A New … Grieving Mother

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


A new, grieving mother just got on the long, dark road of grief I’ve traveled since my own child died … I cared with my Heart. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



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



My eyes overflow with tears

Heart overwhelmed with grief

I’m sad as sad can be

I’m a grieving mother who has traveled far

Today I met a new grieving mother

Who has just found herself on this road

Road of grief, pain no one knows

But … only someone who has lost a child

My Heart pure breaks for her

I looked at her today … I saw myself

Standing there … I wanted to weep

Her face lined with pain as she looked

Looked at her child, her beautiful daughter

Laying on silk … like Sleeping Beauty

My Heart cared more than I could possibly say

I put my arms around her shoulders

I wished to take the pain away

I looked closely in her face

She’s in shock now … she’s not begun her travels yet

Along the road of grief, pain … darkness

I hurt for what she must go through

I met a new grieving mother today

I’m so sorry for the pain she must go through

No one can take it away …

No more than they can take away her love

For her child, that’s why she must grieve

Grief is pure love … pain for the loss of a loved one

I wanted to wrap my arms around her

Like a mother hen does with her babies

Comfort her until all the pain goes away

No one can do that in reality

We have to walk our own roads in grief

Travel through darkness, raging storms

No one can do it for us … if they could

I would surely walk for this new grieving mother

To keep her from feeling the pain I know

My Heart is broken … filled with many tears

Tears and love, caring

For this new grieving mother I saw today



Note from this author:

My Heart pure breaks for the new, grieving mother I saw today … not only grieving mother … oh my, the grieving father, also.

I looked in their faces, saw … felt their pain.  I saw the grief etching itself into their faces … swollen from the tears they have cried.  Their eyes were darkened with such grief that makes you want to weep when seeing.

I am a grieving mother … even after five years.  My pain is just as deep as it ever was.  From time to time I go through bouts of pure grief … pure agony in my soul.  A mother never gets over losing her child.

Today is my first time seeing a grieving mother who doesn’t know what grieving is yet.  She is in pure shock of losing her child … she hasn’t begun grieving.  I wish I could grieve for her … because I’ve already traveled down this road.  I wish I could give her comfort … I can only say I care with my very Heart.

My Heart breaks … because each day she will have to go pure … living Hell … knowing her child’s gone … never coming back.  She’ll never hear the special sounds her child made when laughing, speaking, doing things, walking.  She’ll never see her special smile that melts a mother’s heart, again.  So many … nevers.

I can only say this has affected me deeply … I feel it to my very soul.  I hurt for this special family I saw today … grieving mother, grieving father … grieving children.  There’s not a thing I can do to take away the awful pain they are going through for a very long time.  I would if I could … my grief has only made me stronger.

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









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

(I dedicate this poem to a special person who was once in my Life … Earline Jackson Williams)



I’m not here … but, there

I’m not here … but, there

I just can’t tell you where

I’m inside myself

I have nobody left

To hold, love me

I’m just the shell you see

My life here on earth is done

All I can do is wait for Death to come

No, don’t try to bring me back

My Life’s spirit … I lack

My love has gone away

I have nothing more to do, say

You see my shell moving around

I live in my house without sound

The only life you see are my tears

That fall on on my face as Death nears

Let me go to him … let me die

I’m so lonely … I cry

I sit in my chair each day

I can’t focus on life … what did you say?

I hear you but, I don’t … why?

Because I’m already gone I sigh

I’m not here … but, there

I just can’t tell you where

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Note by this Author:

I woke up thinking about our elderly neighbors (couple) we lived beside once.  They loved Skip and I … we loved them.

In fact, I was the first person she called when he was dying.  I held his hand as he took his last breath, talking softly to him … telling him everything was going to be alright and that we loved him.

I’ll never forget watching her as I would check on her … I never saw anything like it.  She began to ‘be not here’ … she turned off all sound in her home … when I would knock on her door, I would see her sitting in her chair through the window … staring into space.

It broke my very Heart.  This woman who was full of energy, laughter … loved her flowers … always working in her yard or making something … quit living once her husband died.

She was here … but, she was … there.  I dedicate this poem to Earline Jackson Williams, whom we loved with our Hearts.  She and Bill were the best people in the world to us … we all were close.  We didn’t think ‘neighbors’ … we thought of best friends we trusted to look after each other.

They were close just as Skip and I are close.  When he died, she died inside.  All her beautiful Life sounds of laughter, talking left her body.  She became a shell of herself.

I tried to bring her back by encouraging her to turn the tv back on … get happy sounds to surround her.  To do the beautiful things she always made, always was working on.  She would smile her sad smile at me, nod … being polite.  Her family took her away to live with them.  I never saw her again.  She died not long after.

I loved you, Earline and Bill, with my very Heart.  You both were a big part of my world.

Photo/poem owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

Death …

Death …

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





Death … the end … no more chances

To say or do the things we put off doing

Never enough time to learn to do it now … not later

Death … having to let go whether we want to or not

Pulls us from this world when we don’t want to let go

We leave when Death calls … no matter we try to hold onto Life

Death … makes me panic, fear

It’s the end of all things … no more here

Just the ever-after … darkness no light

At one time it didn’t matter if I died

If I had died I wouldn’t have known the difference

I was already walking in darkness, I was gone

That’s what happens when you lose a child

A precious baby you carried, brought into the world

You never expect to outlive it

I can’t think of a worse pain for a mother

She’s very fortunate to recover from it

It almost took my life … my fighting spirit took over

Took over when I didn’t know

Began to pull me from the depths of darkness

Darkness kept sucking me in

Knowledge of my child’s death

Was bigger than me, hard to live with it inside

I couldn’t walk away, leave it behind

Every moment of my life it tortured me

I couldn’t see light for darkness

When I did it was gone in an instant

Grief … so much grief

No room for happiness, fun things

Pain greater than great

No one can understand unless they walk the path

To feel, really feel the pain

Only when they lose a loved one will they understand

I’m afraid of dying … I want to live

No longer do I want to let go of Life

I can live now, knowing my son is gone

Five years ago he died playing on the beach

With his three year old son

He died a beautiful death, the way anyone’d want to go

No pain, suffering … quick

The angels buffered his fall to the sand

As he collapsed, drawing his last breath

The sea gulls sang, the ocean waves were background

The sun caressed his sweet face

As his soul lifted to fly with Angels to Heaven

Death … I’ve been almost through the door

How I came back I do not know

I would have never known I died, I was gone

When someone we love dies

It’s hard to accept we won’t see them anymore

Hear their voices, see their smiles

In order to live we have to learn to accept

The fact they aren’t coming back

We have to help ourself to cope

If we don’t, we are doomed

I helped myself after 3 long years

Of darkness in the land of grief

It began with me helping myself

Through writing the Hell away

Releasing grief word by word

Putting steel in my backbone

Getting to my feet, dusting my pants off

Facing Life once more … head on

Since … little baby steps by baby steps

I have made it after five long years

I’m alright now … this year being the best

Death didn’t claim me, I don’t know why

Grief, sickness took me to its door

I’m living proof that miracles happen

I’m still here when the others aren’t

Others being all my loved ones, my son

I don’t know why … I won’t question why

I will go on with my life being the best I can

I’m not perfect nor try to be

I will live until I die … until Death comes for me

Note by this Author:

Sometimes, on gloomy days when Skip isn’t around … I become very sad.  The thoughts of Death will sometimes bother me.

Thinking of Tommy … my son, my mother, father, aunts, brother, grandmothers, George the only grandfather I ever knew, cousins … everyone I grew up loving with my very Heart … make me very sad.

All my family is gone … the ones left are gone, too.  Only a few communicate with me … it means the world to me.  Our lives are so far apart that we could never have relationships.  It is the way Life is … sad.

It’s the legacy left to us of our family before us … distrust of the others knowing if you get close … reveal your weakness that that’s the first thing they will use against you if they become upset at you.  No one can trust.  Life is what it is … no more, no less.

Some of us try … but, we are always on guard.  We have been conditioned to be that way since a little child.

Today is a gloomy, rainy day.  These sad thoughts came to my mind.

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

Tommy Dragonflies …

Tommy Dragonflies …

Here are photos of some new Tommy Dragonflies I’m making.  I make dragonflies, leave them somewhere in public for others to find.

This is how I remember my son, Tommy, who died May 29, 2010 on the beach in South Carolina … Myrtle Beach.  He was running, playing with his little 3 year old son, collapsed.  No one knew he had 3 blockages to his heart.

Tommy and his family went to Myrtle Beach for a week vacation.  He barely made it safely to Myrtle Beach … take his little son down to the beach to play with him.  That was what Tommy was looking forward to most … he told me so, the evening before.

He said, “Mama, I’m going to the beach and play with my little son for the first time at the ocean”.  Tommy had the most happiest smile on his face.  The rest of the family began putting luggage on the portable luggage rack to take by elevator up to their room.  Tommy and Taban, his little son sneaked away!


Tommy and Taban ran, played … people near by watched this big, gentle giant with a little boy squeal, laugh with his little son.  It made a beautiful picture.

Tommy was sending photos to me back in North Carolina to my computer.  I was home, happy and so thankful my son and his family had made their trip safely in the Memoria Day holiday traffic.

Tommy called me to say, “Mama, we are almost there.  Only seven miles to go”!  I remember taking a sigh of relief that they were safe.  I knew everything would be alright now.



 Not even an hour after Tommy’s last call to me … the phone rang again.  I looked on the caller ID … Tommy!

Only when I answered, it wasn’t Tommy.  I remember asking the man who was this on my son’s cellphone. I didn’t listen at first to him … maybe my mind , ears heard what he said at first, I don’t know.

When I listened, I heard him say, “Ma’am, I’ve got a man collapsed here on the sand …. he’s not breathing”!  Help me, Skip, help me!

Skip hurried to take the phone, I remember seeing his eyes … he was alarmed.  I look back at this moment … that’s when the light went out in my world.  The next several years, even to now … the grief has been almost too much to bear.  Thankfully, time has gone by … thankfully, I meant to be alright again.  I can’t in any way describe the real condition I was in.  I can say horrible, but it in no way even begins to describe that horrible shock, pain, grief.


While I was in what I call the Dark World, I tried so hard to come out of it.  I thought about many things, I didn’t think about many things.  How did I even have the sense to begin climbing toward the light.  You would know this more than me.  I wrote throughout this time … I can’t remember writing at all.

I know that writing saved my life … it’s where I went with my thoughts. You were there that whole time … you are bound to have seen me trying so hard to be positive, to come out of my grief in a good way.  So many of you reached out to me.

Through time I’ve made it alone … I only expressed my feelings, thoughts in my writing.  I never bothered anyone in my everyday life.  I am private that way … also, I know that I couldn’t ruin someone’s happiness with my grief, unhappiness.  I stayed completely away from people.

I tried to spare Skip with all I went through.  We are very close … and we think so much alike that we just go ahead, finish each other’s sentences.  I know he knew a lot that was going on inside me … I didn’t have to say a word.



Dragonflies are something Tommy liked.  Dragonflies became most special in my life.  You wouldn’t believe the strange, special things we see dragonflies do.  Tommy!  A sign from Tommy?

Dragonflies became my way of remembering Tommy to make sure he’s never forgotten.  I make them out of thin, gold wire … beads.

I leave them in shopping baskets, counter tops at stores, bathrooms … anywhere.  You might see one on a bench, chair at a public place.  I leave them with a short note … remembering Tommy, and my prayer when someone finds my Tommy Dragonfly … that it brings a smile to their face to find a special treasure … happiness in their heart.  No strings attached.



I came up with the idea to join my gold dragonflies to the gold-woven wire bracelets I like to make.  Now … I am making Tommy Dragonfly bracelets.  I am going to try my hand selling the bracelets at the State Fairgrounds next Spring.  I will sell them at a low price so, everyone might want one.

I won’t sell the individual dragonflies I make … I will always leave them where others can find them in public places.  I will sell only the bracelets.

This is an update on the Tommy Dragonflies I make.  So much love goes into everyone of them … I am thinking of my son, Tommy.


Note by this Author:

All photos of my dragonflies, dragonfly bracelets are owned by me.

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

#Dragonflies  #Tommy Dragonflies by Gloria #Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I Am The Darkness … the Killing Kind

I Am The Darkness … the Killing Kind

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



Something is in the darkness … Photo owned/of me by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.




He didn’t know I was there, much less the girl he was choking to death.  She was past screaming.  I could hear her struggling to breathe … then …

A loud gasp and a ‘what the f__k’! came from his mouth.  He fell to the ground as his hands went to his head.  He began to stand up, growling like an animal.  His hands were clenched as if he wanted to choke … he didn’t see anything!

I stood just out of reach, smiled.  He still didn’t know I was there.  Why should he?  It wouldn’t matter either way … he was a dead man.  I enjoyed playing with him.  I didn’t think he was having fun.

He turned around in circles hoping to see what had hit him over the back of his head.  Nothing … nothing was there.  He looked to where the young girl lay still.  I didn’t think he had killed her … hoping she was playing dead.

I had unfinished business … and it was because of her.  I was killing the rapist son of b____ who dared to prey on a woman, child, animal on my watch.

The bastard felt the back of his head.  I hadn’t really hurt him … yet.  He looked down at his hand in the night light … no blood.  He looked back to the young girl, began to unzip his pants.  He pulled his d___ out … he was going to finish what he had started.  He was going to get him some of that young stuff.

He kicked her legs apart.  He could see her panties.  Her skirt was very short.  He knelt down, placed his hands on her crotch.  He pulled at her panties, wiggled them down to her ankles, pulled them off, let them fall to the ground.

I watched with a cold smile … he was going to have more than an orgasm when I got through with him.  In fact, I was enjoying the wait to the right moment to send him to the other side.

He fumbled to get inside the young girl.  It wasn’t easy, he managed.  I heard the most awful scream come from her throat.  He reached for her neck … he was going to finish the little girl off this time.

He never saw me coming … I stepped out of the dark, held up my hand.  I saw a glint come off the metal bar I held in my hand.  As he was choking the life from the little girl, grinding his hips on her at the same time … I came down with all my might.

I killed that poor son of b___.  He never moved after that lick.  I pulled him off the little girl.  I wrapped my cloak of black around her, held her close to my chest.

I whispered to her that everything was going to be alright now.  Finally, she stopped crying.  She couldn’t see me, yet she fully trusted me.  She stayed in my arms for some time.

I heard someone calling a little girl’s name.  I heard a woman crying, a man’s voice soothing her, telling her they would find little Susie.  She just got lost, that’s all.  She’ll hear us, come running to us.  Susie!  Susie!  It’s mommy and daddy!  Susie!

Susie became alert, began softly crying.  She wanted her mommy and daddy.  I kissed her gently on her forehead, gave her a gentle push toward the sound of her parent’s voices.  She ran for her life.

I tucked myself back into the blanket of darkness … no one could see, hear me.  I watched as the child ran into her mother’s waiting arms.  I listened as the mother cried her heart out knowing this time, she was lucky to have her little girl back.  She would never let her out of her sight ever again.

I moved easily in the darkness where I was born, raised.  I was the darkness.  I could reach from the shadows anytime when needed.  No one ever saw me coming.

I struck with a vengance whenever I saw someone mistreating an old person, homeless person, innocent animals and children.  When I struck … no one ever came back.  No second chances here.

I am the darkness … the killing kind.




Note by this Author:

This is a fiction short story owned, written by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.  All photos are owned by me, also.

Isn’t That Damn Amazing?

Isn’t That Damn Amazing?

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



My beautiful mother as a young woman … as a child I wanted to grow up to be beautiful like her.






My mind goes back to just after my mother died … she died with a lot of unanswered questions … that later were answered by connecting dots.

My beautiful mother as a young woman … oh how I loved my … Mama!  I wanted to be so pretty.





A word here, a word there … actions that spoke louder than words.  Reactions to certain things … the reactions that were held in check hoping not to be seen.  Actions speak louder than words …




It’s strange how time … and actions of others will answer questions, telling on themselves if they did something wrong … over the years.




People forget themselves, become … real … once again, never realizing there is always someone watching, listening quietly … connecting dots to … things suspected, things that are a mystery … things that … shouldn’t have happened … dishonesty … deceit … danger.




Not everyone loves someone when they appear to love … not everyone is good when appearing to be good.  Not everyone … is who we think they are.  No, not Aunt Susie … she is Aunt Susie, for God’s sake.




My beautiful mother, and my precious, favorite brother … Rick-Rick.  God, I miss them so.




She can do no wrong, much less ….. !  No!  Eyes refuse to be opened … made to look at the real … Aunt Susie who is a bad person.  A greedy, loose woman who will take from another woman what she wants … even if it means death.  She’ll move her clothes right in the closet without the woman knowing … by that time … it’s too late.  Help-pppppppppppppppppppp me-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!




Not Uncle Paul!  No, he wouldn’t intentionally let someone die … to shack up with … Aunt Susie!  No!  You know he didn’t, I won’t hear of it!  Shut your mouth.  You know he didn’t let his wife die … just stand there, watch her die … then call 911.  You know he didn’t!  He loved that damn woman!




As the months, years go by … nothing left but, a recording of a dead woman’s voice crying for help that never got to the person in time … that would have went through high hell, or water to get to her.




Help-pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp me-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!




A voice that sounded from another world, crying the most un-Godliest cry.  A voice that haunts through the years so much so, whenever the recording is playing … the STOP button has to be pressed.  I can’t take it … hurts too bad.  Mama!




My beautiful mother … she had long, curly hair.  She wore beautiful dresses, flowing skirts … she was a princess in my child mind.  I wanted to be so beautiful.





A voice that couldn’t have been … that person was already dead at that very time … confirmed by the 911 person.  How did that strange voice come to be on an answering machine … after … a woman died?  The unnatural, haunting cry of someone that sounded as if … in another world.  Tell me how?




Watching, listening, sensing … knowing someone’s life taken in a way that couldn’t be proved.  Everyone dead now … what does it matter?  What does it matter?  Help-ppppppppppppppppppppppp me-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!




Ghosts from the past haunt my mind.  Sometimes, I sit in tears … I cry in my very Soul … no one sees, hears, knows all the pain, grief I suffer with … battle with.   When I am tired, weary from battling with my ghosts … I let go … they go back to where they come from until another day to battle.




No one ever saw my mother’s ashes … only Skip, Tommy and I.  No one wanted to see them or wanted to keep them … I didn’t want to keep them from anyone.  Her ashes/container were burned in the housefire that claimed all we had.  Skip found them charred … laying in a pile of debris.  I have them in a rose chest … my mother loved roses.  I painted roses for her before she died.  I miss my mother.





I’ve heard of people having to battle with their demons … demons of all kinds.  I am not consumed by my demons … but, I know they are there.




This breaks my Heart … thank God, I have them.  This is charred ashes/container … my mother’s ashes.  Now, they are safely inside her Rose Chest.





The thoughts of things wrong, not fair … death, grief, pain and people, animals mistreated, killed, harmed … make me very upset … I sometimes, feel panicky, overwhelmed.  These are the ‘demons’ I have.  These are the demons I wanted to slay as a much younger person.  These are demons I wanted to ‘save the world from’ as a young person.




Did I slay any demons, monsters that threatened people, animals?  Hell no.  I wasn’t big enough … rich enough … strange how strong I was … I was too weak to conquer them.




As a young woman, I wasn’t big enough, strong enough to save this damn world … even with every good person … it’s not enough.  So, we all in our own ways strive to save as much as possible even though … no one notices, or … cares.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




The monsters, demons still live today … watch your news every day.  See?  They are always somewhere … killing, hurting people, animals.  Cruelty … murder … hatred … anger … are the demons in this world.




How could I conquer something I knew nothing about?  How could I have known people could be so cruel … so awful as to harm another life … be it human or animal.  How in the Hell could I have known?




Could I have conquered them … if I knew?  Sadly … no, I couldn’t have.  As many good people as there are in this world … there’s not enough people to conquer the ‘bad’ in this world.  We just know ‘if we can save at least one or some’ … we’ve done a good job.  If you are one of the ‘saved’ … you see how important it is to be one someone saved.  It means your very world.  Thank-God you say.




So strong … so fragile.  So strong … so sensitive.  So strong … but so weak.




Yet … you’ve never seen a stronger person stand tall like a Redwood tree … to look you would never suspect, know the storms I have battled … the kinds of storms normal-every day people never have opportunity to battle.




People lose dear, loved ones … this is a fact of life.  It’s when they lose them in unnatural ways as many of my loved ones died.  The grief is compounded.  So many people today … lose their precious someones in … awful, awful ways.  Oh, the grief … pain that’ll last their lifetime.  I’m not the only one who feels pain, grief.




Sure … things happen all the time to people.  It’s when they continue to happen, one after the other with challenges the average person never experiences.  I’ve learned to cope with one after the other … no life manual to tell me what to do.  I learned on my own.  I think at this moment in my life … I have done good.




I’ve done good … survived so much … and I’m not crazy as Hell.  Isn’t that damn amazing?




Did I do enough to ‘save the world’?  Probably not … all I can do is the best I can do.  Will it be in a way for someone to think I’m a hero, someone special?  Nope … but it’ll be in a way that I can live with myself, know I’m a good person.  That’s all that matters … if one can’t live with themselves … oh my!  Does that mean I’ve always been so perfect, never done anything to regret?  Nope … it means I went on to be as good as I can be … inside.  I’m so sorry for anything I’ve ever done to hurt, cause grief to anyone.   Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee







Note by this Author:



Photos/colors (words) of my life are owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.



These are my very real thoughts, things that sometimes try to overwhelm me.  Names are fictious …



I truly know I’m not the only person who lives with pain, grief … I’m so fortunate to not be … crazy as Hell.  I remember seeing a letter written from one cousin to his brother just after my only child, my son Tommy, died.  I read the words about me, he wrote.  They said I’d probably never be right again with the loss of my only child.



I am glad I read his words … they were some of the steel put into my backbone to mean to be … alright.  Thank you, Pete … you never knew this.  I sincerely mean that … I’m glad I saw those words because they made an impression on me in my darkest time.  I send love to you, my cousin.



As for my mother … I know what I know.  I don’t talk about her to anyone.  This is one grief I can’t talk about … her dying breath was screaming out to me to help her.  I had no way of knowing … I didn’t have a cellphone, then.  I still have the recording in a safe place.  I tried to get certain people to listen to it just after she died … they wanted no part of hearing her.  This is all I can say … it hurts too bad.



My son, my only child … Tommy?  My grief, pain is unlike any I’ve ever experienced.  A very real part of me is gone forever … no other pain, grief compares to the loss of my son.  Did it change me.



Yes, it changed me … I spent several years in a dark world … only knowing grief, pain … I was looking inward all that time.  Thank God, I began look outward at life … wanted to come back, live it to the fullest.  I’m okay, today.  But still I ask this question of myself:  isn’t it damn amazing I’m not crazy as Hell today?



I smile because I can remember Tommy being mischievous, twinkle in his eyes asking me this very question:  “Mama, isn’t that damn amazing”?



A very real part of me is gone today … not forgotten.  Pain, grief … special memories are left.  I miss you my Special, Beautiful Son.  Love, Mama

My big, gentle Son, Tommy … when he was painting/working with a friend.  He was so mischievous, funny … silly, crazy, wonderful.  I miss him with my very Soul, Heart … he was a very real part of me.  My child, my only child.

How do You Know The Other Side Isn’t … Just Right Here?

How do You Know The Other Side Isn’t … Just Right Here?

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




My son, Tommy … he is on the other side.  The little figure is his son at the age of two … he is on this side.  This was taken exactly one year in May 2009 … before Tommy died on May 29, 2010.  They were at this lake of water … Tommy collapsed on the sand on a bigger body of water … the ocean at Myrtle Beach.  He died with 3 blockages to his heart …



Skip and I were coming back from town.  The rain was falling … I was relaxed, almost lulled to sleep from the sound of the windshield wipers.  Sort of like listening to a clock … tick-tock … tick-tock … tick-tock.



I was looking in the distance trying to see through the rain.  Skip had gotten my attention at how dense the rain looked in the distance, saying it was raining harder there.  It looked like fog, I couldn’t see the trees I always saw when it is clear.



My imagination began to play, entertain me with the idea of maybe … just maybe … that’s how … the other side … is … you know it’s there but, you can’t see it.



Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … I did this when I grieving really bad for my son.  Owned by me, Gloria.

Someone on the other side could throw a rock over to this side … I could know it, see … feel it.  Something could reach out and touch me … I wouldn’t see it … I would feel it.  I would sense it being … there.



I wonder if the … other side … works that way?  I wonder if like the light reflecting on glass … if you stand just right … you can see yourself … if not … you can’t see yourself … if the other side is right there … right here.



I sometimes, think maybe we walk in our visible world right through the invisible world … the other side?  Passing, re-passing our departed loved ones constantly.  Sometimes, they reach out in their own ways trying to make contact.  Once in a while succeeding …



Look out the window at night … all you see is pitch-black dark.  You know the car is parked in the drive … the lawn furniture is sitting there … swimming pool, children’s toys … maybe a snake or two, spiderweb … you can’t see them unless you stand just right to see them in the night light.



You could sense something move, turn the light on it … nothing is there.  What was it?



Hear a familiar sound in the air … you know it can’t be … that person, animal isn’t here anymore … how do we know they could be … possibly be just on the other side of the air we breathe, walk in, live in?  How do we know they aren’t just right … there?  Right here?



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … when I write about my life you can know it’s true, the way I see, feel, hear, know it.  If I ever write about something that is fiction, I tell you at the end in my author‘s note.



Have you ever seen the air ripple?  Like an invisible hand is trying to open it up?  Once I saw something very strange … the very air several feet in front of me began to ripple up … I was sitting on the porch talking to Skip on my cellphone.  I never saw anything excepting the very air begin ‘crumpling’.



Do you know what?  I’ve seen many strange things in my life, and this was one more.  I normally don’t talk about them … why would I?



People wouldn’t, couldn’t believe them … unless it happened to them.  I’m sure many of you feel the same way … why? … would you tell anyone.



The good thing is … depending on who you are and your reputation for honesty … people who know you … know you are telling the truth if you do decide to tell them.



When I write, I tell you when what I write about anything fiction.  Normally, when I write … all is very true.  At the end in my author’s note … I will tell you if what I’m writing is true, or not true.



Do you know … when I saw the very air begin to crumple … for a brief second … I thought I was going to see … Tommy.



I was telling, describing to Skip as I watched the air, told him what I was seeing as it happened. Nothing else happened … I didn’t see Tommy, I didn’t see anything.  Not even one thing.



The air just became normal … there wasn’t even a wrinkle in it!  For that to happen … I just knew something special, strange was going to happen … not one thing happened.



Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … done several years ago when I was grieving for my son, Tommy.  Photo owned by me, Gloria.



Note by this author:


I truly saw the air crinkle up that day … that is so very true.  Did it make me afraid?  No … but, I knew it wasn’t normal.


Did I tell anyone?  No, only Skip because I was talking to him on the cellphone as it happened.


Did Skip believe me?  Yes, because he knows about some very strange things have happened to me, and he knows if I say it … it’s the truth.


The only words I could come up with to describe what I saw when the air was disturbed  … are ripple, crinkle … crumple … wrinkle.  Still, I know I don’t describe it in the right way.  It stays in my mind … it was amazing.  It all leads me to believe the other side … is just right there.


Photos/true color of my life owned, written by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.


I Am Strong, Redwood Tree Strong … I’ve Weathered Many Storms

I Am Strong, Redwood Tree Strong …  I’ve Weathered Many Storms

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

One of the faces of my grief … 9 months after Tommy died.  I couldn’t get past it … I thought I would die, too.  Overweight … my face looked just awful … my expression was reflected pure Hell from my soul … my only child, my son had died.

Well … I have made it public I am losing this extra weight I am carrying around on my body.  It’s noticeable now … but, no one will comment on it.  Why?  I have my opinions …  hear me out.

I look around, panic … why?  Because most everyone is big … getting bigger.  It’s good when we are big, also.  It’s unwritten permission to let go … to be a part of a … bigger world for some people.  Let go, come join me!  I was a part of that.  I was glad I wasn’t alone … it took the attention off me … Fat Gloria.

I don’t knock anyone for being overweight … if you’ve never been prone to gain weight … or been overweight … you have no way of knowing ‘why?’ someone is big.  Why? someone is fat.  You don’t … and when you judge … you make horrible mistakes when you do that, and you … make fun of them.  Why?

Because someone may be taking medications that cause swelling, weight-gain.  Someone’s health condition may keep them swollen, ‘big’.  Someone may be like I was … going through ‘pure Hell’ on the inside … never-ending emotional grief, pain … not care about their physical self while fighting mental battles of losing everyone they loved, fighting cancer, losing their child … the list goes on.

You don’t know what’s going on.  Yeah, I know … there are people who are going to eat, and eat, and eat.  They aren’t thinking about how fat they have gotten.  They are only thinking to COMFORT themselves in some way … you don’t know the Hell they suffer inside.  You know you don’t.

There are fat people who say they genuinely love to be fat.  Good for them, I don’t knock it at all.  If they are … genuinely happy … that’s wonderful.  If, when they look in the mirror and see a happy smile reflect back at them … at what they see … that’s probably true.  It’s good for them, not for me.

All the expressions I’ve been seeing in my mirror have been sad, disappointed ones, desperate to lose this weight … unhappy ones.

Lately … expressions, thoughts of “I’m either going to lose this weight or … die”.  Now that means … I’m ‘dead serious’ about losing weight to have a good quality of life the rest of my life.  I’m doing it for myself … no one else.

I AM going to lose it … one way or other.  I want to accomplish what I need to do … to make me happy the rest of my life.  Not only that … I have health conditions … that mean I’ve got to.  I should have done it yesterday.  Life … got in my way … real life.

I let go when I was grieving over the death of my son.  I let go when so many ‘bad things’ in my life … overwhelmed me.  I didn’t give a damn … I reflected how I felt inside … too many bad things for me to ever feel good again.

Oh my … you don’t have to tell me how fat I’ve gotten.  It’s in your eyes … shock, disbelief.  Especially in eyes of males who knew me … before.

In the eyes of women … it’s an expression of glee, satisfaction, disgust yet … when they speak … their voices gush out pure, sweetness of “Hello-ooooooooooooooooo!  Lo-oooooooooooong time, no see!  You sure the Hell are lo-ooooooooooooooking so good!”  “You look so damn …………….. healthy”!

They know they are lying … bitches!  That’s right, that’s exactly what I think.  They don’t know, if they do … there’s no compassion … that I’ve fought to stay in this world.

I’ve survived cancer … congestive heart failure … my home burned down … in a few years all my family members died, my husband was in a tractor-trailer wreck, then a woman almost killed him again 3 weeks later running a stop sign.  They don’t know we fell on hard times … they aren’t aware my only child, my son died.

These are only a few things that has happened in the past 16 years … the list goes on.  I know they wouldn’t care if they did know … guess what?  I’m not going to tell them.  Why?

I made the mistake of telling a woman named Elaine that I was very sick, fighting cancer.  She was working in a pharmacy at that time (1999) … she used to work at the hospital with me.  I always loved her, she pretended to like me.  She didn’t have room for another real friend, she had her friend, Brenda.

(Photo of me when the woman knew me … women pretended to like me when I was beautiful.  I learned that people will hate you … when you are beautiful.  I have a beautiful cousin I told that too … she has learned through the years ‘why?’ women naturally hate her.)

Elaine saw me, stared at me wondering what happened to me.  I was so sick, but … I wanted to make myself get out, do things, get stronger.  Hell, I knew I looked so bad … didn’t matter, I had to help myself to get stronger.

She asked me what was wrong with me.  I began to tell her, stopped … pretended not to see her as I paid her the money I owed.  Why?

She gave me a cold expression, I knew she didn’t care at all.  I stopped speaking, she never prompted me to finish … I didn’t.  Why would I?  I left, I never spoke to her again.  She was so … cold.  She had no compassion … she doesn’t know to this day she devastated me at a time in my life when I was fighting to live … to survive.

She ‘kicked me while I was down’.  I never forgot that and … I have forgotten a lot during that time.  I won’t ever forget her, and her friend … never.

I see her and her friend ever so often, the last time at a cantaloupe festival Skip took me to.  She and her friend followed me around, pretending not to see me until I looked into her eyes.  They were whispering about me … making fun of how I looked.  Truthfully, I looked so bad … cancer isn’t a pleasant thing.  It … does take … the life out of a person.  I’m lucky I survived.  I won’t forget the laughter in her eyes … I knew.

To this day, I’ve wondered about her, her friend.  I wonder how their health is … they were older than I … back then.  My prayers for them … to have good health, and I forgive you.  But … I won’t ever forget … the extra pain you added to recovery road I was on.

For several weeks I was devastated … wondering if I should die because someone didn’t like me.  Honestly, this answer in these words came to me about 3 weeks after that incident … “Fuck, no”!  To Hell with them.

Forgive the ugly words in this story because … they are the not nicest colors in my life … and this is the extent of ugly words I’ll use … just what is here plus a … couple more ugly words.  🙂

Life is what it is … I’ve told you I’m not perfect at all … I am truly a good person who … can, will say an ugly word or two.  I don’t mean to, but … it’s in me.  I really try not to cuss … this is a part of being the ‘character’ in my stories … the real Gloria.  I think … real thoughts in … real words.

Later, I went on about my life as I got better … this after a period of three years … in the 4th year Skip was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I was still going to the oncologist … he had begun going.

It took about 6 years of trying to survive cancer … both of us.  We both made it … and survived things life kept throwing at us … alone.

Tommy was in Germany … we kept so much from him.  He would have died … trying to get home to us.  We loved him with our Hearts, he loved us with our Hearts.  Tommy was the only child I ever had … he died May 29, 2010 on Memorial Day weekend.

During that time my mother died … it threw me back.  I won’t even go into that … the questions, haunting of her voice begging me for help on the phone recorder … the things I saw, heard during, after her death … connected dots to all these years.  No one will know the torment I was in … only Skip.

No one can ever know the torment I suffer now … if I allow myself to think of her … what she was saying on the recording … the unearthly sound of her voice.  I can’t bear it.  I can’t speak about it anymore.

Deaths began … about 19 people on both sides of my family dying … strange how all were the very people … I truly loved.  Some … I loved, hated, loved at the same time.  So damn much grief … I didn’t know if I was coming or going.  Imagine a cartoon character getting slammed by a car each time, he got up … that was me.

I never had anyone to talk to … I coped in my own way.  It took years.  I did it … now, I’m only stronger for it … Redwood tree stronger.  I’ve survived storms the normal, everyday person never experiences, much less … experience one or two in their life.  Am I proud of it?  Hell yes … I made it.

How did I do it?  I have a fighting spirit … I know it comes from my Grandma Alma.  She was paralyzed for over 20 years … she survived living in Hell.  I watched her as a child.  I loved her fiercely.

Getting back to being a fat Gloria … seriously, when I look in the mirror …. I can’t help but, to notice my eyes.  A real smile reflects back at me … I’m actually losing weight.  I’ll be a real person again … me.

I am speaking of myself here … so, no one can take any of what I write personally.  If you do … you are at fault … I don’t know your life but, I damn-well know my life.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon of sensitive people … it seems every damn body jumps on a wagon of some kind these days … they cry, whine about everything.  I DO NOT FEEL SORRY for you.

There are genuine people … let them do what they do … you just make them look bad, and not be noticed at a time they need to be to accomplish something positive.

There are NO bandwagons here for you to jump on … only a ship to carry you on out into the sea.  If I can’t jump on one here … you know I don’t keep wagons parked in my stalls.

What in the Hell would they do … coming through my life … on my roads I’ve traveled?  I didn’t have a ‘fucking’ wagon to jump on … I had to walk those damn roads and … I damn-well did it.  Ugly words again … if you judge me for those words … you never liked me to begin with.

If you judge me for those words … go on about your life … you sure damn don’t need to be here.  You might get too sensitive.  I am speaking of how it feels to be a human being with real feelings.  Sensitive doesn’t get anyone … anywhere.  Hell, I used to be … sensitive … walk on eggs around my ass.  Now … I’ve come too far.

Oh … all I just said … doesn’t mean I’m not a good person.  I stress that all the time so, you can know this.  I’m just … not perfect.  I don’t try to be anymore … I am me.  I am a good ‘me’ … and sometimes, I say ugly words.

Deep feelings, thoughts … I voice them in how I really think, feel.  Can’t help it … and I’m not going to stop writing no matter what someone thinks.  Only real people will understand me, anyway.  Only real people will like me.

I feel many people don’t want to see weight-loss in me … especially females who were very happy that I ‘got fat’ when once … they hated me for being the … perfect size.  They will be the last ones to ever say they notice … probably they will never say anything.

Doesn’t matter to me … I know they are there … though they don’t see me notice … I really do.  The more I lose, the more I’ll be smiling.  I’ll also, pretend not to see … their expressions … smile some more.

I have become tired of being a … fat girl.  A fat Gloria girl.  Females have really liked me since I became one.  In fact, I’ve not been able to help notice how much they really like me since I ‘became ugly, fat’.

The fatter, uglier a person is … someone who doesn’t like them thinks … okay, this poor bastard has gone too far … they won’t ever travel the road back to being … slender, nice-looking again.

They forget them until … one day … that person did make it back, not only that … they sure are looking good!  What’s the first reaction?  Jealousy.  Now … they got to keep an eye on them once again.  Just because someone lost weight has instantly put them into a threatening position … one I know a lot of times … shouldn’t be.

The worse I look … the more female friends I have.  Well, it’s not going to hurt me at all when … I become smaller … I will have less ‘ female friends’.

Doesn’t matter at all … I recognized long ago … those kind of friends.  They won’t smile at me anymore … that’s good … it was all fake anyway.  I’ll be glad for them to pretend not to see me, go their ways again.  They don’t know it … I’m tired of pretending to be nice to them … of course, I will always do that.

The more ‘bad things’ happened to me … the worse I looked … females just mothered me, liked me so much.  I know they didn’t think I could possibly see the expression in their eyes … hear the insincerity in their voices.  The truth is the truth … and I’m not going to sugar-coat it.  I’m going to tell it like it is … you can like it … or not.

I’m no threat to them like that.  Isn’t it wonderful Gloria’s son died?  Isn’t it wonderful Gloria had cancer?  Damn, it’s wonderful her home burned down!  Even better … she is on hard-times!

Stay down, Gloria!  We sure do love you when you are like this!  But … you don’t know how we really feel … yes, I do … your eyes are like a mirror reflecting the ugliness in you … you know that little evil glint.  Do I need to say more?

Damn, they secretly thought … the worse she looks … the more I love it!  If you can admit this … you are a ‘helluva’ person/female.   We as females do this … I just know there aren’t many of us who can say how … we really think … inside.  You know it, I know it as a female.

How do I know?  Well, I’m stepping out here to show you I’m a ‘helluva’ person.  I’ve thought such things through the years.  I didn’t only pay close attention, study other females … I’ve done the same with my own reactions to … real life.

I have been glad someone got fat!  I think Karma paid my ass a lesson … it bit this ass good, and hard … and made it bigger.  Big-ass Gloria … Karma caught up with me.  I told you things have a way of coming back to … bite one in the … ass!

I’ve been glad females got fat through time … the worse they looked … the better I liked them.  That’s why I know females do this … I know the difference each time I meet up with a female I haven’t seen through the years.  I’m thinking of what she’s going to say … be damned if I’m not right!   Bitch!  🙂  Yes, I said that!

When I say this, know that I don’t claim to be anymore than I am.  I’m not an expert in anything … but … real life.  To me … that’s where it counts.  If you live it … then, it’s a very real thing.

Experience life … good or bad … really feel life … hurt, laugh, cry, be happy … you KNOW what it really feels like.  That’s how I know … I know how real life feels.  I will describe what I know … in my very real life, my very … real words.

I know how my life feels … best.  So, when I write it … know I know what I’m talking about … when it comes to my life.  I know I’m not the only female, person … human in this world who have come through storms … some of you are bound to go through a lot of the same things I have.  I only know a few.

You could say I’m crazy as Hell … not true.  It would be too easy to say such if … I bother you with what I write.  I just voice what I think, feel when I write.  I write from inside … I don’t write what … you want me to write.  You would do it too … if you had the nerve.  But, no-oooooooooooooo … we don’t want anyone to think bad of us!  🙂  We don’t want anyone to know we … could think such things.  I think them … plus more.

Do I worry about having readers, fans?  No.  Why?

Because I know there are many people like me … I know there are a lot of people who feel, think like I do … who agree with me.  People who have walked many different roads in life … some really bad … they learned they didn’t belong in certain worlds they found themselves in … they ran like Hell to get back to the world they wanted to live in.

Sadly, some never make it back from the worlds they entered … sadly, some live there, couldn’t leave.

Not only that … you are bound to think, react to a lot of things just like I do.  See, I’ve done my own little tests through time … yes, we are all so much alike than we even know.  Sadly … some love their ‘bad’ worlds.

I have to say this … I have known ‘bad’ people from ‘bad’ worlds who  were some of the best, real people I’ve ever known.  Not only that … they’d help you before a ‘good’ person.  They know how real life feels.  That’s why my … friends … are all a ‘different feather’ … and you can’t judge me by any of them.  They come from every walk of life.

When I make comments I want you to know where they are coming from.  I make comments from my own experiences in life.  I know females can be wonderful beings just as well … as awful beings.  I grew up with both … wonderful and … just plain awful.

I grew up in a life where it wasn’t normal … my life would be a movie you’d pay to see.  One where you would say … ‘I know no real person lived this kind of life’.  I never talk about parts of it … never will.  Why?  Because it’s my business … and my choice to do so, not do so.  I am a private person.  I respect your business, you respect mine.

I have a love as well as hatred … for females.  I suffered so much as a child living always with … damn women.  Pain mentally, physically … always … at the hands of … women.  I only knew a man’s hand as a child as something to hurt me with … when someone would sneak a hand when no one was looking … to touch me.  Damn them.  I didn’t grow up to hate men … nor fear them.  I did grow up to be strong … I don’t let a man walk on me.

I’ve forgiven … of course, not forgotten.  The good thing here … it doesn’t hurt me, nor does it hurt my life.  I’ve forgiven, moved on … I don’t live in the past.  I never wished bad on the ones who hurt me through time … sadly, I did see really ‘bad’ things happen to a lot of them as I grew older.  Bad health, wrecks, such things.  I wasn’t glad.

You can’t be offended by what I said … I don’t mean you.  But … if the shoe fits … then, that’s your problem … stay out of my life … I damn sure don’t need you.  I’m not letting ‘another damn woman’ … dominate me again … I’m a big girl now.  Especially a big, fat bitch with … blonde hair.  I don’t ‘see YOU’ when I say this … there aren’t any ‘Fat, Blonde Bitch Bandwagons’ to jump on here … I have been a fat, blond bitch … so now.  I’m looking at my past encounters with them.

You wouldn’t believe the stories I could tell you about big, fat, blonde bitches.  They used to naturally … beam in … to bully me.

It’d be Hell to pay now … as I grew older … instead of dreading, being afraid … I would meet it head-on … telling myself I’d rather die than to be bullied by a big ass woman (even a little ass woman).

Don’t I sound awful?  Don’t mean to … it is what it is.  You are listening … well, reading a real person.  You know if you don’t like what I write … it’s like a library here … just quietly go your way … I won’t mind.  Please close the door gently behind you.  I heard that damn door slam!  🙂

Getting back to being a fat girl.  Well, now I am an … ‘old fat girl’.  I know I’m older … but, as I lose weight … I am seeing this … I have a lot to work with!  That thrills me to no end … okay, I see it isn’t going to thrill a lot of … females.  Guess what?  Doesn’t matter.

Guess what again?  If you only knew the real me (I’m not letting you get close enough to … why would I at this late day and time?) … you would know … ‘there goes a truly good person who loves her husband with her Heart … I never have to worry about this one female … she has no desire to hurt another being in any way’.

Through time, I have been the ‘best friend’ I would want.  I have passed the tests over and over … with my ‘friends and my … enemies’.  I don’t try to destroy if I don’t like someone … I go on with life, wish them the best … let go.

I promise you this … I know how to destroy naturally … that’s the kind of family I grew up in.  I could have done it over and over, and over many times through time.  I don’t like to cause pain to anyone … only if … I’m pushed to.

Wow, how many times did I see the females in my young life … completely destroy other women’s lives … I learned as a child.

Vicious, evil … disguised with the sweetest of smiles, soft voices … beautiful faces, bodies.  That’s how serial murderers prey on their victims … they lure them in.   Sweet music to one’s ears … they want to follow the Pied Piper.  Boom!  What the Hell happened?

Beautiful women can trip up the best of men.  How many times did I see that in my family growing up … I’ve watched it all through the years.  My family has had some of the most beautiful females in it … still do. I used to be beautiful … I never had the desire to take from men … I could have easily … I just couldn’t.

If I’m ever pushed that far … I hope never not … then, all’s fair in love or … war.  I don’t get close enough to people, nor let them be close to me … I don’t want to know their secrets … their life.  Just meet, be friends in a good way … go our own ways.  I … always want to … think good of you.  I don’t want to see your … ugly.   If I know your ‘ugly’ … it’s filed back, but … I don’t think of it anymore.

I am ready to be a … beautiful ‘old girl’.  🙂  A good person who has learned so much since being … a young, beautiful woman.

I was a good person being young … but, I had to learn by making mistakes to know what life was about.  Those life lessons hurt so bad … but, I learned.  Isn’t that the main thing in life?  To learn once and for all ?  I damn-well learned.

Most of all … I want to be beautiful inside … where my mind can dwell upon positive, good things. No one can actually ‘see’ that on the inside … of me, but … the most important thing here is … I know it, my mind knows it.  I can … live with myself!  That’s a beautiful, good thing … do you agree?

Oh … the happiest thing also, to me … is doing all in a smaller body once again.  I have learned through the years that if one isn’t happy with themselves as a person … there’s a dark cloud always hanging over them no matter how much they smile.  It’s always a cloudy day every day in their life no matter how the sun shines.

My opinion is in my life … those big, sunshine smiles have always hidden deep pain in myself.  The bigger, brighter smiles … hides the most awful things.

I would like to know how to smile truly happy … no clouds hanging over my head to make me smile brighter to make sunshine in my life.  I want to wake up to sunny days … all because I’m happy in myself!

I will make my ‘dark cloud of grief over the loss of my son’ … turn into a happy, little dragonfly tattoo once we have extra money. My sad expression will turn to a soft smile then, because I can see where … I ‘feel’ the dragonfly is supposed to be.  On my right shoulder where I ‘felt it’ … it’s there now … but, invisible 🙂

I hope that’s the last dark cloud in my life for many years.  I would love to know pure happiness, good life before I one day die.

This is a very real color of my life … doesn’t matter if no one likes it or not … this is for-real.

No matter if ugly or beautiful … fat or thin … I am one of the best people you’ve ever known.  When I say that … I don’t mean perfect people … God knows I’m so far from being … perfect.  ‘Granny Gee’ is NOT perfect at all.  I told you so all along.  Now!  Oh, neither is … Gloria Faye Brown Bates.

I mean as a person … I’m a for-real good person.  It took experiencing all the ‘bad’ things in my life to shape me to be good.  Some people would have become more bitter, angry and went on to be ‘some kind of bad’.

I admit once in a while even now … I feel anger when I think about certain people who have treated me unfairly … hurt me intentionally.

I sometimes feel … hatred.  You see, these are things born in me naturally … I knew hate, anger, fear as a very small child … these are the first things I can ‘see … when I look back to my earliest memories’.  I remember very few hugs, very few ‘I love yous’ as a child.

I was a pretty child … I remember smiling, feeling so happy when someone paid attention to me … why did they hate me?  My mother had me at the age of 14 years old … I’m sure that contributed to the beginning of my life.  She was a child.

It took growing up to really realize that.  It took growing up to be able to forgive her, not feel anger at her … but, I did it … felt peace inside, loved my mother with my Heart.  Wow … now, I understand.  I don’t know if I could have done any better … I’m sure I couldn’t have.

For years … I’ve made myself work on these ‘natural feelings’ because they used to dominate my every thought.  I hated everyone … I greeted them with anger because I knew everyone was … mean.  I had a chip on my shoulder …

I would quietly spit venom at someone if they bothered me.  I did smile at times … rarely.  It took growing up … learning there are truly good people in this world … like me … today.

The good thing is … I deal with ‘bad’ in a positive way … go on … I’m not letting anything destroy my peace of mind.  I’m not giving other people power to hurt me … when they aren’t even aware of it … much less care.  I would be the one to suffer … while they walked around having no idea of the power … they had on me.

The one thing that threatened my peace of mind, took it away, almost took my life in the process was … the death of my only child.  It’s been 5 years now … I made it.  No one will ever, ever, ever know the Hell I suffered alone … in my mind.  I MADE IT.  I’m okay now.

I am feeling happiness once again … more happiness once the Fat Gloria is once again … just a smaller Gloria.  If I can be happy with me, myself … I can be truly happy.  I’ve coped with the worst in my life … losing my son, my family members, all the ‘bad’ things in my life.  Now, to finish coping, dealing with the biggest obstacle left in my life … being overweight.  🙂

Thank God for all of you, my faithful readers, fans.  Being here for me … meant my world.  You are a part of my world just as Skip, and our two Pups.

You have been the river for me to pour my grief, pain in words … to flow into the ocean where they can go free, not dam up to hurt anyone … not stay inside me … nor you.

You can just read it, go your way … if my life’s pain can help anyone … I am so glad.  I would have liked to have had something to turn to each time ‘bad’ happened to me.  I didn’t.

I have to write to save myself … I can’t let these words, feelings, grief, pain … dam up inside me. Sometimes when I get writer’s block … I can’t bear it … I have to write.

Imagine a garden hose … you turn the water off … it comes out the other end … if something clogs it up … no water/words come out.  No telling what would happen to the garden hose if the clog wasn’t removed.


I know sometimes, I have sounded probably crazy, just plain stupid, dumb, awful … please remember … thoughts that come from a dark place aren’t … always good, not always pleasant.

Thankfully, I think you know that … thankfully, I realize that … and know this … I have no desire of becoming a … dark person full of anger, bitterness, hatred … no matter how life has treated me.

I think you can safely describe me as … bittersweet … it’s there (hatred, anger) … but, in a good way. A good way to drive me to do better 🙂

No matter how bad life can be … things can, will … do get better.  Look at me … I am proof.

The truth is that no matter how bad life is … it doesn’t mean all the good in life is gone too.  It’s still there waiting for us to see it … when our eyes open again … when we can get past the pain … the grief.  (#Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee)

This is how I see life now, after experiencing all the ‘bad’ stuff I have suffered.

This is what I have also, learned in this life.  Caring, love, sharing, pure kindness … yes, I think these things are most important.  Compassion for others.

Note by this Author:

Photos/written words in another color of my life … all owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

These are colors of my life:  yellow, gold, green, pink, black, gray, brown, magenta, orange, red, purple, blue, white, rose, aqua … lots of happy colors to outdo the ‘sad’ colors 🙂  God knows the colors I haven’t mentioned … colors I don’t know the names of.


What About Those Mamas?

What About Those Mamas?

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



Photo of my son Tommy, his 3 year old son, Taban.  Photo is owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.  Date on photo is incorrect.




Watching the morning news … mug shots of young men/women who have shot someone overnight. Every morning … same old thing … a young man or young man and woman … has shot someone in a home invasion, drugs … so forth.  Same old thing … just a different face.


I pay attention to their expressions … they’ve just committed such an awful thing … I don’t see grief, sadness, remorse … I only see defiance, ugliness … uncaring expressions.  Why I believe the bastards … would do again if given the chance.  They ruin their lives … not only that … the lives of their family members who love them best.


If I hurt, killed someone … I would be writhing in pain, burning from the inside of doing such a horrible thing.  I couldn’t live with it.  You’d damn sure see some emotion.


It never ends … every morning there’s death to report.  So much death … same old thing … a different face of the person who used their hands to pull a trigger, wield a weapon to kill.


In one week’s time … this is what this one grieving mother thinks: What about … those Mamas? What about them?  I’ll tell you this … something awful happened to my son one year before his death in the same month, on the 17th of May, 2009 … do you know as a mother … it devastated me.  I felt like it happened to me, also.


I went into shock, also.  A man stepped out of his car on the interstate in front of Tommy’s tractor-trailer.  During the last year of Tommy’s life … he lived in pure Hell.  He couldn’t cope with killing a man no matter that it wasn’t his fault.  This terrible tragedy began to destroy his own life.  That was the beginning … of the end of my son’s death.


My son died with three blockages to his heart … collapsed while playing on the beach.  If you found a way to even come close to describing something so tragic in a good way … it would be a … beautiful death … a beautiful way to die.


Why?  He was running, playing in happiness with his little 3-year-old son.  He was so happy to be doing what he had told me the evening before, he was looking forward to doing.  Playing with his little son for the first time ever at the beach.


The thing was … he barely made it in time to play with his little son … because shortly after getting to the beach … Tommy had to leave on another journey he didn’t know he was going on.  I didn’t know he was going on … no one knew he was going on.


Tommy collapsed on soft sand … I’m sure he was smiling with such love for his little son in his Heart.  He was probably out of breath from running, squealing … being a little boy again to play with his own … little boy.  I had seen him doing that before when playing with Taban, his little son.


I feel angels let his body fall softly to the sand.  I imagine the seagulls flying above, singing. Singing: it’s time to come home, Tommy.  Ocean waves played music while angels escorted Tommy’s spirit up to Heaven.


We … as grieving mothers … have to find good things to comfort us in order to cope.  We have to imagine special, beautiful things to hold onto when our children die.  But, what about the death of a child that is ugly. What about … those Mamas?


I was just so thankful, grateful that my son, and his family had arrived to their destination … it was Memorial Day holiday weekend … May 29, 2010.


I worried as a mother about drunk, drugged drivers on the road.  You know how it is … a lot of you are mothers.  Remember how you sigh with relief each time your child reaches their destination safely?  I look back … I remember my sigh.


Getting back to what about those Mamas … the ones I’m speaking of are the ones whose sons, daughters die in terrible ways.


Someone murdered their child … someone treated their child horribly just before killing them.  Such ugliness surrounded their deaths.  This Mama has to live with all she imagines happened … just before.  We … Mamas … are like that.


Then, there are the mothers … of the sons, daughters … who committed the awful murders.


When they put a bullet in another person … they weren’t caring, thinking … how it would affect their own Mamas.


They damn sure weren’t thinking of the Mamas of the ones they killed.


What about … those Mamas?



Note by this Author:


I think these same thoughts everyday.  When I see, hear the news … look at the mug shots of the faces … or video … who have just committed the ultimate crime … killing another human being … I have the same thought:  What about those Mamas?


A grieving mother only has her thoughts when her child dies … this grieving mother’s thoughts went to the last moments of my son’s life … to try and find some comfort.


Photos/article owned/written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter  #what about those Mamas?

I Believe in the Right to Die With Dignity …

I Believe in the Right to Die With Dignity …

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

Photo is owned by me.  The friend (Cindy) who made this for us never knew how comforting I found this light in the bottle to be. Even my photo of it … comforts me.  Why?  Because light chases the darkness away.  I’ve been in darkness too much in my life.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter



This is another controversial subject I’m going to write about. I’m going to tell you how I feel about it.

I respect your feelings, your way of thinking on this subject.  I would never think I can tell you what to feel, think.  I will let you respect my feelings, way of thinking … I couldn’t let anyone tell me that my way of thinking is wrong.  How do you know?  How do I know?

So, before I go on … I can see your way of thinking as well as my way of thinking.  It’s just that my way of thinking ‘feels right’ to me inside my Heart.  These are my feelings that are … right for me.

I have been in the position of dying … of knowing I was going to die.  I know what it feels like to … know … there was no need of buying me pretty clothes … Ty Beanie Babies for my collection … no need of doing anything extra for me.

I knew I wouldn’t live to see a future.  I didn’t want money wasted on me when it could be used for more important.  This was my way of thinking when I so sick …

If you’ve never been to this point in life … being sick with a life-threatening illness … so close to death, I can’t expect you to understand.  The only way you will be able to make such a decision as I’m going to talk about … is to go to the doorstep of Death … if you can come back from it … you can make a judgement.

I’ve been there a few times in my life.   I was dying from cancer … non-Hodgkins lymphoma … the suffering, tests, the time it took to find out what was wrong with me before surgeries … took several months.  Only surgery could … save my life.

After the surgery … I was told I could die before I opened my eyes to see who was telling me I had cancer.  I never saw her … I never saw the oncologist that saved my life with the aggressive treatment she used … and others didn’t understand why she chose that.  It worked … it damaged my heart.  It was a trade-off to live.  I’ll take that.

I remember I thought she was a big, tall presence.  Later, months later when I began to be aware of things … I really looked at her, saw that she was tall but … not big.  How did I think she was ‘big’?  Because later I found out she lost a lot of weight.  Strange how I perceived her … I never saw her clearly and was drugged up.

When I heard her booming voice … the nurse, Skip were sitting me up in a chair in the Intensive Care Cardiac Unit … that’s the first I remember.  All I could see were tall letters in my mind when the oncologist’s voice said … C A N C E R … in giant letters.

I’ll have to describe the strange feeling, thoughts that played in my mind when I couldn’t see around me …  because of the drugs given to me, the weakened state I was in.  I kept thinking I could go back on the other side if only … I could go back, not have cancer.

I was dying.  For some reason, I kept ‘thinking I could go back to being all right if …. ‘

I could see an invisible line … if I could just go back to the other side of it.  I lay in that dark world … my mind kept trying to take me back … to the other side of that … invisible straight line.  Strange I know.  I’ll examine that closely one day.  I’ve never taken time … why does it bother me … now?

I know now, I have lived 16 years when I shouldn’t have … not many made it.  The new oncologist told me not long ago, I shouldn’t be here … 98% didn’t make it with what I had, and as sick as I was.  I was at Death’s door the morning I had the first surgery to remove the huge mass off my lung … resting on my heart.

I will have to take time to sometime, think about what if anything I have done of value during the precious sixteen years I was given.  I don’t think I’ve done anything so special.  I should have at least been some kind of hero or something.

Anyway, dying with dignity.  This is how I really feel after making it back from the Cancer Journey in my life.

I feel if I’m at the point of dying … know that I’m not going to live … laying in agony … or becoming a ‘vegetable’ … I should have the option to end my life while I’m aware.  I feel I should be able to say my goodbyes if by that time … I have anyone to say goodbye to.

No one knows it … I had my option to let go of life … if I knew with certainty I was dying, no chance of living.

I knew I wasn’t going to live … I was preparing.  The thing is … strange thing is … something kicked in (I do think it was that infamous fighting spirit I have :).

When it kicked in … I began seeing in my mind … the future.  The future where I could see me doing things once again.  It was like putting a colorful toy just out of reach … to encourage a child to learn to walk.  If he wants it bad enough … well, you know the rest.

When that happened, I began forcing myself to sit up (oh God, I could never tell you the horrible pain I had in my chest … get a thoracotomy … you will always know.  I had two thoracotomies exactly one year apart … I have ‘forever pain’ you wouldn’t believe).

Anyway, no matter the horrible pain … I couldn’t see straight for the powerful medicines I was given … I made my body raise up, stand up, hold onto things to walk.

I could barely walk … and go only a few steps.  Tears ran down my face, I couldn’t breathe for crying … I kept doing this for many months.

I had become determined to live.  I wanted to live … I wasn’t accepting death without one hell of a fight.  When I did these things … I would fall into bed … in agonizing pain.  No matter, I meant to get strong.

No one can ever know the agony I was in … I was alone while Skip was working as a fleet manager in a produce company.  I tried to be strong when he came home so, he could go to work, know I was all right.

Not only that … if he even thought I was suffering … he would become very upset.  So, many times I have to say … I fooled Skip into thinking I was so tough, strong … we have to do what we got to do.

That wasn’t a bad way to fool someone … at least in my situation.  It did make me personally stronger, and I made it.  It gave him comfort … he just knew I was still me … and I could do what I said.

After 3 years of fighting the toughest battle of my life … I made it in time to go with Skip to the doctor, then … oncologist … to be there when he was diagnosed with … colon cancer.

Skip had been caring for me, working his ass off … and he was … dying with colon cancer that had begun coming through his colon.

I’ll never forget what I said to him at the moment he went into shock.  I said, “Skip … that must be the reason I lived … so, you could see that you can make it.  I’ll take care of you just like you did me”.

I will say this … when I became aware of Skip being sick … something wrong … was during the time I was very ill.  I couldn’t make decisions for myself at that time … had to hold onto things to walk.  My body was in bad shape … I was on powerful medicines.

Skip came to me during that time, told me that he’d been bleeding.  When he’d ‘go’ to the bathroom … the commode would be filled with blood.  You know how sick I must have been when I couldn’t jump up from there … make him get to a doctor.  I wanted to … but, the state of mind when one is very ill … you aren’t yourself.

One day, I raised up out of bed after Skip told me he wished I could see all the blood.  I meant to see it … I knew deep down something was wrong.  Skip had been suffering with terrible cramps in his legs.  Ripping cramps up the inside of his legs.  This had been going on for months.

I made Skip help me to go see … my knees buckled under me, he grabbed me.  I began crying … I knew then … Skip had colon cancer.  The damn crazy thing here is … I ‘knew’ … but, being so sick I couldn’t keep it in my mind … I couldn’t make him go to the doctor … I couldn’t help myself.  Months went by …

This is what happened as time went by … I had something in my mind that ‘made me’ know I was going to get well to do.  I meant for Skip to go to a doctor.  I knew … he was very sick.  Skip … like me … is strong … has a fighting spirit that matches mine … maybe stronger.

I know our neighbors heard me crying through the walls of our home at that time.  They just didn’t know that I was beginning to force myself to do things in the house again.  I had a purpose ….

I made myself hold a broom … my hands had forgotten what a broom felt like.  So hard, splintery.  I made myself put clothes in the washer.  I began to mop … sure the area was very small … it was a beginning.  I burned my hands as I stood at the stove staring at the eye on top … it was hot.

Somehow I had forgotten … like a child, I didn’t think about it burning me … isn’t that amazing?  I took something out of the oven … letting my hand touch the top … I learned from that burn … not to touch hot things.  Now … I knew that … but, forgot everything during my illness.  I am amazed when I think back.

I began to do little things … in my mind … I could see me in my future being strong, well again.  I knew I wouldn’t be letting myself die … with dignity.  I knew I was going to live.

You have to know that knowing I could decide what I wanted to do … if … I was going to die … gave me comfort.  I needed that comfort … I didn’t want to live not having quality of life, someone having to care for me.  So, no matter what anyone thinks … that’s the way I felt … still feel.  I won’t argue it with anyone.

A person who has never experienced this … can talk all they want to.  Put their ass in the same situation … see what they do.  It’s funny how things change when the person who talks loudest … experiences pain, agony, near death.  You find out what you are made of.  You find out … that your whole perspective changes on life, death.  You find out … you know nothing.

So … those who run their mouth about this or that … don’t really know anything … maybe they’ll get to know firsthand … then, we can see what they think.

It’s like in my situation being a grieving mother … I lost my only child … having listened to people who ‘knew it all’ about losing a child … find out they don’t know a damn thing … they don’t know how it feels to have their own child … die.  Some people … hadn’t ever had a child … go figure.

Until people can walk on those roads in life … they can only ‘guess’ at what they would do.  I promise you … they won’t do all these things they so loudly say they will do when … tragedy strikes.  I promise you that.  It would be good if they kept their mouths shut … not make an ass of themselves.

They do not know a damn thing.  Admit it … just say I think I would try to do this or that.  Not ‘if my child dies I know I’ll do this, I know I’ll do that’.  Like I said … you don’t know a damn thing.

I don’t even listen anymore to people … like you.  It’s probably best for you to tell someone who has a weaker mind than I do … I don’t want to hear it.

Why … would I listen … to you  …tell me something you’ve never had to deal with in your life?  You’d be like a teacher trying to teach … never having an education … not a foot to stand on.

It’s like someone telling you how to drive … never driving in their life.  It’s a whole different ballgame …

Anyway … unless one knows from experience … it would pay to tread lightly when saying things around people … who have survived trauma, tragedy … bad things in their life.  You don’t want to make these people … teach you a thing or two.  You really don’t have to say a thing excepting … I care, I’m so sorry.

This is some … I never said it’s all I think on the subject of death … of what I think about dying with dignity.  In my case after experiencing what I have with near-death …  it’s for me.  I believe in it.  I believe in hospice … keeping someone from suffering.

I believe in my case, my life … I would want to have a tablet to take when it came time that I knew I couldn’t come back from my illness.  I can’t speak for you … only for myself.

I believe in the right to die with dignity.



Note by this Author:  Photos/my thoughts on this subject are both owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter.