My Son Died A Beautiful Death …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee
Tommy, and his little son, Taban. Taban was Tommy’s pride, joy. Taban was 3 years old when his daddy died. Tommy was 40 years old. Soon … May 29th will be here, again … May 29, 2015 will make 5 years that Tommy has been gone.
I grieve in a different way now. I don’t stay distraught, upset like at one time. I grieve in a very quiet, deep way … the pain goes very deep … my tears aren’t seen anymore. I grieve no less … just deeper, quieter. Very deep yet, grief is near to the surface, it can become a … flash flood … in a split second.
The date is wrong on this photo … Taban wasn’t born until March 16, 2007. Tommy was so proud of his little son. Taban loved his daddy.
Tommy and his family had just arrived at their beachfront hotel that evening. He and his little 3 year old son slipped off from the rest of the family to run down to the beach.
I can imagine the joy, excitement in their minds that evening. They’d driven several hours to get to the beach, they had arrived safely. Tommy had called me an hour or so, before to tell me they were only a few miles from the hotel.
It was Memorial Day holidays. I had worried for their safety driving in the holiday traffic. When Tommy called me, I was so relieved, happy … I took a deep sigh of relief. They were safe! Thank God. I could quit worrying.
“I’ll call you back in a little while, Mom. I love you”. Those were the last words he said to me. “I love you, son. I’m so glad you all got there safely”. Those were my last words to Tommy.
I went on about whatever it was I was doing that evening. I stop to think … what was I doing? I’ve never remembered since that evening. I keep seeing me coming in, out of darkness in disbelief … and thinking, “I can’t bear this, no! no! no!”
I remember softly asking Skip to help me, the pain hurt too bad, please get me to the hospital. For the first time in my life … I wanted, needed … drugs. Once that happened … it was a long time before I came out of the darkness. Months, months turned into a year, two years … the 3rd year I began to wake up.
Tommy and Taban ran off to the beach while everyone put the luggage on the cart to roll into the elevator. Tommy’s wife, his little son, and step-children, and mother-in-law had rooms reserved.
I will always wonder if Tommy had some kind of feeling to ‘hurry, hurry’ to get to the beach to play with Taban, his little son. He was looking forward to doing that most of all. Did he sense he had to do it while he could? Did he sense he could die?
The reason I wonder is because he never took time to go up to the floor to their rooms. I wonder because he made it just in time to run, play with Taban.
I wonder if somehow, he could have known how important it was to leave Taban that special memory? Taban will grow up knowing his daddy was doing exactly what he wanted to do … when he collapsed, died on the sand by the ocean.
Tommy was wanting to play with his little son for the first time, at the beach. I remember his face glowing when he was telling me the evening before.
I look back into the past, to see … feel … search in my mind to sense what was in my son’s mind. Did he have a premonition? I think how everything timed itself out … ‘perfectly’. So strange …
The phone rung, the caller ID showed Tommy was calling! I began to smile, knowing he was going to tell me about him, Taban playing at the beach. My mind couldn’t comprehend what the strange voice was saying … I remember asking the man why did he have my son’s phone.
The stranger didn’t know he was calling two hundred miles away … calling Tommy’s mother. He went on to say, “ma’am, I have a man here, he’s collapsed on the sand … he’s not breathing.
I died … that night … it took a long time to come back to … life. How many times have I sat, thought about that evening? Imagined Tommy, Taban running, laughing, playing by the ocean? Running up to the waves, letting them lick their toes?
I didn’t know it then … but, how many times does a person die doing exactly what they wanted to do? How many people die not suffering? How many people … die a beautiful death? I see it, now.
My son died a beautiful death.
Note by this Author:
That evening a group of people nearby were watching a tall, blonde-headed man run, play, laugh, squeal with a little blonde-headed boy who looked just like him. It was a special sight ….
They were distracted for a moment, turned to look away. When they looked back to the big guy, little guy … they saw that the big guy was laying on the sand, his little son calling to him.
A man picked up the big guy’s cellphone, called the last number dialed. The big guy’s mother answered on the other end … her voice smiling, happy …
Photos owned by me, true story written, owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/ @grannygee