Her One Good Hand …


 

 

Her One Good Hand …

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

 

 

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter …

 

 

I left my husband at the desk where he was talking to the gray-haired lady sitting there.  She had on gold-rimmed glasses and had the sweetest of smiles.

 

I walked through the waiting area to go to the restroom.  I looked up on the wall at the tv … the color on it was brilliant.  Rachael Rae was cooking, naming each ingredient she was using.  I thought to myself … Rachael Rae has gained a little weight … just like me.

 

I got almost to the bathroom … gracious, I had to go!  I had drank water … I couldn’t have anything else before going to do my lab work.  Now … I wanted to go to the restroom … and of course when one has to go … there’s always going to be some obstacle in one’s path!

 

This wasn’t any different … I groaned inwardly when I saw an older man push his wife in her wheelchair … through the bathroom door.  The door closed behind them … I stood there … going from one foot to the other.  Damn!

 

Suppose I opened that door … stepped inside one of the stalls … I discarded that idea right away.  No way could I do that.

 

I waited for about five minutes … the door opened, the older man came out, smiling at me as he walked across the hall to the men’s restroom.

 

I hurried inside the women’s restroom … noticing in the big mirror … as I opened the door to a stall … that the woman was sitting on the toliet in the big stall for handicap people … with the door open, her wheelchair sitting empty.  I knew I’d be listening for her … and ready to help her if I could.  She reminded me of someone …

 

Be damned!  Someone had left a turd in the commode as long as a ruler!  It floated in the water with tissue paper like there was a party going on!  I gagged … quickly stepped out of that stall.  The next stall was spotless … I quickly took advantage of it.

 

I heard the commode flush in the big stall.  I worried for the older lady!  I finished up quickly … washed my hands … looking in the mirror where I had a full view of her.  I didn’t want her to fall.

 

I dried my hands … turned to talk to her … asking her if she needed help.  Being me, I didn’t wait for her to say she needed help … I was sure ‘like me’ … she’d say she was fine, didn’t need help … while wishing for it.  I ‘knew’ she needed help … and that her husband wouldn’t just walk back inside knowing I was in there.

 

I saw that she also, had a cane with four legs sitting beside her wheelchair.  I rolled her wheelchair up to her … she just naturally turned around and began letting me help her.  It was like I’d been doing it all the time.  She never felt awkward with me … and I felt wonderful inside because she didn’t mind!  I was honored to help her.  She trusted me when she sat down … knowing I would have the wheelchair there for her.

 

I rolled her to the sink so, she could wash her hands.  I noticed she had a brace on left hand, and it hung to the side.  She reminded me of someone …

 

I watched as she took her right hand, turned the faucet on … put her hand under the soap dispenser … it automatically deposited pink liquid soap onto her palm.  She put her hand under the warm water …. began moving her fingers … then, rinsed her hand off.

 

She was talking the whole time about having a stroke in April of last year, how it had changed her body.  She was sad that she wasn’t the same as she … used to be.  She said, “Thank God, I can still walk”.  She could walk, but she had to struggle … she was so thankful she could do that.

 

I could understand … the things I’ve been through in life … I was so thankful even if things weren’t the best … I was grateful for what I had … at least ‘I had that’.  When I survived cancer … the chemotherapy drug (adriamycin) damaged my heart … didn’t matter, it saved my life … and it was my trade-off to live.  I was so thankful.

 

So, when she said she was thankful ‘for at least that, the ability to walk not the best … but, at least … walk’ … I truly understood what she meant.

 

She turned the faucet off with her good hand … I had already pulled several paper towels out of the towel dispenser to dry her hand.  I put my hand out to take her hand … I gently dried each finger so no water was left on her hand.  I felt emotion inside … I felt love for her, I cared so much.  I felt the need to … protect her.

 

She never minded me helping her … her husband had come back inside the restroom … he had knocked on the door, and I told him to come in.  He stood to the side, watching … smiling.  He seemed happy watching us.

 

I held her good hand in mine, told her goodbye.  I patted it as I spoke.  I walked to the door … opened it, held it so her husband could push her outside the rest room.

 

I stood there for a moment watching them go out into waiting area.  I choked up … I realized who she reminded me of … she reminded me of Grandma Alma … when she held out her good hand to me. I had the strange sensation of being the little girl I was when I lived with her.

 

My Grandma Alma only had … one good hand.  The lady had one good hand … I held it in my hands with pure love.

 

***     My Grandma Alma is gone … today I felt I got to see her … hold her one good hand.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee   ***

 

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Grandma Alma and George … I loved them with my very Heart.

 

 

Note by this Author:

 

As you all know … my Grandma Alma had a stroke many years ago, lived for twenty-some years … paralyzed.  She only had one ‘good’ hand … one ‘good’ leg.  Whenever she walked with her walker … George was always by her side.  George was blind.  George was the only grandfather I ever knew.

 

Grandma Alma would drag her ‘bad’ leg as she walked … her ‘bad’ hand hung by her side. George was blind, Grandma Alma was paralyzed on one side.

 

I lived with them as a child … they lived in pure Hell … all the children who lived with them was loved by them … but, they couldn’t stop the Hell from burning them … scarring them for life.

 

I thought of my beautiful Grandma Alma today … when I held that woman’s … good hand.  I hope she will never forget me … because I helped her with … pure love … just as I would with my Grandma Alma.

 

Photo, true story owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

 

The Strongest Woman I Ever Knew … Was Paralyzed


My son, Tommy, at Grandma Alma’s grave … we came down from our

home in the North Carolina mountains to visit.

 

 

The Strongest Woman I Ever Knew … Was Paralyzed

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

 

My Grandma Alma … the strongest woman I ever knew … she was paralyzed.

George, the only grandfather I ever knew, the kindest man I ever knew as a child.

George was blind … yet, you wouldn’t believe the amazing things he did …………

 

 

 

When I was a little girl I remember

Seeing my Grandma Alma knead bread with one hand

Squeezing each biscuit out to pat in the pan

I watched her pull taffy

Stretching it out very long

Taking a knife … cutting it in uniform pieces

She made cinnamon rolls rolling out the dough

With butter, and cinnamon, sugar

Oh my!  How good they were

I watched her walk holding onto a walker

Dragging one leg as she went

Smiling a happy smile as she tried to walk

My Grandma Alma was a special soul

Though she could cuss like a sailorman

She could cuss, raise Hell with the best

She was herself, didn’t try to be anyone else

I loved my Grandma Alma … she’d fight for me to the end

Throw a glass of ice water on anyone to make them leave me alone

Grandma Alma … was paralyzed for the last part of her life

No matter … she was spunky, could hold her ground

She was quite the colorful character … a kind, beautiful soul

She had that fighting spirit she passed on to me

If you fall down get your ass up off the ground

Brush it off, take care of business

My Grandma Alma as a young woman …..

 

 

 

I won many battles in my growing up life

Being like my Grandma Alma whom I loved with my Heart

Each time I wonder where I got my fighting spirit I think back to her

Grandma Alma made quite an impression on me as a child

I never got to thank her, let her know

For leaving a part of herself with me to help me grow

Grow up to be stronger than strong

One who rolled with the punches

No matter what … get that ass up off the ground

If she could do it being paralyzed

I should be able to do so

Wipe the tears away … go on

Sometimes … life throws more than I can handle

I think I’m going to lay down, give up

When I do … the fighting spirit takes over for me

It puts steel in my backbone

Makes me stand up straight

Look life in the eye … face life head-on

Either I’m going to win or I’m going to die

Trying to make things alright once again

So far … to this day … I am still here

Fighting spirit from a loving grandma

One who never gave up … though she couldn’t walk

I honor my Grandma Alma today

Thank you Grandma Alma … I wish you were alive

Today to see your granddaughter … know the things

She has gone through, survived

You would see yourself in her … she’s tough as you

In fact, you’d see your fighting spirit was passed on

To several of your grandchildren who lived with you

I wish you were here today so, I could sit down, talk

Hold your good hand, thank you for being you

My Grandma Alma whom I loved with my Heart

Thank you for instilling in me honesty, pride

Kindness, loving and caring, fighting spirit

Without them … I wouldn’t be here today

 

 

 

Note by this Author:

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter/Facebook.com/grannygee

Grandma Alma was the strongest woman I knew as a child.  Yet, she was the weakest being paralyzed.  She never gave up.  She had a stroke and lived twenty-some years before she died in her seventies.

I saw my Grandma Alma’s fighting spirit when she raised Hell … to protect one of her grandchildren. She was tough, yet so gentle.  Her good hand could slap hard as well as be soft, loving to a little child.

When she died … I grieved deeply for many years.  She was my mama when my mama … wasn’t.  My mother made up for that many years later, and was the best mom in the world.  She just had to grow up, mature … she did.

I lost my mother and her death was full of questions that has taken some years to know what happened.  I’ve coped with it … it wasn’t easy.  Almost … everyone who knew what happened to her … has gone … almost. They live with a lot inside for the rest of their life.  I couldn’t do it knowing what they do, what they did.

Skip and I were talking about all the members of my family on maternal, paternal sides.  Not many of them died … naturally.  Some died leaving a lot of questions, so much grief in my Heart.

Some died in freak events … such as suicide that might not have been suicide, log truck head-on crash, drugs, just … crazy-ass things.  I won’t write any further … I live with so much grief … I feel it wanting to come to the surface … like fish in water.  Twenty some family members … the very people I loved with my Heart … gone … just like that.

The worst being the loss of my only child, my son … Tommy.  I sure have come a long way in Life … it’s possible I wouldn’t be here after Tommy’s death … if I had died I’d never known the difference. My Grandma Alma’s fighting spirit helped to strengthened the steel in my back, lift me off the ground … baby step by baby step until … today … I am for-real alright.  Like her, I fought like Hell … I’m here today.

Photos, poem written/owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

A Few Precious Moments of Being Granny Gee …


A Few Precious Moments of Being Granny Gee …

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

 

 

Both Photos are owned by me … they are two of  the few precious photos to validate me being ‘Granny Gee’ at one time.

 

 

Sometimes … I think about a little boy I used to be close to.  I miss that little boy with my very Heart.  He looked just like my son.

We would sit on the couch talking, while kicking our legs … having such fun talking about all kinds of things.  I would weave stories, so would he.  So much like the son I had.

I thought it was for always.  Aren’t grandmothers, grandsons … forever?  Grandmothers, granddaughters?  I am grandmother only by name.  My son would be very sad to know that they aren’t growing up to know me.

You would think I would hate, dislike the mothers … I don’t.  I respect that they want their children only for themselves, and their family.  It’s sad … mothers can be like that … cutting off a father, cutting off his family as if they never existed.

When one has a son … the family, grandparents learn this a lot of times.  It’s sad.  The mother has control … I’ve seen grandparents fight like hell to see their grandchildren … causing bad things, bad feelings … pure ugliness to happen.

Well, this grandmother will never do such.  I’ve been a pawn and … I grew up in such bitterness, ugliness … I’ll never inflict it on anyone else.  I respect people, their wishes though sometimes, I don’t understand them.  I know I have my feelings … and hope others respect them.

I’ve missed some of the best years of both my grandson, granddaughter.  I can say that one day … karma will probably take its toll on the mothers.  I don’t have to hate, harbor ugly … mean feelings toward them because

Life has a way of teaching its own lessons.  I know … I have been a student.  I have learned the hard way.  Maybe somehow … it’s some of my … karma.

Saying all this doesn’t dim my memories of a precious little boy … a precious little girl that my Heart truly loved.  I have my treasured memories of being a real grandmother for a little while.

 

 

Note by this Author:

Photos, true story owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

I’ve still never understood why my son’s family was cut off from my grandchildren’s lives.  Whatever … I respect it.  I’ll never create a scene … and the mothers know that … they don’t worry at all.

I’ll just carry my precious memories of getting to be a grandmother for just a little while with each one with me to my grave.  At least it was better to have known for a moment how it felt to be Granny Gee than … to never have known.

Oh … ‘Granny Gee’ is the name my son gave me for my grandson to call me.  Oh, how special it was to hear, see a little golden boy run toward me smiling, calling “Granny Gee!  Granny Gee!”

I write as me, and Granny Gee in memory of my son, grandson.  My granddaughter never had the chance to learn to call me anything.  Her mother remarried to have her call her step-dad ‘daddy’ … as if none of us ever existed.  Whatever her reasons for that … I won’t question them.

No hard feelings, anger nor ugliness exist in my Heart.  I grew up learning Life has many twists, turns.  Some of those twists, turns are ‘off the wall’ … but, it’s because of what people have in their heads … no matter if right or wrong.

I respect, accept … go my way.  I can’t allow anymore unhappiness into my life … unnecessarily.  I’ve lived too much of it from childhood into adulthood.

I’ve lost most all my family … so much in my life through time.  Now … I’m older … I treasure what I do have.  Most of all, I treasure Skip and our Pups, Kissy and Camie … and my few precious friends.

I don’t know how in the world I grew up without all the Hellfire in me one would expect.  How in the world did I not grow up to be ‘worse than worse … badder than bad?’  How in the world did good overcome all I saw, learned, suffered as a child?

Don’t Feel sorry for me … I don’t.  I’m old enough to know sometimes, things are out of our control for whatever reasons.  I went through a lot of extra grief when my son died … because I lost my grandson, also.  Also, granddaughter.  I never understood … I don’t have to.  I’ve coped with it … let it go … everything is alright.

The sad thing is … I was always the best friend the mothers of my grandchildren could possibly have. Why?  Because they are a part of my son, me.

I Wonder… Will He Grow Up To Be An Actor


I Wonder… Will He Grow Up To Be An Actor
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

(Tommy holding Taban… he was so proud)………

Tommy Mitchell Sidden holding his newborn son shortly after he was born... 3-16-2007
I looked at a little face so familiar
So, like the little boy I had once
I even saw ‘myself’ in that little face
The eyes, the smile so, like mine… like Tommy’s

My little grandson, so like his father
With such a sunshine personality
That can change to stormy in a moment
I wonder who else was like that… who is like that… ‘now’

Yes, it was Tommy, this little one’s father
And … me, too… I’m lots of sunshine, and stormy, too
This little fellow might be a flirt, he likes girls
Girls like him, big girls… little girls are drawn to him

His daddy was like that as a young boy, I had to say ‘no’
Big girls wanted to ride him around in their cars
He’d smile his little boy smile at me, hoping I would say ‘yes’
I would grin back at his little mischievous face, say ‘no!’

I would tell him to wait until he was old enough to be out with big girls
He would laugh at his over-protective mother
So, would the girls as they went their merry ways
They knew… one day would come… Tommy would grow up

Just as Tommy’s little son will grow up one day, full of life
Full of wonderful life, his bright personality lighting up the world
Only when he sleeps will it soften like the night
When he wakes up, it’ll glow like the golden sunshine

I sense special things about my little grandson, I feel he will go
Far in life with such confidence, do something special
He could become an actor, a writer, a doctor… even
I ‘know’ in my heart he is destined to ‘be someone’, I ‘see’ it now

Little sweet Taban, who melts my heart, makes me smile
My little grandson whom I love most… he’ll say ‘Granny Gee, I love you most!’
I know in my ‘big girl’ heart that I love him most… I know what it’s all about
I love him in so many ways… for himself, for being my son’s …son

For being my only grandson I’ll ever have in this life
He’s the closest to Tommy I can ever come
I can see my son in my grandson who is here
I thank God for him … everyday

I feel I can ‘see’ special things in the future, I ‘feel’ them
All around my grandson… I know he’s going to do well in life
How do I know… I can’t possibly explain, but, I’ve sensed it before
With other children… sure enough… they grew up to be special

I think I’m going to plan on being around a very long time
Just to see what he’ll do, accomplish… I know it will be interesting
For even now, he likes ‘to wear many hats’, dress up to be somebody new
I’m thinking he loves to be different characters… I wonder if he’ll grow up to be an… actor? He can be very entertaining…. :)))

 

 

Bringing Grandma Alma’s Memory Alive … For A Few Moments


MY GRANDMA ALMA …

 

George and Grandma Alma ‘sitting in their chairs where they sat for many years’…  This day

 

*******************************

Bringing Grandma Alma’s Memory Alive … For A Few Moments

 

 

I didn’t get to know my Grandma Alma in the days that she walked. I was too little to remember.  

 

My only vague memory of her walking was outside in the backyard… I’m closing my eyes to try to remember.  It seemed like there was a little party for one of us grandchildren, or maybe she was pouring kool aid for us.  I just can’t remember anymore.

 

My next memory of her was of myself tipping-toeing into the front bedroom.  I remember everything was so ‘white’ in there.  A hospital bed was in there… on it lay my Grandma Alma.  I tried to peep up at her.

 

My next memory of her is sitting in her rocking chair, an upholstered recliner that rocked.  George’s wooden chair with a bottomed seat was sitting beside it.  For twenty-some years they sat side by side in those chairs.

 

George, my step-grandfather (the only grandfather I ever knew… the kindest man I ever knew until I met Skip)… was blind.  He could cook, wash clothes, hang them out onto the clothes line.  

 

Grandma Alma was very intelligent, even after her stroke.  When I was little I would think ‘school teacher‘… she tried to teach us grandchildren so much.  She tried to pass on her knowledge of things, games she played as a child.

 

Grandma Alma was paralyzed… one arm was useless, one leg dragged when she tried to walk with her walker.  George always walked beside her.

 

George always gave her range of motion exercises every morning, noon, and evening.  He never failed at doing that.  He would exercise her body, rub it with rubbing alcohol, then… lotion (Beauty Ray lotion).

 

If anyone could have made her walk again … it would have been George.  I never heard him complain, he did it with love.  George was a good man.  He loved Grandma Alma, he loved her grandchildren, and her 5 daughters.

 

My Grandma Alma would tell me to hide behind her chair if I ran to her.  She would protect me to the death, daring anyone ‘to put a finger on that child!’  

 

The sad thing is I never made it that far when I should have… how does a child know ‘bad’ things will happen out of the blue to them … when there are adults around… waiting for opportunities.  

 

It’s like a hawk swooping down to catch a rabbit before it knows what has happened.  The rabbit is just hopping along in its own world… not knowing ‘something wants to get it.’

 

Watch your little ones… even the ‘nicest, about something’ …person may be waiting for an opportunity.  Just because a person is ‘so and so, would never do such a thing’… yes, they will.  You hear about it all the time… only ‘it doesn’t happen to you’.  Yes, it does….

 

Grandma Alma never knew the times I cried, was afraid.  I never told her… I never thought to.  I fought to survive a mean world I’d been thrust into very young … I kept losing battles, but.. learned as I went.  I’ve always learned the hard way… when I did, I never forgot.  I never told on anybody… everybody else did.

 

Strangely enough, Grandma Alma was paralyzed… yet, she was the ‘strong one’… she was the nucleus everyone revolved around.  She was the matriarch.  

 

Maybe that was ‘why’ the center of the floor in the room she was trapped in all those years… became what I always called ‘the stage, the arena’… when I became old enough to think about it.

 

Everyone came to that invisible stage… always ‘in that center of the room’ to…. raise hell, to fight, cuss, knock each other around.  They would scream at whomever the dispute was with, then, scream at Grandma Alma to tell them this or that.  The next thing one knew, there would be a ‘helluva fight going on’.  

 

Poor George would try to feel around to break it up, Grandma Alma yelling at him ‘do something, George!’  He would get hit in the face, in the chest, or kicked.  

 

Once I saw something happen to George that broke my little girl heart.  I cried as I watched him get knocked down on the floor…. he landed on his back.  Bad things happened down at Grandma Alma and George’s…..  tears come to my eyes now, thinking about this.  I have to stop now….

 

Grandma Alma had twinkling, smiling blue eyes.  How I loved my Grandma Alma!  She would reach out with that one good arm to pull me to her, hug me.  I would feel safe when she did that…. I wasn’t safe for long… I couldn’t stay close to her all the time.  I didn’t try to… I was too curious to know what was around me.

 

Grandma Alma’s photo above is a treasure.  I’ve had it for years, how it survived the house fire, I don’t know.  I don’t think anyone else has a photo of her any younger than this one… if so, I would so much love to see it.

 

I wonder what kind of person she was at this age?  I look at the photo, I wonder.  I see a slight smile on her face… I wish I could see her with her hat off.  

 

Do you see me wondering about my Grandma Alma?  Just suppose, suppose for a moment … that I could go to a blog to read in her own words about her life?

 

Suppose I could see her favorite photos…  suppose I could read what makes her laugh, makes her cry.  I could learn what kind of person she was.  I can’t ever know what she was like as a young woman, I can’t even see photos of her at an younger age.

 

Do you see ‘why’ I blog, put my photos here, on Facebook?  So, one day my granddaughter, grandson can ‘know me through my words, my photos’.  So, they can read about me, their father who is my son.    

 

They can read about our Pups, learn we are dog-lovers, know Pa Skip through my blog.  Who knows, maybe one day it could be possible, I could write a book… I have a lot to write about.  My life has been very colorful.  For now, I’ll keep practicing writing….

 

Grandma Alma might not have have had a blog… that’s okay.  I’ve brought her back to life… through memories, and photos.  Everyone who loved her are thinking about her at this very moment.  She had a lot of grandchildren…… precious grandchildren whom she tried to protect.  Not in every case could she.

 

For a few moments, I brought Grandma Alma’s memory alive.  I hope my special photo of her surprises everyone to get a rare glimpse into the past … when she was young Grandma Alma.  :)))

 

 

 

 

In Memory Of Grandma Alma…


 

Made by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee… 2011… ‘I Love You’ heart….

In Memory Of Grandma Alma…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

She sat there looking off

Not seeing anything

Her mind was within

On her life, her world

She yawned big, closing her eyes

Felt the tears run down her cheeks

By God, I’m bored

She thought

Bored to tears… unmotivated

She wanted to do things

She wasn’t inspired by anything

It’s a sin to be this way

To waste all God has given you

She thought..

It’s a shame not to get up, do something

Move, talk, do things, to show appreciation

She sat there, yawned again

Tomorrow, there’s always ..tomorrow

I’m too tired, sleepy

To do anything… today

She yawned big, again

Laid her head on the back of her chair

She fell asleep

She did do something… she dreamt

That she could walk again

Just move again, do things again

She was paralyzed now

She dreamt in appreciation of life

She woke up when she heard a voice

I love you, Grandma

She smiled her beautiful smile

At the little girl standing near her chair

The little girl looked at her

Never knowing Grandma was different

That Grandma couldn’t walk, do things again

She knew Grandma could love… smile at her

Her Grandma was the best

She would fight for her

Her ammunition being a glass of ice water

Thrown at anyone who dared to hurt her

Grandma would hug her when no one liked her

Talk to her when no one else would

Grandma was always there

Sitting in that old, upholstered chair

Grandma was a fighter

Though sometimes, she cried

The little girl saw it all

Because no one thinks to hide ‘all’ from a little girl

The little girl is a big girl now

She still thinks of her Grandma… Grandma Alma

Sometimes, she gets tears in her eyes

She misses her Grandma Alma, after all these years

Rest in peace, Grandma Alma

God knows you never had peace in your life

I wish you love from my heart

To you in Heaven where I know you’ve gone

Love Your Granddaughter, ‘Faye’

 

 

 

 

THANK-GOD FOR OTHER GRANDMOTHERS…


English: A photograph of a 2 month old human i...

English: A photograph of a 2 month old human infant, his mother, his maternal grandmother, and his maternal great-grandmother. Each person in this photograph gave birth to the next younger person thus showing four generations in one family photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THANK-GOD FOR OTHER GRANDMOTHERS…..

 

 

BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES/aka GRANNY GEE

 

 

I should have known, though an uneasy thought flitted through my mind… only for a brief moment.  I pushed it away.  I’m not one who goes looking for omens… though sometimes, I really think we may get them in our lives.

 

 

I think the reason I felt what I did was because at my granddaughter‘s birth, September 05, 2000…. the other grandmother ‘made it bad’ with her actions when we went to the hospital.  It was a happy-sad event for me.

 

 

After Taban’s birth, Skip and I went to Walgreen’s Pharmacy to get a special balloon to take later back to the hospital.  A special blue balloon that said ‘IT’S A BOY’!   As we walked outside I was happily talking about Taban… how I could ‘see’ Tommy in him!  Do you know what happened?

 

 

That balloon floated out of my hand …. (sometimes, my hands will ‘let go’ and I think it comes from the surgeries I had … for each hand).  Skip and I stood there with such shock… watching that blue, silvery balloon float so far up until it was a tiny, shiny spot in the air.  I said to Skip… ‘Oh no!  I hope this isn’t a bad sign!’  I worried that it might mean something in the future to hurt me…. never believing for a moment it was.  I knew Tommy was fine, I knew Taban’s mother and I had a good relationship… everything was alright.  Taban’s other grandmother didn’t resent me… she was a nice person.

 

 

For three years all was fine… you all know what happened.  Tommy died, and I no longer see Taban… he no longer cares for his Granny Gee if he does see me.  He doesn’t know Tommy wanted me to be very special in his life… Tommy ‘named me Granny Gee for Taban’.

 

 

I’m Granny Gee, not the grandmother you would know…. I’m one in name only.  Just as I am mother in name only.  It’s like a box…. look inside… there’s nothing.  I am that box… my insides are … empty….. when it comes to being mother, grandmother.

 

 

On March 16, 2007, the day my grandson was born, I was so happy.  A real grandson…. I was so awed to think ‘I would be grandmother to a little boy’.  I felt the same way when my granddaughter was born.  I went so many years without grandchildren… I didn’t think it possible to ever be a … grandmother.  Sadly enough… I am ‘grandmother/Granny Gee’ in name only today.  Also, I am only a ‘mother’ in name only… my son is gone.

 

 

I was wanted at my grandson’s birth… I was honored.  I stood there with his other grandmother while he was being born.  How special is that?  His other grandmother was very gracious, she would smile at me as if she ‘knew somehow’… how meaningful being there was for me.

 

 

This grandmother, Taban’s other grandmother… has always been gracious to me.  She’s always treated me very nice… I have nothing but, respect and liking for her.  She never treated me in a way to make me think she wanted to be the only grandmother.  Taban’s mother… has a good mother.  I’m glad she’s Taban’s grandmother.  I didn’t get to know her well either, but… enough to know she’s a ‘good’ person.  Today… I can only say ‘I like you, Taban’s other grandmother’… you ARE a good grandmother… I’m glad you are there for him.

 

 

I think McKenzie’s other grandmother is a good person too… I think her own problems ‘got in the way’ of her ‘really seeing me as a person’.  I’d like to think that.  I could see she could be a nice person when she smiled one time when we visited them… her voice was happy at that time… I liked her.  That was the only time I ever saw that.  Again…. she was like so many people….. one time when they see you, they ‘smile and like you’………. the next time seeing you….. ‘cold eyes and I dislike you expression’.  I have no time for such people… I grew up with ‘family’ just like that… if they weren’t happy… they didn’t want anyone else to be happy.  If they were happy, they expected you to be happy for them… got mad if you weren’t.  Crazy….

 

 

I will say this in all fairness… I’m thankful McKenzie has her other grandmother.  She is a good person in her life, community, church.  She loves McKenzie… and she would fight for her just as her mother would.  My grandddaughter has a good family support… I’m so thankful for that.  No matter that I’m not liked…. this is what matters to me.

 

 

I wasn’t wanted by my granddaughter’s mother at my granddaughter’s birth.  We were called to come… and got the cold shoulder from her….. her actions… made sure to let me know she was ‘grandmother’… she guarded that position well.   Why did she feel the need to act like she did?  I surely wasn’t a threat to anyone.  I’m always quiet, I step back from any public scene ….unless… I’m pushed to the breaking point… then, I will hold my ground in the quietest way.

 

 

In that situation, I stayed very gracious, smiling quietly until we ‘could just get away’.  On the inside… no one knew the pain I was feeling… this was ‘my very own little granddaughter, I had a ‘real’ grandchild’!  I wasn’t welcomed to be there.  I didn’t choose to fight over it… I would have appeared to be ‘bad’.  The other grandmother ‘had taken over to the point’ that she was in scrubs and doing things like the nurses were doing’… she wasn’t a nurse.  Skip told me then… that he didn’t believe that woman liked me.  I remember asking ‘why’?

 

 

It was the strangest thing… Skip and I didn’t know her or her husband at all… in fact, all I knew about that grandmother were only brief moments seeing, hearing her.  I didn’t know her well enough to form a real opinion of her.  All I saw was negative… I only read negative, mean things from her on my computer that she emailed me…. I may have seen her smile several times, though it is hard to remember that.  Her husband always seemed so kind to us.  Skip liked him… at one time, Tommy thought the world of him.

 

 

This lady seemed to strike out at me… never knowing anything about me.  I did let her know quietly in emails in kind words that she couldn’t just do that to me.  She would write back apologizing that she was just homesick for Georgia, and apologized for writing me mean emails.  She would do again, and again.

 

 

McKenzie’s mother had minor surgery… I couldn’t go to her to help… I was taking chemotherapy, my body and mind were exhausted… my hands were like rubber… my legs didn’t have the strength to go anywhere.  It was an effort to go to all my appointments.

 

 

Skip had to help me walk… ‘only when we saw someone I knew’ would he step back and ‘let me walk by myself’… because he ‘knew’ my need to ‘appear strong’ to everyone.    I’ve done this since being a child…. maybe it’s my protection to show people I’m not ‘weak’…  I’m not even when I’m weak!

 

 

I am a fighter.. I mean to win.  When I say that, I don’t mean in ‘bad’ ways’… I’m not a brawler (but, I would be to protect someone I loved, or the ‘underdog’!  I don’t mean to sound ugly… but, Granny Gee would ‘whip ass’!).  :)))  I had to say that!  The devil made me do it!  (I might be the one who got whipped, though!).

 

 

This woman, the other grandmother emailed asking me ‘when are YOU going to come to help me take care of _____’?  She, also, said some more things meant to make me feel bad because I hadn’t come to help change the dressing on my granddaughter’s mother’s surgical incision.  I sat there once again …stunned.  When Skip got home I showed him the printed-out email.  (I printed quite a few out from her).  He read it in disbelief…. and wondered aloud …’ doesn’t she know what you are going through’?

 

 

I don’t think that woman had any idea of how sick I was… whenever she saw me …… she saw a ‘strong person’…. ‘just what I meant for her to see’.  So, really…………….. maybe it’s my fault that I didn’t tell her anything… rarely did I discuss my illness with anyone.  I have always been private, I’ve always kept things to myself.  So really………. how could she have known?

 

 

Writing this out now… has helped me to see that.  I don’t hold hard feelings toward her anymore……….. truthfully…. I hated her all these years.  Just in the last few minutes…. I felt sorry that I never really talked to her, and told her what was going on in my life, how sick I was.  At that time, I may have assumed…. she knew.  I do that…. sometimes.  ‘Seeing her in my mind’… I think she was missing her hometown, family… maybe lonely, sad?  I, now, wonder ‘why didn’t I see that… and care’?  I may have made a friend.

 

 

I always accepted her apology.  I was too sick to think about her… I was fighting the battle of my life… for my life.  She was always like a ‘thorn pricking at me’… during that time.  I look back at that time…. and each time I do… I shook my head… ‘why’?

 

 

This was the second time in one year I went back for major surgery … I didn’t stay in ‘remission’ very long….. weeks?  This woman didn’t know any of these things.  I had gone through so much more than words here can say… to live.  My body suffered so much, my mind… I was fighting to be well and doing a good job at it…. until I went back for a CT scan.  For the second time…. I had to do it all ‘all over again’.

 

 

Before this … I had a fruit and produce store… she came with her daughter (my son’s girlfriend, granddaughter’s mother at that time though at that time she wasn’t expecting her……………………………………………).  I remember this woman walking in the store, she and my son’s girlfriend walked to the other door to stand and admire Tommy’s sports car.  I heard both begin to argue in a ‘good-natured way’… ‘that’s MY car’!  I think Skip had driven it to the store as Tommy was on the road, driving a big rig.

 

 

I’m sorry to say that didn’t make a good impression on me from the beginning.  I may have ‘judged too quickly’… she may have seen that I didn’t like hearing them… making her not like me.  I honestly don’t know.

 

 

I think his daughter’s wife became a very good wife, person when she remarried soon after hers and Tommy’s divorce.  She was so young at the time they married.  That’s not to say she wasn’t a good person before she and Tommy married.  I never got to know her well…. I was on another journey in my life fighting my illness… even when around her when they came.  I didn’t have the opportunity to know her at all.  Though… I had enough time to know that I loved her very much… I felt it in my heart… no matter the times I felt anger toward her.  I’m the same way about my grandson’s mother.  I do love them… whether any of us like it or not…we are forever ‘linked’ to the other because their children are … a part of me… a part of Tommy.

 

 

All I’ve heard from people I know in that area they live at… she’s always busy in community things, church, and I’ve heard this ……… and I love it!  I hear people say… ‘she’s a damn good mother’!  I ‘knew’ that, though.  She loves her child.  Not only that, her husband loves McKenzie… he’s been a good father through time to her.  Tommy honestly liked and respected him.  I never worry about McKenzie… she’s got a good family life.

 

 

Getting back to sitting there at my computer reading in shock her words….  my body was very weak, my fingers were like rubber, my mind was foggy… from the chemotherapy drugs.  This woman was striking out at me from her own unhappiness… saying things that hurt me… this woman didn’t know me well enough to do such a thing.

 

 

I was too weak to fight back.  The saying that one has to pick their battles… my choice was to live.  I didn’t know this woman at all.

 

 

I never knew that lady… she constantly said mean things in emails to me … I was too sick to understand ‘why’ she didn’t like me.  This lady never knew me well enough to know she was being unfair to me… I will write about this later.  Through time … I never got to know her anymore than she ever knew me..

 

 

I can only write what I personally know ‘that affected my life and gave me such grief’ at a time… any normal person would have left someone alone.  I don’t think she even knew I was fighting to live, going chemotherapy, had major surgery… I think maybe she saw a scapegoat.

 

 

Sick or not sick, I’m not anyone’s scapegoat… though I stay quiet, smile, and forgive… I’m the last person to be a ‘weakling’… I was brought up to ‘fight’ to survive verbal, mental, physical abuse.

 

 

Another thing about me that only Tommy and Skip knew… no one else knows this….. when I am the most sick, I never let other see me ‘being weak’.  I pretend to be much stronger than I am… I make myself ‘walk taller, stand taller, head up… all my actions are deliberate’.

 

 

I have done this many times to hear remarks of  ‘wow, she doesn’t look like she’s dying’, ‘you sure are looking so much better’!  I see humor now, in this because… it’s like a cartoon.  When I got out of sight of those people, I would ‘fall apart’ from ‘holding on so long to appear strong’.  How many times did I do this?

 

I never wanted anyone to feel sorry for me.  It’s really funny if you think about it for a moment.  No one knew the agony I was suffering, the pain…. I looked so strong.  When they went away… I would just fall back in my seat as soon as I could get to one, close my eyes with tears falling…. it hurt so bad to be strong.  It ‘still does’… though I’m not battling for my life in that respect now.  I can still see the ‘humor in things, no matter how bad’… a soft, gentle humor that isn’t meant to hurt.

 

 

I battle ‘now’ to stay out of the darkness of grief that threatens to engulf me at any moment… unexpectedly.  I’m strong… though I may find myself on that path at any time… I know how to come back now… I follow the light, the colors of life back to where I need to be.  Everything really is going to be alright.

 

 

When my granddaughter was born… the only moment I felt happiness at that hospital… was when I looked through the window… I was a stranger, the other grandmother made me feel this…

 

 

I looked at my beautiful granddaughter.  She had a little striped cap on her head, she looked like her mother when she was first born.  I loved her mother… but, of course…. the other grandmother didn’t know that… she didn’t know me.  I voiced how beautiful McKenzie was, and how much she looked at her mother.  She was so special, beautiful…. I was in awe.

 

 

The specialness of that occasion was ‘taken away’…..when I saw the other grandmother become angry… because I say my granddaughter looked like her mother!  At that time….. I couldn’t understand it.  Remember this… I’m always ‘connecting dots’… through time.  The ‘whole picture’ reveals itself eventually……….  I love ‘dots’…..

 

 

The nurse was quick to come tell Skip and I that the other grandmother said we weren’t to come back to our granddaughter’s mother’s room, that ‘you have to leave now’.  The shock and upset I felt….. ‘thank-you for telling us, we’ll leave now’… I said quietly.  I held my head up, walked tall, strong… until I was out of sight.  I ‘fell apart’ in the car.  ‘Why’?  Our granddaughter’s mother told us these words…. ‘I want you to be there’….

 

 

The other grandmother had taken control at the hospital… so much so, that she’d gotten a nurse (I think a friend of hers) to let her don some scrubs to look like a nurse…. to ‘help with the birthing.  She made a big production when we first saw her through the glass.  I didn’t recognize her at first… I didn’t know this woman…… ‘anymore than I knew her as the other grandmother’.  That’s how well we knew each other… it never went any farther than that.

 

 

Granny Gee… other grandmothers….. I had them on my mind this morning… thinking I’m so glad that they are there for my grandchildren.  I am not jealous, angry, or even upset that I don’t see them.  I’ve dealt with this now… I have peace inside.

 

 

I have learned that ‘grandmothers’ who happen to be the ‘son’s mother’… aren’t the most important grandmother.  It’s the ‘daughter’s mother’ who is dominant.  It stands to reason… mothers are the ones who give birth to children.  I ‘see’ that now… I have been seeing this for quite sometime.  I wonder how many people who read this… realize how true my words are?  Maybe… I’m the last person to learn this.

 

Regardless…. thank-God for ‘other grandmothers’… from Granny Gee’s heart.