Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Is That Any of my Business?

Is That Any of my Business?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I have been thinking about something I read on Facebook a couple days ago.  One of my FB friends shared it.  It was very thought-provoking.

It had something to do with someone seeing a person who was dressed nice ... using a card for food stamps.  It disturbed the person seeing that this person was dressed in clean ... nice, neat clothes ... while using the food stamp card.

Now, I've been thinking about this since I read it.  I was thinking ... 'suppose that person had been used to doing well ... working, paying their bills, payments ... then, lost their job and had to get public assistance'?

'Suppose the clothes they were wearing were all they had ... and they happened to look ... nice'?

'Suppose ... that they had pride and was trying to feel the best they could by dressing in their nicest clothes, jewelry to keep from being so embarrassed'?

'Suppose ... they went to the store to pick up groceries for their disabled loved on'?

I think my questions here, are:

Should one dress poorly if they have fallen on bad luck?

Should one go to a thrift store, buy clothes to look the part, and ... dress 'down'?

Should one put their nice clothes, jewelry up ... until times are better ... so, no one will think they don't deserve to use a food stamp card ... or get assistance?

When times are rough ... does anyone have the right to look their best instead of 'their worse' ... to show, satisfy others that their appearance 'tells the story'?  What does one do?

I see people who use food stamp cards ... have on nice clothes, talk on a cellphone, drive a nice car ... live in a pretty decent home.  I was wondering ... because they are 'down and out for a time' ... do they need to go find a 'slum-house' to live in ... not drive their nice car they tried to work hard to keep, but 'fell on hard times'?

Should they give up anything that could possibly attract yours, my attention to let us know that times didn't use to be so hard for them?  Should they dress to satisfy us that they deserve any assistance they get?  Is it any of yours, my business?

I learned long ago when I worked with the public ... that not everyone is well off because they dress nice, wear nice jewelry.  I also, learned that people have lots of pride ... it's embarassing to ask for help.  It's embarrassing to be seen using that assistance.  They probably wear the very best of what they have to help boost their courage to go get what they need.

I have been thinking hard on this ... in my mind I have placed it on the 'revolving table' where it can go 'round and 'round.  I have been looking at it from many angles.

I could keep on and on .... on this subject.  My Gloria Opinion is that we don't know what others are going through ... everyone's situation is unique.  Who am I to judge?  Who are you to judge?

We have been through our own tough times, live on a very tight budget ... it still doesn't stop me from trying to feel good about myself.  Any chance I get ... I will buy a blouse and try to get the prettiest for as less as I can.  I don't use food stamps, get public assistance ... but, it doesn't mean I won't one day.

I just know I've experienced enough in all my years by going through hard times ... watching people suffer ... that we never know what we are going to be faced with.  I know people who have always had the best ... no longer can afford the best anymore.  We used to have the best ... we can't afford the best anymore.  But ... we do the best ... with what we have.

It's easy to give others the impression of being well-off ... outer appearances don't necessarily reflect how 'bad' things are.  Pride ... trying to be all right ... not wanting others to know ... not wanting to ask for anything.  Wanting to be independent without being a weight on anyone else.  These are good qualities in a person ... though sad ... because it isn't easy for them to ask for help.

These people go without ... until desperation pushes them to go seeking help.  Then ... others condemn them for not looking 'poor', or driving the vehicles they always had ... and such things like maybe they have a nice home they are trying their best to hang onto.

This is me trying to bring up something to think about ... something to help when judging others without knowing.  Yes, I know there are people who abuse the system ... but, people are like that in all walks of life.

I mean ... look at people in good positions ... embezzling money for years while all their co-workers look up to them with high regard ... just knowing they'd never do any wrong.  I've known several people who have worked at jobs ... dressing better than anyone else, eating better than anyone ... looking down their noses at the very ones ... they have been robbing for years.

Lots of people steal at their jobs ... 'good' people who are well respected, god-fearing 'folks'.  People turn their heads to keep from getting involved.  They talk about amongst themselves ... I've listened.  I've watched people like that ... treat others badly ... yet they're most thieving people in the world.

We've had a lot of them through the years where I've lived.  It's always a shock to everyone ... not to me, everytime.  I'm always sensing people ... I'm not saying all 'good' people are bad ... lots of good people can do 'bad'.

Many get away with it ... they go on to live wonderful lives, travel, raise families ... and look down their noses at others ... all the while they have lived, supported their families on the backs of others.  You know I'm right ... a good chance is that you could be one who does this.

Open your eyes at these people who are so angry, hateful ... you can't be nice to them .... something is making them that way.  I'm not saying that it's being dishonest all the time ... people have personal problems.

I've been thinking these thoughts for the past two days.  Just thought I'd share them.  I won't argue any of them with anyone.  You have your right to your opinion ... just as I do ... mine.

This is a subject we could go on and on about.  It's a never-ending subject ... so many situations.  I guess what I'm trying to say is ... it's too easy to think the worst of someone ... hard to think the best when our eyes are seeing something that conflicts with what we believe to be a certain way.

I just had a flash-back to twenty some years ago.  I was in a supermarket, saw an older woman with lots of pretty jewelry on her wrinkled hands ... her clothes were expensive.  She paid for her groceries with food stamps.  I saw her hands shaking and I felt she was very embarrassed.  When I got outside I looked to see if she was in the parking lot.  She was ... putting her groceries in a very nice car.

Did I think the worst of her?  At first, I honestly did ... until it came to my mind that the lady wasn't always in a position she used food stamps.  Then ... I thought ... is that any of my business?

Note by this Author:

True thoughts/photos owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Have you ever tried to think about such things ... try to see how things could be ... besides just ... bad?  How about when it comes to judging others ... seeing the best, instead of the worse?  Cared, even if that person never knew it ... say a simple prayer that everything will be all right for them?

Haven't you ever been ashamed to misjudge someone?  I have ... it's the truth.  I have ... and I felt very little.

These are just thoughts that have been been going around in my head.  I'm just sharing them.  I'm not an expert at anything ... but, I do ... think a lot ... about everything.

Monday, December 28, 2015

3 is the Number ... Just Before Hell Breaks Out

3 is the Number ... Just Before all Hell Breaks Out
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Have you ever been bullied?  Where someone thinks they can just totally intimidate you with words, actions?  Do you let them?

As a child growing up I learned young that 'I'd rather die and go to Hell' ... than to be bullied ... especially by a big-ass, blonde-headed woman.

Through time it seems those types of women wanted to always 'beam' in on me to take their anger out ... make me a whipping post, a scapegoat.  Imagine their surprise when they encountered my reaction to it.

I grew up being beaten, slapped around ... whipped with a belt and the buckle, and even with a piece of wood from the stove wood.  I was mistreated ... and it was always a woman who did it.  Mentally, physically ...

Only one man ever hit me as a child ... that was the one time my father did when one of my ... sisters ... lied on me about using his razor.  He hit me so hard in my face that he made up for never hitting me ... and I was devastated.  I ran away from his home to never return.

Getting back to women abusing me.  I finally got to an age where I just couldn't take the screaming, the pain ... the Hell I was forced to endure.  I was fourteen when I fought back.  I didn't want to but, one of my aunts had made gashes in my upper arm ( I still have the scars you can see ... and the scars mentally you can't see ) ...  the pain was so great that it triggered something in me.

That was the last time she ever touched me ... I never hit her back but, I jerked away from her, looked her in her eyes and I told her to never put her hands on me again because if she did ... it would be me 'whipping her ass'.  Isn't that so ugly?  It was the only way I could make her stop ... and it worked.

I had so much anger, hate in me that I would have died before taking anymore abuse.  At that moment I would have fought to the death.  Thankfully, she saw something in me that made her stop.

Maybe she saw me hold my ground finally ... for the first time.  I didn't want to fight anyone ... much less someone I loved with my very Heart.  I was mistreated so badly ... but, they were my family and ... I still loved them with my Heart.  They were my family, regardless.  They were all I had.  I didn't want to fight ... but, they sure loved to.  They did.

Back then, anyone could just hit a child ... back then ... anyone could 'do anything to a child' ... whose parents didn't protect them.  I was one of those children.  I had to fight to survive ... I didn't want to ... all the kids fought, all the adults fought ... I lived in Hell ... and Hell-raising was the way of life.

Through time as a teen-ager it seemed every once in a while I'd see a big-ass, blonde-headed woman ... for some reason that type of women instinctively hated me ... and I'd think 'oh no, just watch her beam in on me and try to force me to do something, or want to push me around'.  Sure enough, it would happen time after time.  No matter how nice I tried to be, how I tried to just not get in a confrontation ... it would happen.

Have you always had that 'one type of person' who never liked you no matter what you did ... they always look alike.  I wonder if it has something to do with karma in your past life ... I smile here, but ... it's just too strange.

I was always afraid (they were always bigger than me) ... I knew they would tear me apart.  I could see the hate in their eyes and sense they wanted to hurt me.  I never knew why ... I got tired of being abused and I began to bluff them.

I would hold myself straight, put Hell in my eyes and meet them head-on ... I would pray they wouldn't kill me.  Even if I was afraid ... my attitude was that 'I'd rather die, go to Hell ... than to have them push over me, treat me badly'.  I meant it ... the rage would make me so angry at seeing yet another big-ass, blonde-headed woman who wanted to push me around.

When I began to do that ... it seemed they would become afraid of me!  I was tiny ... they were so big, mean.  The thing was when they looked into my eyes they saw something that let them know it wasn't going to be just simple bullying me.  I was prepared to die first.

That's what happens to a child when thrown into a mean-ass world ... they are either going to fight like Hell or they are going to be hurt mentally, physically.  I got my share before I reached the point I couldn't take anymore pain like that.  I had to get big enough to hold my ground.

I was a loving, caring child before I was dumped into Hell.  After that ... I began to have a 'chip' on my shoulder the older I got.  That 'chip' lasted into my twenties as I matured, coped with all I'd been through.  I always tried to help myself to think in a positive way ... I didn't want bad things around me.

The last time a big-ass ... blonde-headed woman tried to bully me physically ... I 'fixed her ass'.  I give people 3 chances (unless I can't for a reason) to realize I'm not going to take their abuse ... then, all Hell's going to break loose.  The number 3 plays a big role in my life ... you wouldn't believe.

No, I don't walk around trying to be a ... bad-ass ... I'm a soft, good, kind person ... caring.  Even the nicest person has limits ... I have mine.

This big-ass, blonde-headed woman was always with her friends.  She loved to show off in front of them ... she was a ... bad-ass.  Whenever she saw me ... she would smile.  She knew she could use me to show off to her friends ... she was so mean to me.  I was always nice to her.  She was so much bigger than I ... I knew she could kick my ass ... tear me to pieces.

She would walk to meet me so, she could hit me hard on my shoulder, pretending to be nice while using a honey-sweet voice.  Oh, that woman would shove-hit my shoulder so hard that I would almost cry out.  I would almost go to the floor.  She would say in her honey-sweet voice, all the while knowing what she'd just done to me ... "hello Gloria, how are you!"

She never knew she was riling me up ... making a white-hot rage build up in me.  I would smile back at her, tears in my eyes, and speak softly to her, and say ... "hello, Virginia".  She'd laugh so big, go back to her friends ... they would all laugh their asses off at me.  I would feel so bad ... and my shoulder would hurt from her abuse.

The second time it happened ... I saw her beaming in on me ... grinning.  Oh, how she loved intimidating me ... she laughed so hard.  She made me go to the floor the second time she came down on my shoulder.  I got up ... smiled at her and walked on.  The fire was burning brightly in my soul ... and I knew the next time ... all Hell was going to break loose.

The third time, I waited for her to come hurt me again ... of course, she was so eager to. She did, went back to sit at the table with her friends to laugh, talk loudly.  I took a deep breath knowing I was some kind of angry ... I knew I might just die for what I was going to do ... but, it had turned into an 'either live or die' situation to me.  I wasn't going to take anymore of her ........!

I walked calmly across that floor ... beaming in on her.  I began smiling big ... some of the women smiled at me.  Old Virginia turned her head to look, saw me.

I went straight up to her, and said 'hello, Virginia!' took my right hand and shoved, hit her hard on left shoulder. I mean I hit 'harder than hard' ... and I meant every bit of it.  I wanted to hurt her back.

The force knocked her out of her chair ... her smug expression disappeared.  She got up ... and I knew I was getting ready to die.  I faced her down ready to do battle ... I was amazed that she smiled, spoke to me in a normal voice.  She sat back down, pretended she was talking about something.  I walked on ... I saw people look at me differently.

They had mistakened my kindness as a weakness.  They just didn't know I didn't live at my Grandma Alma's for nothing ... I didn't live in Hell and not know how to Hell-raise.

I just didn't want to have to be ugly ... that's why the number 3 is important ... it's my hope that I'm left alone ... because the number 3 is just before ... Hell breaks out.

Note by this Author:

True story, photos are written ... owned by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

The number 3 has always been a significant number in my life ... it's the number just before Hell breaks out.  It's strange how the number 3 was the number of years I fought cancer ... and other important things in my life.

Someone triggered this past memory today ... when they tried to intimidate me.  I tried to stay nice ... I did stay nice.  It went no farther than ... number 2.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Photos of the Many Faces of Grief ... of a Grieving Mother

Photos of the Many Faces of Grief ...  of a Grieving Mother
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

In my last Blog post ... I promised you photos of how grief changes one until they no longer look like themselves ... well ... until I no longer looked like myself.

I never knew when I gained extra weight ... I never knew I was growing OLD ... all the while pain, grief helped it along.  When I did begin to become aware from time to time ... began to see myself in my mirror ... I couldn't deal with it.

An old woman looked back at me ... I remember I would lean in closer to try to see ... Me.  I couldn't.  I would try to smile to see if it made any difference ... I had always smiled a lot.  My face wouldn't smile like ... I used to smile.  That wasn't ... Me ... in the mirror, I didn't know that face.

I would sink back into my grief, my world of darkness where I was safe ... where I didn't have to see, think ... oh God ... where I tried not to ... feel.

You see ... you never think about grieving unless you've experienced it so, you wouldn't know that ... you are one person and when you lose someone dear ... you, that one person ... has to bear the pain, grief.  It's a hell of a load to carry ... it's the heaviest weight you'll ever carry in your life ... and it's all invisible to others.

Not only that ... imagine having to live with the knowledge that your child has died ... and you ... one person have to live with it every second.  You can't escape it ... you become numb to life.  I became useless ... I only did the bare neccessities ... housework, feed Pups.

Skip never gave up on me, he would 'push' me to go with him everywhere, to be out ... people would stare at me.  I know they thought I looked like Hell, some took pleasure in how I'd sunk down to looking less than a woman ... a piece of trash.  At times when I would really look around me ... I saw it.  

I saw in people's eyes that knew me through time ... they knew something bad had happened to me ... but, they never cared to ask what was wrong.  Just like when I went through 3 years battling cancer ... I was almost dead, fighting so hard to live ... again, Skip took me everywhere with him ... people would look at me in shock ... no one ever came up to ask what happened, what was wrong.

Some turned ... went the opposite way.  When I was 'beautiful' ... people would run to find out what was wrong, why did I look like that.  Do you know I still remember the faces ... people who did that to me ... I never forgot them.  Why?  Because I would cry not understanding ... I was too sick to ask why they treated me that way.  I was devastated.  I don't do like that ... I couldn't understand it.  But, I'm not ... other people.

You can't get away from yourself ... you are being constantly tortured by thoughts of your loved one ... you can't shut your thoughts off ... you just can't bear the knowledge you will never see, hear that special someone.

I've told you many times that I didn't know I could survive the death of my son.  This was the one thing I thought would get the best of me ... cause my death.  I lost my only child I could ever have in this life ... he was a most important part of my life.  He, Skip and I were very close ... we knew we had each other if we had no one else.  My world ... Skip, Tommy, our Pups.

I was the walking dead ... I've told you many times that if I had died then ... I would have never known it.  For the first 3 years after Tommy died ... I didn't try to know anything.  I couldn't find joy in anything ... I couldn't see past my grief.

As the first years went by ... I would feel glimmers of light, hope, joy ... I squashed them because of the guilt ... my son had died ... how could I possibly feel any happy feelings.  It wasn't all right.

Writing my grief ... letting the verbal tears run through my fingertips ... gave me life.  It kept me from building up inside.  I had to keep writing ... not stop ... or there would be a backup of guilt.  I would become overwhelmed ... I wrote harder, faster.

While I cried my pain to the world as I typed on my keyboard ... I cried silently inside, tears flowing down my cheeks.  Whenever I did look at myself ... my face stayed swollen, red ... tear-stained.  I couldn't look in the mirror often at all.  I couldn't deal with that OLD woman in my mirror ... who was she?

I began to realize as time went by ... grief, pain had hidden the fact that I had aged during that time.  I had become OLD during that time ... and I almost gave up on myself again.  I also, grieved the loss of my youth ... I wanted ... Me ... back.

For 5 years, until recently ... I wore 'fat clothes' ... tee shirts, and stretchy pants.  I never cared ... who would have thought I would have went so far 'down' ... I went to the very bottom of being a human being until I was nothing anymore.  I never knew I could climb back ... up ... to life ever again.

I made it ... I'm here, now.  I'm okay.  I have accepted my son won't be coming back.  I have no choice but, to accept.  Finally ... I am at peace with my grief.

From time to time, grief comes looking for me ... stays a little while until I make peace once again.  The darkness ebbs back to where it comes from ... leaving light behind so, I can see my path ... go on my way.  I never know when it'll come again ... I just know that when it does ... I meet it head-on ... and I stay positive because 'now' ... I truly know I'm going to be all right.

I admit at times though ... I feel those 'trapped birds panicking in the bird cage ... wings beating against the bars ... trying to get out' ... in my stomach.  Sometimes ... it takes a little time to calm them down ... during that time I feel afraid ... of the darkness that tries to pull me down, overwhelm me.  Somehow ... I make it through ... guided by the light ... so, I don't get lost.

The photos below are reflections of pure grief of a grieving mother ... there's no beauty in grief, pain.  I hope you'll see the grief to know how it can look ... not judge me in a harsh way.  I am recovering from all the changes to Me, now.  I am taking what's left of me, the pieces ... putting them back together once again.  I'm making the best of what I have left.  I smile here ... everything is going to be all right.

Note by this Author:

As promised ... I am sharing ... my faces of grief ... photos I was never going to let anyone see because of the awfulness of them.  I tell you about grief ... I promised I would.  Now, you can see ... also.  When you look at them ... can you see the photos over time 'where I tried to come back'?  I tried many, many times never succeeding ... I never gave up.

Photos/true story are both owned, written by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.

Facebook Asks Me: What's on My Mind Today?

Facebook Asks Me:  What's on My Mind Today?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny

Tiny houses ... unexpected acts of kindness ... no strings attached ... people caring when no one knows ... I am one of them.  This is what is on my mind this morning.  The only thing between me creating bigger miracles, acts of kindness is ... money :)

I do with what I have always wishing to do more ... and hoping no one thinks my little 'miracles' are ... jokes ... because they aren't 'big' enough.  When I do something good ... I go on to forget ... I never-ever expect anything back ... and I don't need 'thank-yous' ... this is what I feel I've learned in my Life ... at this time and day.  Do for others ... no one has to know ... never expecting anything back ... forget it.

Just like planting a garden ... if you plant beautiful flowers ... you will leave a wonderful path behind you as you go forward.  Never stop ...

In my long lifetime, I have learned many things ... I know how people feel ... I have been on many journeys in Life ... many roads many of you have never traveled, or dreamed to.  I never-ever talk about them ... they will go to the grave with me.  I never feel the need to brag ... to force you to like me by telling you any of these things.  You can either like me ... or dislike me ... accept me as I am. It's your choice ...

Some things I'm proud I was a part of ... some I am not so proud of at all ... but, to be the person I am today ( a good person, nothing more ) ... these were Lessons in Life that were thrown at me until ... I was pushed to the right path in my life.  Damn ... so many years were wasted ... yet, not wasted at all. I learned the hard-ass way.  I had to learn these things to be ... Me ... Gloria.

Some things have been my mistakes in Life ... I promise you I learned from them.  When I say 'I know what you mean' ... you will know I honestly do and have experienced what you have.  I don't say 'idle' words ... I say words that are real, meaningful.  I listen to people who are used to saying 'I know what you mean' ... 'they don't know nothing.'

I heal each time I feel the good, happy feelings inside ... when I know something good has happened to you.  It does my Heart good ... I love it.  <3

I 'need' to hear, see, do good things ... I need to know good things happen to others, myself, my loved ones.  Have you seen people who 'hate' when good things happen to others?

When I tell someone about anything I do, or have done ... I hope it makes someone begin thinking ... what they can do around them.  Wouldn't it be something if everyone did this?  I don't need to be told 'oh, what a wonderful person I am ... or how good you are!'  I wonder if you look at Life like this?  Do you look around, thinking like I do?

I know people who look blank when asked this ...  their world is all they see.  Their eyes are open, yet they can't see.  Their minds are small ... never knowing what's past their back door ... do I knock them for being like this?  How can I? Life will teach them their lessons ... just as it did me.  It's not my place to force my beliefs on them.  If somehow ... my actions, words 'happen' to touch, influence them ... in a good way ... I can only be honored.

I'm a person who has little ... who like everyone else ... tries to make it everyday.  I try to look like I'm somebody when I know I am a mere person who really is nobody ... when I say that 'nobody' ... I don't mean it in a bad way.  I am ... somebody to me, Skip and Pups, and people we know.  I mean 'now' ... I've taken an interest in 'being pretty' again ... and doing the best with 'what's left of me' ... after my battles of grief, pain.  I almost lost those battles, this time.  I'm 'trying to work with' all that's left.

(These are the true faces of ... pure pain, grief ... a grieving mother who doesn't know she is in this world, and if she did ... it didn't make a damn difference ... she had lost her only child, her son.  This is me when I completely let go ... didn't care for anything anymore ... I was the walking dead ... the only difference was that I was alive.  If I had died, I would have never known it.  I was already in Hell.  Below are today's photos ... I wonder if you can see the difference in 'before' now photos ... before coming to peace, accepting my son's death?  Can you see how at times 'I tried to come back' ... No one knows the battle I came through to be here today ... excepting for another grieving mother who also, made it back from the worse grief, pain in her whole life.)

I want to dress, look nice like all women ... the past 5 years since Tommy's (my only child) death ... I didn't think about trying to be pretty anymore.  My beautiful clothes had been pushed to the back of the closet ... my hair has looked like 'pure hell' ... do you think I cared?  I think you know the answer to that.  All you have to do is to ask yourself that question.

Until recently ... this summer ... I began working on my weight ... trying to get back in the habit of putting a little makeup on each day ... dressing in something other than the damn-old 'fat' tee shirts, pants I'd been wearing 'too' long.

I have lost so far 37 lbs on my own ... no diet aids.  I found by the time I began trying on clothes ... lots of them had price tags still on them ... they were too big.  Skip and I decided to go to the flea market to take some 'clutter' to make room in the house.  I took a lot of those 'big' clothes there ... I sold some ... and gave a giant pile of clothes to a woman, some were very expensive clothes ... clothes bought at a time we were doing well.

The beautiful clothes I have left now ... I am beginning to wear!  I am getting compliments ... I am amazed.  I'm going forward in appearance now ... I have come so far in my mental outlook ... coping with my grief.  I've taken interest in myself once again!

I'm 'almost' seeing the person I knew in the mirror 'before' ... Tommy died.  When I began getting more aware of everyday life several years after Tommy died ... my eyes began seeing this person I didn't recognize in my mirror.  Oh my God ... where 'did I' go?

I began grieving also, over the loss of my youth ... I no longer looked pretty as I was used to looking ... I had ... become ... OLD!  I have grieved over this for the past couple of years as I came to grips with the loss of Tommy.  Truthfully ... I will tell you ... I am lucky to be here at all.  Too much ... too much ... just way too much for this one person ... Now ... I don't have a living child ... and I have become OLD, ugly.

Thankfully, I went on to know there are more important things in life than just being physically pretty (it's hard to let go when you've always been ... I am being truthful here ... not at all vain).  I can't tell you how it feels to age, 'lose your looks' ... but, I will begin to from time to time!  :)  I promise ... just as I promised to always tell you honestly about grief, pain when I experience it.

Oh ... now, when I get an opportunity to shop for a blouse or slacks ... instead of buying clothes at Walmart ... I go to a favorite shop ... look on their clearance racks, sales.  I always find something with design 'at or about the same price of Walmart'!!!  I'm so thrilled.

I've always went to Goodwill  stores to look for books that are new! for only 49 cents!  I always go to the shoe department and ever so often ... I find a new pair of very expensive shoes for $3.19!!!  I just found a beautiful pair of B.O.C. shoes for that price.  Laugh, if you want ... only the 'place' and price are different.  I'll take 'cheap' any day for something ... quality.  I'll admit it, also.

I don't pay much for clothes now ... I don't have the luxury of affording expensive clothes anymore.  But ... not long ago ... I was so happy when someone said 'my clothes' were beautiful!  I'm beginning to look better, feel happier!  Those words meant more to me than anyone could know!  I needed to hear, know that.  Skip always tells me ... but, he thinks I'm beautiful when I'm ... ugly!  :) <3

As for my jewelry ... I've had for years, and years.  I don't always wear it so, it all looks ... new!  I learned to put it up when doing housework years ago.  I knocked a diamond out years ago ... when the washing machine lid fell on my hand ... I learned my lesson but, it was the hard way ... I did the very same thing ... twice, after having it replaced!  I still have a diamond to replace in one ring ... so, that's why I put my jewelry up.  I never know what craft, or project 'I could get into' ... that could damage.

I always stop to remind everyone that I am just me.  Why do I do that?  Because I don't feel I'm deserving sometimes, of the special words you all say to me.  I always worry about on Facebook of appearing to be more than I am ... I promise you I'm not.  I'm not wealthy ... and I 'want' everyone to know that.  It's easy to appear that way in photos shared on Facebook.  You can make everything look so neat, nice and 'look like you are somebody' ... even if you 'have nothing'.  You know ... we want others to see the best of 'us'.

I see, know people who have re-invented themselves on Facebook ... and I know better (I keep it to myself).  I know they aren't a bit more what they project themselves to be.  Everyone wants to feel, be important.  Everyone wants to give the illusion they are 'somebody'.

If I'm honest, sincere ... then, when I meet someone ... they'll see exactly what I am, no surprises or disappointments ... they'll see only ... Me ... Gloria ... no more, no less.  Just a person who doesn't have to pretend to be more than I am.  It's just too tiresome to ... pretend, so disappointing to discover someone is ... otherwise.  In the end ... not worth it.  When one gets OLD ... they should know these things!  :)

I don't have to impress anyone ... God, at the years wasted as a young woman ... I thought I had to look 'just right' ... be so 'extra-beautiful' ... starve myself to keep a 'perfect' figure ... I thought I 'had' to do this in order for others to like, love me.  Love me, they did!  I learned the difference when I began to live in the real world ... everyday people.

Those people are 'above' ... everyday people.  They look down their snooty noses at 'real' ... it's not 'perfect' enough.  Of course, through time when I began to become 'real' ... I was no longer looked at ... I couldn't be seen ... I wasn't 'beautiful anymore, I wasn't good enough ... my light didn't shine that bright anymore.  I'm left with memories.

There was love ... not a lasting, real love ... but, in a room of beautiful people where that's all that mattered was being beautiful ... I can smile and say this with all sincerity (not vain at all ) ... 'there was a time when I could take a room' ... when I 'made an entrance'.  :)  Every eye would be drawn ... to me.  I used to be told I was a 'queen' ... 'every eye goes wherever you go' ... and such things.

These are things a 'beautiful' person never lets people 'know' they know ... nor are spoken of.  Since I write ... I can write anything, even the ... truth.  A beautiful person takes all this for granted ... they know everyone loves how they look.

Maybe I was ... vain ... to a degree!  I'm smiling now ... 'those were the days!' ... when 'beauty' was most important. See ... that's 'why' it's hard to cope with realizing one is getting OLD!  That's 'why' one grieves over their youth!  That's 'why' when my eyes opened to an OLD woman in my mirror ... caused such extra grief in my Heart until ...

(True face of grief, pain of a grieving mother ... life got too real ... too much for one mother to have to live with ... she either has to cope, accept with the knowledge her child is gone ... or go on and let go.  I, thankfully ... chose to live ... to accept, cope in the most positive way I know how ... to write my grief away, make golden, beaded dragonflies and leave them as a surprise for someone to find joy in discovering a treasure.  Look at how my face has changed ... do you 'see how I got lost from ... myself?  When I began to become aware at times of myself ... I didn't know the person looking back at me from my mirror.)

When months, and months went by ... I realized that Life has to be like this.  This is a part of life, becoming older.  I've had my time ... it's time for others.  I needed to accept getting OLD ... take what I 'had left' and do the best with it I can!  I began thinking I'm a good person ... that's what's important.  I have begun to 'see' ME in my mirror ... once in a while!  I see ... Me! again!  I see 'kindness' in my eyes ... I see what I want to see on my face ... a 'good' look.

I don't see ugliness, bitterness, meanness on my face ... I'm determined to grow OLD ... gracefully.  I meant to do that all along ... if I made it to be OLD.  I'm so fortunate, thankful to be here.  I earned every year ... so, if I don't look pretty enough for someone ... too damn bad ... I've fought battles just to live that you know nothing about ... if you think like that ... it doesn't bother me at all. I don't hate you ... we all have to think ... thoughts of something.  And ... it's okay if you don't like me ... you never need worry that I'll 'get in your life' ... I am a private person ... I mind my business, stay in my life ... that's all I can handle ... it's been more than enough.

You can think I'm a Dreamer ... doesn't matter to me ... this is the real Gloria.  I do know what's reality ... dreams.  We all have to have dreams, hopes ... or we have no reason to go on. We all have to help in our small, big ways when we can ... or we as people will just collapse, hate, be bitter, mean, ugly.  Facebook ... this is what's on my mind this morning.  <3

I project myself to be ... just me, Gloria.  I am nobody ... yet, I am somebody.  I have big wishes that may be impossible to transpire in my life ... I am not an imposter.  I sure am not perfect ... I'm just everyday.  I'm nice, mean, ugly, beautiful all the time ... sometimes, one more than the other.

The one thing I can promise about me ... I'm a good person, I care .... I'm basically honest, though once in a while I will tell a 'white lie'.  :) I do that to help more than hurt others.

Why do I tell anyone these things?  Because I don't want anyone to think I'm so perfect, good.  Like my drawings .... there are many imperfections ... I can only do my best.  I can say if I chose a friend truly like myself ... I would be so happy.  Can everyone say that?  I do like myself as a person ... though sometimes, truthfully ... I don't if I am mean, ugly ... say anything to hurt anyone.  I'm the one who has to live with myself!  I can't take a break from ... Me.

I'm glad I'm a private person ... so, I don't take the chance of saying anything to hurt another person ... never meaning to.  If I ever do unintentionally ... it torments me until I make amends.

Oh ... if I make mistakes when writing ... you can see more imperfections.  After all , I warned you ... I am NOT perfect ... I used to want to be ... tried to be exactly perfect for 3 years ... I wasted all that time ... to make others like me!  When one woman was jealous of me ... said something hurtful ... it almost devastated me!

Well ... it opened my eyes to being something I truly wasn't ... because when I got out of sight of the 'world' ... at home ... no one saw how imperfect I was!  I was unhappy because I stayed hungry ... I couldn't wait to get the damn high heels, dresses, panty hose off!

I was 'so perfect' that if I wasn't dressed just right ... had the most beautiful of clothes on my 'perfect' body ... every hair 'just right', make-up on ... I couldn't even put one foot outside my door!  I couldn't even run to the mailbox, go to just a store unless ... I was 'just right'.  Heck, I wouldn't have dared to stand outside on the step unless ... all was 'Perfect' on Me.

If I ate one mouthful too much ... I ran to the mirror and I could 'see' the weight it put on ... I would feel so HUGE ... I was a size 6-9.  I couldn't function until I starved enough to feel tiny again.  I was ... PERFECT.

The torture both mentally, physically ... I could never describe it to you in words.  Needless to say ... when my eyes opened to the fact that no matter how 'PERFECT' I tried to be ... both in appearance, actions, deeds ... there was always that one someone who would say something mean, bad, ugly.

The day I began to quit trying to win a losing war ... I took a sigh of relief ... I began to be ME ... Gloria.  A real person.  I'm not saying my life began to be better ... grief, pain, and many 'bad' things have happened to throw me into many shocks through all my years.  How I have survived them ... I can only say through sheer determination ... my Grandma Alma's fighting spirit ... and the will to live.

So, Facebook ... this is what's on my mind this morning!  Colors, dreams, wishes and hopes ... in my Life.  Sharing with others the true faces of pure grief ... and recovering from it within the last five years.  I never knew I would ... I pray I give hope to another grieving mother.

Note by this Author:

These true thoughts are exactly what's on my mind this morning, Facebook!  Reflections ... wishes ... dreams, hopes ... lessons learned in Life, true colors of my Life ... Me ... Gloria.

I have been looking back at how people saw ... me ... during the time I was at my very worse.  They thought I was just trash walking around ... I looked so damn bad.  They looked down ... on Me.  I never bothered to tell them I was a walking vessel of pure grief, pain.  I truly don't think they'd cared.
I looked just like I really was ... in Hell.  Even I am amazed today ... at my faces of grief.  I will do a story with lots of photos to compare ... see, I can also, 'see' ... when I share with you.  Like you ... I can hardly believe the difference.  Didn't I really come so far ... I traveled many roads to get to today ... I made it!

All photos, words are written, owned by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.