By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee
Gift from our Friend, Cindy ... she made it for us.
I spent a lot of time in the 'dark world' ... I call it that because ... I know no other words to describe it.
The dark world is a place where I went to (I'm sure many, many people have been there ... but, I can only speak for myself) when I've been in shock, deathly ill, and when I lost my only child.
This is a place where I went to ... didn't have to face the world ... my mind, body, soul was numb. I could no longer be me ... as others knew me. I wasn't able to function, make decisions, talk, be around people in a strong, good, healthy way.
I wasn't able to help myself, excepting for the personal things as bathing, such things. Whatever was happening to me at each time ... was ... too much to bear.
My soul, body, mind had been stunned, shocked until I was only able to stay in the darkness that protected me. A safe mode in a way of speaking.
I stayed in darkness to hide until the day came that I could be strong enough to begin coming back out to the light. All the time ... death is/was close by ... hoping to find a way to take me away. Somehow, no matter what ... I have been stronger. I still live.
Truthfully, I wasn't aware of time going by ... I was seeing inward ... not outward. I don't truthfully ... know how I knew when it was time to come out. When I did, I would face yet another battle to ... stay out of the darkness.
Life, light so harsh met me ... to the point I would want to go back into darkness, not face it. I made it each time ... I'm here now, as you can see.
I have faced many 'bad' things on my roads to travel in my life. I have traveled on a lot of those treacherous roads to realize that ... that kind of life wasn't for me ... when I turned to come back, start over ... no one would believe the obstacles placed on my paths. I beat them ... I am here now.
Nothing was easy ... ever. How am I here today ... just from life's roads I've been on, should have never begun to travel in the first place? Then ... from all that's happened through time as I got older.
I have experienced many 'bad' things. The normal person never goes through so much. I don't know if they could ... be here now ... and be all right. I am here now, and I'm for-real all right.
As a young person we are fooled by wonderful things ... we are seduced by people who are older, richer, 'somebody' in life'. They are 'God' ... like a Pied Piper ... we follow them as they whistle through life, never seeing ... knowing until ... we are woke up. Shock, pain ... grief.
We believe, we trust ... as a young person ... in the wrong things. They cause us grief later. Things have a way of coming back, biting us in the ass. We were too innocent to see it coming for us. We learn our life lessons the hard way.
Only the ones who have had a perfect life wouldn't understand this. I'm not even talking to you. I don't have any interest in you ... your life can't in any way compare to mine. We don't have a thing to talk about.
So, you stay in your wonderful, perfect world where you are safe, protected from life, people ... stay packaged in your soft cotton world. I've never known such any longer than 5 minutes. I've always walked the tightrope in life ... somehow, I stayed balanced even when I fell ... but, it's never been a fair battle. Besides ... I had darkness to protect me until I could face the light of the world again. No cotton, only darkness.
But, damn it ... I'm still here. What is so special about me? I've seen so many for-real good people die during my time ... they had so much more going on in life than I do, or have.
A young person is faced with many choices in life ... they don't realize that all that glitters, beautiful, looks rich and inviting ... isn't always good in life.
A young person doesn't realize their peers, the ones they idolize ... look up to ... aren't perfect. That's how a young person like myself was seduced into traveling on dangerous, scary roads in life ... blindly. Trusting ... and oh my God, so innocent. So ... damn innocent, so damn trusting.
I have been in shock so many times it isn't funny at all. I have faced so many things ... how in the world am I here now? You would never believe that I went up against the lion ... many times.
How can I brag about it when all I feel is gratefulness to be here, to have a life ... now? I feel so ... so humble. How fortunate I am to be here today.
Once again, truthfully ... 'who am I to be here now' ... 'what is special about me to be here now'? I'm nobody ... some people may think I am ... I'm only myself.
'Myself' ... meaning if you are thinking 'Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee' is perfect ... go bark up another tree. Just because I try to be a good person doesn't mean I am perfect ... I make many mistakes and I learn over, and over in this life of mine.
I am nobody but, me. You are going to either like me, or not like me. I'm not going to mind either way ... I'm old enough to know that real people, no matter how good/bad they are ... recognize another person who has been through life in many battles ... they are the ones to like people like me.
I have plenty of people who like me ... in a honest way. That's the only way ... honest meaning that old saying we've all heard through time ... I'm sure I'll get it backwards ... I always do when trying to repeat old sayings, but ... here it is: 'to know somebody is to love somebody'.
People can look into another person's eyes ... see something there the average person doesn't have. I can 'see' it ... people can 'see' it in my eyes.
I won't describe what it is ... because something so real ... can only be seen, felt by others 'who have been there' ... who know life in the real way. In a way the average person never does.
A tip ... hint to what 'it' is ... you will only know the secret to it from experiences you, yourself have in life. Experiences you actually feel, see, hear all the way to your very soul. You will begin looking for ... that something ... you will see, recognize in a person 'who has been there, too'.
I look 'deeply' into a person when they talk to me. I pay attention to their actions when they don't know that I do. I listen. I know we can't always judge another just doing these things ... because we all have a bad day sometimes. Like today ... I had a bad time when I knocked a glass of tea over.
It pissed me off to no end. I stomped into the kitchen to get a towel, saying ugly words under my breath. Now ... how ugly is that? How would that appear to someone if seeing or listening to me? See what I mean?
The past used to eat at me until years ago I learned ... I can't even remember how I learned ... to begin putting things into the past, leaving them there. I couldn't change them ... I could go forward though ... being the best person I could be.
All I can be is what I let myself be. I have chosen to be good. Oh God, suppose I had chosen to be bad ... I feel sorry for some people if I had chosen that road to stay on. I'm being truthful. Thank God, I have a clear conscience.
My Heart is full of love even if I don't like someone ... I still care. Know how to test me? If I don't have anything to do with you and you know I don't like you ... get the nerve to come speak to me ... you'll see me speak to you with respect, caring ... I'll never not speak to you.
In rare cases will I not speak back, talk to you.
If I don't speak back ... that means you and I both know ... you are truly 'bad to the bone' in the most awful way. I don't want you in my life. Oh ... you don't want me in yours, either.
I never knew I would be here today ... yet, I did know. Each time I took up my battle to live ... it was with the intention of living. I meant to live. When I came out of shock ... darkness ... I became aware of focusing ... on seeing me doing something in the future 'when I got better'. I got to do those things, eventually because ... I got better. This is when I was deathly ill with cancer (non-Hodgkins lymphoma).
Where does that strength come from? How does one know they have it? Why do some have it, others don't? How did ... I ... have such strength? Why do I have it? Who am I to have it? Another thing, just last week the oncologist told me that I'm a cancer survivor of 16 years ... he said 98% of patients aren't here now ... who had the same thing. Why aren't I crazy as hell 'now'? Life has been tough.
I'm smiling at this moment. It is a wonder I'm not crazy as hell. I'm not ... I'm just as normal, and everyday as you ... though your life probably was most normal, average always. I reached this point in my life by having to come the hard way. You got here quicker, but ... I made it through all the obstacles placed in my path. I look back, how in the 'Sam Hell' did I do it?
You can't even tell it by looking at me ... I'm so glad. I look normal, everyday ... I promise you my life is like a movie ... it's not been like yours. I was never a figurine to be packed in cotton, protected from all the hard things in life to crush me. I've had to be ... real.
I began telling you about the dark world, darkness. I ended up telling you about traveling the storms in life, surviving them. I'm not sure I envy the people who have lived in a 'cotton-packed' world. They are blissfully aware of only happy, wonderful things ... and expect only that. How did their worlds get to be like that? Who in their world was looking out for them?
Who in my world was watching out for me? I smile, think ... I know who. I've been shaken, rattled to the core many times in my life. I've had to put myself back together again like Humpty Dumpty ... it's a wonder things don't just plain-ass fall off when I'm walking. You know ... the broken parts. :)
Yes, I know who ... has been watching over me. I just don't know why I was chosen to be one who came this far in life the ... hard way. God ... knows why.
I never wanted to ever be thought of as bad, mean, ugly ... I try never to be ... sometimes, like you I have had to be.
If I have had to be ... just know someone truly did something awful (I usually never bother to explain, let people think what they may ... they are going to anyway).
This brings to mind something that used to hurt me deeply, no longer does. It happened several years ago ... it's hard to remember things since Tommy (my only child) died.
I'm thinking of a brother, and his wife, and son here ... how unfair they were to me. I didn't have a chance to defend myself. I have a receipt, plus family members to show I am honest.
This was when my step-father died ... he left a $5,000 policy to take care of his funeral arrangement. He left it to me because he trusted me not to spend it when getting it ... and keep my promise. He told me in his own words 'why' he didn't make certain ones the beneficiary of the policy. The sole purpose of his insurance plan was to not put a burden on anyone when it came time for funeral arrangements.
I can honestly say I kept my promise ... felt good inside about it all. I let my step-father's sister and brother spend the money the way they wanted to at the funeral home ... there was several hundred dollars left ... his sister told me to keep it. I did. My stepfather had already told me that many years ago when he first took out the policy.
I'm thankful I did right ... I don't have to feel bad at all. I was told that that the wife of that brother was angry because they didn't get the policy to spend ... she began to spread rumors saying I spent the money. I can't tell you how stunned I was to hear that she said that.
She should have come to me, talked to me. She didn't. It's sad because during all the years others didn't like her, I defended her. I always loved her ... I didn't know she hated me. Wow ... that does sadden me.
It hurt me deeply when I met her and her mother in the local Walmart ... both turned their backs on me. I didn't deserve that. I truly didn't deserve to be treated that way. More grief on top of grief ... this shouldn't have been. I still love her.
I don't tell Skip ... it hurts him because he knows I'm in the right. He has always said my whole family 'hates me'. Why? We were born to be like that, raised up in pure hate, anger, distrust. Especially if someone dared to be different, or tried to be a little better than where they 'came from'. I just wanted peace in my life.
I would have been loved very much if I'd been taking drugs, or been an alcoholic, and been very loose with men. I could have done it all ... even went down the different roads in life ... just far enough to be afraid, know I didn't want any part of that kind of life.
I can say this ... I've mistakenly thought the wrong thing about someone, felt terrible when so much time passed by, found out I was wrong. That's an awful feeling, so much wasted time. I hope one day she can realize that ... I don't need an apology at all.
Another thing ... she believes what she thinks ... she can't help it. Until many years down the road will she realize she thought wrong. So, how can I hold that against her? We are only human. I make my share of mistakes all the time.
Jealousy does bad things to one. Today, after all this time ... it no longer hurts me to have been done wrong ... it no longer hurts me that I never had the chance to share the receipt.
I can say all one has to do is go speak to my step-father's sister, brother. They are still living. I'm sure they would be surprised this ever happened. I never told them. It's petty, ugly ... most of all ... sad.
I am glad to say I still have the receipt anytime someone wants to see it ... even after all these years. I even put it on my blog several years ago so, they could see it. No one ever told me they felt that way until one of their friends came to us ... told us.
Their friend said they were talking 'bad' about me. They said some things that their son said ... so, I had to believe what I was told ... why? Because the son said some of them to me on my Facebook page ... in public. He said things he'd heard said. He didn't know any better ... so, how can I think bad of him?
I'm going to say I'm glad their friend came to us ... I'm glad now ... they know better. As soon as they were told ... they knew what the truth was. See ... that friend is a friend of ours, also. They knew better and hoped they weren't telling the truth.
Can you imagine my surprise, and Skip's when told that? It was awful. Have you ever been thought of in a bad way ... never knowing it? Been innocent of those bad thoughts? What is worse ... is when you loved them with your Heart.
This is what I meant when I said 'people are going to think what ... they want to think ... no matter what'. I'm not ashamed of 'telling the world' about this. That's why I used it as an example.
I'm sure a lot of you have such in your life ... in fact, I know a lot of you do. For a time when learning such ... it can really make one feel just awful ... then time goes by ... and you get past the shock, pain ... that's where I'm at 'now'. I feel good inside ... that's something you can't possibly fake when it's ... 'in your own Heart, soul, mind'.
Shocks, bad things, rocky roads, battling death, darkness ... the worst in life can take a person down. A lot of people don't get back up from them ... they give up ... go on to die. I almost didn't have the will to live a lot of times ... I wonder where my fighting spirit came from?
I can look back to see at times when I was aware I was going to fight to survive ... I can remember my very thought, it was a simple thought but, felt throughout my whole body ... it was ... 'I mean to live'.
I began then, to 'see me living' ... to do some simple thing ... see myself doing something as simple as using a broom when my hands forgot how it felt to hold a broom.
I'll never forget the time I got out of bed, wanted to do something I used to do ... I went to the pantry, got the broom, stopped in surprise ... stared at the broom in my hands.
The broom felt hard in my hands ... my hands didn't recognize that they'd 'held many a broom' in them.
Shock ... have you ever been so close to death for so long ... to feel ... shock ... at such a simple thing?
My God ... my hands didn't know what a broom was anymore. I walked out on the back porch. I saw a hoe propped close by ... I remember putting my hands on it ... surprise at how it almost hurt my hands to touch it. It felt so rough, ridges ... awful to my hands.
I remember looking up into the sky at the sunshine ... I was feeling the medicines in my body, my eyes couldn't focus good ... I went back to bed ... it wasn't time for me to do things ... yet.
If you haven't experienced these things ... you can't possibly understand my words. In fact ... you might not can understand a lot of my words. I promise you ... real people who live real life ... can.
People who have had Death waiting in the shadows to grab their life at any moment ... can understand. People who have had unfair, wrong doings or something said to/about them ... can. People who live in the real world ... no cotton packed around them to protect them from the harshness of real life ... can.
I'm speaking of real life ... about as real as one can get. Shock, pain can numb a person's mind, body all the way to their soul.
If a person can somehow find the strength to fight like Hell ... crawl back up into life ... fight to survive each time ... no matter how many times your ass gets 'thrown again' ... get back up, 'dust them pants off'! you can live ... another day!
Why? Just why would anyone want to fight to live, you say? I love life, I want to live. No matter what, I'll face it head-on ... I want to live. Why?
Something good might happen, I might be a part of it. I might make a good difference in others' lives. I have someone to live for ... my world, Skip and The Pups. (Kissy and Camie).
Who knows why? God ... knows why.
Note by this author:
All photos/stories are owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/ @grannygee
Another thing ... I shared something here that troubled, hurt me deeply. I've often wondered 'why' it had to be like that regarding the insurance policy to take care of simple funeral arrangements? Why did it have to affect my life in a negative way? It's all so damn sad.