Greed … Jealousy … Spite … Justice?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka &grannygee
Photo of myself as a younger woman … ‘then’ … I had become as beautiful as my mother. It was the first time I learned to love myself, happy to be ‘me’! Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee
A little nine year old girl wades out into the ocean. She could hear her step-mother call her two … sisters back. Don’t go out too far, you hear?
She was the oldest; her middle sister was eight, and the youngest sister was seven.
No one ever called her to come back. Strange, this older woman today … remembers that little nine year old girl at that … particular time. This was a moment frozen in time … in her mind.
It stands out to me because I can see it vividly in my mind … the sunshine was very bright. I can see this little girl wading farther, and farther out into the water. I’ll never forget turning to look back, and feeling the most alone in the water I’d ever felt.
I never thought about a shark … I’d never heard the word shark at that time … I didn’t know ‘something could get me’ in that water.
I did hear shark! later, though. I heard my sister scream there was shark under the boardwalk! It was only a drunk vagrant squinting up at everyone to see what the commotion was about!
Everyone was on the sand … no one had come out as far as I had. They seemed so far away. I remember looking at the people on the sand … I couldn’t see their faces, but … I knew where my ‘family’ was. I saw two little girls standing there.
I tilted my head down on my right shoulder, looking at them. Why … didn’t they tell me to come back? They must not have worried about me, I was the oldest.
I never forgot this moment in time … I must have instinctly known something was wrong, ‘then’. Because ‘now’, I know what they hoped. It took all these years, and events to convince me. I’ve always ‘connected dots’ … if I’m patient, I do a good job.
I made it back to shore, turned around to look at how far I had waded to. It was … so far away.
No one said a word to me. Maybe … they were glad I made it back, and didn’t … want to make a big deal out of it.
A nine year old little girl just met her father for the first time. She was sent to live with him … he had a wife, two children. She cried hysterically for her mama … she heard her stepmother tell everyone not to mention her mama’s name near her.
This was the prelude to Hell … to prepare her for the … real Hell, she was sent to live in, after she left her father’s home. The strange thing in that Hell … she was loved at the same time everyone wanted her out of the way. If she was beaten, she was still … loved. If she was hated … she was still loved.
The little girl was too naive to wonder why … the stepmother was so strict with her … she was always fussed at. ‘Gloria Faye’! ‘Gloria Faye’! It was always ‘Gloria Faye’!
She won … in the end. She paid me back for being my father’s first child; and being his first wife’s child. She did the unforgiveable … just before she died. I forgave her, and … the others.
She did what she did at the time I, myself had almost died. I had had surgery … diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma (cancer). She did ‘what she did’ in the three years I fought for my life.
The irony of it … she died with cancer not long after she ‘did what she did’. Justice?
I connected the dots, asked the right questions … yes, she did a terrible thing. Greed … jealousy, spite …to hurt a person who only happened to be the child of someone she dearly hated. She paid me back for being my mother’s daughter. She hated me for being my father’s first child.
I hear her hateful voice in my mind, sometimes, yelling … “Gloria Faye”!
Greed, jealousy, spite … justice?
Photo/ true story by, owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka #Granny Gee