Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Family Sounds...

Family Sounds ...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

A Doodle I did while sitting, grieving ... missing my own child, my son ... Tommy


I heard a sound ... a familiar, happy sound

Of a laughing child as it ran, played

I remember hearing such sounds ... a long time ago

Long ago, when my son was but, a little boy

Running, playing ... squealing in pure abandonment

Pure happiness ... oh, the innocence of a child

Long ago, I played with his little son in the sand

Laughing, squealing in pure enjoyment he did

Eyes twinkling just like his daddy's, smile just as bright

One day ... you were gone ... then, he

No more laughing, squealing sounds ... family sounds

Oh God, I miss such special sounds

When I hear them ... I stop in my tracks, lean my head sideways

Look longingly toward where they come from ... listen

Family sounds ... your family sounds ... sounds I once knew

Radio playing in the background ... door closing somewhere

Voices calling to the other ... dogs barking

More family sounds ... sounds I miss hearing ... love to hear

I listen to your family sounds ... I have none of my own, anymore

Skip and I are quiet people ... make soft sounds

I can't help it ... no matter what I'm doing ... I stop to smile, listen

When I hear the special sounds a family makes

I'm listening to life going on ... people making memories

Just as I once did ... praying your children will always be there

That you'll never know the loss of a child

Feel the pain I've carried so long, now

I pray your family sounds will last ... forever


Money Is The Root ... Of All Evil?

Money Is The Root ... Of All Evil?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates /Granny Gee

Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee ... who personally feels money isn't the root of all evil.

Sometimes, angels need watching over ... too

They watch over us ... I watch over them

When they aren't aware that I do

Do you look out for others, even animals ... when you don't have to? Do you care?

Maybe some of you can't see anything just outside your world ... it could be so wonderful, perfect ... you just don't have time to stop ... look at life around you.

Have you ever cast an eye over toward your neighbor? Wondered if they are doing okay? Maybe they burn wood in a heater ... I love to smell wood burning ... but, not ... when I know someone depends on it for survival. Not when I know they are struggling to live every day of their life.

I can't enjoy the scent of wood burning ... not around me. I associate it with hardship ... a life of more downs, than ups.

I know I don't have to care ... why would I? I don't have extra to help them ... why would I care? It's enough to live my life without worrying about someone else.

Money is the root of all evil .... I've heard it all my life. I know money can be the cause of bad things. I know people are robbed, murdered for it. This is the root of ... evil.

Money can be good, too. It can buffer someone's ass from the cold ... feed their hungry children; give someone a warm coat when they are freezing. Pay for somewhere to shelter them from the elements of the weather.

Dreams can come true ... when someone shares, does something for another. The feeling that comes from doing something special is unlike any feeling you've ever known. In my life, I've known it a lot ... when I used to have extra money. Still, once in a while ... we will do something for someone ... extra money ... or no money. Money is ... everything; money isn't ... everything.

Even without money to help others ... I can 'see, hear' people who would be so thankful for a miracles to happen in their lives. I wish I could be the one to make their dreams come true. I wish I could even do special things back to the ones who have done them for me .. through time.

Do you ever think like this? Think such thoughts? About money? Have you ever wished to make dreams come true? We all look at things differently ... some look at money like it's some evil thing. I look at money as a life-saver.

I don't care what anyone says ... money makes things possible. It buffers one's ass from the ground ... keeps them afloat to not feel the harshness of life. Think about it ... if there wasn't any money, what would you be doing? I think there'd be a lot of sore asses around, myself. I did say that!


Birds Of My Feather ... I Am Grinning As I Wonder

Birds Of My Feather ... I Am Grinning As I Wonder
By #Gloria Faye Brown Bates / #Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee ... I'm a 'bird of a different feather' ... but, a good ole bird!

This morning ... my thoughts have traveled into the past to the time I was a young girl ... to my earliest memories of someone who said ... did something special to touch my life ... until the present.

I know I have forgotten as much as I remember throughout the years. I was sitting here, reflecting on how in the world can someone thank 'everybody' who has touched their life in the most special of ways ... to make it all better?

A lot of those people are gone, now. One being my favorite aunt ... whose soft, quiet voice stayed in my mind, through time. When I was a little girl, she would come to me ... say "Faye, one day ... you will be older, you can choose not to live in this kind of life". How I had wished she was my mother, too. I truly loved her. I loved my Aunt Frankie.

I watched as a little girl in Hell ... when she would come to visit her mother ... my Grandma Alma. Hell would try to suck her in ... making it hard to leave each time without being burned by the flames of harsh words ... or crushed by a physical fight. My Aunt Frankie wanted to stay above that.

She never knew this little girl admired her, loved her ... wanted to be like her. She came from Hell, herself ... when she left, she strived to be a lady. Of course, time to time she was pulled down ... she had no choice but, to fight to get out of the clutches of Hell ... it didn't like to let go of people who tried to be the best they could be ... be someone.

No, Hell hated 'goody-goodies' ... I was hated as I grew older. I damn sure wasn't a goody-goody ... I just wanted a life without Hell being raised ... that meant I was trying 'to be better than someone'. I wasn't better than anyone ... I just wasn't a ... Hellraiser; but, I learned real good ... I could raise Hell with the best of them. It didn't feel good ... I didn't.

It wasn't that I was a 'goody-goody' ... God knows I was led down a lot of roads that taught my ass many lessons. Roads that were terrifying ... damn, I had such a curiosity! I wanted to know how this ... how that could be. I couldn't imagine ... I wanted to see firsthand. I made turns on many roads I should have never ... turned on.

I saw firsthand ... I felt the sting of Hell on a lot of roads. I made mistakes ... not horrible ones ... but, the beginning of horrible ones until I decided I didn't want to be on the roads I was taking. I ran like Hell ... from Hell. I was always running ... you know, Hell is in a lot of places.

Hell is disguised in many ways. Beautiful, wonderful things ... lots of beautiful colors that attracted a young girl like myself. Sights, sounds ... oh, how I loved beautiful things ... oh, the roads I traveled on! How beautiful everything I had ... was; how beautiful I was!

Oh, the fun I could have had ... if only ... I'd been 'bad' enough. I wasn't as ... bad as I thought I could be. I wasn't tough enough to 'walk the talk ... talk the walk' ... (I probably said this wrong ... but, I'm good at that ... you know what I mean :) The most beautiful colors in the world ... the most awful consequences to pay.

I am glad I got off those paths ... though, I have to say this. I can't 'knock' everyone that was .... 'bad'. There are a lot of 'good-bad' people. We need them in this world we live in. Though, I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't agree ... I lived real life ... I have good-bad people to thank for being good to me. They were much tougher than I ... and understood my path needed to go in a different direction.

My friends, people I love ... care about ... are all birds of a different feather. None of them are the same ... they come from all walks of life ... none are so low that I wouldn't be proud to stand in public to speak to. So, if you see me talking to someone you can't believe I'd be seen with ... just know, you are only seeing the 'outside' ... there's good somewhere there ... you just can't see it.

You know the old saying ... my Grandma Alma used to tell me all the time ... 'birds of a feather stick together'. Looking 'at my birds of a feather' ... you wouldn't be able to 'see' why 'they are my birds of a feather' ...

None of us would look alike ... talk alike ... sound alike. We would all be many colors ... every size. Some would be dressed in the finest ... some wouldn't have anything fine to wear at all. Some live in the most grand of homes ... some don't have the luxury of a bathroom.

What you can't 'see' is the ... goodness, kindness, love ... caring, unselfishness ... all the 'birds of my feather' ... share.

That's what we all have in common ... sure, you'll think, 'okay, but ... so and so, has a bad reputation; so and so, drinks, drugs, and such; just keep this in mind ... so and so, could save your life ... do, say that little something that can make all the difference in your life. They wouldn't have to ... but, they would.

I love good people ... kind, honest, loyal people. They don't all look alike. Their feathers are all different colors ... some are smooth, clean & shiny feathers. Others ... well, sometimes, they are very poorly groomed feathers ... I don't judge their feathers. I only care about what can't be seen ... a good Heart.

These are the types of people I've seen, known through time ... that either said, did something that meant the world to me ... along with people who do look like me ... look like the 'birds of my feather' ... I wish I could be sure I thanked all of them ... of course, I can't. I just went on trying to do better, not make the same mistakes ... twice.

I have been molded, shaped by ... different birds of a feather. My colors change all the time ... yet, down deep ... I am the same person. A good, kind, loyal person who cares about everyone, everything ... unless it hurts a person, or animal. I won't go there ... that's Hell ... flaming Hell.

I guess what I'm getting at is ... everyone who has reached out to touch my life ... even in the smallest ... biggest of ways, I would like to say 'thank you' for caring. Yes, I know all I have are ... words; but ... my words are sincere. Thank you ... all you birds of my feather. We don't have to look alike to understand.

I wonder what my Grandma Alma would think of all my friends ... if she saw the 'birds of my feather stick together'? I am grinning as I ... wonder.



Photos/story owned, written by me #Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka #Granny Gee  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Up There ... On Fairchild's Mountain

Up There On Fairchild's Mountain ...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Long, winding dirt path up a little mountain

Rocks on both sides ... covered in lush, green moss

Trees growing tall to the sky ... patches of blue sky peeping through

Joy, peace of mind engulf one ... quietness, only the sound of birds

An occasional woodpecker knocking here ... there

Fairchild's Mountain ... I have many memories there

To the left of the path at the very top ... lies a small cemetery

Not for people ... for Pups, animals from the wild

All were loved by us ... from Pups to feral cats ... white possum

Sometimes, the road below claimed an animal we fed, loved

We would bring it up on top of Fairchild's Mountain

Lay it gently in its grave, cover it with soft dirt, blanket it with love

Lay a mound of rocks to protect the grave from other animals

I would stand there, sadness in my Heart for the loss of a life so special

Animals no one else in the world was aware of ... only Skip, myself knew they were there ... cared for, loved by us when they lived

In my mind, I visit Fairchild's Mountain, where we once lived

It's the last place I saw my son, only child ... Tommy

The evening before he died ... I see his smiling face, twinkling eyes

Hear his soft voice saying 'mama' ... strange, that evening

The very air about him was special ... golden, shining like the sun

Strange ... how people 'glow with beauty' ... before they die

Maybe I'm the only one who sees the 'glowing beauty' ... I'm not sure

I know I see it, feel it ... never realizing that soon ... that person would be gone

I've seen it over, and over ... somehow, I forget ... never feel alarm

Fairchild's Mountain was named after our big Rottweiler ... he ruled that mountain

His name was known far, and wide

He was huge ... beautiful, and to be 'woofed' by him was 'something'

I used to ride him around on a cobalt blue Volkswagon ... sun roof open

Fairchild sat in the back seat .... with his red bandana blowing in the wind

People wanted to pet Fairchild, he didn't want them near ... it didn't stop anyone from admiring him

There were a lot of good memories on Fairchild's Mountain

Sad ones, scary ones ... too

One being where I saw our mailbox murdered by a stranger

Strange people sometimes, rode up on Fairchild's Mountain

It was isolated, some came to see what they could see

Some came, hoping they could sit in peace, drink their spirits

I just became aware of soft music playing here, in Skip's study

My eyes have several sparkling, diamond teardrops in them

I think one slid down on my cheek ... leaving a cold path

Reaching up, the tips of my fingers brush it off, warm the skin

No longer feeling cold ... forgetting that I may have been crying

While in my mind, I was on Fairchild's Mountain ... visiting the past

Visiting with each loved animal buried in the cemetery ... each feral cat I fed for a year after we moved, here

Pain for so many animals I loved with my Heart ... so, many tears

Pain ... it's where I last saw Tommy's smile, heard his son voice saying 'mama' ... last saw him walking ... last time he hugged me ... last waved at him ... he waved to me, smiling, calling 'bye, mama, bye'!

Fairchild's Mountain ... there's so much in that name, place

Colors of my life are embedded in the rocks, trees the very air, there

No one will ever see, know ... if they sense ... they will feel a soft specialness in the air ... love; grief from a mother who lost her son; beloved Pups ... wild animals

Since we moved from there ... we took the name with us

Making it impossible to ever know ... where ... Fairchild's Mountain was

Fairchild's Mountain is now, only a memory of many last memories of special events in my life

The first, last times I ever spent happy times with a little grandson

Who is growing older, forgetting his Granny Gee

Family sounds ... how I miss 'family sounds' ... my family's sounds

Sounds, sights that will never be heard again

Only in my memory of memories

Up on Fairchild's Mountain


Photos/poem owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Fairchild's Mountain was real at one time ... it's still there ... but, it isn't Fairchild's Mountain, anymore. I could walk there, see things no one else could see ... I wonder if the new owners sense any of those things?

Feel an unexpected happiness ... feel unexpected grief ... cry when not knowing why they cried ... smile, not knowing they are sensing happy times?  'Know' this special place was the ... last of many special things ... for this grieving mother ... grandmother?






How Does ... 'It' ... Know To Come Looking ... Who 'It' Is Looking For?

How Does ... 'It' ... Know To Come Looking ... Who 'It' Is Looking For?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

How would 'It' recognize me ... with sunglasses on?  Through the years, if I wished something mean, bad on another ... I always got ... payback.  Or ... did I pay back myself ... for being 'bad'?  We'll never know ...  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee ... December 2014


Watch out! A black cat just ran across the road in front of you! You had better make a big 'X' on the windshield! If you don't ... you will have ... bad luck. I try not to draw an imaginary 'X' on the windshield. I'm sorry to say, I grew up hearing that ... and sometimes, still react to it.

Don't! Don't walk under that ladder! If you do ... you will experience bad luck! As for myself ... why in the world would I walk under a ladder ... anyway? If I did, I would just look to be sure there wasn't a hammer laying on the step ... or a bucket of red paint sitting there ... ready to splash me red!

Step on a crack ... break your mama's back! Oh, my ... how I used to be so careful as a child to not step on a crack! I lived in town, cracks were everywhere ... I grew up with sidewalks. I didn't want to do anything to cause harm to my mama ... no matter how many times she left me. No matter how many times I ... 'hated' her. Growing up, I realized that all the times I 'hated' my mother ... was all that much more I loved her.

Don't wish bad for others ... it'll come back on you! I do believe in this ... I believe when you wish bad things to others ... it will surely come back to ... bite you in the ass. Growing up ... my ass got bitten plenty of times ... I wished mean things lots of times as a child... young adult. I learned to wish good things ... even for people I despised.

Do unto others the way you'd want them to do ... unto you. I believe in this one, too. As a young person, I did my share of spiteful things only to have them ... 'come home' ... to me. I got to feel how it felt ... every 'damn' time!

I don't like it when something ... comes back to bite me in the ... ass! It surely will ... one way or other. Smile ... it could be coming ... for you. The sad thing is ... it takes so long for some to learn this ... it took me years to learn.

Have you ever gotten 'bitten in the ass'? How did it feel? Do you even 'know' ... when payback ... comes for you? I wonder 'how it knows' ... to come looking ... and 'who to look for'?


Photo/story both are owned by me #Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ #Granny Gee




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I Didn't Know The World Was Big Enough For Both ... Grief Of Losing My Son ... Me

I Didn't Know The World Was Big Enough For Both ... Grief Of Losing My Son ... Me
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Photos of Tommy, Skip, myself, my artwork, beadwork; I made fireplace in the photo with our Christmas tree this year... dragonfly picture (Tommy loved dragonflies) .... owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


I have made it to another Christmas ... never knowing ... I could ever feel joy, happiness in my Heart, again. 

My only child, Tommy, died May 29, 2010, at the young age of 40. He had blockages to his heart ... no one knew. He ... was at Myrtle Beach ... running, playing with his little 3 year old son ... when he collapsed on the sand.

Tommy's spirit soared with the angels who came to take him home. The last sounds he heard ... were the laughter of a precious, little boy ... sea gulls singing to him as the ocean waves softly played in the background. Come home, Tommy ...

I can't in no way ... describe the grief I've suffered. Grief ... there wasn't enough room in this world for my grief ... myself. I almost ... had to go ... to make it bearable. How in the world does a mother ... learn to live without the child she brought into the world?

Of course, if you've never lost a child ... you can't even begin to understand, nor ... imagine. I do know you can begin to think about your child being 'gone' ... you will panic inside, have to stop trying to imagine.

Why? Because ... you don't want to think of this world without your child in it. Oh, my God ... the pain. Pain just from 'thinking about it' for a moment, or two. Just think if it were the 'real thing' ... that it really happened.

I'm glad you have your children. It makes my Heart happy when I see you with them. I smile when you don't know it ... I love to see families, hear ... their happy, family sounds.

My Heart breaks if I see unhappiness in a family ... I have to not look. My thought is that they just don't know how fortunate they are to have each other. If I think closer, I realize that there are others like me ... who will never have a normal family relationship with loved ones.

Some families are 'f____ up' before they are born ... things are somehow, born in them ... when they come into this world, they come in kicking, screaming ... full of hate, anger. If you see a happy smile ... watch out ... someone else is hurting, someone else had to 'pay for' that happy smile. Just hope it isn't ... your ass.

This is life ... just the way it is. I don't sugar-coat it. I see it this way, I have felt it ... this way ... since I began aware of being a little person with thoughts. I've known grief, sadness, pain all my life ... it's a part of me just as breathing.

I also, know how it feels to smile, laugh ... feel the happiness of happy! It just never lasted very long in my life ... just enough to get a taste of it ... wish for so much more.

Once in a while, I allow myself to ask 'why can't I have happiness all the time'? I stop as soon as the question forms in my mind. So, I tell myself that no matter what ... everything will somehow find a way to be alright .... at times, it'll take longer ... but, it will be alright.

I just have to be happy while I'm sad, grieving ... or in pain. I'm never going to feel one ... without the other. I just have to make the best of it ... or just ... die. I love to live ...

Thank-God for writing ... thank-God for Skip, our Pups ... and thank-God for ... you. I made it, to 'now' ... Truthfully, I never 'saw ahead this far'.

I fought the battle of my life ... losing a child is a terrible war inside. I won ... I'm here ... and for-real, everything is alright. Not 'going to be' ... it 'is'.

I wish all mothers, fathers ... the most wonderful holidays with their children. Hold them close to your Heart ... I pray you never lose them. Parents should never live to see their children ... die.

The perfect way would be for parents to grow old gracefully ... go before their children. The world is ... not perfect.

I didn't know the world was big enough for both the grief of losing my son ... me.


Photos, story owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

#grief during holidays #loss of a child #grief #Gloria Faye Brown Bates #Granny Gee


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Four Hearts Equal ... Sandwiches Made With Love

Four Hearts Equal ... Sandwiches Made With Love
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Sandwiches I made with love ... sometimes, it's the things not seen that counts ... things one can 'feel' without knowing what it is they feel ... they just know it feels ... good, happy.  I took these photos to show what I mean ... Four hearts equal ... sandwiches made with love. 


For many years I have been doing something that may be unusual. You know me by now ... I do ... do unusual things. Especially ... if you are unusual, too. Colors of life!

Yes, yes ... I know I can seem boring ... I promise you, I am interesting in how I think, do. :)

See ... sometimes, it 'isn't me' that is boring ... it's that ... 'you' might not bring the ... interesting ... out of me! :) Oh, no ... please don't take that personal ... we can't be everything to everyone.

So ... what do I do? I just be quiet, nice, sweet ... until I can go my way. If ... you ... begin to become animated, fun ... happy ... so, do I!

If not, that's okay ... I just stay quiet, nice, sweet ... and go my way as soon as I can. Sometimes, it really is nice to be ... quiet, though.

Chemistry is what it's all about. When two people share a special chemistry ... wonderful things happen. One being ... a 'forever' love that lasts until ... death do us part. A forever love ... with your soulmate, best friend, lover ... hero ... like I have with Skip.

I did the unusual this morning when I made his lunch for today. He had to work today ... I cooked hamburgers for him to take.

I laid out four slices of bread on the big, cutting board ... took the mustard bottle ... began drawing hearts in mustard ... on each slice of bread.

Hamburger patties went on the bread ... laid on a heart of love from my hands. I, then ... sealed each hamburger with love from the slice of bread ... laid on top ... four hearts equals sandwiches made with ... love.


Photos/story owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Fun Thing Is ... You'll Always Have Something To Wonder About!

The Fun Thing Is ... You'll Always Have Something To Wonder About!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Photos of me as a younger woman; artwork by me.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I'm probably the quietest friend anyone could have. I'm probably one of the most trustworthy, honest friends ... one could have. I'm probably ... the most sincerest friend you could have.

I do have one friend very much like me in the ways that matter to me ... my childhood friend. We don't see each other often ... we communicate often by email, texting ... we don't get into each other's private life ... yet, we are 'there' if we are needed. It's the most 'perfect, only way' ... I can be close to anyone. She knows how I am ... respect, understanding.

I'm a loner ... yet, I'm a people person ... I can be in the middle of all the laughing, having a fun time ... or I can be the little girl I used to be ... standing on the outskirts, looking ... enjoying being near people even if I wasn't a part of them.

I don't like to be isolated from people ... I love the sounds of 'family life' in harmony; the sounds of airplanes in the sky .... sounds of lawn mowers in the distance ... I love to hear dogs barking in the distance ... children squealing, playing in a distance.

I love to hear the laughter, talking of people enjoying life in the distance. Another thing I love ... is to hear the radio playing in the distance while someone is working ... I love to be sitting outside, drawing ... painting ... or reading in the sunshine, feel a breeze blow my hair, caress my skin ... and hear the sounds I just told you about.

I think if I were a part of the weather, I would be the ... happy breeze ... I would see the secret smiles of people who enjoy getting a breeze to cool their skin off. I would see the relief from the heat ... as I visited. I would dry the tears if I saw someone crying ...

Then, again ... I would be the sunshine. Spread golden, warm happiness everywhere ... even in the meanest of hearts. Even mean-ass people love ... sunshine!

I'm thinking ... I give the sillest things a lot of thought at times :) ... that I would be the breeze, sunshine ... and rain ... and give it out each time I saw it was needed.

I would try to be everywhere at one time so, everyone could be happy, ha! Now ... I see 'why' the weather gives up, rains too much ... it just 'plain' gets ... tired.

I do things from my Heart ... if I do something for you ... it's because I truly want to. If I don't ... it means ... I really don't want to! No matter if I have money ... don't have money ... when I do from my Heart ... money can't buy it.

I'm loyal ... just as a dog is loyal to the ones who love it, treat it well. Just as loyal even to someone ... when they abuse it. The thing is ... I don't 'abuse' ... well. I take that back ... abuse me ... we have a problem. I didn't come this far in life to be abused by ... anyone.

I have a forgiving Heart ... I have to have so, I can live with myself. People say, "Gloria ... you ... can ... forgive ... that"? I didn't say I could forgive ... quickly, easily ... it does take time, you know. I never get in the position of trusting again ... but, no one would believe the things I have ... forgiven. All I can say is ... I'm a better person for it ...

To live with myself, I have to forgive ... go forward. It ... does not ... mean I'd trust again ... I would still be a nice person ... just don't get into my personal space. I can still be ... 'friends'. I would be the ... best ... 'not friends anymore' ... you'd ever have.

I really try to be a good person, always. I don't like ugliness ... nor do I like the ugliness I know I could be ... I grew up with Hell in me ... I know how to ... Raise Hell ... I just choose ... not to. I do have a choice ... of 'when', though. I try to pick my battles.

I don't want to hurt anyone ... only ... if I'm pushed too far ... will I come out swinging ... all Hell's going to ... break loose. The number '3' becomes important at this point ... I try to give 3 chances, hoping someone will know better ...

That means someone has really been 'for-real bad' ... to make me ... 'Raise Pure Hell'. I'm going to win, then. Why? Because ... by that time, I ... mean to ... one way or other. It comes to a point where the kettle is going to boil water hell-over, and it's going to burn someone if they are too close. The lid's coming off ...

I truly love people ... animals. I don't like mean, ugly, horrible people ... nor animals that way. Living beings that thrive on the pain of others ... sitting around always plotting, scheming on how to do another living being in. Ready to pounce when others are weak ... they would steal the food off one's plate ... even knowing one had been without food for a week.

I would never commit adultry ... never-ever ... never. I did make a mistake many years ago ... I did do something wrong ... unknowingly. I never forgot the awful pain it caused ... I would never do that again. In fact, Skip and I were talking about something, yesterday. I mentioned it to him ... he knows all about it ... we are close, we talk about everything.

I had two friends I 'trusted' ... I knew when they told me something, I ... 'could take it to the bank'. How could I know how deceitful, jealous they were at that time in my life.

I trusted two vipers in the grass ... each wanting me to lose all I had, hated the beautiful clothes I wore, and yes ... how attractive I was as a young woman... they wanted to see me fail ...jealousy is a bad thing. I loved those friends as much as they ... didn't love me. They pretended ... I found out when I learned one of them tried to turn my mother against me, love her instead. It didn't work ... she didn't know the love I had for ... my mama.

They told me a guy wanted to date me ... I didn't just date a guy, easily. I'd seen him at their home ... he treated me with respect. I liked him. I asked was he married .... "oh, no"! they said. A date was arranged ... I dated him. In fact, I dated him maybe two-three times ... I found out he was married ... I ran the opposite way!

Later, I met his wife ... a very nice woman ... I felt sick inside at the part I played in the pain I know I contributed ... didn't matter if I did it ... not knowing. What mattered was ... I caused awful pain to a woman doing something I had experienced, being married as a young girl. Being cheated on ... this time I was the 'other woman'.

Oh, my God ... I was the other woman. How could I do such a thing? I grew up in that mess ... there I was ... being like something I didn't believe in ... never wanted to do. You wouldn't believe what I saw as a child ... God knows I could been a 'good cheater ... a good 'bad woman' ... I got my lessons by watching, learning.

I remember looking that woman in her eyes ... seeing the tears of pain in them. I looked hard ... I didn't look away. I did wrong ... I told her I did ... never meant to. I was lied to, about her husband being married. I faced up to her pain, made myself see, feel it ... I never forgot it even to this day. I did that to her.

I talked to her with my Heart. Somehow, she saw the sincerity, the ... pain I felt ... she forgave me. She smiled through a curtain of tears at me ... I remember smiling a soft smile from my very Heart ... through a curtain of tears ... at her. I 'felt' her forgive me. It meant ... everything to me.

She could 'see' ... 'know' ... I was being truthful to her. A lot of women would have said .... "f___ her, who cares what she thinks"! I cared more than anyone could possibly know.

I know how that kind of pain feels ... it almost cost me my life as a young girl ... several times. My pride, dreams ... Heart ... was thrown to the ground, shattered in a million pieces ... just like the music box given to me 'back then'.

It was an expensive, beautiful music box ... when I opened it ... it began to play 'Love Means You Don't Have To Say You Are Sorry' ( I may have the words backwards ... not the first time :).

I remember the pain in my Heart ... looking up into the eyes of the man I'd married as a very young girl ... I trusted with my life ... 'knowing' he was cheating on me.

It went through my mind ... that I had overdosed on pills because of the pain that was stronger than I ... the years I had stayed married to him because I loved him, I loved my child ... wanted a home unbroken for him. I wanted my child to have what I didn't ...

Why ... he'd been gone for three days, and he'd just come home with the beautiful ... music box. The music box playing ... Love Means You Don't Have To Say You Are Sorry (I can't remember if that's exactly the title) ...

I stood there, listening to the beautiful music coming from the box (it didn't look like a 'box' ... it was some beautiful, porcelain 'something' ... ). I remember tilting my head to one side ... then, looking back down at that 'beautiful something' ...

A storm blew up all of a sudden ... I know because of the rush of hot tears that began pouring from my eyes ... the pain that struck like lightening bolts in my very Heart ... the grief of being betrayed that went to my soul ... one helluva storm that threatened to drown, beat me down to the ground ... make me want to die to see some kind of peace. I couldn't take anymore of this Hell ... all of a sudden ... the storm intensified ...

My hands raised that 'beautiful something ... that music box still playing that beautiful, sweet music' ... for a moment I became the very storm overwhelming me ... I crashed that damn music box to the floor! A hell of a earthquake struck in that instant ...

I looked up in defiance, pure damn 'white-hot' anger ... and I said these words ( I do not apologize, here ... life is life ... my life was as real as it could get ... I said these words ...) ... "Fuck you, you son of bitch"!

I stomped the pieces of that music box into the floor ... it quit playing ... Love Means You Never Have To Say I'm Sorry ( or whatever the hell ... the name of that song was!).

Love Means You Have To Never Have To Say I'm Sorry (or whatever the hell the name of that song was ) ... my last memory of it playing was as it hit the floor ... my very Soul, Heart was screaming inside from the awful pain.

I damned that music box to Hell ... love that could never be put together again ... shattered into a million pieces ... each piece representing all I believed in, cared about.

I broke the home I never wanted broken ... never wanted my son to grow up from. A note here ... soon after this happened ... I became a divorced, young woman ... she became jealous of ... me.

I remember one day I came to pick my son up ... she said something to me. I stopped, smiled the kindest smile at her, told her .... 'Now, you are in my shoes ... I'm glad to be ... me ... now. I told her I didn't have to worry, wonder, go through hell anymore. I was free!

Yep! That old music box shattered into a million pieces just like the life I lived at the time ... I learned a lot from the fourteen years I was a young bride ... this is when I began learning to forgive ... go forward ... let go.

When I say that ... it also, means it was all very painful, it didn't happen overnight ... I can hear my little brother who died, in my mind at this very moment, saying ... 'life can be a bitch, sometimes'.

I just smiled, thinking about Rick-Rick. My little brother was just himself, he wasn't perfect at all ... he didn't have to be ... he was my little brother ... I loved him so much. I miss you, Rick-Rick. I have Rick-Rick's ashes in my artroom ... in a happy room. I don't think he ever knew true happiness in life ... he was on a spiral ... he had no where else to go ... but, to die when he did. Painful ...

His life was completely the opposite of mine ... no one would have guessed we were brother ... sister. I always made sure they did if they didn't know ... I loved my brother.

This morning, while sitting here, listening to Christmas music I wasn't certain if I would write, or not. This is what happened ... I wrote. :)

I was thinking about these things. I was thinking about me being a friend ... I do think I'm the best friend ... I could have. I don't say it in a conceited way at all ... I say it in the way of how I've learned so much in life ... it really has made me a good person, inside. I like 'myself'... though, I'm far from perfect.

I wonder what I'd been 'back in the old days'? Truthfully ... I think I would have been a saloon girl ... why?

Because ... she was around people, music all the time. Hustle-bustle of the world around her; never isolated out on some prairie ... barefooted, pregnant, hungry ... at the mercy of animals, men.

Always dressing pretty ... speaking one's mind ( oh my ... that would be me!) ... life wouldn't have been so, hard in that position for a woman. She could have fun, dance when she wanted to ...

Okay, okay ... I know. What about me being as good as I can be ... as a person? I would still be as good as I could be ... as a person ... :) I just know I'd had a lot of ... good friends, ha!

Think about it ... a life of hardship out on the cold, harsh desert ... no, I'd choose 'city life' ... being around cowboys, and other saloon girls ... dresses of every color ... lace ... beautiful shoes ... fun! I'd choose the ... colorful life!

I've backed myself up here in a corner ... I'm thinking about things I don't have to think about. I'm sounding like a kid, when someone asks 'what would you do' ... I'm getting in deeper, and deeper ...

The good thing in this situation is ... I was just thinking about these things! :) I know you do this, too ... if you let your imagination loose! When I sit down to 'really write' ... this is how I do it.

I 'become' ... what I write about ... even if it's ... naughty or nice. It's like an actor/actress .. to become what you are doing ... writing, acting ... you are convincing someone it's real ... and making a 'hell of a good story' ... at the same time!

When you get through writing/acting ... one is back into daily life, and just ... themselves, again. :) I guess when writing, sometimes ... it is better that strangers read your stories ... then, they wouldn't wonder if the person they already know ... is really like that!

The fun thing here, is ... you'll always have something to wonder about me! :)


Note: Photos, Artwork, Story owned by #Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ #Granny Gee