We All Lived Life… We All Have A Story To Tell
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
I haven’t had a chance to be on the computer very much for the past two days. I have missed you all! I’m so glad to be back! I have a lot to say! :)))
Skip and I have had a lot to do, plus several appointments. I’m glad to say no more appointments until Tuesday. You know how it is when it seems you are in a whirlwind, want to just be home to rest.
I carried a copy of my book, ‘I Cry For Tommy’, with me everywhere we went. Lots of people have handled it… I saw a lot of smiles when they did… I loved it.
The first thing most people said was, ‘that’s a book!‘ When they held it, I told them that it weighs 2.7 lbs, and is 738 pages long. I watched as each person grinned, liking that.
Remember, I told you about ‘my two friends’ who acted as if I had ‘gone over the edge’, made me feel bad by their reactions to my first book? Not one person has done that with my 2nd book, ‘I CRY FOR TOMMY‘.
I’ve seen reactions that touched my heart. Tears come into people’s eyes, it touched my heart. I watched so, I could know what anyone felt when seeing my book. It means so much to me.
I watched as some people would hold my book in both hands, move their hands up, down… like weighing it! They loved the weight of my book!
I watched as eyes looked at Tommy, and his newborn son… on the cover of my book… I saw a softness come into people’s eyes. Not only that, I would see a soft smile appear.
My heart smiled each time, because I ‘felt’ they ‘felt’ the love in Tommy’s expression as he looked down at his newborn son. They saw, they felt what I do each time I look at the picture on the cover.
Tommy was most proud to be father of a little baby boy. I think that is the ultimate in a man’s life… to have a little son … that wants to be ‘like him’. Remember the ‘Buckaroo‘ song… ‘I want to be just like you’? I can’t let my mind think more than that… you wouldn’t believe just how painful it is… I am amazed at the pain, myself.
This one book has been handled many times, and now… my book looks ‘handled, as if it’s been read a lot’. There’s even some light grease from a working man’s hands. The cover has a torn place on it… I will put clear tape on it today.
I don’t care. This one book is just for that… I want people to hold it, look at it. It means a lot to me. I’m glad for people to hold it in their hands… that’s why I carry this …one book.
No, I wasn’t trying to sell my book, Amazon.com can do that. I wanted to share my book, I wanted to know what people think. I have very few family members who’ve shown any interest in it… those who have, I’ll never forget.
If I’d had family who cared, lived close by that cared, they would have been the first people for me to share something so happy. Their reactions since… rather the ‘no reactions’ since my book was published… I will always remember.
Do you know, when I first opened the box, the book came in…. I shared it with Skip over the phone. Once I hung the phone up… I stood there… it hit me… there’s no one to share my published book with me.
I don’t have anyone to run to, to share my accomplishment. No one to run to, to place it in their hands and say to them, “Look what I have done!”
Maybe this is a sad thing, it really wasn’t though… I took my beautiful book with the cover of Tommy, and my grandson on the front of it (that picture is so special, I sit and stare at it a lot)… I got in my truck (I call my Expedition, an older model)… and went to ..Walmart.
Yes, I went to Walmart where we do have several friends that always greet us, ask us how are we doing, always has a smile for us. I went there, and shared my book with them. I only took a few minutes from each one, they were working.
I shared my published book with Mary Ellen, Toode, Robert, and Elaine… and Angela. Their eyes reflected happiness for me… do you know, for some reason… I really needed that. Skip wasn’t here to share with me… but, he did by phone.
There was a young woman, and her daughter standing close by, and I let her hold my book. When she asked me questions I told her about Tommy.
She took her cellphone out, scrolled through to find several photos she wanted to show me… of her husband. Guess what?
Her husband could have been Tommy’s brother… he looked so much like my own son. Isn’t that strange? I was glad that he was living… I know my heart would have broken to find out that he wasn’t. I’m so glad her husband is living. :)))
So, instead of any ‘family’ close by… I shared my book with people who are our friends at Walmart. I think they may have understood… outside of Skip, I have no one.
This is not something I let upset me… it does make me sad… this is something I have lived with for so long. I can’t find the connection that is everlasting with anyone in my ‘family’… it isn’t there. It never was there, so… even I know if it never was… why would it be now?
We weren’t brought up to be ‘family’… so, the bond between ‘family’ isn’t there. How does one act ‘like family’… when they’ve never been taught ‘what family is’?
I have several cousins that live far away, who communicate with me. They don’t realize how much it means to me… though, ‘I act like it doesn’t’. Why? I’m afraid of being hurt.
I carry enough pain in my heart… I don’t think there’s room for anymore. I am glad they are ‘there’. They bring smiles to my face… we came from the same place, the same era… back in ‘Grandma Alma and George’ days… we all know what we experienced.
We are the older cousins who experienced it first-hand… when I write, I know ‘I’m not the only one who hurt, who lived in hell’… I can only write about my experiences though. I can’t write theirs… they are the only ones who felt their own pain.
Look around you, if you know that wonderful bond of being family… know that it’s a treasure. Not everyone has it. I surely don’t… but, I always ‘knew deep down’ how special it would be… to have it.
See, sometimes when we are used to our ‘family’, they are always in our life… we take them for granted… they are ‘ours’, and they are ‘forever’. One might ‘not realize’ that someone can be taken away… just like that. Just like Tommy.
They might not realize they should stop, know that… for a moment ‘just imagine them gone’… yes, I know it hurts… but, guess what? Your loved ones are still there, run to hug them, let them know they are special in your life.
You still have the chance to do that…. do it while you can, be happy because… they are still there. I wish I could do that. Most all my loved ones are gone now… I no longer have the chance.
I love to watch families when I’m out and about… I think they are beautiful. I’ve always been the one ‘on the outside looking in’… since a little girl. I always begin smiling softly when I hear families close by… I just enjoy listening to them.
Family sounds are beautiful. My ‘family’ sounds were scary, mean, loud, abusive as a child. So… I know how to appreciate families that are close-knit, what I call ‘real families’. :)))
My memory of being toughened up had begun before I began to be aware… and as a very small girl, I remember my stepfather … shooting in the house (our nice home). I remember being switched until my skin broke open as a small girl… and I would see the bright, red blood on the long streaks on my skin…
I remember being held by my ankles in the air, being spanked as a little girl. I remember someone I loved dearly, getting the same treatment. I can’t speak for him, I can say he was even younger than I… and we hadn’t been in this old world but, a few short years.
I remember other things. I graduated to Hell… where I learned how belts, belt buckles felt, how a stick of wood felt on my little girl body, how it felt to have ‘hands constantly reaching out to hurt me, abuse me’ at any time’.
I remember the screaming of big people as they leaned down to me, screaming that I was always in the way, I shouldn’t be here for them to have to watch over, that I looked just like my daddy, that I was hated.
I learned that I wasn’t wanted… that my mother would leave me, go her way (she was so young, and influenced by the wrong things.. she had no guidance whatsoever… so sad, she was a beautiful young girl). I became the one … everyone wanted to strike out at when they were angry. They stayed angry all the time….
These bigger people were … always ‘women’. I grew up not letting women run over me… with the attitude that ‘I would die, go to hell first’. As I grew up though, I learned that ‘not all women’ do that. :))) I still ‘watch them’. :)))
I don’t feel sorry for myself… you see, with all that has happened in my own life… I had to be toughened up as a little girl… to be ‘strong enough’ to handle all that has happened in my life.
It’s all right, I am ‘old enough to see that now’. Otherwise, I may have made it somehow, in my life… to the day Tommy died… but, that would have been the day ‘I would have died’… if I hadn’t been made to be so strong.
I think also, Skip made all the difference… to be truthful… he was my strength while I was in the Dark World after Tommy died. I wasn’t strong enough if you want to know the truth… that one time, I really wasn’t.
Truthfully… no, I wasn’t strong enough anymore, when Tommy died. Skip is ‘why I’m here’, now. Our Pups… they are my whole world. I’m so thankful for them… I have them. I treasure them with my very heart.
Skip, our Pups are ‘why I’m here today, why I got to write my pain out in my book’. If I hadn’t had them… I would be ‘ashes in a container’… in Gloria’s Urn. That’s ‘why’ I am here, now. Skip, our Pups.
I don’t know about other grieving mothers, but, I know about this grieving mother… my life stopped as soon as the realization of my son’s death hit me… that was ‘The End’.
It took love, caring to ‘bring me back’… even when I wasn’t knowing it… in the world of a mother’s grief, you are only focused on the death of your child (I’m talking about myself).
Many months had gone by ‘before’… I could focus in on Skip’s words, what they meant. It goes back to the night when Skip took me to the emergency room when I learned my child had died… I was in shock… I could see lips moving, I could hear them talking… no matter how I tried… I couldn’t ‘understand what they were saying’.
Shock is terrible… I’m not a stranger to shock. I’ve experienced it too many times in my life. The strange thing is … when I go into shock… no matter ‘how well I thought I knew it’… I’m never prepared for it. It ‘really is like the first time’…. I ‘haven’t become used to it’.
The good thing is… ‘now’. I made my book into reality… my thoughts, grief… are now, actually a ‘real book’… that I can hold in my two hands. My grief meant something… Tommy meant something. My book validates his life as a real person… now, he will be remembered. Not forgotten, but… remembered.
All it will take is for one person to let their eyes rest on Tommy’s photo on the cover of my book… and read the words… ‘I CRY FOR TOMMY”. Whether they read my book, or not… their minds already see, and know ‘that’s Tommy’.
I’m so thankful… Tommy won’t be forgotten.. he was a real person, a very loved person. I can have help making sure his memory lives on. I wish everyone’s loved ones, all my loved ones had a book to remember them by… I think we all deserve that… we all have/are real people. We all lived life…. we all have a story to tell.
- I Might Be Remembered, Too. (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)
- We Grow Old Just To… Die (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)
- I Cry Because It’s So Sad… (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)