When … ‘It’ … Happens
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
We drove to BoJangle’s to get a large 99 cent unsweet tea. I make good tea at home … but, getting a big cup of their tea is a treat. So, from time to time I’ll get one of theirs.
Skip says it’s too strong for him … so, I get his big cup of tea to put in the refrigerator. I drink it throughout the day.
We had a small amount of money on us. We are experiencing ‘hard times’ and have to be on a very tight budget. We don’t eat out like we used to … we put food in our freezer, take it out … cook it at home. We weren’t going to buy a sandwich … to be careful with the money we had on us.
Well … a young woman was in front of us … she had ordered a dinner for her husband who had called her to stop by BoJangle’s to pick it up for him. She’d been working, gotten off early to go home.
When the cashier rung her purchase up … it was almost 9 dollars! She stood there in shock … I watched her … I knew inside that she was in disbelief it was going to cost that much. Why did I know? Because through time I’ve been in the same situation.
I saw her look down at her money … I saw her trying to decide to not get it, or if she didn’t … would her husband be mad. She questioned the cashier to make sure the amount owed … was correct. It was.
I can’t tell you how my Heart felt as I pretended not to see, to notice. That was all the money that young woman had … she must have hoped to have a few dollars left … instead, there was going to be 1 dollar, and little change.
Rather than to let others around me know I didn’t have any money, I’d go ahead to pay … leave very upset … no one would know the difference.
I knew this young woman was doing the same thing … pride kept her from asking the cashier to void the order. She took her last money out to pay for her husband’s chicken dinner. I watched her face, eyes. So, did Skip. We pretended not to.
I whispered to Skip when the young woman walked away … I knew he had some one dollar bills in his billfold … I asked him if I could get some one dollar bills … he was feeling like I did … he gave them to me.
We are going through the most unexpected, worst time of our life. Until we can find a way to get on even keel … life is going to be ‘hard’. It doesn’t stop us from caring about others. We would have given her our last dollar … Skip still had several left after taking the one dollar bills out.
The good thing is … we are keeping a positive attitude in a ‘desperate’ situation. Somehow … everything will get all right. I keep telling myself that nothing is worst than losing my only child … everything did get all right … it took all this time … but, it did get all right.
I believe … ‘now’ … that if all got all right after that … it can, will … now. I truly believe that. You won’t see me walking with my head down … feeling sorry for myself. In fact, you won’t see anything other than ‘me’ at all times.
I don’t ask for pity, and I don’t ask you, or anyone … for anything. I can’t … I don’t know how. So, when you see me … you never have to worry that I’ve turned into a … beggar.
We can laugh … talk … just like always. I’ll go my way, you’ll go yours … and I haven’t asked you for anything to make you dread seeing me. That’s a good thing. When you see me again … you won’t want to run away. :) That’s why I won’t ever visit you … no one can ever say ‘Gloria has worn out the welcome mat’. Your welcome mat will stay new when … it comes to me.
Not long ago, I was devastated by someone I considered a ‘close’ friend. She knew our situation … and knowing I would never ask anyone for anything … at this one time … she began to poor-mouth everytime when she asked how we were … and if we needed her to let her know.
I began to become aware of that … wondering ‘why would she do that everytime I told her how Skip was, that he couldn’t work anymore’, that life was forever different for us now.
She was one of the few … less than the 5 fingers on my hand … I even talked to about anything to do with my private life.
It hit me … she was letting me know in advance that if I needed money … not to ask her … she didn’t have it, she was ‘broke’. I can’t tell you the pain it created in my Heart.
She … out of everyone knew I had never asked her for anything through-out the years … why did she think I would do it ‘now’? I know she doesn’t have to struggle in life … I still wouldn’t ask her for anything. She always knew that … except this time.
I almost ‘let go’ of her in my life. Instead, I told her nicely … what I thought, felt and I didn’t hold anything back. I believe in being straight-forward … I was. If you love a friend … and I do … you can’t hide feelings of being upset with them.
I didn’t … and I was prepared to have minus one ‘real’ friend. I can’t have ‘fake’ friends … I don’t play that game. These people who pretend to be friends … they fool themselves when they think … I don’t ‘see’. I do … and I play the game … fool them into thinking … I don’t.
Why cause a scene when it can be avoided … what good does it do to say ‘I know you are a big-ass fake’? Why make a ‘hidden’ enemy into a ‘visible’ one … when power is on your side just pretending you don’t know. Knowledge is power.
Life is full of games … we play them to keep from hurting others … or causing unnecessary grief when it can be avoided. I ‘play the games of life’ … good. I’m a good human … I make others know I’m not going to impose on their lives by asking anything of them … trying to get into their lives … I stay to myself … I’m a private being. You don’t have to worry about me … bothering you. I won’t bother you and if someone bothers me … I don’t let them.
The realization dawned on me that my ‘friend’ was worried I would ask her for money or help … when she knew I wasn’t like that all these years (she knew I’d go without before asking anyone for anything) … for some reason … this one time … she felt she needed to ‘nip it in the bud’ from the beginning ‘in case I would even ask her’.
I can’t tell you the emotion it made inside my Heart. I became angry that she’d even think such a thing … I’ve never asked her for anything … I can hold my ground even being without, not having anything. People through time have thought I was ‘well off’ … when I never had anything. They never recognized the times when I was a young woman … I was experiencing ‘hard times’. PRIDE … too much PRIDE.
I have pride … I grew up in family that did everything in the world … I’ve always tried to be different … to the point I would suffer greatly … whereas everyone else seemed to get everything they wanted.
I never wanted to fool men to get material things, I never wanted to lie, cheat to get what I wanted in life. Oh my … the times I could have … through time … so, so, so many times I could have … I never did … even at times I had nothing, and needed. Why? I can’t live with doing wrong to others.
Not only that … beautiful women can do dishonest things to men … it’s too easy to do … something in me could never do it when … they gave me permission. Oh why wasn’t I a greedy woman in my life!? I’ll tell you why … I was good even when I was making my mistakes in my life.
The women in my family … and ‘friends’ … didn’t mind asking … taking from others. I would feel ashamed, embarrassed … keep kicking myself if I ever asked, took from someone … especially a man. It never felt good to me … as a young woman … the few times I did … I felt cheapened, just plain-ass awful.
I was respected for that … but, no one knew I ‘went without’ … because I was really being a true, good person … honest person. I was never ‘beholden’ to a man … because I didn’t take from them … for some reason, that meant something to me. In my mind … I didn’t owe a man a … damn … thing. It has to be from growing up with the things I saw … as a child … I shouldn’t have seen, heard.
Maybe as a young mother … some of you ‘who do things’ … can keep in mind that children see, hear … even when you are thinking they don’t. Those things they see, hear … can stick with a child through their life. They affect the child’s decision-making processes as they grow older … maybe not always in the best way.
I’m a ‘older’ woman now … I still remember … though, of course … it doesn’t affect my life now. It just gives me things to write about now. :)
So, the older I got … I learned not to ask … to not let others see I ‘needed’.
If things came to me in the way I have done things through-out time … in a way such as when I saw someone needed help … I never asked or said “if you need anything … let me know.”
Instead … I gave without asking … I gave in a way to not hurt pride … I gave to anyone I sensed needed something. I did this when I had a lot through time. I can say ‘there was a time I had everything’ … and I can say ‘I gave a lot’.
I still give ‘now’ … even if it’s not ‘big’ anymore. Why? Because even the smallest things mean a lot … and are ‘big’ to others at the time they needed it. How do I know? I’ve been there, done that. I’ve needed the smallest thing and it meant the world when I got it. I’ve needed the biggest thing … when it came to me … it meant the world.
Either way when you need something … no matter how big, or small … it means the whole world.
I know you know … not everyone is rich. I know some of you struggle through life like we are doing. It’s no fun to talk about it. I do … to talk to you. I do to let you know that I’m no more than anyone else … I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.
I’m damn-sure not perfect … but, I can say this for ‘damn-sure’ … I am a good person. I can sleep at night knowing I’m not hurting anyone, I’ve not done anything to take from them, I’ve not said anything bad about them’ … I’m not lying, cheating, being dishonest.
If I have the power … I do try to do good things. I don’t ask ‘if you need something, just let me know’ … I just ‘do’ … not ask. That’s sincere … that’s the way to be.
How many people do you know are going to come to you and say, “I need help … you told me to ask you if I needed it?” What will happen is that you’ll hate them ‘for having the nerve’ to come to you. You’ll never like them again for asking for help … all because you told them to.
Don’t say things you can’t back up … you deserve everything you get when you do that. You are the one who looks bad … then. If I don’t have the means to help someone … I tell them I care with my Heart, I’m ‘there’ if they need to talk … they aren’t alone. I let them know I can be ‘there’, though I can’t help them in other ways.
When I don’t sleep at nights … it’s worrying about my whole world … Skip and our 2 Pups. Or worrying about someone we love, care about when I know they have problems. If I could, I would take all their worries away.
Getting back to the young woman. I was wondering if her husband was one of these guys that laid around at home on their ass while the wife worked. Or … was he very sick while she worked? I told myself it didn’t matter … but, it’s normal for one’s mind to try to create stories from things they see … when out and about.
We got our two large cups of tea … I saw the young woman pick up her BoJangle’s bag from the stainless steel countertop. I took a few steps toward her, smiled. I told her that was a steep price to pay for a lunch … and behind me, Skip told her he couldn’t believe it.
We wanted her to know we cared. I put my hand out with the money folded … put it in her hand. I told her that we wanted to treat her with that lunch today. I saw it in her eyes … ‘it’ in her eyes … the being so appreciative, thankful, grateful. How did I recognize ‘it’ … because I’ve felt ‘it’ so many times in my life.
Note by this Author:
Yes, I’ve known ‘it’ many times in my life. I’ve felt ‘it’ deep inside my Heart, my Soul. ‘It’ … is the most gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation when out of nowhere … help comes to meet one’s need for something.
‘It’ happens … when your soul, heart cries out inside, ‘I’m so grateful, I’m so thankful’! You thank God, thank the person who cared for you …
‘It’ is when you feel more than you can say … ‘It’ is when ‘Thank-you’ … is more than the words you can possibly ever be able to say.
When you don’t know how to ask for it … when you are going without so, others won’t know and not feel ‘they have to help’ you. When you don’t want others to ‘look down’ on you. Then … unexpectedly … someone does something for you on their own … never asking … caring when you never knew … that’s when ‘It’ happens. I know … I truly know … and when I feel ‘It’ … I feel more than what my words can possible say.
Photo, true story are owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.