By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@granny Gee
photo taken of Tommy just a short few hours before he died at Myrtle Beach, SC. Taken evening of May 29, 2010 ...
March 16, 2007 ... Tommy's son, Taban, was just born. Tommy was very tired, he made it home off a long trip.
Thoughts try to enter my now-full mind
I try not to think about them, but ... I'm going to have to
Tommy ... I'm going to have to think about Tommy
I have no choice, he was a part of my life, a part of me
My son ... died May 29, 2010 while walking on the beach
He'd just arrived at Myrtle Beach, SC .. just in time to ... die
I just felt a great pain in my Heart when I thought this
Tears sprung to my eyes ... the pain is still there
Almost 5 years ... next month ... it doesn't lessen the pain
I don't cry as much ... the pain is hidden deep now
I don't let people see it anymore ... before, I couldn't help it
Now ... I've learned to hide it ... I'm supposed to be over my grief
No mother ever gets over the grief of losing a child ...
When she quits crying ... the grief has dug deeper into her very soul
Never to go away ... it's a part of her, just as her child was a part of her
The deeper the pain, the less you see the pain ... like a gash, it doesn't bleed a lot ... yet, it hurts so bad
Looking at photos of my son ... it's very strange
It seems like he is right here ... it's like the photos are taken ... yesterday
I haven't forgotten a thing about his face ... he looks so alive
The way his eyes smiled before he began laughing
I recognize the signs ... it's like I could hear him any minute
It's like he hasn't gone away forever ... like he is still here
Like on a movie, he could just walk into the door without it feeling strange
It would be like five years haven't gone by ... he'd be at home
If you've never lost a child, I don't expect you to understand
I don't know how many grieving mothers ... know what I mean
Tommy holding his only son, Taban, born on March 16, 2007. He was so proud of him. Tommy also, has one daughter, whom he was very proud of.
I haven't talked to other grieving mothers very often to know
You would think I would have ... I haven't, it's strange
I could listen ... but, I couldn't talk about my grief
That's something I could never do ... talk ... only write grief
Soon, May will be here ... the month my son went on vacation
To never come back ... arrive safely there ... only to die, soon-after
He made it just in time to play with his little 3-year-old son
He did exactly what he meant, wanted to do ... it was the last thing he did
Tommy holding his little son ... he loved this child with his Heart.
Tommy collapsed on the damp sand where he and his little boy, played
His cellphone fell from his hand ... he'd been recording a video for me, his mother
The video was of little Taban standing, looking out at the ocean
So small, precious ... he looked like a miniature Tommy
Tommy's phone was picked up by a concerned stranger
Who pressed the last person called on Tommy's cell phone
Hello, Ma'am ... I've got a man here, collapsed on the sand, he's not breathing
He never knew he was speaking to Tommy's mother ... two hundred miles away
In my mind, I knew Tommy and his family had made it safely to Myrtle Beach, SC
I had worried because of the Memorial Day traffic, when he arrived safely ... I took a sigh of relief
Never knowing just in a short time ... my world would almost end
Almost end for three years ... somewhere, I lost the smile that was for my son when I saw his name on the caller ID
Tommy meeting his daughter's mother, to visit with his daughter. A beautiful little girl.
The stranger's voice ... the numbness that began to spread over me
Before I even knew why ... my son dead? My son ... dead?
This is the phone call that parents never want ... I never wanted that
I never wanted to be told my son wasn't breathing ... let me die, I can't take this!
Somehow, the phone was in Skip's hand ... somehow, I was in a dark world
My very soul was screaming, my very Heart drenched in tears
Oh God, help me! My son ... Tommy? Tommy's dead?
My mind couldn't understand what I had been told ... no, I can't bear this ... I'm going to die
Drug me, make the pain go away ... the knowledge is too great
Too great for me to handle ... I can't think about this!
Hospital ... tears in the registration clerk's eyes ... on the bed in ER
The nurse, the needle ... doctor ... all a blank, thereafter
So many tiny bits of memory only to go black ... I was dying
I couldn't bear the pain ... Skip was worrying, unknown to me
He watched over me as I slept, barely breathing from the medicine I was given
He began to make sure I couldn't abuse it ... when he thought I'd quit breathing
I wouldn't have been aware of dying ... I was too far gone on the new journey in my life
I was on a road I'd only heard about, never thought I'd travel
I didn't have the sense to know anymore that I was a person
I was in the darkness ... I was darker than the dark, I became the dark ... grief, pain
I can't bear to think anymore about it ... I'll quit right now
Next month will be the 5th year, my son has been gone
This photo was damaged in the house fire. Tommy and I ... I was so proud of my son.
No on could be more positive as I have ... never asking questions
I know can't ever be answered in this life
No matter how positive I've been ... it doesn't lessen the pain
I'll have to live with this the rest of my life
I shouldn't have had to, because we all know
Parents should never outlive their child
Note by this author: All photos are owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee. Poem is written by me.