She Called Me To Please Help Her … I Was Too Late
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee
My beautiful mother, whom everyone always said was the prettiest woman ‘in these parts’. She always looked like Elizabeth Taylor. Daisy Earlene Strother. Photo is owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee.
We were shopping at Sam’s Club, enjoying walking around. Each of us were pointing out things that caught our attention.
I saw a beautiful, big vase shaped like an urn. The thought went through my mind as I looked at it (later … that haunted me). It was made of porcelain, blue and white. The big vase had a matching top. I was thinking … I really want that.
Later, we walked back by the vase … I put it in our shopping cart. Besides, we both loved the Biscotti biscuits that were inside. We would have them to look forward to when we drank our coffee.
We paid for our purchases; pushed the shopping cart to the food area. We ordered the special they always have … the big hot dog, and huge drink for a couple of dollars. The hot dogs are wonderful, though … we could never eat but, one.
We drove up in our driveway, began taking things into the house. I walked by the phone, saw the flashing light … someone had left a message. I didn’t listen to it … then.
When we finished putting things away … I stood looking at the red light … walked to the phone, pressed the button to make messages play.
I began going into shock … (I know shock only too well, as I’ve experienced it over, and over in my lifetime … one would think I’d be used to it).
An eerie, unearthly sound began coming out of the message machine. My mind worked against my ears … to understand what I was hearing. Skip! Skip, please come here! Help me, Skip! Something bad … something bad!
We both walked out of the house … not knowing to think. My mind kept replaying the awful sound from the phone … my mother was calling for me! I had to get to my mama!
She was saying in such a sound that wasn’t from this life … she was ‘keening’ … ‘Help me, Fay-eeeeee-eeeeeeeee’. It played out ‘long’… it went straight to my Heart. I couldn’t get to her … fast enough!
We drove up in the driveway … got out, went inside. I saw her big, upholstered recliner (it was a rocker, also). My mother wasn’t sitting in it … she always sat in it.
My eyes were drawn to the floor in front of it. There were all kind of things lying there . The one thing that drew my attention was a white hairband sold by Avon … I saw my mother’s blood on it. I saw a strand of her hair … I picked it up.
Oh, my God, what happened to my mama! It’s hard now to think back to that day … September 09, 2001. I sat down in her chair trying to feel her. I couldn’t … all I could feel inside was … panic!
Soon, people were standing, sitting on the front porch of her home. We went outside to stand … the shock froze me. I couldn’t move, think. I stood … the phone rang inside the house. We all had a reaction to it … soon, someone came out of the house.
She walked over to my mother’s husband, told him it was the hospital calling … did he want to speak to them. This stood out to me all these years; he said … in these exact words …. ‘she’s dead, ain’t she, goddamn it’!
I don’t remember anymore from that evening. My mind doesn’t want to remember … I can’t take it. Something wasn’t right … I won’t remember back … then.
No one went to the funeral home to see my mother before she was cremated. Skip had no choice but, to leave on his big truck. My son, Tommy, and I were the only ones to view her.
I walked into the room … my eyes paid attention to everything to do with my mother. Did they think they had disguised the hose that went to her body … to the place where they were draining my mother’s blood?
I am going to look, see what we all aren’t supposed to notice. It’s my nature … I look at the background … while you look at what’s in front of you. But, sometimes … I can’t.
I’d worked in the hospital where I had been used to seeing ‘everything’ … so, it didn’t offend me. It did hurt my Heart … that was my mama!
I stood there … noticing how tightly someone had wrapped the pure, white sheet around my mother’s body.
I’m sure that sheet was wrapped purposely like that … to discourage someone who might think of pulling the sheet back, only to discover the tube ….
My eyes went to my mother’s face … oh my! My mother’s face had become so much younger! She looked like she was in her thirties … she was so beautiful. My mother had been the most beautiful woman around ‘these parts’ … when she was young.
Her hair had been washed. I reached out to touch it … I rubbed my hand over her hair, fluffing as I did. So soft … that was the last time I ever touched my mama. My hands ‘remember’ the softness of her hair, so clean … fresh.
My hands ‘remember’ me touching my son’s head in death … to discover the stitches in the back of his head … as he lay in the wooden box. My mind … I don’t want to remember … now.
As I fluffed my mama’s hair, something wet fell onto my hand. It was a teardrop from my eye … I stood looking at it. It was like a crystal ball where one could look … hoping to see the future. I couldn’t look that long … life was in front of me … no, death was in front of me … staring me in the face.
Mama! Mama! What happened to you? My mind closed up to what it knew … felt. Through the years since her death … I’ve had to do the same thing. I won’t, can’t think about it.
I played the recording of her on our message machine, two months ago. Through time, no one ever wanted to hear it. Skip asked me to please not play it when he wasn’t around … maybe not play it at all. He is the only person to know the effect it has on me.
Two months ago, I played it so, both Skip and I would hear it. I instantly became sick, panicky, upset. Her voice came over the recording … ‘keening’… for me to please help her! Something ‘bad’ was happening to her …
Since September 2001, I’ve tried to listen to the recording … I go to pieces. I try to play it … sometimes. That is the last time my mother’s voice spoke … it spoke ‘from another world’.
There are certain sounds now, that pierce through my Heart, that I can’t bear to hear … it sounds like her! It’s a certain ‘high’ tone … not one you usually hear everyday.
The strange thing is that the message on our machine said 4:10 pm … the call to the rescue was at 4:00 pm … her husband said he was doing as they told him to do … to revive her. He was … doing … CPR.
My mother didn’t sound like she was in this world on the recording … I’d never heard her voice sound like that. When she was dying … how did she call me for help.
No one needs to answer my questions … I have many more that need answering. I’m waiting … to add what I don’t know … to ‘what I know’.
Either way … my mother ‘called me’, begging me to help her. I got there too late. In my mind … I don’t think my mother called from their phone ……….. how could she? Knowing what I do … you would wonder the same thing. No way …
Photo is owned by me; it is of my beautiful mother. Story is written, owned by me. It is a true story. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee