Last photo taken of Tommy just a short time before he collapsed on beach that evening…on May 29, 2010.
What Are You Afraid Of?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
I read those words a short while ago… and the first thought that entered my mind was… I ‘used to be afraid of something happening to my child. Every parent is afraid of being told something has happened to their child… or… that their child is dead.
Something did happen to my child on May 29, 2010. He died… 2 blockages in his heart. He collapsed at Myrtle Beach …
He collapsed by the ocean waves as they washed ashore, while the beautiful sea gulls flew above him, while the wind blew gently over his body… while his little son played nearby… not understanding that his daddy had died. All he knew was that his daddy was running, playing with him… then… he was laying on the sand.
It changed my whole life… I don’t have a child anymore, I became a ‘motherless’ … mother. I no longer know what I’m supposed to be. I know that when a woman loses her husband… she becomes a ‘widow’.
What am I now? What do you call a mother whose child … has died? I have thought, and thought… is it something I’ve heard before, and just can’t remember? If so, I hope someone can tell me.
That was my worst fear to come true… to be told my child was dead. I learned it in the most unusual way… and I was 200 miles away… I was the first family member to know.
It began the moment the house phone rang… how I hate our house phone… no one will ever know the war that has been inside me, regarding the house phone. I hate it, and I’ve damned that phone a ‘million’ times since May 29, 2010. Damn that damn phone…
I don’t even bother to answer it… it’s my revenge for being the instrument that delivered the devastating news to me. “Ma’am, I have a man lying here on the sand, he isn’t breathing”. Our two Pups howl everytime that … … … … phone rings. My cousin in Oregon, has named our house phone … The Howl-O-Phone.
The stranger pressed the key on the cellphone to redial the last number dialed on Tommy’s phone. The number was ‘me’… Tommy had called me just a short time, saying they were safely at their destination at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
It was Memorial Day weekend… do you know how relieved I was as a mother… to know my child, his family had made it safely to their vacation spot on a weekend everyone travels, a weekend known for wrecks, known for some people never coming home again? I breathed a deep sigh of relief…
All that traffic… all those people going to the same place… all those people drinking, drugging, driving… excited about being on vacation, thinking about what fun they were going to have… my son, and his family made it safely to the beach. I remember being so … thankful, happy they were finally there.
I smiled while Tommy was telling me they were almost there… it was just what I was waiting for. I worried about them in the holiday traffic. He said he would call me back in a little while. I was excited for him… he was going to play for the first time with his little son at the beach. He was excited…
So, when that ‘damn’ phone rang… my mind couldn’t comprehend ‘who’ the voice was that came from it… from Tommy’s cellphone. I remember holding the phone out to see if I’d seen right… yes, it was Tommy’s cellphone, ‘it was suppose to be Tommy’s voice’…
But, a strange voice was talking to me, and what that voice said to me… was the worse fear ever coming true in my life. I had just talked to Tommy… I could hear a smile in his voice… I know he heard the smile in mine.
I’m so glad he called me, I’m so glad he said, “I love you, Mama”. I’m so glad I got to say, “I love you, Son”.
Here I sit… this moment thinking… I just can’t believe Tommy is gone. I can’t believe he’s not here. I sit here thinking … Easter holiday is already here… again.
Soon, Mother’s Day will be here once again… the month of May… is almost here again. The month of May when so many ‘bad’ things have happened..
The man stepped in front of Tommy’s big truck in May, he was killed. My precious brother, Rick-Rick, died in May. My son died in May one year exactly …. after the man that stepped in front of his big truck, died.
I’m still living ‘my worst fear’… I will be alright now… but, it’s still in my mind. I still live what I was … most afraid of…
- I Cry Because It’s So Sad… (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)
- Anger To My Dying Day … No Need To Ever Question … ‘Why?’ (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)