What You Need To Know about Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

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



From time to time I have to remind others ‘why?’ I write. I don’t write to gain pity … I write to live. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.



Think of me as the strongest, biggest Redwood tree in the forest.  I’m still standing after all Life’s storms.  Pray that I have beautiful, calm weather until the end of my days.  I would love to know that for the rest of my life.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee.

Artwork by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee  … I’m still standing.



This is the link to this story I wrote today … 2-29-2016 … I want to tell my new readers, friends, followers ‘why?’ I write ……. I want to remind everyone who knows me why I write grief, pain … I write as I promised about grief, pain when it happens, how it feels.  






Don’t you dare feel sorry for me.  Think of me as … envision the biggest, strongest Redwood tree … I’ve weathered many of Life’s storms … twigs, limbs are missing … but … I’m still standing.  I hope now … at this point in my Life … that the weather be wonderful … calm … until the end of my days.  I’ve had enough grief, pain for several lifetimes.



I have been writing since November 2010 …( I’d been writing all my life … but, I began my blog: ) … just a few months after my son … Tommy … died. When I began my blog I made the promise to all my readers/followers/friends I would describe pure grief, pain of a grieving mother.


I didn’t need anyone’s sympathy … I never thought of anyone as I wrote my pain. The truth is … writing my grief, pain … saved my life. While I was in darkness, the keys under my fingertips gave me comfort as well … as an outlet for my grief.



My grief, pain flowed like the biggest river in the world … rocks hurt like h___ … I still flowed on to … wherever. In fact, before someone says something to add more pain, grief … say empty, useless words … I asked people to just come into my blog to read quietly, leave just as quietly, go their way.



My beautiful Son … big as life … in a truck stop on his way to somewhere … taking a selfie.  I miss you, Tommy.  Your Mama miss you with her very Heart.


They could see how it all felt, never having to experience in their life … grief, pain of a grieving mother. I promised my readers that I would write grief when it happened … as it happened … and I would tell the raw truth about grief.



No pity … no feeling sorry … read like you are reading something else … if you learn something from my grief, thank God. I pray no one ever goes through losing a child … only child like I did.



This logo was made just for me by Donnalyn, several years ago.



I didn’t need all those comments that you are going to always hear people say … such as … ‘oh, he’s in a better place now … he’s sitting down at the Lord’s table eating … you don’t have to worry about him anymore … oh, you’ll get over your grief in no time, like in the next few weeks … the worst one I heard, that fills me with pure, white anger is … oh, I understand, I know how you feel.’ I understand, I know how you feel … can you imagine someone telling you that when they’ve never experienced grief?



Needless to say … I didn’t say a word to those people … I never forgot them … I forgave them for their careless words. Can you imagine modeling your life after someone who has never experienced what they are ‘selling’? Can you? Can you imagine listening to a pastor preach empty words when he has never experienced being saved, the true feeling of love, compassion, caring for his congregation?



My son, Tommy … holding his newborn son … Tommy had one son, and one daughter.



Can you imagine telling a grieving mother that you understand how it feels, her grief should be over in oh, probably … 2 weeks? Can you imagine being told that by someone who has never lost a child? Can you imagine someone who has never experienced the pain, grief in their life … try to tell you how it feels? How you should handle it?



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I want to share with my new friends … and new readers/followers on my blog … what happened to Tommy one year almost to the day he died … what he suffered … what his mother suffered, what I was grieving for …. before he died. I was already grieving for Tommy one year before … he died. Tommy ‘died’ … one year before he …. died.



Every writer knows that in order to write … be real, sincere … they have to write what they know best in life. You can’t fool your readers .. they know when you are being an imposter.



I write what I know best in my life since being a child … all the way until today … I’ve known grief, pain … awful things throughout my life. I know grief, pain … best. Just remember this when you read ‘me’ … I don’t write to gain your sympathy, pity … I don’t need it. I truly don’t need anyone’s pity.



Tommy is holding his newborn son …



I have grown very strong throughout time … think of me like you would a … redwood tree. I’ve withstood many, many terrible storms. I’m weathered, beaten … missing a twig or two … but, I’m still standing. I’m still weathering storms … I do pray for sunshine, calm weather … I would like to rest from battling the storms in my life.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I would like to tell you this … to remember also, about me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … I’m the most positive, happiest person you’ll ever meet who is a grieving mother … a person who has battled cancer … congestive heart failure, motorcycle wreck … lost over 19 family members (not just any family members but, the ones I truly loved with my very Heart) … whose husband has battled cancer, almost dying again twice with strokes, heart problems … blood infection in his body from a tiny cut from old wire … lost all in a housefire … the ultimate loss … losing the only child whom I loved the ground he walked on. These are only … a few things ‘BAD’ that’s happened in my life.



My published book of grief, pain … writing this book saved my life … if you asked me what is in it … I can’t tell you … I can’t remember … I can’t open the book to read it.  Over a thousand pages of pure grief … pure pain.  You are looking at my life raft … writing this book is why I’m here today.  Writing this book makes sure my son, Tommy, is remembered forever.  It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t sell … doesn’t matter at all.  I have my copyright from Library of Congress on this book ( I have 3 copyrights on the 3 books I published).  They don’t sell … that’s okay … I still have my copyrights, and I’m proud to have them … I did it all when I was in the deepest throes of grief.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.




This is only a fraction of what I’ve battled … so, this is what I write best … pain, grief, sadness. I write it to tell you that no matter how bad … things DO get better … no matter how BAD … they will get good again I can smile now … when I thought I couldn’t ever smile again … I mean how does a mother ever smile again with the knowledge that her child died?



It does happen … a grieving mother can smile again … but … this grieving mother had to make a choice … either stay in the darkness and not cope with the loss … or … meet it head-on … no matter how bad it hurts … battle it like you would battle with a bear … I did … I was going to either live … or die.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I’m smiling … I am here five years after my son’s death … yes, I still go through bouts of grief … oh my, I really do. Those times are farther apart … and I recover from them quickly now. Does it … lessen the pain, grief … when it comes again … no.



To write my story … on my blog for maybe the last time about what happened … I had to transport me back deeply into the darkness where I knew my grief, pain was for my son … doing this … something I don’t do anymore … took something out of me … for several days until now … I still feel the pain deeply. I can’t do it anymore … if I do … it may be years down the road.



For now … in order to understand me, my type of writing … one will have to go read on my blog … this is the link to what happened to Tommy … exactly one year leading up to his death. Link to my Blog: Colors in My Life … /2016/02/this-may-be-last-time-i-tell-anyone.html



A grieving mother … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



These are only words trying to describe by writing … living pain, grief … they are in no way the same. I couldn’t describe how … it really felt. Know that as you read … there was so much more than what I wrote.



Unless you are a mother who suffered with her child … then … her child die … you can’t understand at all. The closest you can come to that is … get very quiet … think of one of your children … think of what that child means to you … what you love so dearly about him/her … think of the sounds that child makes when they laugh, talk … everything that makes that one person your child.



Now … the phone rings … you see your child’s cellphone number pop up on the caller ID … you smile! You answer … you become confused because a stranger is trying to tell you something. What? What did you say?



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … a grieving mother who can smile today.



“Ma’am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand … he’s not breathing.” You have just found out before anyone knows … you are 200 miles away … you learn from a stranger that … your child is dead … he is laying on the soft sand at the ocean where he’d just arrived on vacation to play with his own little boy.



Your son has just collapsed on the sand … died that fast … 3 blockages to his heart. No one knew he was sick.



At that very moment … only you and the stranger and his family who cares for the man’s little son to keep him safe … knows your … son is dead.



The little son is wanting his daddy to get back up … “Let’s run, play … Daddy!”



I see you can’t bear to think of your child being … dead. I know you can’t … I couldn’t before my own son died. I’m sorry I made you feel pain, grief when imagining losing your child.



It’s the closest you’ll ever come to understanding a grieving mother … until … I pray you’ll outlive all your children. That’s the way it’s supposed to be … parents should never outlive their children.



My beautiful Son, my only child … Tommy

Born November 20, 1969

Died May 29, 2010




Children are our world … our family support when we have no one else … children carry on our name, inherit all our possessions and knowledge. Children are truly the … wealth of our world … when we teach them to be the best they can be.



Children are our everything. Now … I only have Skip, my husband … and our 2 dogs … they are truly the only family I have left in this big, old world … they are my whole world.



I have no one else … but, you … my online friends, readers and followers. So, my whole world, Skip and our 2 Pups … and you … mean everything to me.



 Tommy Mitchell Sidden … my only child, my Son.  This is the last photo taken of him driving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina … he died that evening … collapsed to the soft, damp sand by the ocean’s waves washing ashore … where he and his little son played just minutes before …  May 29, 2010 … on a Saturday evening.




Just remember whenever you read anything sad, painful that I write … that it’s coming from a most positive person who has traveled many journeys in life … who has felt the pain from many things … who knows how so much feels … who truly knows no matter how bad … everything will be alright.



Good comes from … bad. Don’t even feel sorry for me … feel how strong the redwood tree looks when you stand below it … it’s still here after many storms have tried to take it down.



I am short, 5′ 2″ … but, I’m tall in spirit. In soul, I’m larger than life … from all the experiences, journeys I have taken in my life.



I have no room for pity … I’m not a ‘poor little thing’ … all broken into pieces … I worked very hard … to put ‘me’ back together. Sure … a piece falls off … now and then … I begin scuffling to put it back so … I can be alright again.



So now … you have an idea who Granny Gee/Gloria is … a strong person who when knocked down … jumps back up, dusts her pants off … holds her ground to meet life head-on … no matter how painful it is. Sometimes, it takes a little time to get up … I always manage.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … in this photo you can see the gold nugget necklace that was around Tommy’s necklace when he died.  He wore it always … it is my class ring melted down into a gold nugget … 11 grams gold.  I gave it to my son … his wife gave it back to me … it meant the world.




Don’t feel pity for me … don’t think when I write my grief … I’m reaching out for someone to feel sorry for me. I don’t need it. Just care … go on … open your eyes wider when you see a grieving person … have compassion, not pity. Just simply … care with your Heart.



If you say something sincere in your own words (not a bunch of ___ you’ve always heard) … it’ll mean the world to that grieving person. Don’t recite a bunch of nothing just to have something to say … don’t say anything … just hug … care … if you can’t say anything … real.



Know that I am a for-real good person … I’m most real. I love everyone … see through fakey people … don’t waste time on them. Life’s too short to let others in my life that aren’t sincere.



I will voice my Gloria Opinions in a moment … I’ll respect yours and you respect mine … I won’t argue anything with anyone. Why? Because I simply don’t have to … it’s not worth the grief, pain it causes.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




One last thing … I’m known for some times, writing long stories. I have to … it’s part of being me. You don’t need to tell me … I already know. I don’t do it all the time … only when … it’s important.



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



Photo is of the only tattoo I most likely will ever have … in memory of my son, Tommy. He loved dragonflies … dragonflies show up in my life at the oddest times.



My Tommy Dragonfly Tattoo created for me by Jason Wilkins at Revelation Ink & Piercings … his new shop will open in early March 2016 in Raleigh, NC (Wakefield area).  Until then, you will find him at his shop in Louisburg, NC at Dystink’d Tattoo.



I Need Words That Turn into Arrows to Point the Way in the Right Direction …




Email:  gloriapaintsat@yahoo.com





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:   gloriapaintsat@yahoo.com  … 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:  gloriapaintsat@yahoo.com    …..  (my private email address)


When I’m Taking My Last Sweet Breath of Life …



Email:  gloriapaintsat@yahoo.com




When I’m Taking My Last Sweet Breath of Life  …

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


Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



Who would have thought?  We got old … just like that!  I mean we don’t think old … don’t act old … talk old.  Of course, when we walk we try to never show our ‘old’ we feel in our bodies 🙂  For older adults … we always smell good.  I remember someone writing on Facebook once … that all older people smelled like ‘shit and piss’ … those were the words they used … not my words.


I love for my hair to smell beautiful … I have since being a young girl.  I love my perfumes … along with my clean body.  Skip is the same way.  Old bodies that smell wonderful!  🙂  I want to smell good to the day my ‘old’ body is cremated … soar up in flames to Heaven with a wonderful scent of … Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds! 🙂  What kind of ‘old’ person am I?  I never heard one … ‘talk like me’ 🙂


Our bodies are lucky to even have the medical conditions, problems they have.  We groan, moan as we get up from sitting.  We hold our backs, sides, arms when we get up from the bed.  Our bodies protest every time we do something.  We feel everything 🙂  After many surgeries  … you are going to feel something.


I won’t go into the long list of medical conditions, problems for either of us … but, I will say this … I’m so thankful, grateful to have them.  I’m lucky to have all that’s happened to my body.  I didn’t want to die … Skip (my husband) … feels the same way.


My oncologist told me this past year that I shouldn’t be here … everyone is gone who were sick like me … 16 years ago.  I am a cancer survivor … Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Skip is a cancer survivor … Colon Cancer … he also, was a miracle.


Heckfire, I’m lucky to have all my medical problems as well … it’s good to hurt every day of my life … I’m alive! 🙂  Every pain I feel … may make me cry, moan, groan sometimes … but, I never forget the time I battled cancer for 3 years … and amazingly … won.


I slipped out of Death‘s hands when I went into Congested Heart Failure … and other things that happened to me.  Skip has slipped out of Death’s grasp so many times … so, we are proof that Death doesn’t win … every time.


That fighting spirit I have … who knew my fighting spirit was so strong!  I inherited that from my Grandma Alma … who lived the last 20 years of her life as a paralyzed woman … she never felt sorry for herself.


Tommy … my only child … sitting beside Grandma Alma’s grave.



She never lost her compassion, love for everyone’s children.  She could raise Hell with the best … but, she was the most strongest, most wonderful woman I ever knew.


My Grandma Alma would protect a child in a heartbeat … just let someone come close enough to try to take a scared child clinging to her dress … her good hand would reach out for her glass of ice and water … the next thing you knew … somebody’s temper was cooled down!  Her eyes became fire … she would glare them until someone backed down … no one wanted to go past that expression with her.


She’d throw that glass of water in someone’s face in a split second.  Oh yes, she may have been paralyzed but … she was fierce when it came to her love for someone.


She made everyone … think … better of pushing over her.  She was just a paralyzed woman … her body weakened from being in a coma, having a stroke.  Her eyes, strong voice … her manner made one forget.  That’s why children ran to her protecting hand … I hid behind her big, upholstered recliner/rocking chair … many times.



My Grandma Alma as a young woman …



If she ever cried … it was from frustration, anger that Hell burned all around her.  When she quit crying … all got quiet around her … and everyone knew … to back off, leave her alone.  My Grandma Alma became … even stronger after she cried.


Her everyday life was pure Hell … nothing stayed calm in her house … so many people in and out.  They brought their fights, problems with them … they would forget Grandma Alma was paralyzed … she was so strong.  If she ever showed any weakness … everyone … fell to pieces.  She held them together like glue.


When Grandma Alma died … so, did the ‘family’.  They were close before, yet they constantly fought, raised pure Hell.  When she died … the ‘glue’ was gone … everyone fell apart, the gloves came off … Hell became … hotter here on earth.  See … the house was over one of the portals to Hell … Grandma Alma kept it closed.


I look back to when I lived in her house … I won’t say ‘home’ … I can say … Hell.  They owned the house … yes, it was their home (Grandma Alma and George … the only grandfather I ever knew … George was blind).  I just never associated the word ‘home’ with ‘their house’.  Strange.  That house to this day makes me physically sick … not to look at it … but, to try to step into it.  Only Skip knows how it affects me.



My Grandma Alma and George … the only grandfather I ever knew … and the kindest man I ever knew as a child.


I look back … feel such love, respect for a woman I wish had lived in my adult life when I had matured.  I wish I could have made hers and George’s life easier.  I didn’t ever get to help do that …


Strength, fighting spirit … compassion with the biggest Heart I ever saw … empathy, a gentle touch with her good hand (though I’d been on the receiving end of her good hand when … it wasn’t gentle).


Gloria Faye Brown … once a little YOUNG girl 🙂 … now. OLD.



Do you know … I think I became a lot like Grandma Alma through time?  She was my hero as a child … a paralyzed woman who was stronger than anyone I knew then, who walked on both feet … used both arms.  Only she ‘took and took’ so much bulls___ from anyone who wanted a place to land … raise Hell.


I’m completely different in that respect … you aren’t going to raise Hell in front of me … I can be Hell if you want it.  I live a quiet life … I chose to do that … I chose to leave the Hell-raising out of it.  But … though I try to be good always … quiet and calm … doesn’t mean I’m perfect … I can ‘raise Hell’ with the best of them.


I was … raised to … raise Hell.  It’s in me … I keep it hidden … I’m not proud of it.  But … it’s there … if I need it.  It’s a hidden weapon 🙂  It’s my … super hero action gear … you know how Clark Kent changes to Superman … who would ever suspect him to be Superman!  He’s so quiet, unassuming … meek, mild.  🙂  When his strength surfaces … watch out!


I’ve been thinking about being fortunate to be able to walk, move about … talk, see … laugh … drive … to pick up things, write … just all the things I do.  She couldn’t just do that in her life … but, she was stronger than anyone I knew.  Her mind was strong, sharp as a knife.


Grandma Alma was a good teacher in my young life … though at times, she would scold me, pinch me … once she caused me to fall on a burning-hot heater.  She grieved for that after it happened.  I never talked about it to anyone … I knew she never meant for that to happen.


Getting back to being … old.  For the first time in my life … I am realizing as I begin to … enter the ‘old world’ … I have more battles to face, to win.  I didn’t know that!  I’m on another new journey in Life … once again I’m on a journey in Life that I don’t know the first thing about … I have to be like a bird and wing it.


My question is … ‘why didn’t I research, learn how to become ‘old’ before it happened to me?’  Why didn’t I do that while I was strong enough … well, I’ve been through a lot to live … focusing on getting well from all kinds of things.


Surgeries, grief … oh, so much grief for the past 16 years as person after person (family) died from crazy-ass things that shouldn’t have happened …. then, my son died from 3 blockages to his heart  … I couldn’t think of anything but, pain.  We lost all in a fire … Skip was in a tractor-trailer wreck … the list goes on and on.  I couldn’t think past the pain.


Which brings me to this moment in time … I got ‘old’ … before I knew it.  Oh my God … this is another new journey I’m thrown on in Life … where are the directions?  What do I do?


Do I fall on my ass … lay there like a big-ass baby?  Feel sorry for my poor ‘old’ self?  Be fearful to look around me because ‘now’ I am at my weakest point once again?  Hold my head down in shame because … for the first time … I am going to have to go to others and say … ‘please help me, I’m ‘OLD’ … I haven’t fallen and can’t get up … not just yet.’


I did just that two days ago.  I asked for help … and for the first time when asking for help … I didn’t hang my head in shame.  I smiled, felt hope in my Heart … people responded to it, cared.  I just pray now … that help can come.


My only obstacle was at the end of the day when everyone wanted to go home (I understood it was past closing time) … was a young, Spanish girl.  She never smiled at Skip and I when she met with us … she was wanting to leave for her home … everyone was excited about the winter storm heading our way.  She was one of the last people to get to leave … couldn’t leave until the last client left … which happened to be us.


I truly understood … I also, understood our life was in a crisis with Skip just having a stroke, complete heart blockage … had a pacemaker put in.  When I asked her about receiving help for our rent … told her what’s happened … she never batted an eye.  It didn’t even phase her how serious our situation was … she never saw the pain we were in … sensed the desperation around us.


She said she couldn’t help us, there weren’t any resources for seniors.  I asked her if there weren’t any resources for seniors … where do they all go?  Where are all the seniors before us?  What happened to them … have they been put in a box, hole somewhere … where are they?  I told her quietly that I knew many others have come before us … what happened to them?  What did they do?


I needed to know something … a direction to go.  I asked her for that … her response was … ‘go to a shelter’.  No kindness … no compassion for two broken ‘OLD’ people sitting in front of her … no smile to ease the pain of her words.  No feeling but, a blank … uncaring face looking back at us.  I think that hurt worse than anything … maybe she could have told us in a more ‘kind’ way.  Maybe just pretended for a moment … she cared for our situation.


I knew we didn’t need to waste any more of her time … she wanted to leave, go home.  She wasn’t in any mood to listen to us … to give us any advice.


We weren’t anyone to her … she wasn’t seeing us as two people in front of her who needed help … she was seeing us as someone she had to stay for until we left … before she could go home.


I worked with the public for years … I could read her.  I also, knew anymore talk was a waste of time … the door had been closed in our face. No matter what I said, did … she would sit there with that closed, blank look on her face that said it all … ‘leave, go home so, I can go home.’


So, we stood up with the little pride we had left … graciously thanked her, left so she could go home.  She almost beat us to the parking lot … we’d just opened the doors to get in … there she was … hurrying to her car.


We left in sort of a state of shock … stunned at the Spanish girl telling us we could go to a shelter … she didn’t know where one was at.  She let us go out into the darkness … never caring, thinking about us as she pointed the way out.


She never saw the hope she dashed … the fear she put in my Heart … the sickness I felt … Lord knows what Skip felt … he stayed quiet.


She did see how sick he was … she just wanted us to follow her down the long halls to her office, get us out of her hair.  She heard his feet stumbled as he walked on the carpet … she never turned to offer help to him.


She let us go out the door never caring where we were going to … she didn’t know if we were going into the woods to live, under a bridge. We were no more than the air around us … you can’t see air. She never felt our … current.


I understand.  When people are young … in important jobs … they have no idea until years of experience and making mistakes … of what they sometimes do to the people they had to ‘learn on’.  By the time they do … those people have went through their Hell and died. You can’t go back to make anything up.


She’ll never think of us again … I will think of her often for some time.  She caused me pain … I never forget people who make me hurt.  I forgive them with my Heart … I just can’t forget.  I never felt anger at her … I only felt the hopelessness she created in me for that brief encounter with her.


Strange thing is sometimes … something happens and I’m in the position … to cause them pain … since I have a good Heart … you know what I do … I don’t 🙂



I’ve talked about the Spanish girl enough now … hopefully, I can let the memory of her go … the pain at a time I was down … how she made me feel … made a impression on me … a painful one.


Why do I write about all this?  Well … how do you learn things if you don’t read.  How do you know what’s going on if you don’t read?  How do you learn if you ‘are the only one who goes through this or that?’


Well … I want you to know you aren’t alone if you have experienced this, or just before experiencing it.  I want you to know this … before you ‘get old before you know it’ … research, have a plan/foundation to follow.  Have direction to go in … don’t think ‘I’m never going to get old … I have plenty of time’.  No, you don’t.


If your life is anything like mine … so many things happen to distract you … all you do is focus, live what’s at the moment.  Then … today comes … you are OLD.  If you didn’t have all the wonderful 401K plans, insurances set in place … everything set up for old age … you will be like me.


You can get sick … lose everything … events happen in your life … all those good things can still get gone that you set in place.  That happened to us.


No direction to go in … no one willing to offer solid advice … people who have made it to a place to survive aren’t going to tell you anything because it could hurt them.


They will sit, watch you flounder like a fish out of water trying to find a way to survive … if you fall off a cliff, so be it … as long as they are all right.  They think you aren’t aware of them as they watch you fall on your face … all the while sitting in comfort.  Good for them … bad for you.


When you struggle to survive … you don’t have the money to save back, that’s true.  When you have medical conditions on top of it … that adds to your struggle.  What do you do?  I wish I could tell you, I just don’t know.  I’m having to learn … I need solid advice, not just ideas.


I know if I listen, watch closely … it will come to me.  Oh … did you think I was going to fall down, not get back up … lay and whine, cry ‘woe is me’?  Feel sorry for my OLD ass?  Did you think this was the end for me … I would let go of Life so easily now at this point in my life?


Well … you are right!  You know me … I have already gotten back up off the ground Life threw me on once again … all the while dusting my ass off … fire in my eyes … strength in my Heart.  I have my whole world … Skip and the Pups … to think of.  I’m the strongest at this time  … I’m going to find the way for us to survive.  I will share as much of it as I can to hopefully help you … one day when you get OLD.


I know OLD people still have a whole life ahead … they still think, act, feel young.  Like us … we didn’t even know we’d gotten OLD until our bodies let us know.  We still aren’t sure if we are OLD, yet.  Maybe I will realize it when I’m taking my last sweet breath of Life.



Note by this Author:

Somehow … I became OLD before I knew it … the many distractions of real Life kept me busy, focused on everything else … when my eyes opened to see … you can see what I saw in my mirror … only I looked worse from the grief I had to go through when losing my son.


Photos/article owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.


Life has thrown me on my ass … oh wait a minute … on my OLD ass again!  On my OLD ass for the first time!  I’m already up … brushing the dirt of failure off it … I’m not going to lay there whining, crying ‘woe is me’ all the while feeling sorry for myself.  Hell no!  Not!


I am at another ‘lowest point in my life’ … I’m facing it head-on.  I might have fear in my Heart … I’m still facing it head-on like I’m the most fearless being in the world.  I might die trying … get knocked down again … but, as long as I have the sweet breath of Life in my body … I am crawling if I have to.


I will hold my ground for as long as possible … even if I now have to do something I never had to do … ask for help.  When I ask for help … it’s with the thought of my whole world … I will do anything for Skip, and our Pups … they are my whole world.  I was the weakest of us … for now, I’m the strongest.


Strange thing is … even when weakest …. I was strongest.  Does it remind you of anyone I’ve told you about?  Grandma Alma 🙂  The strongest woman I ever knew was paralyzed, and she was my grandma … my childhood hero.


Lord, I’m Standing Up Again …

Lord, I’m Standing Up Again …

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



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




The waves are battering me again trying to break me apart

I’m tossed, thrown on the sea to sink … only to rise

I tighten up … another Life’s storm comes for me

The wind … darkness … all vicious in its might

Try to destroy me … sink me to the pits of the unknown

I’m afraid … I pray for help … in the meantime I don’t give up

I hold my ground … stand up straight … I focus ahead

My hands brush the sand off my ass from where I fell

Life just threw me down once again

Stay down … stay down this time, Life roars at me

Hell no!  I try to rise, being pushed down the whole time

Tears flow down my cheeks … anger, pain soar through my mind, body

I’m not staying down even if I have to crawl

I’m like the redwood tree … scarred from many battles

I’ve stood through the years beaten, worn

I’m broken, beaten … not pretty to look at anymore

Doesn’t matter … all I worry about now

Is to survive … live until I die

My way has been hard … never easy

Each road I’ve taken has lead to pain

In my old age I would love to know peace, comfort

Know how it feels not to suffer physically, have mental pain

Be able to smile and not hide anything … smile because

For once everything really is alright

Grow old gracefully … feeling joy in my Heart

Having enough so, I can share

Doing good things for others in need

The wind has been knocked out of me

The love of my life almost died

I almost lost another part of my whole world

Oh God, I cried … please don’t take him away

He’s all I have … my Husband, our two Pups

They make up my whole world

You took my son, my only child

I’ve never questioned why

I learned to accept I’ll never see him again

I never hated you, God

I never cursed you, screamed at you for taking him away

I cried, stayed in darkness … I just couldn’t bear losing my son

You took every member of my family away

All the ones I truly loved … now, they are gone

All I have left is my whole world

Please let us have many good years

Good years where we can live in peace, not know more pain

Let us experience true happiness … instead of sadness

Lord, I am standing up once again

Please don’t let Life knock me down again

Give me a chance to know peace, happiness while I live

Please let a miracle come into my Life

Let me have a chance to do good things I’ve wished to do

There are people I want to help, bring some joy into their life

Please give me the chance to experience joy

Joy of being able to have in order to give

Let me be a part of that wonderful feeling

Let my Heart soar with happiness

Knowing I’ve done well, made a difference

Let me do special things from my Heart

Most of all … keep me strong for my Husband

Help him through his illness to get better

Thank you, Lord, for letting him live

Each day he slowly gets better

I go forward even while I’m afraid

Lord, I’m standing once again … please don’t let Life knock me down



Note by this Author:

My husband, Skip, has been gravely ill.  He suffered a stroke, his heart almost stopped.  He has a pacemaker implanted now in his chest. He has diabetic neuropathy, diabetes.  He is a cancer survivor (colon cancer).  He won’t be able to work again.

Our life has completely changed … we’ve begun a new journey in our life … we are facing the unknown.  I pray that as we go forward … all will be good in the rest of our life.

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