Friday, November 13, 2015

The Kindest Man I Knew as a Child ...George

The Kindest Man I Knew as a Child ...George
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

George in his old wooden, cane-bottomed chair
sitting behind Grandma Alma's old, pink cloth

G.... damn it!  I ran to see what had happened
I saw an older man holding his hand
He looked up to the sky as if to ask ... why?

He picked the hammer back up to use it again
Held the nail in the other hand
He placed the hammer on top of the nail

Lifted it up, brought it down hard
Moving his hand just in time
He sunk the nail into the wood without further injury

I ran to him ... a little girl of nine
Concerned, seeing the pain on his face
Looked at his poor finger ... it was cut to the bone

Gloria Faye Brown ... as a little girl

His red blood dripping to the ground
I ran to get a white cloth, peroxide
Poured it on his wound, wrapped it up

How does a little girl know how to care for a wound
Yet, I knew what to do
I looked up into George's face

His sightless eyes were staring ahead
George was blind, he couldn't see a thing
He had to feel, sense all he did

My heart broke for my step-grandfather
Whom I loved with my Heart
He was the kindest man I ever knew

He was the only living grandfather I ever knew
George loved me, and all the grandchildren
He would sit, hold us on his lap

My beautiful mother, Daisy Earlene Strother

Tell us stories about B'rer Rabbit
Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Bears, too
The ones who couldn't sit on his lap, sat on the cement porch

Looking up at him with loving eyes
All the children loved George
George loved all the little children

We were amazed at all he did, George was blind
He could tell the difference in money
When people paid him at his little store

George could walk to town with a white cane, red and black
Walk to the stores ... walk wherever he needed to go
Town was a mile away ... people were amazed at what he could do

There were six grandchildren who lived next door
Never no telling how many at a time lived with him
With him, and Grandma Alma ... they took everyone in

They were colorful characters who entertained the children
Unknowingly ... the children watched Grandma Alma, George
When all Hell broke loose ... it was a sight to see, hear!

George would bellow, rave
He could be heard a mile away
Grandma Alma would wait until the time was just right

Gloria Faye Brown ... as a little girl

Throw a glass of cold water in his face to cool him down!
George would bellow out like an injured bull
Begin to calm down ... asked her why did she do that

A blind man and a paralyzed woman with one good hand, leg
They were a sight to see ... when they got frustrated
As a grown woman now ... I can see why they were that way

As a child I couldn't understand
I would watch in amazement and fear
To see what would happen next ... I wasn't the only one

The other grandchildren would run to see
We would look at each other, put our hands over our mouths
Grin, laughter in our little children eyes

It was funny to see them get mad, do the things they did
I wonder if they ever knew we had fun watching
They would yell, my Grandma Alma cussing like a sailor man

Gloria Faye Brown ... as a little girl

You ... He-man! She would scream as loud as she could
You damn He-man, you!
George would mumble under his breath

As he sat in his old wooden chair next to her chair
An old pink, cloth recliner with a wooden chair in front of her
To place her feet in when needed

George would sit three times a day to rub her legs
Exercise, do range-of-motion on both
Then, her arms and hands with Beauty Ray lotion, alcohol

They loved each other with their hearts
It was their only way to release their frustrations
At the cruelness of Life that was dealt to them

As a child I never knew that ... as a woman, I really do
When I look back at the two people I admire most as a child
A blind man, paralyzed woman who had only love to give

The kindest man I ever knew until my husband, Skip
They loved, cared for many children who came through their home
A home that was pure Hell to live in, but ... the only safe haven they knew

Gloria Faye Brown ... as a little girl

I look back now to see why I grew up there
I see now ... to make me stronger than strong
Able to live with things the normal person might not can do

I learned forgiveness no matter what, unconditional love
Honesty, love and caring ... in the all Hell that was raised
In that house that sat, guarded the portal of Hell

I am an unusual person in that I have a big Heart filled with Love
I can forgive when I've been done wrong, but ... not forget
I have one Hell of a fighting spirit ... just like my Grandma Alma, George

I learned many things from a blind man, paralyzed woman
Including how to raise Pure Hell, though I try not to
They instilled many things in me ... making me a good person

Learning ... going through bad things as a little girl
It's a wonder I'm not one Hell of a criminal
I was almost on that path, turned around ... ran like Hell

I love being a good person ... knowing that I don't do bad
I might not have a lot ... but, doesn't matter
I can live with myself knowing I'm doing no wrong

I don't sit, judge others for what they do
I try to see the best in the ugliness of Life
Sometimes, I can't find it ... but, I try hard as I can

My beautiful mother, Daisy Earlene Strother

I look back and see ... acknowledge I learned good things
From bad things through time, beginning with Grandma Alma
And George ... who was the kindest man I ever knew

I'm the first to say I've made big mistakes, bad decisions
All through time ... I've been on a lot of different roads
Much too exciting for me ... leading to a bad end

Beautiful clothes, lots of money aren't the most important in life
I learned real life hurts ... but ... I'd rather face it
Than to lose all in the long run which surely happens

My foundation as a child was built on shaky, but stable ground
No matter how bad, Grandma Alma and George was always there
No matter what ... their love never faded, they had nothing but ... had all

Blind, paralyzed ... these two people made the difference in my world
Helped to shape me to the person I am today
You might not like me or might love me ... that's okay, I'm made that way

What you see is what you get
Where I stand is where you can see
I'm always up-front, straight-forward in a kind way

I'm a mixture of mostly good from where I come from
Mainly love, caring, honesty ... a person I like today
I learned this from my Grandma Alma, and the kindest man I knew as a child ... George

Note by this Author:

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My poem is a reflection looking back through the looking glass.  I look back to when I became aware of life ... so many mean, bad things.  At the age of nine ... the world I lived in, exploded.

Going from wearing Peaches and Cream dresses, lacey socks, and black-patent leather shoes, Oxford shoes too ... having a beautiful, clean home to live in, good things to eat ... a lady who cared for me and my brother through the week to ... Hell ... where my Grandma Alma, George lived.

No more being fed right, dressed nice ... or anything to make life soft ... I went to knowing grown up hands hurt me in more ways than one.  They did things they shouldn't have ... physically, mentally to me.  I forgave long ago, I didn't forget ... but, I did.

I didn't realize I had lived in Hell just before going to Grandma Alma and George's ... in my 'perfect world' where I was a little princess.  My stepfather would come in late night, jerk my beautiful mother up out of the bed as she laid with us ... beat her unmercifully.  He shot up our bedroom, we were so afraid.

So, I look back to see I lived in Hell that was bright, clean, nice to an ugly Hell that was grimy, dirty ... Hell-raising every day ... but, full of love as well as hate, and ... bad things.

I'd like to think all the bad things shaped me in the long run to being a good person.  I'm not the best person in the world ... I am just the best person I can be.  That means I'm not perfect, but ... I am just a real person who tries hard to be good ... always.  It has taken many 'bad' things to make me this way.

Poem/photo owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

1 comment:

  1. I remember hearing yelling and cussing next door. There was also queit times too. I am so sorry you had to go through so much as a young child/person. No child should have to endure what you went through. I am happy you still turned out to be such a good person. You are like the sister I never had. I am glad we still kept our friendship through all these years. Not many people can say they still have their childhood friend. I love you Gloria! Love, Ms. Nancy