You Are A Damn He Man!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Grandma Alma, and George … the most colorful characters in my young life. I loved them with my very Heart. They lived in Hell … they didn’t have a choice. They had a lot of love, though. Sometimes, even that … wasn’t enough.
It ain’t no such a damn thing! The blind man was mad. His wife had just accused him of the next door neighbor! What was she thinking? He was blind … couldn’t see a damn thing!
The woman sat in her old, upholstered rose-colored chair. She was paralyzed. She had one good side, one ‘bad’ side’ She could use her left arm, hand, leg. She reached with her left hand for her famous glass of cold water. It sat up on the old, dusty dresser beside her chair.
The old dresser held Grandma Alma’s many bottles of medicines. The mirror on it had a permanent ‘fog’ … you could only see shadows in the glass. George always had Grandma Alma a glass of water, with ice in it … it always sat there for her. There was a permanent water ring where it sat.
Faye was holding her breath … she knew what was going to come next if George didn’t quit hollering. She looked around … she saw her cousins in the room next to George and Grandma Alma’s sitting room. All the kids were snickering … they all knew what Grandma Alma was getting ready to do!
You damn he man! Grandma Alma yelled at George that he was a ‘he man’! Those were always her famous words. She had just pressed the right spot with George … he began hollering that he wasn’t a he man … and he didn’t go with the next door neighbor!
Well … that did it with Grandma Alma! That hollering pissed her off! She dashed that glass of cold water on George, right in his face! Talk about hollering, George did let out a roar.
In the next room, unknowing to them … all the children were rolling on the floor. They had their hands over their mouths … it was so funny! They had seen this scene play out time after time.
George would make Grandma Alma mad … and the next thing they knew, she would make him roar like a lion … then, she’d throw that famous glass of cold water on him! That should cool your ass off … you damn he man!
Grandma Alma would sit there afterwards … with a grin on her face. It reminded one of a cat … licking its lips in satisfaction! She’d say it again … ‘You are a damn he man’!
This is a true story from my childhood. George, my step-grandfather … was the only grandfather I knew. I loved him dearly. He was blind … couldn’t see anything.
Grandma Alma was paralyzed … she could drag her foot when George helped her to walk. Her ‘bad’ arm would dangle as she walked. She held onto the walker with her ‘good’ hand. George would walk her each day to the front screen door.
She would look out at the flowers she loved … the flowers she used to work in … in the heat. She had a stroke that put her in a coma for months. She woke up paralyzed.
All of us children were very young. One day Grandma Alma was walking … the next, she was in a sterile room with all white around her … she never spoke anymore. We’d tip-toe into the bedroom where she was, reach up to touch her face. She never woke up.
Grandma Alma, George had only Hell in their lives. It wasn’t that they chose to have it … all the bad stuff would come there to them. They didn’t have to look for any of it.
How they lived in the world they did, blind and paralyzed … I’ll never know. My mind goes back often to ‘see them’ … I could see they’d fuss at each other to blow off steam.
It would look, sound bad to anyone … I’m sure. But, they loved each other with their Hearts. They didn’t mean to be like that … but, what else could they do to get out pent-up frustrations.
They were the kindest people in the world. They never turned anyone down to come live with them. They had no money, barely enough food for themselves. They just had lots of love. Even with all the love in their Hearts … they couldn’t stop all the ‘bad stuff’ that happened.
Both would cry for the children, and what happened to them through time … all of the children ended up at their house at one time or other.
Hell … no one knows the Hell at that house … in my young mind … that house sat over the portal of Hell. The devil was always around … hell was raised all the time!
Story/Photo are both owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ &grannygee