The House Of The Living Dead …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee …. Photo/ Story Credit belong to me. &grannygee
We had opportunity to live beside an older couple, some years ago. They were wonderful people. They loved the ground both walked on; they were as close as Skip and I.
They would make us laugh when they fussed at each other. The next minute, they’d be talking … laughing. He would make her blush like a young girl. Oh yes, she loved the ground he walked on.
Through time, he did things he shouldn’t have. He was a handsome, ‘bad boy’ type of guy in his younger years. I remember him as a little girl. I know … he was a good-looking guy, then.
He drank, ran with all the wild women. She would go looking for him, with her shoe in her hand. She would beat him all the way to the car. She’d take him home to sober up. No matter that he’d just slept with another woman. She cried, kept her pain to herself.
Unlike me … I would have kicked his ass to the curb. Not only that, he would have something to never forget me … a drunk man is … at his weakest … and they are … prone to have accidents. 🙂
Remember the Dolly Parton woman who came to my house many years ago? I fixed her ass … she never came back. She ‘lost’ her wig, exposing her short, messy hair … Oh! Somehow, she ended up in the bathtub when I helped her to the bathroom … she was drunk as a skunk.
She didn’t look like she did … ‘going into the bathroom’… when … coming out. I just grinned … laughing my ass off … ‘inside’. On the outside … I was baby-talking her, telling her somehow, she fell into that bathtub, and wasn’t it a shame? Poor thing ….
She smiled at me with trust I didn’t deserve … but … she got what she deserved for the things she did. I did feel for her because I’m a good person … but, you can push a ‘good person’ … too far.
Anyway, back to the elderly couple … she lived with him over fifty years. She always forgave … Through all that time, she changed from a firey young woman into … a gracious, older woman. I remember how she was … when I was a little girl.
Sometimes, he would come ‘around’ where all the … pretty women … were. My mother, and her sisters were the prettiest, around.
I remember her angry expression looking at me as a child, she seemed to hate me. I didn’t understand why. When I grew up, I did understand … I had compassion for her.
As an older woman, she and I became close. I loved her very much. She was the kindest, most gracious, older woman I knew. She came through hell … and turned out that way. I loved her.
Well … he died. I heard her screaming my name one day, I knew something bad had happened. I ran to her …. she showed me to the bedroom. He lay there on the bed, gasping … dying.
She had called the ambulance. I went to him, sat beside him. I held his hand in mine. I talked quietly to him. I took my hand, rubbed his head gently. All the while, I told him everything was going to be alright. He knew I was there … then, he didn’t.
He died, while I held his hand. I held it until the guys got there on the rescue squad. It hurt my Heart so much. He was gone, what in the world will she do, now? He was her whole world ….
Time went by, I began to notice when I went to check on her … that she kept her house quiet as a tomb. It never used to be like that … never. I remember telling her lots of times, to turn her tv, radio on. I told her it was too quiet, and she needed sound around her. I don’t think she ever heard me.
Everyone had come one day to get everything they could, out of their building in the back yard. Some things were antiques … anyway, the family got all they wanted. They never came back to see her. She was used to being around family, being around him.
She came to me one day, asked me to paint flowers, and write something pretty … put it in a frame. I did … she took it to his grave, put it there.
Her house became a tomb … she began not hearing me when I came to the door, knocked. I would stand at the door looking in at her as she moved around in her quiet world. The door was a barrier … it was like I wasn’t there. No matter how hard I knocked, she’d never hear me. She had become the … living dead. She was already with the one she loved … all she waited for was to die to be where he was.
Her family finally took her away … dementia, I heard. She should have never been all alone in this big, old world. She should have been enjoying all the happy smiles, sounds of her big family… she should have never known … the quiet.
In my mind, I can see her through the glass windows on the door … it was like watching her being … on the … other side. Nothing I could do … made her see, or hear me. Her home had become the house of the living dead.