By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee
Photos of my son, Tommy ... owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee. If you see damage to any of them ... most of them survived a house fire, and I'm fortunate to still have them.
Well, I am sitting here in front of my computer thinking about Tommy. Today is Mother's Day ...
You all are aware Tommy died May 29, 2010, soon after Mother's Day, and on Memorial Day weekend.
I was telling Skip last night that 'now' ... I am just fine. I've coped with Tommy's death, accepted my son ... my only child is gone. I don't cry anymore. I am just fine.
The strange thing is ... as I said that ... a wave of emotion washed over me, making me ... remember the panicky, painful grief. As quickly as it came, it went.
It has happened twice ... it only lasted several seconds. It lasted just enough to disturb me. I'm more fragile than I have been thinking.
I've been as strong as the biggest Redwood tree in the forest ... oh, have I weathered awful storms in my life. I'm still standing. I'm strong enough to last 'forever'.
Why does it disturb me? Because so much of the time I can go about life, think about Tommy ... be all right. So, how can this be happening? I don't sit ... walk ... do things while my Heart weeps on the inside, now. Isn't that a good thing?
I've coped with it all ... I know Tommy can't come back. I know Tommy has died, I know ... I know ... I know.
Tommy's not coming back ... I'm not going to see his sunshine smile ... I'm not going to hear his unique, soft Tommy voice ... see him walk, do things ... ever again.
He isn't going to get a kick out of giving me one of his tools again, or something to Skip ... when he updated his own things. He loved when making us smile. We loved making him smile. It's all gone, now.
My son, Tommy ... on March 16, 2007 when his only son was born. His only son is my only grandson. Tommy had one daughter who is my only granddaughter. Though I can't see them, I love them very much.
He's not going to 'forget' anymore ... how when Skip told him a joke ... later in time, try to use it on Skip. How funny that was when it happened.
Skip would pretend it was a big deal, and say, "Tommy, you are trying to use my own joke on me"!
Tommy's eyes would get big ... he would begin shaking ... his eyes would fill with such happy laughter. His face would redden ... and he knew he was caught! He'd try to get out of it ... he and Skip would discuss it like it was really something ... until they both were satisfied.
See ... I miss all those times ... special. I miss having my child, my son. I've cried many tears since May 29, 2010.
That doesn't include the pain ... the horrible knowledge of never seeing my child again.
The panic inside while trying to face it ... like walking up to a lion in defiance ... and it bite the hell out of you ... over and over ... until one day ... you reach a point, you aren't afraid anymore.
What's shocking ... is when out of the clear blue ... you think you are so strong, you have dealt with everything ... all of sudden you experience in seconds enough ... to remember being so afraid, sick to your stomach ... 'birds trying to get out of a cage' feeling.
You realize something ... I realized, know even to this day something ...
I made a statement to Skip during our conversation last night that I think 'says it all'. The more I think about ... the more I 'already knew' ... I'm right. At least for myself.
I can't speak for other grieving mothers ... I haven't ever discussed, or heard what they think, feel. I'm sure not going to put my load of grief on someone who is on the road I am traveling in life ... as a grieving mother.
My statement came out before I thought about what I was saying. As soon as I said it, I 'felt' how true it was.
"I've coped with Tommy's death. I've put everything into place. You know ... I can live with it now. I don't cry anymore."
As I said that to Skip ... I felt an unexpected wave of grief briefly wash over me ... create a flutter of panic, pain that if had lasted longer ... would have brought me to my knees.
I realized something ... this was the statement I made, knew it was so true: "I just have to keep fooling myself"... to be able to live with knowing my child is gone.
My handsome son, Tommy ...
I just have to keep fooling myself ... I can't afford to do any different. I thought I had done a good job even to the point of being proud ... I had done all this on my own.
I didn't talk in depth to anyone ... I didn't cry in front of anyone ... I didn't share my grief with anyone in person. I did keep a promise I made to you ... my friends, followers, readers ... I wrote my grief so you could see, feel without actually having to experience it in real life.
Why? Because it makes a difference ... you could become closer to your own child, children. If something happened to one of them (I pray not) ... you can at least have something inside to hold onto.
Hold onto the knowledge that you were close, you both loved each other. I promise you this ... if your child dies, and you have good memories ... it means the very world.
I keep thinking, "Thank God, I always told Tommy I loved him". Thank God for all the things I held onto that were good ... after his death.
Another thing ... I'm sure many of you have seen grieving mothers. You aren't sure of what she is experiencing. You aren't sure what to say to her, how to approach her. You don't ... want to say the wrong thing.
The worst thing you could tell 'this grieving mother' is ... "oh, your son is in a better place"! No hell, he isn't. He's not in a better place ... he was here in a good place.
So, don't tell me that he's in a better place. I don't have time to listen to that bull s___. We all have our beliefs ... so, you can comfort yourself with that if you believe it.
It's not my cup of tea. I don't want to hear it. I may not ever speak to you again ... if you try to push that belief on me.
Realistically ... how in the hell do you know that? Then again ... maybe that's one of the ways you 'fool yourself' into thinking until one day ... your own child dies. What are you going to say, then? See how strong you are then. See what you'll say ... then.
You have to do what you have to do, to cope. You have to go with your own beliefs. I guess the best thing is not to tell a grieving mother that.
Coming through all I have, I think the safest words to tell a grieving mother are: "I care, I'm so sorry". I warn you though ... don't say anything unless you are sincere.
A mother who is super-sensitive, emotional can pick up on things. When she goes through the grieving process ... I promise you, she will ... remember you. I promise you that I have several people I remember.
One day they might get to know ... that I remember. Things just 'have a way of biting you in the ass'. Life is like that ... things come around ... full circle. It is what it is.
I have always tried to face things ... head-on. If it's going to hurt, let it hurt its worst.
I will crawl, claw my way back ... even if it knocks me to my ass again. I will keep getting up ... because either I'm going to win ... or die.
Simple as that ... win, or die.
That's how I have dealt, coped with my child's death. One way or the other ... I'm going to win ... whatever happens. I just so happened to have made it.
Like the Redwood tree, I'm still standing. Full of pain, grief hidden deep in my soul ... you don't have to see it, know it's there.
I spare anyone that ... I'd rather make you smile, be happy. Here, where I write my pain ... you have the option of going your own way ... you don't have to read, feel my pain ... unless you want to, care to.
My son, Tommy ....
I promise you ... I will tell you 'just like it is'. I will say it in the words I want to say ... feel it must be said ... how I feel as I write them. You might not like it ... though I'm a most good person ... I don't always feel 'good' things. I also, will say several choice words that aren't pretty.
I'm not perfect, I have never claimed to be. I live ... real life. And ... damn it, it hurts ... sometimes. It hurts sometimes, like hell. Yes, it does.
Now ... it's time to fool myself again. Now ... this grieving mother has faced up, coped once again that her son's not coming back ... he died. I won't hear him speak today ... on Mother's Day. I won't hear his laughter, see his smile. It's all gone, whether I like it or not.
See ... sometimes, when you try to do everything in a good, positive way ... you can sound angry ... when you really aren't. I may sound that way in some of my words, but truthfully ... I'm not.
It's my way, the only way I can face the awful things in my life. I face up to things that I'm afraid of ... as if I'm not afraid of them. It's my way ... even if it means dying. I'm not going to back down from real life ... I have to live it.
It's Mother's Day once again ... everything's going to be all right.
I pray all of you mothers have the most wonderful day ... I haven't forgotten how much that means to a mother. I got to be one for 43 years.
My son, Tommy ...
I'm grateful to have known my son, Tommy. I won't ever forget him. I make dragonflies in his memory.
This grieving mother makes beautiful dragonflies in memory of her son ... woven, twisted, created into being.
Love is in every twist of the golden wire I use; love reflects from my Heart in the colors of the beads I add.
I leave them in public places hoping to bring at least a little joy in someone's day ... a smile to their face, and maybe the excitement of finding something that truly is a little treasure with meaning.
Happy Mother's Day to me ... I was Tommy's mother.
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee
Note by author:
This is the 5th Mother's Day since Tommy's been gone. I really miss my son with my very Heart. I do have to keep ... fooling myself.
I can either do that or ... die. I have no choice ... I have my whole world to live for ... Skip, and our 2 Pups, Kissy Fairchild and Precious Camie. Not only that ... I look forward to good things in my life.
I miss you, Son. You meant the world to me. I love you, Tommy. Today ... is the day children go home to mothers.
On this day, I have my memory of my last Mother's Day, only a couple of weeks before you died. It was special. I'm so thankful to have had you as my son.
All photos I ever use, are owned by me. All I write, is true ... owned by me. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee