By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee (2-25-2013)
Skip and I were walking in the supermarket when I looked up to see an old friend smiling at me. She and, her friend stood close by, they were also, shopping.
We hugged each other, began talking. We had worked at the hospital together for years. I loved her, I just thought the world of her. I was so happy to see her… see that wonderful smile of hers. Her smile has a way of making the world… all right.
Her son had died… now, my son was gone. When her son died, I let her know I was there, in different ways. I cared so much. I used to get to see his art work when she’d bring it to the hospital for me to look at.
She told me after Tommy died… she would come to see me. She never did… I didn’t mind at all that she didn’t come. I understand how time goes by, life goes on. Life is like that…
I understood… not only that, I am used to ‘coping with my own’ with no help from anyone. Excepting… Skip. Skip is my hero… he is my anchor in this world, and… the ship that holds me afloat. He and our Pups…. are my world.
We began catching up on what we’d been doing since we saw each other. I had my book with me, several copies in fact… I took one out to show her. I told her that I just had my first book published. I had in mind to give her one…
I saw her visibly change, her eyes kept on smiling… there was a difference in them. I sensed at that moment that… ‘she backed off from me’. I felt pain in my heart. Why?
I knew by the way the rest of the conversation went… I really never heard it… that my friend thought that my son’s death had ‘pushed me over the edge’… his death ‘had done something mental to me’.
The thought went through my mind… ‘she thinks I’m crazy, that I think I have had a book published’. I had shown it to her, but… I don’t think she paid it any attention…
After sensing what I did from that encounter… I began to feel numb. So… I probably ‘acted the part’… it’s sometimes hard, to disguise unexpected ‘pain’. Especially pain caused by a friend’s doubt in you.
Yes, I’m sure the ‘shock’ … made me appear in a quiet way… ‘over the edge, crazy, not knowing what to say to my friend anymore’.
I got away from her gracefully, smiling… saying a happy goodbye. A ‘happy goodbye forever’ to her. I was … in a … shock. My friend……
Later in the store, we ran into her, and her friend again… I sensed her wanting to back up, go in the opposite direction from me.
I just smiled ‘my Gloria smile’, laughed like ‘I always do’, went on like I didn’t notice. I ‘just stayed myself’… I didn’t let her see that she’d just ‘crushed’ me.
I noticed, I couldn’t help but, to feel such pain. My friend was no longer my friend… she had hurt me when … she didn’t believe me.
She always knew me as an upfront person, she always trusted me. Now… she thinks I’m … crazy. There’s nothing I can do at this point in time… to change her opinion. ‘Gloria has went over the edge in her mind’….. ‘hey, Gloria is crazy’. ‘Gloria’s mind is gone, her son’s death has done it to her’. ‘Why now, Gloria’s thinking she’s written a book, and to beat it all… thinks it’s been published! Imagine that!’
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard reference to such. I read a letter that I shouldn’t have, but… did. It was from one cousin of mine, written to his brother. He said he knew my mind would probably be affected for the rest of my life since Tommy died.
I understood him writing that… everyone knew how much I loved my son, how much he meant to me. That was okay… he was ‘family’, so… he had a right to say that… he ‘knew’.
Just as my child was so important to me, his children are to him… maybe more-so, because we both ‘came from the same place’… we all knew Hell as little children… we all walked in the same shoes… we all ‘passed through Hell at Grandma Alma and George’s.
We all loved our children more… because we missed out on a lot of love as children… ourselves.
The very next day, I went to the KFC to get a bucket of chicken… I was standing at the cash register paying for my purchase. I stepped away as a lady walked up to order. She saw me, I saw her… and we began talking, laughing.
We used to exercise together, talk about losing our children. She lost her daughter, I lost my son. We had talked many times, we were friends enough to stop, talk anytime, whenever we saw each other out.
She asked me what had I been doing, and I told her writing. I told her my first book was published… that was it… I felt, saw something ‘change’… I thought it was my imagination… but, I saw her eyes, I saw her smile slip…
The cashier spoke to me, I answered her… turned around…. to talk again to my friend…. I was going to show her my book. I did have in mind to give her one…
She was gone! Completely gone! Then, I turned all the way around… there she was on the other side of me…. hiding. She was trying to smile at me… but, it didn’t quite meet her eyes. She no longer wanted to talk to me… she thought I was ‘crazy’.
She thought my mind …. was affected. I ‘saw it in her eyes’…. nothing I could have said, or done would have changed her mind. I had never seen that expression on her face… I no longer knew her. She even… stepped back…
The cashier brought me a bag, I took it… and just looked briefly at my friend… and said with a soft smile… “goodbye now”. I walked slowly out the door when, I wished to run… and lay down, and just… cry. Oh my God… the pain!
I told Skip what happened. He couldn’t believe it had happened again… two friends, two days in a row.
The third time was at McDonald’s, on the third day. We saw a friend of mine (once again)…. she and her husband came to sit down close by. We grinned at each other. I really liked her, got to know her when we used to exercise together, also. She was fun to talk to… when she likes you… like me… she likes you for …you.
They got up after eating, came to our table, stopped. She introduced her husband to Skip and I… I introduced Skip. She’d already met Skip, her husband hadn’t met either of us.
They stood, talked a little while. It was such fun. I told her not to think I’m crazy, or ‘over the edge’, that I wanted to tell her what happened the past two days. She knew one of the ‘friends’ I was speaking of… we’d all exercised together. She couldn’t place her in her mind… but, I knew if she saw her, she’d remember.
Anyway, as Jackie and I talked… Skip and her husband talked… I could sense Jackie was just… ‘still Jackie, my friend’. I hadn’t even shown her my book… she believed me. Can you imagine how that touched my heart.
It’s not that my book is a big deal… but, friends want to share happy things…. I know my book isn’t perfect, but, it is an accomplishment for ‘me’. It’s important to ‘me’… :))) You know how we all are when we are happy about something we’ve done…
As we talked, I knew that the only extra copy I had left in my bag was going to be … Jackie’s. Her eyes lit up when I told her I wanted to give her my book… my heart felt so happy! She had believed me ‘before’, she didn’t back up at all in disbelief… she didn’t think I was crazy, or over the edge at all.
I was … honored that she wanted ‘my little book’. You know the ‘thin’ book I just wrote… ‘When She’s Good… She’s Good’. In my mind, I expected it to be so much thicker with all the words I typed… and it turned out to be ‘thin’. I think of it as my introduction to… Victoria Fairchild.
It is my first book, so… I will remember that I want my next Victoria Fairchild book to be ‘thicker’… I want my story to be good, and I want it …thicker. I want it to be ‘exactly the kind of scary story in a book’ …that I’ve always looked for, never found.
Being a thick book… matters to me. A lot of people like short books, they are on the go, they want to read fast. I’m the opposite… I love to have time to read… as the book entertains me.
After all, that’s ‘why’ I would read… a scary book! :))) I want to be tense, in suspense, not knowing what’s going to happen next… when it does… scare me! :))) I ‘don’t want the story to end!’
On the third day (I told you things happen to me in ‘threes’)… Skip and I went home… I felt happy. It made up for the prior two days that I was so… devastated. Jackie, you tilted my lopsided world back … upright! :)))
That’s an awful feeling to be doubted… especially when my one friend I’d worked with for years at the hospital… doubted me. When we worked in the jobs we worked in… trust, and being competent were of the utmost importance.
I’m not used to someone doubting me. Anyone who knows me… knows when I say something… I mean it. Can you see how it ‘got away with me?’ Instead of lying about something… I will say ‘why’ I don’t tell it… or if I don’t want to talk about it… I will say I don’t want to talk about it. I’m upfront…
I think a lot of people have seen the effects on a grieving mother, when she loses her child. Some ‘do go over the edge’… it does affect their minds. I’m sure it has ‘done something to my mind’. I would like to think that it’s in a positive way… I’ve tried so hard to channel all this grief in … a good way.
I write my pain… my writing is ‘imperfect’, but… I’m going to keep on writing… regardless. It’s my way, my only way to ‘release the pain’ inside me.
There’s so much of it, it’s never-ending… I have to keep writing so, that my mind doesn’t become a ‘dam’… trapping all that grief inside me. I know I would surely die, if that were to happen. I just know I would… the grief is so much bigger than I am (… and I need to lose weight! :))) The grief is so much more…
I cry often… but, thankfully, you don’t have to see it. If you come here to my blog… you choose to read my pain. It’s always there… only a smile, a laugh, or just words… cover, disguise it.
I couldn’t ever find anything on grief, until I began writing it… my keyboard has ‘pain splashed all over it’… as my fingers made the strokes to type each letter. Pain here, pain there… never-ending pain.
Think of hiding something behind a thin blanket… so, no one will see it… underneath this blanket is my … grief. There’s ‘nothing much’ covering it… it just won’t go away. I’m feeling it every minute of my very life. You could strip away that blanket in one, quick swipe… grief begins rearing its ugly head.
Here… in my words… I take the blanket ‘off’… I reveal exactly how grieving feels, you hear, see it in my words. I don’t hold back… I have to tell you. If you come here to read, I feel …. that you want to know, you want to read.
Hopefully, it’ll help you understand when you encounter a … grieving mother in your life. Or… if you, yourself … grieve. Or… any kind of grief in your life, another’s life. Grief is a form of … ‘pure, pure love lost’… this is how I’ve come to think. Those are the only words I can possibly think of to … describe grief.
Jackie, thank you for believing in me. It meant the world to me… I promise I won’t forget that. You made my world right … again. :))) I sit here, smile seeing all of us talking, laughing… nothing ever changed at all once I told you. I never sensed anything that hurt me.
We all know my little book is just that… it’s a little book packed with a big story. It’s really my introductory to Victoria Fairchild… whom I’ll keep writing about.
I will begin writing on ‘The Saga of Victoria Fairchild’ earnestly, once I get ‘I Cry For Tommy’ … published. Lately, I have devoted my time to it. It’s almost time…
I just wanted to come here on my blog… talk to all of you. I wanted to share my three experiences… I’ve never walked in ‘these shoes’ before. I didn’t know that ‘would happen’.
From now on, I think I’ll just stay ‘quiet’… like a big, blue pool of deep water that stays ‘still’. I’ll let the ‘good things’ come, make ripples in it. Then… we’ll all see how ‘water smiles’… splashes its delight to be noticed. :))) Just me being ‘silly’, again.
Thank you for listening. It means my very world… you all are my world just as Skip and the Pups are………. Love, Granny Gee (Gloria Faye Brown Bates)
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