I Held Her Ashes In My Hands … Close To My Heart … On 9/11


I Held Her Ashes In My Hands … Close To My Heart … On 9/11
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 My mother as a younger girl … her eyes were always so beautiful.  She was just as beautiful.

 My mother as a young girl … those beautiful eyes.  Her eyes were always made up beautifully.

She got up faithfully as a young, older woman every morning at 4:00 am … to put her makeup on.

My mother as a young girl … when I first became aware of my mother as a little girl …. she had long, flowing, curly hair.  I’ve always loved long, curly hair.

My beautiful mother is on left in black outfit … with her cousin, Carol… so young, vibrant

 My mother as a young adult woman … she was so beautiful.  She was standing beside her own mother, my Grandma Alma.

My beautiful mother, Daisy Earlene Strother … and my little brother Rick-Rick in Camp Lejune on the Marine base.

MAMA

Tommy was talking on his cellphone … I could hear him talking to his soon to be ex-wife. I could sense it wasn’t a ‘bad’ phone call.

Skip was dressing after taking his shower. I was … I don’t know what I was doing. I do vaguely recall standing in the middle of the floor … not seeing the tv in front of me.

My eyes were full of tears … it was like trying to see out of a foggy window … things were distorted. It didn’t matter, I didn’t see what was in front of me … I didn’t know to. I was in shock … my mind was seeing, hearing … inside me.

My mother was dead … my mama was dead. Something wasn’t right … too soon to know … what. My mind was seeing reactions, watching different ones that … evening she … died.

I was trying to ‘see’ regardless of the shock I was in … have you ever tried to do that? It’s like trying not to forget something … you are already … forgetting.

Shock … I have been in the state of shock so many times, you’d think I’d be used to it.

No … the shock of new things, more family members, friends dying … events taking place … many ‘bad’ things … create mind-numbing shock … it never affects one the same way. I can tell you this … firsthand.

I’ve experienced shock more times in my life than … I can count. I never chose to … I never wanted to … if I’d had my choice, I’d been more like you … only have two or three ‘bad’ things happen in my life, and live life out … without anything else happening.

I’ve lived several lifetimes … of shocks, ‘bad’ things happening. I am stronger for it … I know you probably think that. Well, I am … and I am not. When it’s my life … it’s too close to home. I’m not strong at all.

Suppose you saw a horrible wreck in front of you … you run to see if you can help someone … only to discover … that … someone … is your daughter … your son … laying there … hurt badly, broken … bleeding; or worse … dead.

Shock takes over … these are the type shocks I have suffered through time … I just told you that so, you could ‘imagine’ the kind of shocks I have suffered through time. That means bad things have happened in my life … some, I can tell you about; some … I won’t tell you about.

Normally, people live out their lives with just a few shocks. They are the fortunate ones … life’s been good to them. Life has been good to me, also … and no matter how bad … I still believe good things come from … bad things. I believe, I believe …

I don’t question ‘why?’ Why? Because, I know I won’t get an answer. I stay positive even when it appears that I’m not. Why? Because … everything’s going to be alright in time. Does it make me hurt less? NO.

Sound began penetrating my mind … my eyes became aware for a moment, and I saw a plane fly into a tall building. It’s a movie, I thought. I … closed back up, until …

My eyes were trying to see out of the watery curtain before them. Was that breaking news of some sort? I heard the man’s voice … he was talking excitedly … what was he saying. It sounded like something ‘bad’ had happened. It wasn’t a movie … oh my God! I had been watching a plane fly into one of the twin towers.

I went into another shock … the shock grew. I was overwhelmed with grief … knowing we had to … go to the funeral home shortly … to pick up my mother’s ashes; oh my God! My mama was dead!

Something equally as bad … had just happened, somewhere … I still didn’t understand ‘what’ at that time. The man was pointing toward the tall building …

I do remember thinking as I was getting the gist of what was happening, how frightened my mother would have been if she’d been sitting alone … watching tv … we’d been attacked on American soil for the first time!

The second plane hit … my mind couldn’t comprehend … all those people!

All those people! I saw things falling in the sky … later, I knew they were bodies of people who were jumping into heaven … to keep from burning in the flames of the hell they were caught in.

We left the house … I felt I was in a white fog. I was numb from the inside out. We were going to pick up my mother’s ashes at the funeral home … oh my God! My mama was dead! My mama was dead! My mind screamed with pain … screamed loudly. No one heard me.

I vaguely remember the man handing me a bag … it was heavy in my hands. The bag sure was smooth, neat-looking … new, brown. My hand caressed the texture … (the artist in me).

It was open at the top … my eyes could see … oh my God! My mama … was in my … hands! Mama! My mama is dead!

I was holding my mama in my hands … her ashes weighed almost as much as a baby. Maybe like how much I weighed as a baby, when she once held me in her hands.

I held my mama close to my Heart. Mama! I cradled her in my arms; carried her out to our vehicle.

The saddest thing happened … more tears, grief on top of grief … in my Heart. My brother was in the parking lot. No one had thought to call him! He’d come to go to a funeral. Oh my God. My poor brother … my very Heart broke for him. He had driven fourteen hours to get here.

Life can be so cruel … sad, happy. We all make it be either way; sometimes, unintentionally. My Heart cries for many things….. it will until the day … I die.

Maybe when I die one day … my last breath will be one of such relief … as it goes out of my body, it’ll leave my face looking as peaceful as my mother’s face was. I will never forget my mother’s face … it seemed to almost … have a little smile. Maybe she was glad to be out of … her Hell.

There are things I’ll write … there are things … I won’t write. My mother was going through a lot just before she died. I knew some of it … learned the rest through time … after she died. She shouldn’t have died … there are others who live now, know this to be true.

We walked into the house; I sat down with my mother’s ashes still in my arms. I sat quietly, lost in my own thoughts … swimming in the sea of grief somewhere in my mind. Grief … shock … go hand in hand. I’m familiar with both … and with it … the darkness it brings.

Voices from the tv began to become louder, excited. My attention was drawn to the tv. I began learning about the deaths of thousands of people on the day we picked my mama’s ashes up from the funeral home.

Photo Credit … photos are of my beautiful mother, Daisy Earlene Strother; it is owned by me.  Story is written, owned by me.  This is a true story/color of my life.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka #Granny Gee 

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2 thoughts on “I Held Her Ashes In My Hands … Close To My Heart … On 9/11

  1. When things happen that are beyond our ability to handle them then we go into ‘safe mode’.

    It helps us endure the unendurable.

    The pain doesn’t last, but the memories remain with us forever.

    Love and huge hugs my friend.

    Prenin.

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