he collapsed there on the sand. The phone rung, the

caller ID showed Tommy was calling! I answered it, my mind became confused as I

realized it wasn't Tommy, but.. a strange man's voice saying.... 'I have a man

lying here on the beach, he's not breathing'! My life forever

changed ... he was my only child whom I loved with my very heart. Tommy had 2

blockages in his heart... no one knew... he was only 40 years old.

I am keeping my son's memory alive, my memory alive for my

grandchildren... Taban and McKenzie. I don't have family left who can do that

for me. I sit and write my life's stories, my thoughts here ....everyday. I will

write until the day ... I die. Tommy nor I, nor Skip ... our Pups ... will ever

be forgotten. I hope my grandchildren will one day read this to know... that we

loved them, I loved them.... that they were indeed ... thought of .... often.

I write my pain... I write to remember Tommy.  You can see my book 'I Cry For Tommy' on .

You can visit my primary blog to see his photos at:

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

'Wet Floor'...

'Wet Floor'...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

The Emergency Room Registration clerk sat at her desk typing info into her computer.  The ER was slow tonight.  She was glad to get the break... she would make up for it later.  It was common knowledge, the ER didn't have a lot of slow times like this.

A young couple came into the waiting area.  The guy was on crutches... he hopped as he walked.  They saw her through the door, and headed her way.  Once in the little registration room, they both sat down.  "I want to see the doctor", the young man said.

The registration clerk went on to ask what seemed to be the problem.  The young man told her that he needed the doctor to look at his leg... the one in a cast.  

The clerk looked at both people, really seeing them.  She always paid attention to people.  She took her job seriously, and knew how important it was to pay attention even to the smallest of detail.  

It was her nature... she knew sometimes, people didn't always say how sick they were... and would begin to get sick fast.  She didn't at all think that was the case here.  But... if it was... she'd have time to go get a nurse.

Everything seemed to be fine.  While she talked, asked appropriate questions, she typed on her keyboard.  The cleaning lady came in, greeted her, began emptying the trash can.  Once the trash can was emptied... she swept the floor.  

The registration clerk giggled as she rolled out of her way... so, the cleaning lady could sweep there, and... not sweep under her feet! Everyone 'knew' if someone swept under your feet ... you would never get married.  She sure wanted to marry one day!

Once that was done, the cleaning lady rolled her yellow bucket of mop water in from the hall.  She put her mop into the clean, sudsy water... and pulled it up through the rollers, squeezing excess water out of the mop.  She began to mop... then, placed her little orange cone on the office floor.  The cone was to warn someone of 'wet floor'.

The cleaning lady rolled her bucket out into the hall, pushed it to the locked door.  She pulled her cleaning cart behind her... she waited until the registration clerk unlocked the door.  When the door buzzed, she could go through it.

Once inside the smaller room where people sat to register in privacy ... the cleaning lady emptied the trash can, swept the floor, and mopped it.  She placed her little orange cone on the floor... she told the couple that the floor was wet.

She went through the doorway to the waiting area, began cleaning. In just a moment, the cleaning lady was forgotten. The registration clerk pushed the papers forward so, the young man could sign them.

The young man stood up, his girlfriend handed him his crutches.  He asked the registration clerk to unlock the door... he wanted to go to the bathroom in the hall.  The registration clerk told him the floor was wet, it'd be best to go to the bathroom in the waiting area.

The young man went ahead, began hopping toward the locked door, ignoring her. All of a sudden, as she watched ... he pretended to fall on the floor.  He didn't think she noticed that the fall didn't look real.  He knew what he was doing... he 'fell' so he wouldn't hurt his leg.

He looked up at her, told her that he'd just fallen on the wet floor! He began acting like he was hurt. She looked him straight in the eye, he looked away.  He began yelling louder...

The registration clerk told him to get up from there... she knew he didn't really fall... because she watched him as he pretended to. You aren't hurt!  I saw you... there's no way you hurt yourself the way you made yourself fall!

The young man got up from the floor, grinned... said, "I was just fooling, I didn't fall"!  He and his girlfriend walked into the waiting area, laughing.  

The registration clerk went into the Emergency Room, talked to the nurse, and doctor.  As a precaution, the nurse came out to talk to the young man... he told her that it was only a joke.  She documented it... and went on. 

After that, the pace in the Emergency Room picked up... the clerk took it in stride.  She loved her job... you never knew what would happen next!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

I Was Kidnapped... And I Was The One Who Had The Gun!

I Was Kidnapped... But, I Was The One Who Had The Gun!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I don't know 'who' the woman is in this photograph!  I chose this photo to put here... please don't ask me 'why?'  There was a time when Tommy was here... and I had someone to send silly photos to!  So now... you know what that means?  Yes... I have to share them with you!  :)))  It is what it is!  And... life is that way sometimes!

I was sitting at the dining table... I heard a knock at the front door.  I knew it wasn't anyone I would know... because I have no family, and only several friends who would come to see me.

Besides... anyone who came to see me, would come to the back door.  You know it's a friend when they know where to come.

I sat there a moment, decided I would answer the door.  First, I reached for the gun I kept laying close by me, whenever I was alone.  I got up, walked to the door.

I opened it, and there were two men standing on the other side of the storm door.  One held some magazines in his hands.  "We'd like to show you these magazines", he said.

I spoke through the glass door, told him I wasn't interested.  The second man said, "Well, maybe you'll be interested in this"!  He held a gun up, pointed it straight at me.  "Open that door, be quick about it"!

Dumb-ass me... I opened the door... and let them kidnap me... take me away!  Where the gun went, I don't know!

As I walked, I saw a big truck parked.  I saw my son, Tommy... laying part-way on the top step, and on the tire (which is impossible, so... I thought!).

"Tommy, are you alright?  Tommy, why are you laying like that?"  I wanted to go to him, make him get up.  I couldn't go... I was kidnapped!  "Please be alright, Tommy, please be alright"!

Oh, my God!  My thoughts turned to the dining table, and the dishes that were set out for supper.  I've lost one of the little forks!  Where did that little fork go?

I became aware that my pillow was 'rock-hard'... and shifted positions in the bed.  I was awake now... I was still remembering my dream.  I could still see Tommy laying there.  I felt a deep sadness in my heart.  I dreamed of Tommy... and it wasn't a good dream at all.

Skip woke up, and asked me if I was okay.  I told him... "I was kidnapped... and I was the one who had the gun"!  I heard him laugh, as I fell back asleep!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me...

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee...  This is a memory that wasn't pleasant, but... one that doesn't bother me now...  I look back on my young life... not understanding 'why'... now, I don't even question 'why?'

I know, now... it was to prepare me to be very strong for what life what going to bring me through the years. No matter how bad... nothing was as bad as losing my only child.  I must not have 'had enough bad things to happen to make me strong enough' to lose my child.  I write always in memory of... Tommy.

My memories are the 'colors of my life', my stories.  Don't ever feel sorry for me... I never felt sorry 'for me', even as a little child.  I just 'knew' it was supposed to be like that.  I always remember 'I wasn't the only child' who lived in Hell... the difference being that I ... write my life... I can't write theirs.  But... I see their little faces in my mind, also.  I never forget.


Happy Birthday To Me...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I was excited!  It was my birthday, and it was going to my first birthday party!

Actually, not just my birthday party... it was my half-sister's birthday party, too.  You see, our birthday was on the same date... she was exactly one year younger than I.

Valentine's Day... that was our birthday, as well as ... Valentine's Day.  I'd never had a birthday party in my entire life!

I was going to be 14 years old... my sister was going to be 13.  There was going to be a big cake, ice cream, lots of good foods, music... dancing!

We lived in a huge, beautiful log home in Roxboro, NC.  The house was spotless... all the wood glowed from Old English oil.

The hardwood floors had a beautiful sheen.  We knew how to wax a floor with Johnson's Paste Wax... we put the wax on the floor, then buffed it with soft cloths.  The house was immaculate... always.

My step-mother, and two half-sisters, and I... kept a beautiful house.  It was decked out for our birthday party.  The den was a huge room with lots of sparkling-clean windows.  They reflected the lights in the room, making all look festive.

The den had a big floor, this would be where everyone would be dancing.  There were over-stuffed chairs, couches... lots of places for everyone to sit.

The party began with lots of young people arriving on time... everyone was laughing, talking.  The music began, boys began dancing with the girls.  I was asked to dance... I had no sooner begun to dance when one of my half-sisters told me to go into the kitchen.

I walked to the kitchen... it was at the far end of the house.  It was well away from the party in the den.  My father was in the kitchen, so was my step-mother.  Both told me that I had to stay in the kitchen, not come back to the party.

To this day... I can't remember 'why' I couldn't stay at the birthday party.  It was my first, only birthday party... it lasted all of maybe ten minutes.

I sat in the kitchen that night... I looked at all the dishes that were beginning to stack up on the counter top.  I got up, began washing dishes as I listened to the music in the distance.  I could hear laughter, squeals of happiness.

I somehow, understood the party wasn't ever meant for me.  I felt such pain inside my heart... I was the outsider in that house.  I knew that one day I was going to run away from there.

I lived in a beautiful home there, I dressed in very nice clothes... we all made a beautiful family.  No one could see looking at us... that I was the outsider.  No one could see that I wasn't wanted.

I never told anyone how unhappy I was... in fact, I accepted how I was treated.  I didn't think to complain to anyone.  I was afraid if I did, I would have to face the wrath of my father, step-mother.

I never got a birthday present that night, nor got to go back to the birthday party.  I did get to help clean up all... when everyone went home.  Happy Birthday to me.


BED 3...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Bed 3... turned into a 'short story' as I started out to write something else. 
That's what happens when I begin to write, draw... paint.  What begins 'as one thing'.... turns into another.  :)))
Some people thought it was real... it's just 'practice writing' that turned into this story.  :)))
Thankfully, 'such things' don't usually happen... or we hope that they... ... don't.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

BED 3...

BED 3:
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

The young woman watched as the young man got out of his car.  He ran quickly to the passenger side of the car... opened the door.  She stood at the glass door that opened into the parking lot.  She peered closer... to see what he was doing... to see what she needed to be ready for.

He reached in, lifted something from the front seat.  He turned around, began walking forward with his load. The car door hung open... forgotten.

The young man began struggling to carry... an older lady he held in his arms.  His knees began buckling under the weight.

The young woman opened the glass door leading into the waiting room.  She worked in the office as an emergency registration clerk.  This was the room everyone waited in for their turn to go into the emergency room to be seen by the doctor.

She always watched out for the emergency waiting room, in case someone was very sick.  She didn't want anyone to die while waiting there, to see the doctor.  The clerk was very responsible... she took her job seriously.  She paid more attention to the people around her, than most people who worked her job.  She cared.

She also, watched on the other side of the locked door she'd walked through to come into the registration area, to enter the door of the waiting room.

She watched, listened for the double doors that would swing open any moment with an emergency patient on a stretcher.  Most of the time, she was alerted by a nurse... or the wail of a siren.  Sometimes, no one would hear a car come up carrying someone who was deathly ill... until the family member came in to get help.

The clerk worked in a small community hospital.  The emergency room was across from the doorway of her office.  It was her job to run between the actual emergency room, and the office to register patients.

She would meet the rescue squad when they came in with a patient.  It was her job to meet family members as they came through the doors with the patient... guide them through the locked door for them to be seated... get their information for the patient.

The waiting room was empty.  She had walked to the door she had to unlock, to enter the registration area... to walk out into the waiting room.  She was listening to the news on the tv mounted on the wall.  She had walked to the glass door to look out into the parking lot, when she saw the fast-moving car drive in, park.

"What's wrong with her"?  The clerk asked while she motioned for him to follow her.  "She's having bad chest pain; she has a history of congestive heart failure"!  The young man could hardly talk, he was breathless from carrying his load.

The clerk led the way through the door she kept locked, closing it behind her.  She saw a wheel chair, pointed at it.  The young man shook his head, meaning to go on!

She led him through the open doorway of the emergency room.  He followed her.  The clerk led him to Bed 3... where she had watched... life and death play out more times than she could count. This 'was' the bed for heart patients, and patients who were deathly ill, patients who were in a bad way.

Her eyes had paid close attention to the woman... she had the feeling 'something was going to happen'.  She felt the woman was very sick.  She knew that it was okay to take the patient directly into the emergency room.

As she passed the nurse, and doctor sitting at the white counter top on stools that rolled them around... she leaned in to tell them the woman was experiencing severe chest pain... she had a history of congestive heart failure.

She hurried on, knowing they would go into action.  This doctor, and nurse were very good... she held the highest respect for both.  They were a 'good combination'... anyone would want to be in their hands... if they were fighting for their life.  Anyone with chest pain would be seen right away!

Sometimes, the 'combination of doctor, nurse' ... wasn't a good one.  This time... they were ... the best.  She felt proud to be working with these two, today.  They were her friends, also.

She pulled the curtain back, pointed at the bed.  The young man put his mother on the bed.  His mother laid back against the pillow. The clerk looked at her, didn't feel good about her.  The elderly woman smiled weakly at her.  The clerk ran out to tell the doctor, nurse to come on... briefly wondering 'why' they weren't already there.  Still... she 'knew' they'd come...

She saw the nurse, doctor still sitting there, engrossed in one another!  She walked quickly to them... apologized for interrupting.  "That woman is having a heart attack"!  How she knew the woman was having a heart attack... she didn't know.  She just 'knew something was getting ready to happen'!

She kept going until she got to her desk, computer.  She put the woman's name into the computer... found her... printed out all the info.  All the son had to do was to sign permission to treat her.  She ran back to the emergency room.

As she entered the door, she heard a commotion... it was at Bed 3.  Get the crash cart, call Code Blue!  The nurse picked up the phone, pressed a couple of buttons on the phone.  She began speaking into the phone... that became an instant intercom.   "Code Blue, Emergency Room!  Code Blue, Emergency Room!"

Medical staff began arriving, each knowing what their task was to save the woman.  The clerk stood back to witness the 'battle between life, death'.  She'd seen it many times.  She prayed this woman would live.

She was told to lead the son out into the emergency room.  She put her hand gently on his shoulder as, he kept turning to look back.  She had to keep her emotions in check... she wanted to scream at the doctor, nurse.  'Why' didn't they come on?

The clerk smiled gently at the young man, patted him on the shoulder as she led him to the door.  She opened it to let him go in, so... he could be seated in the waiting area.  She promised to come back to let him know how his mother was.  She closed the door... it locked automatically.

There wasn't anyone to register... so, the clerk walked back to the emergency room.  She stood watching the hospital staff do CPR on the woman.  They used the paddles....

She felt terrible anger, shock while she stood there.  'Why' didn't the nurse, doctor come to help the woman at the very beginning?  That wasn't like them at all.  She would have bet a thousand dollars on both of them to go to a patient, not waste time... to save their lives.  If 'they' couldn't save a patient's life... no one else could.

Yet... only 'she knew' that they didn't do what they should have.  They didn't come for some reason... they were the reason that woman was dying.  The clerk's eyes filled with tears... her heart felt deep anger.  She hated them... God, she hated them!  They did wrong!  Please God, don't let that young man's mother die!

She became aware of Bed 3... the commotion was dying down... she knew the woman had died.  She knew it!  She'd seen this happen over, and over.  Some patients lived... some died.  Bed 3 was like a portal to the other side.

Imagine a door .... if you open it... enter... you have died.  Imagine being at that door... and it didn't open... that means you missed death only by inches.  BED 3 was the portal to ... the other side.

The clerk never spoke to the doctor, nurse that she had always thought highly of, respected with her heart... ever again.  Never had she been so disappointed in someone.

The nurse, doctor came to her several times, after the woman died.  They came to talk to the clerk... she only turned her head away.  She couldn't bear to even look at them, much less talk to them.  She knew that they did wrong... they let a woman die... while they were enjoying each other's company.  She ... hated them.

She never told a soul... how could it help anyone.  They knew they did wrong.  They let that patient die... on Bed 3.

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