By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Last photo of Tommy as he drove to the beach... he died shortly after. He collapsed on the sand while playing with his little son.
He made it to the beach in time ... to do what he wanted most to do ... play for the first time with his son, Taban ... it was his last time.
Tommy died May 29, 2010 on a Saturday evening ... he collapsed with 2 blockages to his heart. No one didn't know ... you can see how strong he appeared in this picture taken just a couple hours or so ... before he collapsed.
I make no apologies when I speak of my son
I don't shed the tears I used to
I cry silently, but ... no one can hear
I smile as I sob, my Heart breaking
As I grieve for the only child I ever had
The more I smile ... the more I weep
Tommy! Tommy! I don't ask 'why you had to go'
I don't ask anything ... all things are not possible
It's impossible to know the answer as to 'why?'
My mind replays the vision I have of you
Walking on the soft, damp sand beneath your feet
I can picture the sandals you wore that day
The waves washed ashore to kiss your toes
To fascinate your little son as his toes were kissed
I can see you standing there ... discussing the ocean
A little three year old child who looked just like his daddy
Standing, his little hand on his hip as he peered out across the water
His little hat shielding his eyes from the sunshine
Two peas in a pod ... like father, like son
Both stand there carrying on a grown-up conversation
Father treating son like a little man
Then ... with abandon, both began to run, play, laugh
Son treating father like a little boy
Their eyes twinkled, their laughs pure as bells
They chased each other, never aware they were being watched
Watched with respect, admiration that such a big man
Could come down to his little son's level to run, play
Four years later, I stand there in my mind ... watching with a sad smile
As I imagine the joy on your faces ... my son, my grandson
I cry for both of you ... I hurt to the core of my soul
I lost both of you ... on the evening my son died
I never got to watch my grandson grow, looking more like
His daddy everyday ... hearing his voice so much like Tommy's
I stand there in my mind ... I see, hear the sea gulls
My eyes take in the sight before me
Waves crested with white, flowing toward the shore
I smell the scent of the ocean in the air
Feel the warm, tropical breeze on my face
I close my eyes in my mind ... enjoy
Enjoy as much as I know you did, Tommy
As you ran, playing with little Taban
I see your smiles, hear your joyous voices
My lips widen into a sad, sad smile
Because I know what I'm going to see next
I know, because I've imagined this many times ... in my mind
There ... there ... you collapsed on the soft sand
I like to think angels supported your body as you fell
You went to 'sleep' ... to sleep for the last time
You played with your little son for ... the last time
Not long before ... you called your mother ... for the last time
You took your last trip just to play at the ocean with your son
You barely made it in time ... did you somehow sense the urgency?
Did you have a sense of 'hurry, hurry' ... we need to get there
As you drove ... did you sense you were going to die, Son?
Did you have any inkling ... premonition?
My Heart cries ... I wonder if somehow, you knew
You just took your last trip ... to leave so soon on a 'forever' ... journey
I stand there in my mind, lost to all around me
I try to hear the words the sea gulls were singing to you
'Tommy, come home ... Tommy, come home'
I stand there in my mind, watching with intensity
Trying to see ... your spirit as it rose above to look down
Look down at your precious son, watching him cry
Daddy ... Daddy, Daddy ... won't you get up, and play with me
Are you asleep, Daddy? Daddy? His little hand reaches out
Reaches out to shake his daddy awake, pat his cheeks
I stand there in my mind as I see the group of people
Who stood off watching a big man play with his little son
Run, when realizing something was wrong
They protected the little child, as they decided what to do
One man picked up Tommy's cellphone, redialed the last number
Tommy had called on his phone ... not knowing who answered
Two hundred miles away, a mother answered with a smile in her voice
Tommy? She heard the strange man's voice
Why do you have my son's cellphone?
'Ma'am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he's not breathing'
As the mother's world went black, she still didn't understand
Her smile slipped off her face as realization came
Oh, my God ... NO! Help me, Skip ... please come, help me!
Help ... a doctor talking, what did he say? Pure, black darkness
Medicine ... thank-God for the medicine that makes one smile ... while one stayed in the darkness ... making the pain go away
Medicine so powerful, the mother almost ... she thought about it
Yes, she thought about it ... her only child was dead
Oh, my God ... she couldn't bear it, she just couldn't bear it
The mother was the strongest woman ... until this happened
She lived over three years in darkness ... not giving a damn
How could she care ... when her feelings were ... pure grief
She only grew stronger as time went by ... she believed in facing
Facing the devil if need be ... get past the pain ... go on with life
One has to ... if not, then ... there's nothing else left to do but, die
Four years later ... I stand there in my mind ... smiling a sad smile
As I imagine it all again for the 'millionth' time
I see, hear sounds of joy; smell the ocean breeze ... listen to the sea gulls sing ... as
I stand there in my mind ...
Photos of my artwork (frame and ocean scene)... and Tommy; and story ... are owned by me... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee &grannygee