By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter
No, I'm not going to cry today. Everything is alright. I've coped with my only child's death. I've lost my son ... now, I pay attention to mothers who have sons ... it's so beautiful to me. Do they realize that their sons could be here this very minute, be gone ... in the next? Do they realize that's how quickly it can happen?
On Memorial Day weekend 5 years ago ... all I had on my mind was saying a prayer and praying Tommy and his family would be safe driving to Myrtle Beach, SC. All the traffic ... was worrying me. You know how everyone wants to get to the beach on that weekend ... now, with all the 'extra' thousands of people who have moved here ... the traffic is ungodly.
When Tommy called me to say, "Mama, we are 7 miles away from the hotel" ... I took a deep breath of relief. Thank you, God ... for letting my son and his family get to the beach safely. Only 7 miles to go. I felt so happy!
I relaxed and went around doing whatever I was doing ... happy inside. My son and his family were safely at their destination. They were going to enjoy being at the beach for a week.
Tommy had ended the phone call with the promise he'd call back soon to let me know when he and his 3 year old son, Taban went down to the beach to play! Oh, how excited he was.
If you notice ... I don't write about the evening before ... the last time I saw Tommy. I think at this time I won't because I don't want to cry today. I ... could.
The next phone call came less than an hour ... Tommy! I answered it with a big smile. I knew he was going to tell me that he and Taban were at the beach, playing. I knew how excited he was to go to the beach and play for the first time with his own little son.
This is last photo taken of Tommy on that evening as they were driving to Myrtle Beach, SC on May 29, 2010. My Precious Son, how I miss You with my very Heart.
I heard a strange voice saying, "ma'am, I've got a man collapsed on the beach ... he's not breathing." I heard him, I didn't hear him ... I knew it didn't have anything to do with me. I asked the stranger why did he have my son's cellphone. The man said again ... "ma'am, I've got a man collapsed on the beach ... he's not breathing."
Tommy made it to the beach just in time to play with his little son for the first time. It was sadly ... his last time. He did leave a beautiful memory behind for a little boy to know his father died loving him, playing with him.
Tommy made it safely to his destination just in time to play with Taban ... then, leave on another journey. A journey he could never come back from.
My thought here is ... Tommy died doing what I knew for a fact ... doing exactly what he meant to do, wanted to do with his heart. I remember his expression the evening before as he told me ... twinkling eyes, sunshine smile, excitement!
No ... I won't cry today. That's because I've already cried.
Tommy's Chest ... I still can't open it, take the contents out to look at them. I've tried ... as I handled them ... I became physically sick, upset. I've tried several times in the past 5 years.
Note by this Author:
Tommy was born November 20, 1969 ... he died May 29, 2010. He was my only child. I lost the rest of my family when he died. His death almost was ... the end of me.
Thankfully, I had Skip and our two Pups ... they are my whole world. Thankfully ... I had my writing and ... you, my readers ... this is what saved my life.
I'll stop now ... because I don't want to cry today. The tears are beneath the surface just as fish in the water.
I write in memory of my son, Tommy. I make dragonflies of gold wire and colorful beads, leave them just anywhere for someone to find to bring a little happiness to their heart ... and they help me remember Tommy. Doesn't matter if they ever knew him ... or know me.
Photos/true story are owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee (Granny Gee is the name Tommy gave me for Taban to call me ... I am Granny Gee in name only ... my grandson doesn't know me anymore ... nor my granddaughter).