The Christmas Tree That Wouldn’t … Grow

The Christmas Tree That Wouldn’t … Grow!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



This is the only Christmas tree we put up after Tommy died… I never knew Christmas would become important again in my life…. well… this year I put the big tree up for the first time…  it only has lights on it because… I’d given all our decorations away.  I knew I’d never use them again…. now… we have to begin accumulating Christmas tree decorations all over again.  :)))


Through time, we will… the lights are what make me happy to see… so, it’s alright.  I may just get a big bow with long streamers… place it at the top.  :)))  Christmas has come back alive for me… for us.  I love the sounds, excitement listening, watching others as they go about their ways to plan their Christmases…. this is the first time since Tommy’s been gone, I’ve felt this way.




Many years ago, we had opportunity to go by, see my little brother… his young family.  No one in my family was very close… but, it didn’t alter the fact, that I … loved them.  I always wished for closeness of a ‘family’… for me, I have never known such in my entire life.  I’ve almost… and it would be like a dream.. and go away.  I learned never to take anything for granted… because… honestly, you really can’t.


What you have now… might not be here… tomorrow.  I treasure what I have now… because I’ve lost everything in my life at one time or other… never ‘expecting it to be gone… tomorrow’.


I’ve lost almost every member of my ‘family’… I know the grief, pain of losing a mother, brother, and every family member.  I’ve lost many pets… we lost our home to a house fire… I almost lost my husband several times due to wrecks ( both times he was hit by a woman)…. and he had colon cancer.  Not only that… I’ve ‘lost myself’ not one time… but, more than several times in my life.  I’m a cancer survivor (non-Hodgkins lymphoma), I survived going into congestive heart failure… and other things I won’t mention… until one day when I write about them.


I lost my son, my only child… this was the worst thing to happen in my whole life… I almost didn’t… survive this.  Truthfully… if it hadn’t been for Skip… my husband, soul mate, hero, best friend… I would have never been here now.  You see… the moment I found out my son was dead… my life stopped.  I died at that very moment.  No one could have killed me ‘then’… I’d never known it… I was dead.  I would have just smiled at them, I’m sure.


The good thing is… I made it back to … Life.  I write to remember Tommy… I won’t let him ever be forgotten.  I write my life/colors so, I won’t be forgotten…. for two little children I’ll never know in my lifetime… because of one of the mother’s dishonesty to the other mother.  I can’t know one grandchild… and know the other at the same time… one mother doesn’t want me to talk to the other… she’ll find out that she’s been lied to.


It’s just an unfortunate, sad situation… where a big sum of life insurance money was ‘partied away’ when it should have been divided between 4 parties.  I won’t know my grandchildren because of mistakes, lies one mother has to tell to cover herself… and for children to learn what she did with… their money.  I’ve accepted that… I know young people make bad mistakes.  I’m sad… that I can never know my son’s children.


They look ‘just like him’… it would have been exciting, wonderful to watch them as they become adults… to ‘see my son’ in them as they grew up.  I have their mothers… to always remember for this.  I’m sure this will come back to ‘bite them in the ass’ one day… it’d be fair if it did.  I don’t hate them, I still love both.


Don’t feel bad for me… I’ve come through Hell my whole life… I’m used to having to cope, accept things I can’t change.  Life has been that way… I still go … forward.  I almost didn’t this time… but, everything’s going to be alright.  I can… now.


My story today wasn’t about the above… though I did let it flow through my fingertips to my keyboard…. it’s here now. :))))  What I wanted to tell you is about the time my young brother had his first Christmas tree.  He had just married, and was so naïve.  They had Christmas, and afterwards he had planted his Christmas tree, so, it wouldn’t be wasted.  That was his plan from the beginning… have Christmas…plant the tree.



We went to visit him… he had ‘planted’ his Christmas tree in his yard.  It’d been planted for a month, or so…. but, it appeared to be dying.  We walked around it, looking at it.  I asked him did he dig the hole deep enough.  Yes, he’d dug it deep enough.  Skip asked him if he’d been watering it….. yes, he’d been watering the tree.


We all stood around it, talking about things… catching up on things.  A thought came to my mind… I asked him where did he get his Christmas tree.  He named off a Christmas tree vendor he’d gotten it from.  I knew of them… and my mind kept trying to think of something…. something that kept trying to surface.  All of a sudden, I asked him… did your tree have roots on it?


No, he said… it didn’t have roots, but…. that didn’t make any difference because…. everyone knows ‘when you plant something’… it’s supposed to grow!   Needless to say… I was almost to my knees from laughing so hard… I couldn’t speak for laughing.  He stood there…. after several minutes (that’s why I couldn’t stop laughing…. it took him several minutes to become aware)…. he began to laugh.


He, Skip and I had the best laugh.  It was a ‘good laugh’, not one to hurt.  My brother …. pulled that tree up… not by the roots, either!   :)))  Now, he knew ‘why’ that Christmas tree wouldn’t grow!


What If They Felt… ‘HOPE’!

What If They Felt … HOPE!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

(NOTE: What I wrote here tonight was inspired by a friend on Bubblews… &gardenerj . His story ‘Isn’t It Too Early to Start Talking About You Know What’… made me think tonight… and below are my thoughts…

Thank-you, &gardenerj. Your Bubblews Friend, &grannygee (This is what I’m known as on Bubblews)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

IPhone Christmas Tree 2012 004

Our little, sad Christmas tree at Christmas… 2012… this was the third Christmas without Tommy, my son… and our 12 year old Fairchild who died of cancer, just weeks after Tommy’s death. Tommy loved Fairchild with his Heart… we loved Tommy, Fairchild with our very Hearts. I can’t tell you the grief, pain … in my words… I’ve lived in… even knowing ‘everything is going to be alright’… one way or the other, it’s going to be. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee………………………………………………………………………………………..

Well… I’ve made a big decision… I think I’ve discovered ‘why’ people are wanting to ‘begin Christmas early’.

For the past 3 years… my son has been gone… I couldn’t celebrate anything… I couldn’t ‘see colors, happiness’. I lived in a ‘dark’ world… grief, pure-pure grief, pain.

All the colors, happiness was around me… no matter how I tried to come out to the ‘happy colors’… I couldn’t get there. I tried so hard… but, the knowledge that my son died… wouldn’t let me… I hurt so bad. It wasn’t time.

The positive thing is… that I ‘knew one day’… everything would be alright… I really knew that… but, ‘when’? It couldn’t happen until the day… I began to accept the death of my son.

Accept the knowledge that nothing will change that. Tommy’s really gone. With that being said… you can’t see what just happened to me. I was overcome with such deep grief, that I began crying inside.

The magical thing about writing… is I don’t have to do it front of you. I can write, cry all I want to… and not … upset you. I never want to upset you… I know grief, pain well… I wouldn’t intentionally inflict it on another person.

The good thing about reading… is if you decide you don’t need to read something… or it might upset you in some way… you can leave quietly, no one knowing any better. You know… like in a library. You won’t hurt me… and you can go away, knowing that you can do it quietly… and I understand, care.

You see… I’ve always heard that if one wants to write… one has to write what they know best to succeed. In my entire life, I’ve known more pain, grief, heartbreak than anyone I know. I know pain, grief best… this is what I write best… because I ‘feel, and have lived it since being a little girl’.

I, also, know happiness. I’ve also, experienced miracles, prayers being answered. I know the joy, the specialness of all. So, I’m not a doomsday person at all. Truthfully… when you see me… nine times out of ten… you will see me smiling. Smiling no matter how bad life is being to me.

Not because I’m ‘crazy, and don’t know any better’… because I ‘know life is going to be like that’… no matter what. It seems I understand ‘so much’ now…. it’s taken years for me to learn. Does that lessen the pain, grief in my heart. I’ll answer with a simple ‘NO’.

So, why do I ‘try to smile’? Because … I try to be positive as possible… since ‘I’m not perfect’…. sometimes, I’m not. Sometimes, I will feel angry from the pain, grief. I always end up back at …’everything is going to be alright’. How do I know?

I know because I’m always thinking, feeling, sensing… trying my best to swim the waves in the sea of pain, grief. You see, I mean to make it… I mean ‘to not drown’.

In my stories, you will see my struggle… you will in time… see me reach the shore in my struggle. I have a ways to go… I’m not there, yet.

I may be 100 years old… when I reach that shore… I might not reach it until… I draw out ‘my own’ last breath. It doesn’t matter, ‘everything is going to be all right ‘now’… as ‘right as it can be when someone’s only child dies’.

Guess what? I’ve never known how to swim in this life… but, in that world you don’t ever see… but, ‘feel, sense’…. I know the ‘ocean of pain, grief… well’. It’s strange how much I swim… ‘there’… in this life.

I don’t even have the convenience of a ‘shark cage’ to protect me… I ‘feel such pain’. I’m ‘always swimming there’… but, ‘you can’t see me… can’t see my struggle’. Isn’t that an interesting thought?

At one point in my grief… at the very beginning… ‘I almost drowned… I almost died’. It’s the truth, I’ll admit it. I wouldn’t have known it… but, Skip could see. He was on the ‘outside’ looking in at me. I never knew he was there… in my mind… I had already left, I didn’t know I was still here… I didn’t know I was … still in this life. My life stopped. My only child just died… The End.

This year, right ‘now’…. I have made a decision two days ago… I am going to put up happy, colored red lights (to match décor in our house)…. inside. They will be tasteful. I’m beginning early just like many people are… the commercials on tv have begun… I think that, I’m … so glad!

Why? I want to ‘feel happy inside, I’ve been sad so long’. Soft, little lights have a special way to affect one’s mood… especially mine as I’ve been ‘in the dark too long’. Also, I am going to put up the little Christmas tree we bought ‘just to have one last Christmas’… on the dining table. This will be done within this next week.

After Tommy, my son died…. I gave everything away that was accumulated through the years for Christmas… I gave them away to ‘family’ whom I thought loved, cared about me… only to find out differently, later.

It’s okay… my ‘family’ is like that… we all were born with that in us… no one can help it. So, many years of accumulating, making decorations are gone, wasted… no one can see the ‘love, caring’ in all I had, made. I let go a long time ago… it no longer matters. I didn’t care… nor did I remember… giving all away. What I wrote just now, was ‘a few thoughts’ that flitted through my mind.

I didn’t have more children, only my son, Tommy. He had two children… I wasn’t going to be seeing them…. it was ‘the end’ of my life… or so, I thought. My only child died….

I had to learn to accept no grandchildren, I learned it well. So well, that I forget that now… it’s possible to see only one of them, my precious little grandson… who looks like the little boy I once had.

I reached out to see my grandchildren… was made to understand that I had to go back into the past to answer questions… that are no longer important.

I won’t do that…. I won’t play games with anyone… life is about moving ahead, loving the ones in your life ‘now’. I am too fragile to go back to remember the grief, pain in my son’s heart the last time he saw his daughter.

I won’t write about it here… it would be devastating… too private. The last words she said to him… he carried to his grave… they weren’t the only words. I do… remember them.

I’ve let go of a beautiful child, granddaughter I truly love, and liked so much the last time I saw her. Her mother made sure she won’t ever be in my life… I accept that with such respect. I would never do anything to hurt them.

When I read the things she wrote, I could go back to ‘being her age, and ‘see’… she has a long way to go in life to understand that life ‘is now’… you don’t ‘dwell in the past’… it’s not her fault she doesn’t know that now. You see, I understood so much from her words… it’s ‘not so long ago’ that I used to be her age, and I thought ‘just like that’.

I love her, I’m glad she’s my granddaughter’s mother… she’s just being protective of … her only child. She loves her, has a good life for her.

Isn’t that what is most important in life… isn’t that what a grandparent wishes for their grandchild… life ‘isn’t all about the grandparent’… and who sees who… it’s about… the child. I’m just so grateful… my granddaughter has a real family; a good family support… that’s most important to me.

I’ve got to remember now… it’s possible I can see my grandson… I keep ‘forgetting’. I want to see him very much… this is the only grandchild I ‘feel a bond’ with. He knows me, he speaks of me. My other grandchild doesn’t know who I am, any longer. No matter if later, it’s meant for me not to have him in my life… I will understand no matter what.

I ‘know life can be that way’. Thankfully, I’ve been writing for so long… they will one day see that I truly loved them… would never be an ugly ‘Granny Gee’… who whines, cries, screams cuss words, call names, and do vindictive things to hurt the mothers of my grandchildren. I love them… no matter what. They are special… look who their children are… my grandchildren.

You see… my life has been very strange since being a young child. I didn’t realize until I became older… I was ‘being groomed’ for the ‘painful life’ I’ve had. I didn’t know I had such hard lessons to learn in life… very hard, very painful. I have always wished ‘to be perfect’… I never could be. If I had been…. I’d learned my lessons the ‘easy’ way……

When I say this… know that I kept meeting ‘all’ head-on in my life… after being ‘knocked on my ass’ time after time, after time… again… year after year of my whole life. (Yes, I did say ‘ass’… it’s just the way it is… no apologies in a good way :))).

‘Damn’… I couldn’t be perfect … no matter what? I had to do ‘things my way’… ‘get on the wrong paths… fight like hell to get on the right ones… I got lost so many times’). I was still a ‘good person’, but, ‘lost’…..

I never ‘felt sorry for myself… I just kept trying to learn my lessons in life. When I thought ‘I knew so much’… I found out that I ‘didn’t know a ‘damn’ thing’.

I have cried millions of diamond teardrops… but, I don’t complain, cry ‘woe is me’. I’ve been angry, just plain ‘pissed off’… but, I don’t do that. I just kept trying to make sense of each event… tried to make peace with it. I couldn’t change it happening… I could only make the choice of ‘going forward’. It was no where easy as it is to write the words … here.

Most of the time… I didn’t go forward ‘gracefully’… I really try to do that… I wanted to grow old ‘gracefully’… life has had a way of changing what ‘one wants, means to do in life’… to completely ‘twisting all around’…. taking you on roads so unexpected… so, not ‘you’.

Life is like the guy on Survivorman… life would ‘just drop my ass on some isolated road… tell me to ‘find yourself’. Find myself? You just wouldn’t believe the roads I have traveled to ‘find myself’. The strange thing is… ‘I was there all the time’. :)))

I was the ‘good person’ I thought I was … in the end. Do you know how a ‘woman has to look ugly at the beauty shop… just to get beautiful again’? The other ladies all sit there, are watching and having thoughts of thinking how ugly that woman is… how the rollers look in her hair… that’s an ugly critter!

But… after ‘getting so ugly’… the magic begins! All of a sudden, you see those ladies begin to sit forward in their chairs to see better… magic is beginning!

Why… that woman is beginning to become ‘beautiful’! She ‘really wasn’t ugly’ at all! She was pretty ‘all along’… ‘yeah, I know… there really are some ‘ugly people’ who never become ‘beautiful’! You know ‘those mean, hateful, bad ……….. !’

I look ‘like hell, lost my ‘graceful looks’… :))) So, ‘now’… I’m going to ‘grow old … gracefully… ‘ugly’ in looks :))) Do you know what? I really hated to admit that… :)))

I am going to grow old gracefully … being an ugly… graceful, old woman! :))) But… I’ll be a ‘good, old, ugly woman’… I think I’m beginning to accept that… not fight it. Just do my best, let it go… I have to… I can’t stay ‘here, dwell on it’… life go on.

I want to live… and if ‘I have to live it ‘ugly’… I will’. I won’t apologize… I have come ‘through hell, death’… be ‘be here’… now.

All I can say is… if no one likes it, and is offended by my ‘ugly exterior’… deal with it! If you can’t take a few minutes to see that I’m ‘beautiful inside, my looks have faded like a rose’… I don’t mind. I don’t have time for you… I have a lot of living I want to do… move out of my way. (I mean that in a ‘good way’… but, I mean it in a ‘bad’ way if … I have to).

I can’t make you like me… I won’t waste time trying… I wasted enough time trying to get here through ‘bad things, real-bad things’ that were obstacles in my life. You have no idea how I have fought to get here… to this very minute.

If you judge me on looks… then, you are not ‘my kind of bird of a feather’. All I can say is…. ‘I used to be pretty’! :))) Now… you go on with your life…

I love real people who have lived ‘real’ life. They know pain… they learned from it… they learned the lessons one needs to in this life. They aren’t ‘shallow’ people…. if you haven’t learned these things… there’s no way… you can’t come to the plane I’m on… and talk with me.

You can’t reach it if you’ve never known the things I’ve been through… walked the roads I’ve walked on. Those ‘stairsteps aren’t for you’… yet; maybe they never will be. Then, that means you are having that wonderful, perfect life I always wanted to know… one full of love, happiness, no medical or financial worries.

I’m happy for you… though, I worry for you ‘when something happens’. I was ‘groomed from a small child, learning the pain, grief in life’…. I’m not sorry for myself… somebody has to learn it… someone has to be able to tell others about it. Let them know they aren’t the only ones … ‘who hurt’.

Everything is going to be all right. Of course, the grief and pain will always be there… sometimes, it’ll be harder… but, I reached another ‘plane in life’ … I’m learning I can go on now… I’ve accepted what I can’t change… and I’ve coped with it.

I found out now… all my crying, grieving can’t change a thing. So, when I cry, grieve… I know it’s from the ‘great love I had for my only child… my son, Tommy’. This is ‘why I cry for Tommy… now’.

I miss him so much… he’s still ‘real’ in my mind. He seems to still be here… especially when I look at his photos. He was a real person, I knew him. I know what he sounded like… I still hear him speak, laugh, cry… in my mind. I ‘see him’ moving, walking, sitting… working… in my mind. He’s real… in my mind.

I cry because … now, this ‘is the only place I can find… Tommy. I can’t just call him, see him in person… I can’t hear him ‘try to sing’ anymore (Tommy, you really couldn’t sing, my special son :))) You see… I loved you my precious son… even now… we have to admit you couldn’t sing. I can see you smiling in my mind… because you can’t believe I’m saying that!

I write my life, about Tommy…. everything… the colors/my stories of my life at my primary blog… I share my life on Facebook, and on the Facebook page of Precious Camo… the little puppy I rescued from certain death on July 4th.

I published my book filled with my grief, pain…. my goal being accomplished … whether I ever make money or not, on it…. I made sure my son would never be forgotten.

Getting back, after saying ‘all this’…. I’m thinking this year everyone has had so many things happening that is sometimes, scary… unhappy… lost someone in death… lost their homes… lost their families in divorces… gas prices so high that money used for food, clothing, their families is used to buy gas to work to survive… and then, the … government ‘shut-down’.

So many unexpected things are happening in ‘today’s time, lots of times, it’s a ‘first’… things people haven’t had to deal with.

We are all affected by this… we can hardly afford to buy gas to travel to our doctor appointments… just to go to town 4 miles away… twenty dollars doesn’t buy much gas… our tanks go empty so quickly. We don’t complain… we keep on struggling along with everyone else. I worry about young families…. worry for this, worry for that… life’s very hard.

One could go on and on…. maybe that’s ‘why’ everyone wants the holidays earlier… the soft, wonderful, colorful lights that bring hope… when one looks into them, becomes lost in them… their minds will go to a ‘magical place’ quickly, wishing and thinking about loved ones… what they’d love to do for their loved ones… what they’d like to have in their life.

This ‘is a time of year that … anything can be possible! A dream can come true! Magic happens! Miracles happen!’ The most unexpected, wonderful things can happen…. ‘to anyone’!

The holiday sounds are wonderful, they bring back happy memories we all learned as children… it’s soothing, calming to our very souls to listen to.

We’ve grown up (even if mine were never happy times, I was happy for others… I would watch wonderful families to ‘know what holidays meant… I would try to ‘feel them in my mind’… I would walk in town where I lived… see through people’s windows… see bright lights, happy people moving around… sitting at their dining tables with their family members… even hear happy sounds! See the wonderful Christmas trees in the background, glowing with happy colors!)

Of course, being a child… I did … wish. Sadly, it didn’t happen… but, I still … lived. I still got up each time, ‘life pushed me to the ground’.

It’s the same way, ‘today’…. for three years I have been struggling to get back up… I almost ‘fell for the last time when life handed me the death of my son’. I have had such a time to stand up under the weight I carry now… the grief of my son being gone.

I think I’m standing up… now. It sure feels like it… I’m feeling the holidays ‘early’ …just like everyone seems to be this year. I’m going to decorate, make happy colors come alive in our home beginning in this following week. We don’t have a lot of money to spend… but, that’s okay. I’m going to make it special… all one has to do is look around… and ‘just feel the magic, and know anything can happen’!

Why? Because life is all about …. HOPE! Yes! That is what I’ve learned lately… life is all about ‘HOPE’.

I’ve learned another secret to life… Hope. I have learned that the secrets to life are: love, caring, giving…. and now… it’s hit me… a light came on! HOPE is a secret to life, too. I knew that… but, I ‘didn’t know’ that. ‘Now… I know….

There’s always hope… we never give up hope… no matter what… everything’s going to be alright. Just ‘you don’t ever give up hope’… you ‘get up from that ground, dust ‘them’ pants off… love, care, give even if it’s a smile, a kind word… and care with your heart about people, animals.

Even if you don’t have opportunity to do these things… feel them in your Heart. Remember everything’s going to be alright… I didn’t say it is going to be easy at all… it never has been in my experience… but, always HOPE. Where there’s hope, a miracle can happen… this is exactly how I feel about it. These are my words….

Where there’s HOPE.. a miracle can happen. You are reading words from a ‘Miracle’… you just don’t know it. If you knew everything… I would have nothing to write about anymore. :)))

I’m forever grateful to people who have touched my life in the most positive, wonderful ways. Who have given to me, without asking me if I needed anything…. who have said comforting words to me when I didn’t know they knew something was wrong with me… who never asked… just sensed. I’m grateful for so much in my life.

I always hoped… that no matter what… someone would care about me… be there for me. I don’t have many people ‘there’… but, I’m so fortunate… I could be all alone.

I just realized something at this very moment… ‘you are all there’! Do you know what? I’m so grateful for ‘you’… do you know ‘why’… you’ve all stayed here since I began writing… writing my pain, grief just after my son, Tommy… died. ‘You are still here’… plus, thousands more people! I’m so grateful for my ‘old and new friends’… I’m so grateful for ‘you’.

I forgot to say… that’s something else I’ve learned in life… and never mentioned. Do you know ‘why’? Because I’ve been so used to ‘being grateful’… I didn’t realize that I’d learned that ‘lesson’ a long time ago in my life. :))) Gratefulness… that’s another secret to … Life.

I’m going to be in the holiday spirit now… after three long years. I’m going to put those soft-colored, happy Christmas lights ‘everywhere’. Turn the little fireplace on … it’s here in the living room… put the little, sad Christmas tree we had up last year… back up this coming week…. it will be a happy, bittersweet tree this year… but, it’ll glow with happiness.

Skip is going to get up a bigger one to put in the living room… more soft-glowing lights to cast a magical atmosphere to ‘get lost in’. There might not be a whole lot of presents… that’s fine…. there will be light… light is life, hope.

The secrets to life are the things I just told you… to enjoy them, you have to ‘feel them inside’… you can’t buy them. Love, caring, giving…. hope… gratefulness.

They can’t be wrapped in a present… but, then… again… they ‘can be’ by the things we do get for our loved ones… even ‘the smallest things’. Symbols of all we feel… a way of showing how we care.

I know lots of people can give a lot… lots really can’t. That’s sad…because even knowing life isn’t about material things… people no matter how old, or young… are like children… they still hope, wish… it’s the way we are. We are just human… life is like that. :)))

No matter what… everything will be all right… no matter how bad, or how good… you will see something ‘good somewhere or other’. I know this to be true. Just pay attention… remember I never said it’d be easy… for some of us… it isn’t.

We are the ones who ‘had to learn the hard way’… maybe so, we’d tell others… maybe we can ‘save them from making the same mistakes… maybe to show them that no matter if you are dying, almost died… had cancer… you lived.

Maybe … losing a child… you still lived to tell your story… you still learned from life, so others can ‘see they can make it, too’.

Maybe… to see that you were bullied, you almost committed suicide, you were beaten, bad things happened in your life… to show others that…they too, can survive. Maybe… a child, or an adult who has been mistreated, injured by another mean person… had/have a terminal illness can read our words… and gain from them.

They can find a will to live… remember the old saying, ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’?

Why all the ‘maybes’…. Just maybe… they can find HOPE… with hope, there’s life. Hope is the ‘light of life’… just look around you when you see people come together when ‘bad things’ happen. If one can’t be there… ‘go there in your mind’… send those special thoughts in the air with thousands of other thoughts, prayers… they really work. I know this in so many ways to be … true.

These are my opinions, my outlook on life…. I don’t tell anyone to do anything… I can only write from ‘my experience’…. and God knows all my experiences in life… have been ‘something else’.

But… what if someone was right at this very word I’m writing ‘now’… and felt something special inside? What ‘if they felt…. HOPE’!

My links to these places are: …my primary blog
(Come by my friend).. … the puppy I rescued… I’m almost ready to publish my book about her; her angel.

The title will be: Camie’s Angel, and will be sold only on . Her name was originally ‘Camo’ when I picked her up from the cold, wet ground… saved her.

Her angel renamed her ‘Camie… in my book… you can read in her words, ‘why?’. (Come be her friend, too).

See how people like you have helped to save her with their donations for her medical care… look at photos, see how she didn’t have hair on her body… since July 4th, 2013 until now (October 10, 2013.

Look how beautiful she is now… though, she isn’t healed yet… she has a ways to go… look at her beautiful hair, the expression in her eyes!

I call her …. ‘Our Pup’…. prayers, positive thoughts, love, and donations to her medical care have come from ‘all of Camie’s Angel… and all the Angels that have followed.

I Wished To Be Santa Claus… Make That Little Boy’s Wish Come True… Bullying


I Wished To Be Santa Claus… Make His Wish Come True (Little Twin Boy)… Bullying  by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


My attention was drawn to the tv screen. A photo of twins was being shown… the news was on. The twins were a boy and a girl. It seemed the
little boy had written a letter to Santa Claus. They were young… maybe 9-10 years old.

He didn’t ask for anything for himself. He asked for Santa Claus to help his sister… to stop the bullying of his sister. The photo showed the little
girl to be chubby; enough chubby to draw attention to her from other children. Enough so… that the bullies of the school could have a good time
making fun of her, pushing her around.

I can’t go any farther about her… I don’t know anymore than what was said above, and the last sentence I could imagine. I do know about being a
cute, little chubby girl. I don’t remember of course, how my mother let me be a little chubby girl… heck, I didn’t know I was! But… I do remember
being made fun of, when another child became angry at me.

The kids in my own ‘family’ devastated me when they would become mad at me, make fun of me. I look back at my photos as a child… I was pretty,
and a little chubby, not even grossly so. Amazing….

It hurt me deeply, even to the point of ‘wishing to die, and they’ll be sorry they hurt me like that’. It’s just a wonder with all I had to live with ‘at home‘,
and all that occurred at school… that I didn’t succeed in committing suicide. It did come to that point… I didn’t succeed, and that’s another story. But…
it happened.

A child is very sensitive… and people don’t realize how close they push a child … ‘out of this world’. I watch on the news… often, you will see a young
child that… succeeded… in doing what ‘I almost did’. Bullying… made fun of… made to feel less than… made to feel worthless… and when it comes from
not only from their classmates, and peers…. combined with an awful ‘home’ life… it’s scary.

I know… I was ‘that child’… I know how a little abused, bullied child is made to feel… how when all the other kids, plus… your family makes your world
‘the end’. I remember as a little girl when my whole world ‘went to hell’ because of things I didn’t understand…. divorce, me being thrown into ‘hell’ where
the whole world was dirty, scary… rats, roaches … things I’d never known about, even seen.

I remember going to school after surviving hell each day at ‘home’…. I’d ‘survive hell’ in school… only to come ‘home to hell’ each evening. Never any peace… always afraid, nervous, trembling. I was learning to fight to survive… I made it until I was thirteen… and I ‘broke’. But, the good thing is… I survived that, too,
to only go to another ‘hell’… to my father’s home. A beautiful ‘hell’, everything clean, wonderful, nice…. but, I was the only one there… who wasn’t wanted. I
learned I was just a ‘step-daughter’… I was treated just that way. I could go on and on… but, that’s for more stories… later.

Back to the twins… the little boy cared so much about his sister being hurt. That means his precious, little heart hurt each day to see the ‘hell’ being pushed
on the closest person to him… his twin. How sad is that? How beautifully sad… is that? It touched my very heart… I wished to make all the bullying go away
for that child…. that precious, little girl. I wished to be ‘Santa Claus’ and make that little boy’s wish come true.


Comfort… Pure Comfort

Comfort… Pure Comfort

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Coffee…  I am sitting here at my desk.  Guess what is sitting ‘on’ my desk?  You guessed it… it’s a big, old, hot cup of coffee.  I’m not even a coffee-drinker… I can take it … leave it.


Do you know what I love about coffee?  The heat… warmth… coziness… most of all, the ‘pure comfort’ of holding a hot cup of coffee in my hands.  I know you are seeing in your minds as you read… looking back to the times when you became aware of enjoying your coffee the most.  You are thinking about the taste, of course… but, I know you are remembering how comforting it felt to hold that cup in your hands.  It was warm, soothing, special … all the way to your soul.


There are those times that coffee can ‘mean the whole world’.  The warmth of it ‘really does’ reach to your very soul, comforts you where nothing else does.  It’s true… I know of one of those times when… nothing else could reach me, but… holding a hot cup of coffee in my hands did.


Our home had burned down… we lost everything.  It happened several days after Christmas in 2004.  We lived in a 200 year old house, historical house.  The man should have changed the wiring, was told to do so… he didn’t.  He just placed a new box on the outside of the house… and went on about his business.  We learned from him that he did that… when we had asked about something.  He told us what he’d done, and that all was okay.  We were friends with him.  We never paid attention… everything was fine… we loved it there.


I’ll never forget that day, though I see it through a fog in my mind.  I was leaving the house early that morning, I told Skip I’d see him in about a hour.  I was going to exercise. As I began to go out the back door, my attention was caught by a ‘red glow’… I looked back across the room to the window.  That’s the moment our life ‘went to hell’… I cried, “Skip”!


That night we were put in a motel, along with our three Pups.  We were in a deep shock at all that happened that day.  Skip had almost got lost in the burning house.. he went back in to retrieve his billfold, and the only money we had.  He had several areas on his skin that had been burned.


A neighbor’s voice led him out… I was on the other side of the house… grabbing each Pup (they were full-grown Pups, one being a huge Rottweiler).  I grabbed one up at a time, took it through the gate, and put it in my Expedition.  I did that 3 times, I saved our dogs.  Skip and I were never aware of what the other was experiencing.


I did feel the pain through my shock, and I did feel the weight of each Pup.  I’d had two surgeries several years prior.. it didn’t take much to make me go into pain.  I live in pain every moment of my life… to this day.  It’s my trade-off to live… you won’t hear me complain.  I remember for a brief moment, asking myself ‘can I carry these big pups to safety’?  I never thought anymore, I … did carry them to safety.


At the motel that night, I opened a box our friend, Ms Nancy, had given us.  It was a Mr. Coffee Maker, and a canister of Folger’s coffee, jar of creamer, 2 coffee cups.  I went to the sink, filled the carafe with water… I don’t remember truthfully if I ‘ran the water through the first time’ before making the coffee.  Comfort… comfort, comfort was what I was seeking in my shocked state of mind.


I made the coffee, sat at the table the Mr. Coffeemaker sat on, listened to the gurgling sound.  I could feel in my mind that the sound was calming me.  It was a familiar, happy sound… one that most of us recognize.  Finally, the coffee was made…


I poured the coffee in both ceramic cups.  I gave Skip his cup.  I sat down, became lost in the inner storm in my mind.  I was lost in a fog, seeing fleeting images from the day.  I felt panic inside… what are we going to do?  How will we come out of this?  Thank-God, Skip and the Pups are safe!  Thoughts like lightening bolts were shooting through my mind… my heart thumping like thunder.  I was in turmoil… though to Skip, I think I looked calm, though my hands trembled as I held the hot cup of coffee.


The coffee!  Through my mind’s storm… I began to feel… comfort.  I began to search for it through the fog… my mind slowly became aware of warmth… it was coming from my hands, warming me inside… finally reaching my… soul.  I held onto it, like a person reaching out for a lifesaver, finding it, holding on tight.


I sat there, for the first time in my life (I’ve never been a big coffee-drinker, though… the idea always seemed ‘romantic’)… for the first time in my life, I understood ‘why’ people loved coffee.  I, not only understood, I was at that very moment, experiencing ‘why’ coffee was so important to people.  That was when coffee became ‘forever’ important in my life.  Comfort… pure comfort.



My Primary Blog:

I would like to invite you to look at the two top photos, one on either side of my primary blog….. do you see the ‘Bottle Of Light’?

I wasn’t satisfied until I put the second photo there… why?  It just seemed to cast soft, comforting light there.  When I go there, I feel this happy, soft feeling inside… comfort.

A friend of ours made the lamp/bottle of light for us, gave it to us Christmas.  I have treasured it ever since I plugged it in.  I just wanted to share something special with you… as my friends. It’s not a huge thing, but… it’s meaningful.

I, also, added more photos on my primary blog.  I can’t seem to make the controls work for me here on WordPress… I click on things I want to go to… nothing works.  It discourages me, I wanted to put photos here as well.  I hope you will save my link above to my primary blog, to visit there.  It’s where I put everything… first. 

Love, Gloria /Granny Gee :)))

Each Of You Have Taken Time For Me, Thank You…


Two packages arrived from another country … they held four (4) beautiful printed books with six (6) months of my blog/photos.  You can’t imagine the joy I felt when I saw these books, how special it feels to hold them in my hands… because I didn’t know she was thinking of me…. once again.  Thank you from my very Heart.



This is a close-up of two of the beautiful books… can you imagine getting such a special gift?  And someone actually going to all it took to create these books?  I can only say I’m so amazed, awed  … it just touches me so deeply.


Each Of You Have Taken Time For Me, Thank You…

 By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


I wanted to stop for a moment to say ‘Thank You’ to four people who have touched my life in different ways.  


I received a two big packages in the mail………… that held 4 books, and gifts for both Skip and I.  They were wrapped in happy, red and white Christmas paper.


My friend, who was also, Tommy’s friend…  sent them hoping they’d be here by Christmas.  She hoped we could put them under our little Christmas tree to open on Christmas morning.  The packages arrived just a few days ago.  They traveled from another country, the holidays made them late.


My heart was touched deeply.  This special person took many hours of her time to make four (4) books for me, complete with photos… of six (6) months of my stories from my blog.


You can see the photos at the top of this.  I want you to know that I sat, held them in my hands knowing her hands, her heart, her thoughts … were of me as she worked hard on them.


She thought of me once again, when I didn’t know she was.  How special is it…. when someone goes out of their way to do something for you… and you never know that they are thinking of you?  To do such … special things?  Like you are someone so special to them? 


Do you know… it makes me cry, because it touches me so deeply inside?  Even at this moment as I type these words to let you know of this special thing to me… my sight is blinded by a rush of hot tears.   


My nose burns, I had to take off my reading glasses to wipe them dry… yes, Granny Gee has the need of reading glasses.   I still try to take them off quickly, hide them so… no one will know that!  There is still alittle vanity left in this ‘ole’ girl.  :)))  I’m just saying…………………..


I feel I just want to sit, cry because these four books with the name of my blog… my name on the covers… inside are my words telling you stories of my grief, pain, remembering Tommy, my life…. touches me more than I can say in words.  


My feelings are in printed words all because someone did something so special… for me.  She printed all those words, pages … made books for …. ‘me.’  Can you imagine how surprised I was, how honored I felt, how… just amazed I am?  She knew I wanted my blog to be in a book some day….


I want to publish some of my stories from my blog later.  For now, I’m working on a story for my first book (yes, I mean to write a book… I have set my mind to it) …. some of you are already reading it.  I just shortened the title to it…


The name of it is:  WHEN SHE’S GOOD, SHE’S GOOD…    I did have the title as:  When She’s Good, She’s Good… When She Is Bad…  A friend of mine in Germany and I talked about shortening it… I took her suggestion because I liked it.  Thank you, Susanne.  She mentioned translating it into the German language.  It will be nice to see it in English.  :)))


I don’t pretend to be a writer, I am what you see here.  Just know I’m a humble person, no pretenses.  I’ve just set my mind on doing this… I want to write this book.  When I accomplish that…. there are more stories to write.  


Either I do it, or I fail… but, I won’t feel bad either way.  It’s as simple as that… I say this softly:  “I just want to write my book.”  :)))  I have a story to tell… :)))  Oh.. I know I’ll make mistakes along the way… I’m new at this.  I’m learning as I go… and later on, when I accomplish my goal… I will do as someone did for me tonight…….


So… I’m in the open with my goal… when usually one would stay quiet about it until ‘that day’…..  You all have been here with me at the beginning of my blog… when I was coming from the Dark World of Grief after Tommy, my only child died… 


I’ve shared my most deepest feelings, my grief…. I’d like to share this with you.  You can see how far I go with this… if you ever want to share your tips, experience, know-how… here is the one person it would mean the world to.  When I accomplish my goal, I will ‘pass it on/pay forward’, as I believe in doing just that to make someone’s path easier.


Tonight, I had the honor of talking with someone who is a published author.  He called, talked with me about publishing my book, walked me through things to be aware of when publishing, giving me tips.  I took notes as we talked.  Thank you, so much…. that meant the world to me.  Also, I thank our mutual friend whose words ‘made me jump off the bridge’… to go ahead and take steps to begin this new journey.


Thank you, my special friend who has once again thought of me without me knowing.  How do I deserve the nice things you have done for me?  I am so appreciative, I treasure these four (4) books you took your hands, time to make for me.  I sit and hold them, look inside… my thoughts always come back to ‘wow, I can’t believe she did this for me.’ 


I will say goodnight to all of you.  You all mean the world to me, thank you for being here.  Thank you for following me.  Love, Granny Gee/Gloria :)))

Just Know That … I Know You Are In The World, Too



                                        Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Just Know That … I Know You Are In The World, Too

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Do you know that as I write, I do something I read that one shouldn’t do when writing? I think about others who go through their own hell, illnesses in their life.

I worry for them, I worry that they’ll read my own grief, it affecting them. One can’t truly write very well if they worry like this. I have to tell myself this lately, knowing that I still care … very much. I know I’m not the only person in the world who goes through such.

As you read my stories, I hope you will know that I think of you, too… as I write, I have to ‘let go of my thoughts’, focus on my words so, I can write what I truly know best.

All I ask is for you to always keep in the back of your mind… that I’m not a self-centered person who thinks only of myself. Please keep that in mind when you read my words, they come from inside me about what I know to write … best. If I tried to write about you… I would be false.

I read blogs of my blogging friends, I read emails, and comments. Your comforting words mean everything to me. I sense at times, my words have made you upset because of touching something deep inside you. I don’t want my words to hurt you, though… I know they will… if you read them. They are ‘real.’

I’m aware that some of you … are like me. I’m aware that some of you have serious illnesses. I’m aware… that some of you have loved ones who are deathly ill. Oh, God …how I care for you all. A lot of us walk in our own ‘private hells’. I know how ‘so much’ feels, as I’ve experienced so much in my own world.

I’ve thought about maybe should I just stop writing? Should I go on, not care about you? I can’t do that. I do care with my very heart, I can’t stop writing … I have to write. I have to care about you, too…. it’s a part of me… Gloria/Granny Gee.

For the moment, I am talking to all of you … I know you will sense that I’m talking to you, and you, and you………. just know I care deeply, I shed tears when I feel your words in your blogs, emails, comments… when I read them.

Just know that I know the world isn’t all about ‘me.’ It may sound like that while I write … for the moment when I write about ‘me’, it is. I have to write what I know… that’s what my blog is about.

My blog is about a grieving mother, myself. It’s about my son, Tommy, whom I’m never going to forget … I’m going to always remember him with my words. It’s about me, Granny Gee/Gloria’s life. It’s going to always be that … I’m going to always have ‘ups, downs’ in my life.

I don’t write to feel sorry for myself … I’ve never felt sorry for myself. I’m too much the fighter to waste time doing that. If I did that, I’d just lay back, never do anything again… no, that’s not ‘me.’

I don’t need attention with my writing … if you read my stories, give me attention… it’s because you choose to. I will write …. regardless. Even if no one read my stories, I would have to write … I am driven to write, the memory of my son, the pain … be it mental, physical, is … my very fuel.

I once had a dear friend whom for twelve years I wrote to every day, several times a day… she did the same. When she died, I can’t tell you the grief I felt for her. I found that I couldn’t just quit writing, I felt like I was dying inside if I quit writing. So, I not only write in memory of Tommy, my pain, I write in memory of Lena, my dearest friend… she is a part of that fuel that drives me.

Just know … all of you … my friends, my readers, my followers … that I do care about you, I feel for you with my very heart. Just know that … I know ‘you’ …. are in the world, too.

Love, Granny Gee/aka Gloria Faye Brown Bates

Lonely Christmas Presents, And A Hedge Hog, Too




Tommy and Gloria, Lonely HedgeHog and Presents 019

These Christmas Presents 2012 will always be here to one day give to a ‘big boy’ if need be… 


Lonely Christmas Presents, And A Hedge Hog, Too…
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

A huge hedgehog sat there with the softest of smiles, waiting.  Beside it, sat four Christmas presents all wrapped in Santa Claus paper, with a bow on top.  They sat there … waiting for a little boy named …

If you looked closer inside the house, you would see a lady sitting there … waiting, keeping her cellphone in her bra, close to her heart so, she wouldn’t dare miss a call ….  She sits quietly, her thoughts floating all around her… like stars around the moon at night.  Will her cellphone ring?

If you looked into her eyes, they would be red… you would see deep inside that she wants to … weep.  Weep why?  Why would she want to weep? 

She has everything to be thankful for … she has her husband that almost died in November.  She has her Pups, who no matter how she feels… they are always there to give her kisses, to reach out with a comforting paw, to look into her eyes with lots of love.

Look just a little farther inside the house… there, you’ll find a man sitting in his recliner, Pups around him.  One is propped up on the side of his chair, one lying on his feet.  Chadwick, Kissy… they all are waiting because … they sense Granny Gee is waiting.

Pa Skip is worried about Granny Gee… she is aware that he worries.  She doesn’t cry in front of him, she doesn’t want him to be upset.  Yet… at times, she breaks down crying, or becomes very frustrated from grief inside her… her son is gone.  He won’t be home for Christmas… so, now… she is waiting, hoping….

That a little, precious boy will call.  Granny Gee has been waiting since the 21st of December for such a call.  Today is Christmas Day… still Christmas Day lasts until … midnight. 

On December 04th… she was sent photos by phone of a precious, little boy who had just lost his first tooth.   Lots of happy photos came flying into her cellphone… each making a wonderful sound as they arrived.

School got out on the 21st of December, he would be free for some time.  Granny Gee might get to spend a few hours with him, she’d wait until she was called to let her know when. 

Granny Gee isn’t the sort of person who pries, imposes on other’s lives.  She doesn’t do it now.  She sits, waits…. her thoughts floating around her like the stars float around the moon.

The lonely Christmas presents, and a hedge hog wait, too.  Wait for a little, precious boy to make them come alive, smile, be glad to have him play with them.  They wait for him to laugh, squeal, twinkle his eyes out of joy at the pleasure they can bring him.

She waited, Pa Skip waited, the Pups waited… the lonely Christmas presents, and a … hedge hog waited, too.

Christmas Day 2012 … is gone now.

Granny Gee’s Little Boy… Photos Of When I Once Had A Young Son

Granny Gee's Son, Tommy... when she had a little boy

Granny Gee’s Son, Tommy… when she had a little boy


Granny Gee’s Little Boy… Photos Of When I Once Had A Young Son


By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Skip reached up high on the bookcase to hand me the picture above that you see… of Tommy, myself. I asked him to please hand it to me, it was too high to reach.


For days, I have walked into Skip’s study, looked up at this photo. Tommy was eleven years old in this photo… it was taken just before … just before he … disappeared from my life for three years. I can’t write about that now. I just can’t…


We had a good relationship. God… how I loved my son. I was so proud of him. I was proud to be his mother… my son was proud of his mama.


His friends would always ‘hit on his mama’. I would always say to his friends… “I’m flattered, if you were older I’d take you up on it, but… not until then.” They would grin, and go on being their age, comfortable around me. Tommy loved the idea that his friends would get a crush on his mama.


The photo is proof that once I was a mother… a mama. Sometimes, I have to look at photos to show myself that I once was. I have nothing else to prove that I was ever anyone but… me, myself. I have grandchildren … but, I have to look at photos to believe they exist. They look like my son… so, I know they are real.


Photos … photos that somehow made it through a horrible house fire. They were photos in stacks of albums, books and in a huge, old suitcase. Alot were wet from the firemen’s hoses… the ones in the ‘middle’ were without damage.


It’s a miracle that I have any photos left … now, I thank God with my heart. I wouldn’t have had anything left but, a broken heart when Tommy died, if all the photos had perished with that fire.


This photo, through the whole time he was, missing … is very significant to me. I cried many tears, sat looking at this one photo, wondering where my son was. This one photo has seen so many tears.


It reminds me of when I would take my youngest brother and Tommy skating, play pool, go swimming, out to eat. I took pride in getting Tommy’s hair cut just right, dressing him nicely. I had the most handsome son in the whole world.


Tommy thought he had the most beautiful mother in the world, he was very protective of me even at such a young age. I was like a mother lion over her cub, when it came to my son. There were a few times I ‘went to battle for him’……


Photos are memories in pictures … they are thoughts you can ‘see’, you can hold that thought, that memory in your hand and look at it as long as you want to remember. I have to hold this photo just minutes at a time … I can’t look into it long for the pain associated with it. The pain of … now.


When you look at it, you’ll see a young, pretty mother with her young, handsome son … what you won’t see is the ‘hell’ they both had come through… nor the hell that was ahead of them. What you will see is love, both proud to be mother, proud to be son… of the other. I see the beautiful love…


This is proof that I, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … had a little boy once… his name was Tommy. He’s gone now. He was a big boy when he died, at the young age of forty. Tommy collapsed on the sand at the ocean… he had two blockages in his heart.

Below, Granny Gee/aka Gloria Faye Brown Bates… her son, Tommy… when she used to be mother of a very handsome young man.

Tommy and Gloria, Lonely HedgeHog and Presents 003 Tommy and Gloria, Lonely HedgeHog and Presents 014

“Yes, It Really … Can”

Tommy's Chest and Contents, Xmas Tree 056

Yes, It Really … Can”

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Christmas Eve morning began with tears, and a smile… laughing. Something touched my heart deeply, then… went to real life that just was so funny the way it was told.

I’m still smiling, I hope this smile will last the whole day through. I haven’t smiled a lot lately, only if someone was looking at me. My mind is on several things that are painful.

Tommy’s not here… he can’t call me, he can’t come to see me. It’s Christmas Eve… many families are coming from all over to gather by the fireplace, or the big dining table, or in restaurants, or, just in the family home.

Happiness to see everyone, excitement for the presents they know they’ll receive from their loved ones… it doesn’t matter ‘what the presents are’… it’ll be special no matter what… because it is from a loved one.

When we are out, I look ‘into your life as you pass me by’… I see fathers reared back on the passenger side of the vehicles, proud to let their sons drive them around.

I see mothers and daughters running here, there… to find presents for the grandchildren, and family. Laughter, excitement in the air. Christmas! It’s Christmas! Santa Claus is coming! They have their whole families to look forward to… no one special is missing.

I’m so happy for them, I feel the happiness as long as I’m near… but, as I move away… it’s like walking away from a cheerful, crackling fire in the fireplace… I began to be sad, become cold, feel the pain in my heart, body, soul.

I try to be cheerful, I try to be happy… it doesn’t last long at a time. Tommy is on my mind, in the back of my mind… no matter what I do.

I feel all kinds of emotions from anger, sadness, pure grief that … he died, he’s not coming back. My son isn’t going to be doing ‘son things’ at Christmas time. We aren’t going to have a family Christmas.

It’s going to be a Skip & Gloria & Pups’ Christmas here in our home. It’s not going to be the happiest, yet… it is. Because Skip ‘could have not been here’… I’m so thankful he is.

I’m not the only one who misses Tommy… Skip misses Tommy with his heart. He was Skip’s best friend, also.

Chadwick loved Tommy, he knew Tommy. Kissy didn’t ever know Tommy… he was born November 02, 2010…. Tommy’s birthday was November 20… isn’t it amazing with the birth date? Also, he was born several months after Tommy died… 2010.

Myself… I’m sad because once again… it’s Christmas without Tommy. I’ll begin another year… without my son. This is ‘just a story to you about a grieving mother’… so, you don’t have to feel sad when you read. To me… ‘here’ … is where I come to write out the pain… it’s the only outlet I have.

With my heart, I wish all of you the most special Christmas of your life … don’t be sad for me … ‘I’m just a story you read’, one that you can put down, go on with your life.

It can give you a chance to ‘see’ what it’s like ‘if’ …. your special one is gone… who knows? Maybe you can feel my pain enough … to make a good difference in your life.

Hug your loved ones, your children … while you can… we don’t ever know what life holds for us.

I would have never known my life held an empty place in it when I became older… an empty place left from my only child who died… an empty place until the day … I die.

Don’t think that it ‘can’t happen to me’… I softly say to you, “yes, it really can … happen to you.” I’ve lost almost every member of my family … “yes, it really … can.”