By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
‘Pieces of Me’ …. photo owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.
I took a photo of myself. I see how far I’ve come in weight loss. I am looking forward to taking off maybe 40 more pounds.
Looking back at my photos after Tommy, my only child, died … my photos are horrible. I don’t even recognize the person I see. I was just a mess … I had given up … I knew it would never matter again if I looked pretty … looked even decent enough to go outside the house. I didn’t care anymore … I did not care … my son had died … so did I.
Three … four … five years went by … slowly without being fully aware of it … I began to come back to life. I wanted to live … I had always loved life! I realized I wanted to live in the light of the sunshine again! I wanted to smile, be happy! How could I … I asked myself. Tommy’s dead … my son is dead … how can I smile, feel happiness ever again? Just how could I?
Time went by … it didn’t happen overnight that’s for sure … I began to want to live, look nice once again. Oh my God … my mirror told me it was just pure … impossible! There wasn’t any way at all I could see … of coming back from the darkness I’d entered. I didn’t know if the light could reach that far.
I kept trying to find me in my mirror … only once in a great while would I see ‘ME’. I would try to hold on to me when I saw me … I would fade away. All would be left in the mirror was an old, pitiful … fat woman who couldn’t look me in the eye. She would turn her head.
Time went by … I can’t really remember now how much time … I began to see ‘ME’ more often. I would smile … ‘ME’ would smile back! I saw happiness to meet up with my old self … ‘ME’ would disappear over and over. I realized I wanted ‘ME’ back. I wanted to live … how could I? … my baby was gone. How could I come back to life when the only beautiful part of me was … gone?
Time went by … more time went by … how much I can’t tell you now. I began to accept my son wasn’t coming back to me … I wasn’t going to hear his voice again … feel his hugs for his mother … laugh, tease his ‘ole mom’. I wasn’t going to worry over him anymore … cry when he was sad … laugh, feel happy when good things happened to him. I wasn’t … I wasn’t … I wasn’t. I wanted to scream to the universe to please let him come back … don’t let this be so.
Strangely … no one ever heard the cries, screaming to God to please not let Tommy be dead … no one ever saw the weight of grief on my shoulders. Everything was so … quiet.
I was a hellacious storm going on in front of anyone’s eyes … the quietest storm ever … no one ever saw … heard a thing. I was the worst storm to ever hit me … how I weathered it … I don’t know.
Just think of a redwood tree … think of me scarred, battered to hell … still standing in the beautiful sunlight I so craved. I never talked to anyone about my grief … I only wrote my pain telling the whole world I hurt … how badly I hurt. I never told anyone … I wrote it. I was ashamed of my pain. I didn’t want those around me to know … you know how prideful people can be.
I no longer have such pride about a lot of things now. I’ve met reality head-on … battled it … I’m still standing. I’m alright now … I have both feet planted on the ground. Knock me down … I’ll just get right back up, dust my pants off … I want to live now. I have put my pieces back together once again … just like Humpty Dumpty.
Note by this Author:
Grief is ugly … it’s the most real part of life. If you’ve lost a child … a part of ‘you’ … you know exactly what I write about. If you haven’t lost a child … thank God you don’t have to know any of these feelings … know such God-awful darkness in your life. It’s hard to come back from. How I’ve made it … I don’t know. To look at me now … you see the ravages of Hell on me … but, I’m still standing. I’m doing the very best with the pieces I have left of ‘ME’ … I found them in my mirror again. I was so glad to see ‘Me’ after so long. I thought I was gone too.
Photo/true story owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.