Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Life is too real … yes, it really is. It’s full of challenges, twists … turns … obstacles in one’s path.
You take many journeys in life … events happen … unexpected events … life-changing events. Each time something happens … you, your life … everything changes in some way. Life isn’t ever the same again.
Sometimes, and best … are the little things that happen in Life. You know … the things we can fix … do something about. These are the events we’d rather have.
The events that happen … boom! right out of the blue … these are the scary events. These are the events that are life-altering … have to do with life-threatening illnesses, accidents. A lot of times, we can recover from them with little change … a lot of times, completely life-changing.
The life-changing events can be so drastic as to make a person lose everything they have … quality of life goes all the way down … even to being homeless.
If you don’t go homeless … there are other scary things … being near homeless, hard to get medicines one needs … get nutritous foods to keep one’s health up … to stay warm, cool. Buying gas to go to the doctor, supermarket. Paying co-pays so, a doctor won’t quit seeing you (we had that happen … a cardiologist at that). Scary.
Such things as I’ve mentioned … these are the things one has a time trying to recover from … sometimes, never recovering from them. I can’t think of all to name here … but, I’m sure many of you who read here … know more things.
Other things to change one’s life are when you lose everything you’ve got … due to medicals bills, just trying to survive. We did this when we both had cancer … I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and my husband … Colon Cancer. When we did begin recovering … we lost everything to a house-fire. We were left at the mercy of the world.
Another time … my husband was in a tractor-trailer accident out in New Mexico.
Then … one by one … my family members began dying … the very people I loved with my Heart, my very favorite people whom I knew loved me. This included my mother, brother, father, grandmother … a step-mother who might have in a way (didn’t matter, I really did love her), uncles, aunts, cousins … then, several of our friends.
One after one … they kept dying. One cousin hit a log truck head-on during passing a car … she died instantly (she was trying to help us get on our feet after the house fire) … her brother, one of my cousins I loved dearly as a child … died with a gunshot to his head (supposedly suicide).
On and on … the deaths happened just like cards being dealt. I have no one now left in my family that I can be close to. They all live their lives, I live mine. We go in peace.
These are just examples of life events, journeys in life. All were awful … took so long to cope with … some I never got to cope with properly … because one after one kept happening … and then …
The worst of any of those things … was the evening a man, complete stranger rung our phone to say, “ma’am, I have a collapsed man here who isn’t breathing.”
My only child, my son … had gone on vacation with his family to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Tommy (my son) … told me the evening before how he was looking forward to playing with his 3 year old son for the first time ever at the ocean. His face was lit up like the sunshine … he was excited … I felt his excitement. We were smiling happily while he told me.
The next evening, May 29, 2010 … Saturday evening … Tommy did get to play with Taban, my grandson … for a few minutes before he died there on the sand. He’d been sending me photos, video to my computer.
A group of people watched this tall, blonde-headed guy run, play and laugh with a little blonde-headed boy who looked just like him. Laughter, squeals of delight … as the waves came in to wash around their feet.
Tommy collapsed on the sand … thankfully, the people saw something was wrong, hurried over to protect my little grandson. He was all alone … as his daddy’s soul drifted up to Heaven. He could hear the sea gulls singing as he called his daddy.
I’ll stop here … this was the worst of worst to ever happen to me in my life. I stopped living for 3 years … I was the walking dead … I had already died … inside. Life stopped for me when I became aware of the meaning of the words the stranger was trying to tell me over the phone … the end, that was it.
I’ve never taken drugs … but, I do recall the last thing I said to my husband, Skip … before going into the darkness. I told him to please take me to the hospital and let them drug me.
I couldn’t live with such knowledge inside me … I was trapped inside myself … my son was dead! My son had died! Oh my God, my son! My son, Tommy! I could not stay awake to know that … drug me until I’m not here anymore.
Unknowingly at that time … Skip told me later about standing at times to listen to me breathe … he was afraid I would die … I was taking the medicine because I couldn’t bear to face the daylight … I had to hide in darkness.
I vaguely remember Skip begging me not to take the medicine anymore … “please don’t take it, Baby Girl”. I couldn’t … not take it. God knows what would have happened if I had.
Anyway … you get the idea of what I mean about journeys, life-changing events. I’ve lived real life … I’ve lived more life-changing events than anyone knows … some I’ll never reveal, they’ll go to the grave with me.
I made it … I’m still here … something inside me kept fighting to survive when I really died inside to I didn’t know I was still living.
I’m not the only one to suffer, go through pain and grief mostly in life. Where you probably have had a normal, good life without such things happening in your life … maybe one or two things … mine has had more than I could count.
I’ve been reeling … constantly getting back to my feet where Life has slammed me into the ground all through my time here on earth.
I’m just realizing at this time in my life that I’ve become an OLD-ass woman … can you believe how time’s gone by? During all the crisises in my life … I wasn’t ever aware of how I was growing older. Isn’t that damn-amazing?
Now … I’m on another road in Life … on another journey. I’m having to learn my way on how to navigate being OLD. I’m on the OLD road in Life. Especially now … I’ve got to learn in a hurry what to do. I’m not OLD but … old.
Skip has had a stroke … I almost lost him a couple weeks ago … he had complete 3rd degree heart block (electrical activity in the heart where the upper chamber communicates with the lower chamber … his wasn’t doing that).
Skip just got a pacemaker to help his heart beat as it should … he isn’t well, is recovering now. The stroke did something to his left eye, he is still having headaches. He has diabetic neuropathy in his feet/diabetes.
I have my own medical conditions I have to cope with on a daily basis. For now, I am having to be the strongest. I take care of Skip, and our Pups. No matter what I have to go through … I will focus on caring for them. They are my whole world … they are all I have left in this world.
So, that means Skip can’t work … no income. I have to find a way to get help. Get help with rent … food … medical … gas to go back and forwards to the doctors. I’ve applied for food, medical … I won’t know for a week or so, if I get it or not. I pray that I do … for once we are really desperate … it’s a crisis.
When I asked for help with the rent … it was at closing time … the Spanish girl wanted to go home. Everyone at the office there was excited at the pending snowstorm heading our way. They were walking out the door to go home … only the Spanish girl had to stay … until the last person … being me, and my very sick husband.
She met us with a cold expression, took us down a long hall to her office. She wasn’t interested in anything I said … I sensed she just wanted us to be gone. She wanted to go home. I asked her for resources for seniors … for help to pay rent … some direction to go to get help.
I’ll never forget the Spanish girl looking up at me, saying “go to a shelter, but … I don’t know where there’s one.” I sat there stunned … my poor, sick husband sat there stunned.
She wanted us to go, leave so she could go home … we did, and she almost beat us getting to her car in the parking lot. I was just opening the door to get in when she rushed past us … I told my husband to look.
This is another of those life-altering events that I have no manuel, no direction in which to turn. I don’t know what to do … what do I do?
Where will I go first? How do I keep from hurting when someone steps on my pride? Makes me feel bad for asking for help when I’ve waited too long to.
What happened to the other seniors before me … who were disabled, desperate for help? Were they sent away to a dark hole, box? Where are they? I asked the Spanish girl … “what happened to them?” Who did they go to … to get help, direction?
I mean, it was this young, Spanish girl whom we were sent to … to get this type of help. I told her we were sent from the front to her, and were given hope … she told me, “well, it’s this way … they don’t know how I operate back here … I don’t know how they operate up front.”
They might tell you … you can get help with your rent … but, they’re wrong.”
How can I argue that with her without looking bad? Or appear to be making a scene? When it was past time for her to go home? I didn’t … we left, feeling hopeless.
The thought of going to shelters, being separated from each other … our two Pups that are our entire life being taken away from us … in our minds.
We were crushed. She never smiled at us the first time … she never offered words of comfort … hope. Cold … blank face … uncaring.
I haven’t gotten through this new journey I’m on … I’ve just stepped onto the road … I am seeing roads ahead … the signs are blank. I don’t know which way to go.
I will have to make decisions blindly … unless someone can speak out, tell me. I understand people in our situation might not want to talk … afraid it could affect them in their life … mess up the even keel they finally got on.
In the meantime … we have to live … but very soon, we’ve got to have financial help to buy gas to go find help, go to doctor appointments, eat … to stay in the home we live in (rental), to buy water to drink (we can’t drink water from the tap).
I’m not going to beg, whine, cry to get help … I’m not doing that now. I don’t feel sorry for myself … I was knocked to the ground again by Life … I’ve dusted my pants off … I’m standing up … holding my ground here. I just need solid advice … some sure-fire direction to go in … not what someone ‘thinks someone did’ … but, seriously … what did they do to find real help. I’m living real Life … I need to know. I know I’m not the only one who has had to do this.
My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org … if you can offer solid advice (it has to be for North Carolina) … won’t you please email me, tell me?
We hope to stay here in the same rental house we moved to after my son’s death … it feels like home, safe … good neighbors who mean the world to us.
I’m not asking for anyone’s money, material things … just for words that will be my arrows to point the direction to get the help we need.
Just words that will be arrows to point in the direction of help. You don’t have to give me your names … if you do, I promise to respect your privacy. I’m on a new road … I just don’t want to get lost.
Note by this Author:
Photo/true story (January 2016) owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.
I have written our situation in hopes of someone knowing what to do … will contact me … tell me. I’m not asking for anything else … just words that turn into arrows to point the way to help on this new road I’ve just gotten onto. Thank you in advance. Gloria/Granny Gee.
Email: email@example.com ….. (my private email address)