By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
I saw a distraught mother on the news last night. Her little two year old son just disappeared from their yard. She’d only taken her eyes off from him for a couple minutes.
The police, neighbors searched for hours. This morning I watched the news to see what transpired through the night. The little boy was found! That little boy was… found!
Strange enough… the little boy was only a short distance away in someone else’s home…….. they didn’t call anyone to say ‘hey, I have a child that’s wandered here…. I don’t know where he came from’…….
I wonder if they were watching the news, saw that young mother’s face, heard her voice? I did… and it tore at my heart. She could barely form her words for crying, fear for her child. I wanted to reach out to hug this woman… my heart recognized sincerity. Her child was really …gone, unlike a lot of women I’ve watched closely when their children ‘disappeared’.
I ‘heard the ‘shock, disbelief’ in her voice… I ‘know’ how it feels to have a child gone. I know how it feels to not know where to look, not to know if it’s dead or alive. My own experience lasted 3 years… I never knew where my child was. Maybe one day I can write about it… it won’t be anytime soon. Don’t ask me about it… I won’t talk about it to anyone.
The pain has lasted through all the years… now, it’s mixed with the grief of my child being gone… my child died. Tommy’s gone. For now, I can’t write anymore about this. I could never in a million years describe the pain inside me…. it’s not simply the one experience of one losing a child………. it’s a combination of many experiences that happened, then…. losing that one child.
No one will ever know…………. I don’t know if my words are enough to put it all into perspective… maybe one day I can have someone help ‘to write my pain’… who knows the words I don’t… to describe all.
On top of this pain ..like whipped cream on a pie .. is additional pain. Bittersweet…. My son has two children whom no one brings to see me… two mothers who have never taught their children to send even a holiday card, or to call this grandmother.
When Tommy was living, he never got a Father’s Day card, Christmas card, Birthday card…. every week he faithfully paid $100.00 for his child… no one made him do it. He did it on his own. His child was taught to call their step-father ‘daddy’… to not call Tommy… ‘daddy’. I saw the terrible pain in my child’s eyes… my son… when his child would ignore him and hug everyone else …but, him. That child was told not to hug him, not to call him ‘daddy’.
Two mothers who never told me I can’t see my grandchildren …. they just never let them in our lives again. I’ve had to call, feel bad, like I’m imposing, or making someone angry… through the years for the times to see them. Those days are gone now… I will never call again.
I will say this to both mothers… you’ve done wrong to keep them from knowing their father’s mother. One day in time… you will most likely see how the pain you’ve added to my life, feels… think of me. Also, think of my words I say to you at this moment…. “I’m so sorry you have to know my pain”.
Then again……………………….. maybe you deserve to know what you make others feel. We learn through … life’s lessons. We learn through feeling what we do to others. It doesn’t feel good when it happens to you.
I won’t beg either of you for anything. I’m not angry at either of you, but… I will never forget you for the deepest of pain you’ve added to my heart. I think I just said I’m not angry at you… yes, I am. At this very moment in time, I’m very angry at both of you. Tomorrow… I probably won’t be… until the next time.
Let them explain to those grandchildren ‘why’ they never got to know a grandmother who always loved them…. ‘why’ they kept the children of this mother’s son…. away from her. ‘Why’ they never called and said ‘hi, would you like to see your grandchild?’ Why not… at least once a year?
I’m glad I grew up in hell, survived it. For the rest of my life.. it built a strength I never knew I had. Thank you, Hell…. you made me so strong to go through the things I have… no one even knows… maybe one day.
I only touch the surface when I write…. beneath is such a lake of pain that even now… I’m not sure if I could survive trying to ‘swim across’ again to find my stories to write. I’m lucky I have gotten this far in my life…
Hell… I have to dive deep to grab bits to write about. Layers of pure … Hell. I have to visit for short periods …. it sometimes takes time to ‘come out of it’… it affects me deeply. It’s like acting… a person ‘gets lost‘ in that character… and ‘finds it hard to come out of it.’
The way it is today… I’ve lost my only child, and I’ve lost my granddaughter, I’ve lost my grandson. I used to be a mother… I used to be a grandmother, and I used to be a Granny Gee. Now… I’m mother, grandmother, Granny Gee in name only.
Yes, I thank you, Hell…. you made me strong enough to make it through all of this. I’m glad I have been through so much ‘bad’ in my whole life…. it helped make me strong today.
I’m still standing…… I don’t give up hope of being grandmother, Granny Gee today. If I don’t get to be…. I keep in mind of all the many people, things I’ve lost in my lifetime… I’m like the redwood tree… I’m still standing, I am still here. I’ve ‘weathered many a storm’….
I’ve missed seeing, watching two young children who look so much like my child… growing up. I have wished to see my son in his children as they talk, laugh, play. I’ve wanted to watch their faces, see ‘Tommy’ in them. I’ve looked ‘for Tommy’ … just to ‘see him’ since he’s been gone. He is in these two precious children… I could have seen him all this time.
I have missed all of this… it can never be given back to me. I’ve needed to see, hear my grandchildren during all the time my son has been gone. I’ve needed to know my grandchildren.
No, I won’t ever forget this… and I know the day will come for both mothers to regret not making an effort to let them know me. Things have a way of coming back to … bite us in the ass. And it will….
Hell….. I know it well. It’s inside of me… grief, pain, anger. The mixture is ‘Hell’. At this moment I ‘feel’ it inside myself… I feel all these emotions. There are times such as this that I feel anger rise to the surface … I think about the very things I wrote here.
Anger… I’ve fought anger since being a little girl. I fight it now, for the unfairness in life. It gradually subsides until… the next time. I forgive, I don’t forget…. no one forgets. I’m not sure anyone ever… really forgives, either. I do, I don’t, I do, I……………………………..
I really try to be ‘perfect’… I just can’t do it. I wonder ‘why’ I think I should be ‘the one to not feel a certain way’… why I should be the one not to hate, to be mad, or do things others do? I slip up… and get really angry, I say ‘bad’ words… I feel very bad afterwards. There have been maybe several times I ‘never felt bad’… afterwards….
Getting back to the little boy who got lost…. this is what I began to think about after watching that on the news. It’s strange how our thoughts ‘go everywhere’ … when triggered by events.
I began thinking of when Tommy was gone as a child… I felt that woman’s pain … as her voice tried to put into words to let the public know her child was gone… I ‘felt’ her fear… fear that takes away one’s voice, makes one breathless… trying to breathe for the pain. I could feel her mind … the thoughts flying in her mind like a bird frantically beating its wings trying to get out of a cage… yes, I ‘felt’ that mother’s pain. I ‘know’ that pain, too…..
Thank you, Hell… for making me so strong. I’m glad I get mad sometimes… it gives me added strength to go on with life. I just remembered something I had forgotten….
When I was very ill after being diagnosed with cancer… going through surgery, chemo treatments… Skip used to say little things to make me feel anger… to make me fight.
Later, he would tell me ‘why’ he said things… he didn’t want me to die… he wanted my ‘fighting spirit’ to come out… come out it did! He ‘knew’ it would… he knows ‘me’ very well.
I got mad… when I got mad, I got stronger. I’ve always been that way! :))) I began to get better using anger … I meant to get well. I bet alot of you are this way… anger can be strength in a positive way. I’m sorry to say… all my anger ‘inside’ isn’t positive. I’m not perfect at all. But, it works in a positive way, too.
Okay… back to that little boy who got missing. How did that child get into an apartment within seeing distance of where it disappeared? Who were the adults in that apartment? Why didn’t they report that they had the child?
One knows the child didn’t belong there… surely they knew it better than anyone else… ‘hey, this child isn’t ours… how did it get in our home?” Why didn’t they call the police… or look outside to see the commotion going on?
Maybe the little two year old boy forced his way into their apartment, you know… maybe a home invasion to steal some milk or something. No… that little boy didn’t go into that apartment by himself… I paid attention to the outside door when it was shown on the news……
So far, the police aren’t saying how the child came to be in that apartment for…. get this… seven (7) hours. Within…. seeing distance of where the child disappeared from.
This mother has gone through Hell… we all experience Hell in different ways. I really am sorry for this mother…. her eyes, her eyes. I saw her eyes…. I ‘knew’ that look…. she was looking inside so hard, so fast… trying to see in her mind where, how could her child have disappeared so quickly. The fear, shock, disbelief was getting in her way.. she couldn’t see past it all… her mind was numb. I’m so thankful her child was found.
This reminded me of some of the Hell I’ve known… the Hell that made me stronger… strong enough to survive so many deaths of loved ones, the death of my only child, the loss of so much in life, the ‘bad’ things that have happened in my life, the abuse… verbally, mentally in my life as a child, a young woman… so much that no one knows.
Thank you, Hell… you only made me stronger. Not only that… anger has given me strength… positive strength. Sometimes … I still get mad… I’m not perfect… so sometimes, I’m not positive though… I try to be.
Sometimes… I say a ‘bad’ word….. maybe more than… one. Maybe more than …two. I’m always so sorry afterwards… and ashamed. Sometimes… I wish I wasn’t… but, that’s just the way I am. I care… I want to be a good person… I really try. I am… but, I can be mean … sometimes. I try not to be any meaner than I ‘have to be’….
Thank you, Hell… you made me strong enough to come this far in life. If I were babied, treated well through all those years… I would have died young. I wouldn’t have been strong enough, or have enough anger to fuel me to get through bad times……..
- Here, I Cry For Mine… (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)