Sunday, May 29, 2016

It's Possible I Did It Deliberately ...

Tommy's Chest ... holds the few things I have left of my only child, Tommy.


I know subconsciously I block things from my mind that hurt me deeply ... sometimes, I don't realize I have until at a later time. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

I have been thinking of something that I haven't thought about in a long time.  I realize that before I can accomplish it ... I have a 'ton' of stuff to move before I can get to it.

I'll explain.  In my art room ... over the past months I have been letting 'everything' go in there ... to move it from other parts of the house.  I don't know why ... I let it all 'pile up'.  I treasure having my space to create, draw, paint.  So why did I do it?

The thought came to me this evening ... it could be the reason 'why'.  I have been thinking I want to get Tommy's Chest ... open it, take his things out that I have left of him.  I can't get to it ... I have blocked it by putting a 'million' things between it and ... me getting to it.  Do you think subconsciously I did it deliberately?

In order to look in his chest ... I have my job cut out.  I have to move everything in the path to it.  Do you know ... I will be so glad to have my artroom organized once again.  I wish I had never let it 'pile up' ... I don't do the other rooms like that.

Do you think I deliberately blocked my path to opening Tommy's Chest?  When I do get the chest ... I don't know if I can open it ... so much pain ... grief.  My son died 6 years ago.

Why would I want to open it?  Because ... because I want to hold the few things I have left of my son.  I have a green box in there that holds something so painful ... I want to see.  I can't talk about the green box.  Hurts too bad.  I might have to set it aside, not open it.

I'm not even certain I can open the lid to the chest ... to not weigh a lot ... it has been too heavy for me to just take my hands ... simply open it.

Time will tell ... if I open it I will share with you about it.  I know I've mentioned several times in the past that I would open it ... looking back now .... I see that's when 'things' begin to 'pile up' between me ... and the path to walk to Tommy's Chest.  Strange ... I never thought about it until this evening.

I think I must have done it ... on purpose.

Note by this Author:

Today ... 6 years ago ... my only child died.  Tommy ... my son, died at 40 years old, never knowing he had 3 blockages to his heart.

Tommy's Chest ... is a burgundy/gold, upholstered chest.  It holds the very few things I have left of my son.  I want this chest to go to his son, Taban, when I'm gone.

Story/photo owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@Gee Granny on Twitter.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Until His Last Breath ...

Tommy holding his newborn son ... he was very proud, happy.

My son, Tommy ... with his little son ... my precious grandson (date is wrong on photo).  All photos are owned by me ... Gloria Faye Brown Bates.

Tommy was so proud of his only son.

Tommy fell asleep holding Taban.

Tommy pretending to cry with Taban ...

Tommy being silly with his little son to get him not to cry.

Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

I'm bittersweet ... sad at the loss of my son ... thankful my husband is here after being deathly ill. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Tomorrow is May 29, 2016 ... my only child, my son ... Tommy ... died May 29, 2010 ... six years ago.

I've felt sadness ... and happiness all at the same time.  I cope well now, with the loss of Tommy.  It seems for the past 5 months so many 'bad' things have happened ... threatened to take Skip from me ... I'm so happy he is doing well at this time.  I have a mixture of happiness, sadness all at the same time.

My favorite description of it is ... bittersweet.  That's a perfect word to describe how I feel.  It's strange how I have so much to be thankful for ... somehow, it helps greatly with the grieving pain I feel at this time.  I can talk about the fun things Tommy used to do, funny things he used to say ... think about his laughter, twinkling eyes ... all without crying.  Is this normal?  Is this good?

Sure, ever so often ... I feel a deep, deep pain and I do begin to cry.  It isn't often that I do ... when I do ... it hurts so bad.  The good thing is even when that happens now ... I know I'll be all right in a short time.  It used to be ... I wasn't all right at all.

Six years tomorrow ... Tommy has been gone.  Six years tomorrow ... I've come so far.  I would have never known I could get to a place in my life where I could deal/cope with the loss of my child.  I have.  I meant to.  I had to ... if I hadn't ... I wouldn't be here.

I've never talked to anyone to know how long they experienced the grieving process of their child before they felt like a real person again.  I know the grief is forever ... in my case ... I can live with it, now.  I can live everyday life now ... and be happy.  Though for the past 5 months ... our life has been completely upside down with all Skip has been through.

But ... guess what?  For 6 days now ... Skip has been on even keel for the first time since January.  My happiness outweighs my sadness.

Remembering tomorrow ... May 29, 2016 ... remembering Tommy, my son ... he went to Heaven from the beach while running, playing with his little 3 year old son.  The last sounds he heard were happy sounds ... of a little, precious child ... sea gulls, and ocean waves.

My beautiful son died ... a beautiful death if death could be beautiful.  He died while doing exactly what he told me he wanted to do most ... that was to get to play with his own little son at the beach for the first time.  He made it just in time.  I don't think he had time to suffer at all, before collapsing on the soft sand.

Tommy died with 3 blockages to his heart.  No one knew he was sick.  My little grandson can grow up knowing his daddy wanted to play with him at the ocean, made it just in time to do so ... before he went on his final journey.

One thing for certain ... my little grandson can grow up knowing his daddy loved him ... and was with him until he took his last breath, his spirit soaring into the sky as the sea gulls sang to the tune of the ocean waves.

Note from this Author:

Remembering tomorrow ... May 29, 2016 ... my son, only child ... died 6 years ago.  I'm remembering Tommy.

Written by/photos owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee, @GeeGranny on Twitter.

Friday, May 27, 2016

I Had Forgotten They Existed ...

Strange how so much life goes on around me ... I didn't see, hear it for focusing on Skip ... for the past 5 months I've lived in fear for him. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee ... as a younger woman.  Sitting and thinking ...............

I have been sitting quietly ... sensing, feeling out my world around me ... by listening, seeing.  I can hardly believe all is calm ... when the past 5 months have been in such turmoil.

For the moment, my mind feels at peace.  Gracious, what a nice feeling ... I had forgotten how it felt.  It's strange when one's life is in turmoil ... they focus only on what's at hand.  No time to relax, feel at ease ... only a driving fear.  At least ... for me, that's how it's been.

It sure feels good to feel good.  I got to do something yesterday I didn't get to think I would do ... play in some garden soil.  I added beautiful, black soil to the several potted plants on the porch, and to one big cherry tomato plant I have.  It sounds like nothing, I know ... to me, it felt wonderful to stop ... 'smell the roses' so to speak.

My hands were dirty ... my skin warm from the sunshine ... the breeze felt good.  My mind was at peace while listening to the birds, the distant drone of an airplane ... someone mowing grass ... I even heard children squeal in laughter.  These are happy sounds ... I had forgotten they existed.  Isn't that amazing?

Note by this Author:

Photo/true story by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.

This morning I am sitting ... thinking about how much I have to be grateful for ... I don't think a day goes by without me feeling grateful for all in my life.  No matter how bad it got ... good things happened.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Getting On Even Keel After Non-Stop 'Bad' Things Keep Happening

Photo of Skip taken weeks ago ... he was very sick. 

Life is like a roller-coaster ... seems like 'bad' things kept happening ... I held on as hard as I could ... for now, all is calm. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Writing ... I haven't written for weeks.  I have been living real life where only too-real things have happened.  Things that haven't ever happened in my life.  For 5 months ...

Skip, my husband, began to have many health problems.  It seemed to be no end to all the 'bad' things ... stroke, low heart rate/pacemaker/2 heart stents ... congestive heart failure 3 times, pneumonia, kidney failure/kidney stent/surgery ... hemorrhaging nosebleeds/blood transfusion/cauterization.  He had to wear a Foley leg catheter for a month ... and more things I won't go into.  He was near death several times ...

Can you imagine experiencing so many things in your life ... never-ending 'bad' things?  I didn't think it'd ever stop.  Well ... for 4 days now (since May 22, 2016) ... since Skip left the hospital ... all has for the first time ... been on an even keel.  This is the first time Skip has gotten out of the hospital stronger, not having to stay in bed.  We walk, do little things every day now.  This hasn't happened for 5 months.

So, for 4 precious days ... Skip has been doing well.  I have felt peace inside ... for the first time ... fear isn't a part of my everyday.  I don't quite know how to act ... I know I'm happy.  I've been so non-stop ... that it's hard to slow down.  When I rest ... it feels good especially when I can look over at Skip and see him being more himself ... every day.  I'm so grateful.

This weekend will make 6 years (May 29, 2010) ... since Tommy, my son, died.  I almost lost Skip several times ... they and our Pups were, are my whole world.  I'm so fortunate to have Skip and our Pups.  I'm sad my son is gone ...

Being sad ... and happy at the same time ... is how I am feeling.  I'm sad Tommy is gone ... most happy Skip is here.  I could have been all alone at this time ... I have been so afraid.  Thankfully ... it looks like everything is going to be all right.  I pray so.

Note by this Author:

I have so much to be thankful for ... I think I'm the most grateful person in this world.  I know I'm not but, I rank up at the top.  I could have lost the only other person who is closest to me ... and been alone in this world.  Yes, you are reading the words of a most grateful person to have her whole world ... her husband, Pups.

Photo/story owned ... written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nothing Compares to a Mother's Grief

Nothing compares to the grief a mother feels when her child dies ... it changes her forever. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My Son ... Tommy holding his newborn son.

This weekend is once again ... Memorial Day weekend.  It makes one more year since my son died. He died on May 29, 2010 while running, playing on the beach with his little 3 year old son.  No one knew he was sick.

Tommy collapsed on the soft, damp sand.  It was on a Saturday evening at Myrtle Beach.  He and his family arrived not long before he took his son down to the ocean while all the others were unpacking to stay for a week on vacation.  He made the trip to the beach ... just in time to do what he wanted.

Tommy wanted to play with his little son at the beach ... he died doing what he meant to do.  He made it in time ... just before he went on his final journey in life.

I would be fibbing if I said I haven't been sad ... felt overwhelming grief, pain well up inside me.  No matter how positive I grieve ... it still hurts.  This is year .... 6.  Six years ... since my son died.

My memory of my son is still just as vivid as  ... yesterday.  I can still see his face, hear his voice in my mind, hear his laugh.  I will never forget my son ... I will always remember him just as I am doing by writing about him.  I loved Tommy with my very Heart.  He was a good son.

I don't cry now, like I used to.  Grief does hit me at unexpected times ... I do cry.  It doesn't take as long to get back all right.  I've accepted I can't change a thing ... I can't bring Tommy back.  When I think of him ... it's with a deep, quiet sadness.  I really miss him.

I write about Tommy to remember him.  He was a wonderful person ... full of laughter, jokes, pranks. He had a twinkle in his kind eyes ... his smile full of sunshine.  He had a soft-spoken voice.  He loved me, Skip ... and our Pups very much.  We were all very close.

Tommy loved dragonflys ... at times, I make dragonflys with gold wire, beads and leave them in public places for someone to find ... in memory of him.  Someone finds a treasure ... and I keep Tommy's memory alive.

Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us ... I pray that your sons, daughters and their families go on their vacations safely ... come home safely.  When my son called to say they made it safely to Myrtle Beach in all the traffic ... I took a sigh of relief ... only to get that dreaded phone call a short time later from a stranger.

I was the first one to know my son died ... I was 200 miles away.  A stranger picked Tommy's phone up from the sand ... dialed the last number dialed ... I answered the phone.  I heard the stranger say, "ma'am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand ... he isn't breathing".  For over 3 years ... this grieving mother died inside.

Looking back ... I can't remember well that time ... in my mind I see such darkness, and feel the 'I don't want to remember' feeling.  I don't force myself.  When I do ... it takes days to get over the grief that wells up in me.

This was the worst thing to happen to me in my life.  I've experienced many 'bad' things, including being a cancer survivor.  Nothing compares to a mother's grief.

Note by this Author:

I write to remember my son, Tommy.  He was 40 years old when he died.  He had 3 blockages to his heart ... no one knew.

I don't think it's meant for parents to outlive their children.  Like you, I knew my son would be there as I grew older.  It gave me comfort.

Photo, true story by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Remembering Tommy ...

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny

Remembering my son, Tommy ... when I was a mother. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My thoughts drifted off into the past today
To a time when a little baby was born

A little blonde-headed boy with big, blue eyes
Crying to be held, rocked to sleep

A little boy who ran, played, rode his bicycle
Eyes filled with wonder as he learned his world

One day he grew up ... I couldn't any longer protect him
I wanted to .... I was gently reminded that he was no longer a little boy

One day the phone call came that no parent wants 
Ma'am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he isn't breathing

That was the day I lost my son ... my only child
Six years later, I still grieve quietly ... but, in a positive way

I haven't forgotten what it feels like to be a mother
I'll be alright this Mother's Day

I just wanted to remember my child, I loved him with my Heart
I also, wanted to wish all mothers in the world ... Happy Mother's Day

Note by this Author:  Tommy, my son died May 29, 2010 on a Saturday evening at Myrtle Beach.  He was playing with his 3 year old son on the beach.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

Happy Mother's Day ...

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers ... I still remember being a mother once to a most special son ... Tommy. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today ... I was told several times ... Happy Mother's Day!  I only smiled, said thank you.  I didn't even bother to say that my son died 6 years ago ... only a short time after Mother's Day in 2010.

That was the last Mother's Day I ever had with my son, Tommy. He died May 29, 2010 with 3 blockages to his heart.  He collapsed on the sand while playing with his 3 year old son at Myrtle Beach.

This Mother's Day I won't cry ... at least I think that.  I've coped with my grief ... though at times it slips up on me.  I admit lately there have been some times I've almost cried when I thought of him, when Skip and I spoke of him.

As a mother ... I won't ever stop being a grieving mother.  I don't have to cry now, to grieve. I just grieve quietly ... always, but ... in a positive way.  I loved my son with my very Heart.  I've accepted he's gone now ... I can't bring him back no matter what.

I would like to wish every mother a wonderful, special Mother's Day with their children ... their sons.  I don't have my only child, my son now, but that doesn't stop me being happy for other mothers.  You are so fortunate.  I'm so fortunate to have had my son for 40 years.  

Happy Mother's Day from my Heart.  <3 Gloria <3

My son, Tommy with his little son, Taban.  (Date is wrong on photo) ...

Note by Author:

I miss my son with my very Heart.  I miss the sound of his laugh, soft-spoken voice, the twinkle in his eyes.  I miss Tommy, my son.   I also, miss my grandson.

Where Have I Been ... What's Happened in My Life ... Sit Down, I'll Tell You

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

Where to begin ... where have I been? I'll try to explain ... so much has been forgotten in the big shuffle of Life. By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Good morning ... it's been quite some time since I've written.  So much has been going on in my life ... I don't know where to begin.

Stroke ... congestive heart failure ... later fluid back around his heart ... pacemaker ... 2 heart stents ... bleeding out from heart catherization when the sheath was pulled out of his thigh ... he went through hell while they had to put pressure on his thigh for 1 hour, and 20 minutes.  The pain was so bad ... he had to be given morphine.  Prostate surgery and complications ... he still has a 9-10 mm kidney stone that was knocked deep into his right kidney they couldn't get.  Pneumonia ... then, a cold.  Hemorrhaging from his nose losing so much blood he had to be given blood.  Last but, not least, he is also, having problems with his eyes, eyesight.

Since January 2016, Skip has been in the hospital 4 times ... very, very ill.  Not only that, he had a pacemaker put in ... then, 2 heart stents ... later, his right kidney began to fail ... he had an uretheral stent put in until surgery.  Skip had ongoing problems from this surgery until ... believe it or not ... he had the awful nose-bleed.  It corrected itself.  We were so grateful.

Last but, not least ... Skip had an epic nosebleed.  He was hemorrhaging from an artery in his nose.  I kept trying to stop it with towels, wash clothes ... this nosebleed never slacked up.

Later at the hospital, I was told we'd never been able to stop this nosebleed.  Skip's blood count went from 13.9 down to 7 from that bleed.  He had to be given blood.

To give you an idea of how many towels, wash clothes I used before getting Skip dressed to leave the house for the hospital ... I was throwing them into the washing machine with bleach water.  Later, when all was washed, dried ... I folded 14 towels, and 32 wash clothes, and several changes of clothes, a robe ... where I was trying to get Skip ready to go out of the house.

This was a nosebleed I'd never seen in my life ... blood continually poured out of his nose.  Thankfully, I know just to call 911, now.

During all this, some time in between ... when we thought Skip was going to be alright ... I went ahead into the hospital for my surgery that had been scheduled some time ago.

Things began happening to Skip again ... my surgery was forgotten. I never rested ... I couldn't.  I was driving 80 mile trips to the hospital since January until recently ... I had to ask for help publicly from my friends to afford the gas ... tires, oil change.  I am forever grateful to the ones who cared enough to make all better for me.  I was very afraid, I had no family to turn to.  My family I grew up with, loved and was close to ... have all died.  

Each time Skip was out of the hospital, we ended up with 2-3 appointments in some days, including some of mine in between. We never had a chance to stay home to rest, let Skip recover. Thankfully, our appointments have slowed down to 1-2 a week, now.

As of today, May 6, 2016 ... I'm happy to say that yesterday and this morning ... is our first times to say Skip is doing much better.  I pray for many months, years of Skip being much better.  I've never seen anyone survive so many life-threatening things, one after the other.  4 times, the doctors said he came close to death. 

As for myself, my surgery ... I never gave in to the pain I was feeling, nor how weak I was ... I meant to get to the hospital each day (80 mile trips), and when I got there, I had to walk 'forever' to get to his rooms in the hospital.  I never remembered my surgery until the past several days.  We were here at home ... and I was became aware of pain, wondered why.  I remembered ... I had had surgery!  Amazing!  You see what my priority was ... my world who is my husband, Skip, and our two Pups (Kissy and Camie) ... they come first in my life.  They are all I have in this world that are mine ... my family.

As for my surgery, I'll write about that more at different times to share it.  It is a life-changing surgery that even this early has made a major change in my life.  A positive, major change.

My mind never forgot you all ... I just couldn't get to here to write. I am sure you understand.  I hope I'm back now, to begin writing once again.  I have missed you.

Thank you to the ones who helped me when all of this was going on, and with getting the tires for the pickup, and the oil-change. What in the world would I have done without you?  I'm forever thankful, grateful to you.  Love, Gloria