“Ma’am, I Have A Man Collapsed Here On The Sand… He’s Not Breathing”….

“Ma’am, I Have A Man Collapsed Here On The Sand… He’s Not Breathing”…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee…. 2013

Tommy ran with Taban on the sand, playing in the warm wind to the music of the ocean waves washing ashore.

The seagulls sang in the background.  The most beautiful music…. as if it were music piped down from the heavens, above.

Laughing, happy… forgetting the world around them… it was just father and son…… the sounds of the ocean… soothing, relaxing… beautiful.

The sun was shining down on them with a smile, kissing their skin, the sand they walked, ran on.

At that moment… not a care in the world.  They were the stars on stage… the sunshine was a spotlight on them.  Father and son… life was about them… at that very moment.

A special moment in time …to become a memory in a little boy’s mind.  A memory of his father… to last him a lifetime….

Squeals, laughter like musical notes… rode on the wind, carried in the air to a small group of people near by.  It caught their attention, made their hearts happy to see the sight in front of them… father and little son… running to rhythm of the ocean’s waves.

They watched with smiles… a soft light in their eyes.  A warmness filled their very hearts.  How beautiful to … see a father running, playing with his little son.  They turned away for a few moments… distracted by whatever……

They never saw the moment the father missed a beat to the music… they never saw him collapse on the sand.  They did see a little boy tugging at his father, trying to get him to get up… let’s go play.

“Come on Daddy, let’s run, play!  Get up, Daddy”!  They watched several moments, realized something was wrong.  Everyone in the group ran to where the father lay on the warm, wet sand…. to where the little boy was trying to get his daddy to get up, come play.

One of the people knelt down on the sand to speak to the father;  he realized something was very wrong.  They all formed a protective circle around the child, father… it was up to them to protect the child until someone came…

One of the men saw the cellphone laying close by, picked it up… looked at it.  He pressed the last number called, never knowing it was calling a home two hundred miles away… he was trying to get help.

“Hello”!  A woman answered with excitement, a big smile in her voice.  She had looked at the Caller Id… seeing it was her son calling, she answered the phone quickly…..

As she stood there, still smiling… an expression of confusion spread over her face.  She still smiled, asking in a soft voice… “why do you have my son’s phone”?

Her mind didn’t let her make sense of the man’s words…. she asked again, “why do you have my son’s phone”?

If one was watching … they would have seen the smile slipping off her face… to this day, she has always thought about that particular smile.

She knew where that smile went… into darkness where she soon… followed.  She had just … died … with her son.  Her life stopped… for over two years.

“Ma’am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he’s not breathing“……

Tommy called me to say, “Mama, we are only seven miles away”.  I told him to call me back soon, to tell me about playing on the beach with Taban.  I wanted to hear all about it.

The call I got a short time later… was from a strange man’s voice…  “Ma’am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand, he’s not breathing”…

I am left with the memory of the evening before … he excitedly told me he was going to play with his son at the beach for the first time!

Tommy’s eyes danced with happiness… eyes of blue.  His voice was excited.  His mouth smiled as he told me, his mother… what he was so happy about.

There was a glow about him… of pure happiness… he was looking so forward to going… did he have any idea… premonition?

The happiness was so… beautiful.  I can still see it in my mind…. truthfully, if I think about it much… I can … feel … it.

Do you know… I have ‘seen’ this ‘specialness’ …. before…. just before…

This is part of my … last memory of my son when he lived.

Somehow, even that day …. his smile was so extra-bright, beautiful.  Strange… so extra-special.

Thank-you, God… for letting me have time with my son the evening before.  Thank-you for the beautiful memory… I remembered two and a half years later.  I had forgotten… I had forgotten … everything.

I thought my life had ended… without consciously thinking it… when the strange man’s voice said, “Ma’am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand… he’s not breathing”……


Note by this author:

Don’t feel sad for me… I had my last, happy Mother’s Day with my son just a couple of weeks before he died on May 29, 2010.

I’m so thankful we were close… and I got to spend unexpected time with him the evening ‘before’… and talked to him an hour ‘before’…

I’m so thankful I have my memory of seeing him driving down the driveway, waving at me.  “Bye, Mama!  I love you”!  … with that bright, beautiful smile on his face.

I am sitting here, smiling this Mother’s Day, with my memories.  I couldn’t … do this before.  Now… I can.

Everything is going to be alright, now.  Don’t feel sad for me… I say to you… Happy Mother’s Day!

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