My Past Memories Are My … Today’s Stories


My Past Memories Are My … Today’s Stories…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

 

The photo is of Gloria Faye Brown Bates as a little baby… this is the only baby photo I have………………….

 

 

I am taking time out to ‘talk’ to you… my readers, followers.  I have a lot of new followers on my blogs… and Bubblews.

 

I wanted to tell you about my writing.  I write the colors/stories of my life.  I write about grief.  I write about what I know best… ‘best means ‘me’.  I don’t write for anyone else, or try to write their stories.  I write about me, my life… I know it best.

 

When I write about my childhood… I don’t write about the other children who were there, how they were treated… what they went through.  That’s because ‘that’s their story’… they can write it if they want to.  I only write my own.

 

Sometimes, ‘those children’ will reach out… to remind me they were there, too.  I never forget you… and the things I saw you… suffer from; how you were treated.  Just know that… my heart cares for what you went through, also.  I can’t write your stories…

 

When I write about my childhood… most of it was bad.  Yes, it was a bad childhood… I don’t sugar-coat it.  I tell it like it was.  Not many people were kind to me… I suffered, I was made fun of as a little girl when my mother and her husband broke up… she sent me straight to Hell.

 

In Hell… I no longer was dressed like a little princess, with beautiful dresses…  my long hair was no longer brushed, taken care of; I no longer lived in a very clean house.  I no longer had good meals prepared by the lady who came to our home every day to care for me, my little brother. In Hell, it was awful… scary, dirty… there were things that jumped on one….

 

In fact, I was no longer cared about.  I became… nobody.  I became a little scapegoat for people to abuse when they were pissed off, angry at someone else.  So… were the other children who were thrown away… too.

 

Hell… was the house I was sent to …. at my Grandma Alma, George‘s.  They lived in nothing but, pure ‘hell’. Their house sat over the portal of Hell… guarding it.

 

No one ever knew any peace there.  My Grandma Alma was paralyzed… George, my step-grandfather was blind.  They never knew happiness there.  My aunt who lived there was the ‘daughter of Satan‘….

 

Their ‘middle room’ was where my Grandma Alma was ‘trapped’ in her old, upholstered rocking chair… George sat in his old cane-bottomed chair to watch tv (George couldn’t watch tv, he could listen… I would describe to him what I saw as a little girl). This room is where they ‘lived’…

 

The floor in the ‘middle room’… in my mind, became through time what I named… ‘the Arena’.  Because … this was the one place where everyone came ‘to raise hell’.  To make sure Grandma Alma, George saw, heard it all… and of course, any child that was living there.

 

The fights, gnashing of teeth, screaming, cussing…the blood… the hell they raised, was …. ungodly.  No one can imagine, unless they lived it.

 

The Arena was where everything played out that was ‘important’.  It was where anyone who wanted to settle something… was there to fight it out, have witnesses to watch… not only that, if they felt like it was a war they wanted to be in… so be it!  A lot of hell-raising went on in that Arena.  A lot of blood on that old hardwood floor.

 

All the grandchildren who weren’t wanted… were thrown down there… the mothers would take off, come back whenever they wanted.  They never knew the things ‘we children’ went through to survive there.  I’ll tell you my stories/colors… just know that I know I wasn’t the only child who suffered.  I never forget them.

 

The purpose of writing this is to let my new followers know… that when I write the ‘bad’… don’t feel sorry for me.  Don’t think I grew up tormented by all of the things that happened to me.  Don’t think you have to feel sorry for me… because I promise you that I made peace with it all… a long time ago.

 

My memories of the past… have become my stories of today… I only feel pain when I take them out to ‘feel them, examine them’ as I write about them.  When I’m through… I put them back up… just as you would put up your winter clothes in boxes until you needed them again.

 

I never think about, or hold on to the past… never.  One can’t, to have peace of mind. I don’t live in the past.

 

I will tell you this… I do grieve for my son, Tommy.  He was my only child… that pain never goes away… never.  Also… I never talk to anyone in person about my grief… it’s too personal.  I do write about it… if you are interested in reading… you can choose to come here to read… go your way quietly when you are through.

 

You don’t even have to comment on it.  This is my only outlet for my pain, grief.  I write my pain.  You can see how it feels as a mother to lose a child… I tell you just like it is.  This pain is always there…

 

I am thankful, and have been for years to have went through such ‘bad’ things as a child, young woman, an adult.  I couldn’t have survived all the ‘bad’ things I have been through if I’d had life easy as a child, younger person.  I know ‘why’ now.  I’ve only become stronger through each experience.  That doesn’t mean ‘that I don’t hurt’… it means… I will … survive.  Somehow, everything will be alright.

 

Just know that I don’t write to gain sympathy… I’ve never felt sorry for myself.  I never will.  I know life is full of twists, turns.  You wouldn’t believe the paths I’ve walked in life.  Some were very scary paths, indeed. I’m thankful to have gotten off from them before ‘going too far’.  I write my memories as stories for ‘today’… I don’t live … in the past.

 

As a child, the things I lived… I never knew everyone didn’t live like that.  I thought it was the way life was supposed to be.  I never knew what it was like to feel safe, protected, sheltered, loved.  I learned to never take anything for granted… even love.

 

I learned hate of the purest form… I have battled ‘hate’ all my life… I am a good person… probably one of the best people you’ll ever meet.  I’m just not perfect at all… not at all.  As much as I wish to be perfect, I’m not. I’m big enough to apologize when I am in the wrong… my heart hurts if I’ve done you wrong.  I care about ‘everything’.  I say prayers for the animals laying on the road… where cars have killed them.  My heart ‘feels’ everything.  I can’t bear the meanness, how cruel people are to other people, animals.

 

I just wanted to let my new readers/followers know these things… and to remind the ones that don’t know… when I write my ‘bad’ memories… I don’t do it to gain sympathy.  My past memories have become… my stories… today.  I write what I know… best.

 

I know grief, pain… best.  It doesn’t mean I walk around crying, wringing my hands like a tormented soul.  I don’t at all.  I write it like it really was… really is.  I see that it touches people in different ways… like when I read others’ writing… things affect me, also.  I understand ‘that’s what they write about’…. just as ‘that’s what I write about’.

 

Don’t ever feel sorry for me… I have never felt sorry for me.  I would be uncomfortable knowing you did.  I do appreciate your caring words when you express them, though.  Don’t feel you have to comment unless you feel you want to…. I don’t ask anything of anyone.

 

I have to write… I’ll write until the day I take my last breath.  I have to ‘leave a part of me here’ when I die… Tommy isn’t here, now.  He would have ‘been that part of me I would have left here’… that I knew would be here when I died.  He’s gone…….  Not only that… this will be the only way… that my grandchildren will ever know me.  My words are ‘the part of me that will always be here’….

 

I have no immediate family left now.  I have to write to ‘pass on memories of my son, Tommy… myself. There’s no one else to do it for either of us, now.  Any family I have is distant… there aren’t any bonds left… maybe a kind of sad love for the other, knowing it can’t be.

 

I don’t have grandchildren who will grow up knowing me…. there’s been too much deceit, dishonesty … all because of insurance money not going to whom it should have.  One lie has to cover another one… and lies such as those… make it impossible for me to know my grandchildren.  I’m not involved in it… but, I will pay the price… I will forever be Granny Gee … ‘in name only’.

 

I have a message written just for them when they become older.  I will place this message here in the future just for them… for now, it’s on my computer.  This is to let them know their Granny Gee has always loved them… she never had anything to do with all the money their father left for four people…. each of them, me, and one of the mothers.

 

One of the mothers had sole control over dividing it………. it should have been divided equally… all of it, plus his 401K.  It wasn’t…. I’m afraid it hasn’t been handled right at all.  That message will be put on my blog for them to see one day… I know a lot now, that I didn’t know before.

 

Dishonesty, deceit… lies told to cover up more lies….  it’s so sad.  My grandchildren will know I never had contol of their money, never handled their money.  I was given ‘my’ part of it… it wasn’t divided as it should have been… I never said anything.

 

A lot of money was spent on a drunk who had never ‘had brand-name things’… he got brand-name shoes, clothes off ‘Tommy’s insurance money’….. he abused one of my grandchildren while he lived a while on his daddy’s money.  I know what Tommy would have done… if he could have.

 

I write this now… and will put the message on in the near future.  I won’t go to my grave having my grandchildren think that I had any part in them… not getting their daddy’s money meant for them.  I was told that one mother thinks that I had control over it, by the other mother… to hide what she did.  No… I never had control… ever. I never saw any money …only what she decided to give me.

 

Just a few weeks before Tommy died… he did as I asked him to… I told him he was married and to put his wife’s name on the policy.  He updated the policy, put her name there… it was the worst decision I ever made.  I worry that the money won’t be there when they should have it.  I’m so sorry I ever told him to change the policy.  It’s strange… just a few weeks before he died…. it would have been done exactly the way he wanted if he hadn’t updated it… done ‘as I asked’.

 

This will be the only way my grandchildren will ever know… too many years, lies… now.  I have to leave the truth here… where it’ll live ‘forever’.  I won’t ever get to see them in this life.

 

The purpose of this post is to let people know … that when I write my memories of the past… everything is alright.  Don’t feel sad for me… years have gone by… the pain of those memories is left in the past when I’m through with them… where they belong.

 

Only when I ‘take them out to write about them, to ‘feel them’… is there pain’… when I finish with them… I ‘put them back up… the pain, also’.  I don’t sit, dwell on the past.

 

The pain I ‘can’t put up’ is the grief over my son.  This pain is completely different… it’s the worse pain ever in my life.  Do you see ‘why’ I don’t regret all the ‘bad’ that has happened to me?

 

I might not could survive this kind of pain… if I hadn’t been so strong.  I probably wouldn’t have… if it hadn’t been for Skip.  I don’t think I’d be here…. ‘now’ if Skip hadn’t been ‘there’.  I was ‘dead’, just as ‘dead as my son’… I wasn’t aware of life… then.  Skip is my ‘everything’… and our Pups.  They are my world… all I have left.

 

I hope anytime you want to communicate with me, you’ll feel free.  Don’t worry, I’m not a ‘tormented, depressed soul’ who will pull you down.  I’m the opposite… I love to smile, even if I’m crying.  :)))

 

Remember… when I write… the pain ‘is in the moment’… I don’t dwell on it after I write a memory.  It goes away.  When I grieve for Tommy… it’s a different ballgame.  I still know everything will be alright…

 

My past memories are my … today’s stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Invisible Weight I Carry On My Shoulders…


 
The Invisible Weight I Carry On My Shoulders…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

 

Yesterday morning I got up thinking I’m going to feel good.  I fed our Pups, and went to my wonderful shower …you all know my love for warm, soapy water!  Bubbles from my perfumed soaps, the beautiful scents….

 

I took my shower using the bar of Dial soap my husband gave to me over a week ago.  For some reason I’ve been using that bar of soap every day since he gave it to me.  Normally, I would use my perfumed soaps.  I keep trying to hold onto a memory from my childhood… ‘why’?  I just don’t really know.

 

Once the Dial soap is wet, the scent instantly takes me back to when I was a little girl.  It takes me always to the home of my cousins who lived next door to my Grandma Alma and George’s.

 

The big, sparkling white bathroom… lots of little kids running around squealing with happiness.  Some of them getting into that big porcelain bathtub of nice, warm water to take their baths… some of them getting out.  There were a lot of soapy washcloths hanging on the side of the tub, in the tub.

 

I can see little drops of water dripping from washcloths onto the sparkling, white tile floor.  The window was open, a breeze blowing the curtain…  I can see the sun shining… all of these things making that moment a wonderful memory in my mind.

 

How as a little girl I wished to be in that wonderful, warm tub of soapy water… before I was thrown to hell… I knew how it felt to play in my own tub with warm, soapy water.

 

Remember … I couldn’t take nice baths like that once I had to come to Grandma Alma and George’s to live.  I would go into the bathroom on their back porch in fear of something jumping on me, something getting on me.  It was scary.

 

I would stand at their white porcelain tub, and wish to bathe in warm, soapy water.  I would turn the handle to make the water come on… I never understood ‘why’ it was always cold.  Not knowing any better, I would try sometimes to get into the cold water to take a warm bath… always coming out of it, freezing to death.

 

As a little girl, I just didn’t know how to make that water warm.  I didn’t know that Grandma Alma and George only had cold water.  If I had known that, I still wouldn’t have known ‘why’, I was too young to understand.

 

My whole world changed to a life I didn’t know, wasn’t used to.  No longer was there someone to cook, clean the home I lived in, to care for me, dress me.  I was having to do this for myself at the age of nine.

 

George, who was blind, would tell me what to do…. Grandma Alma would tell me to come to her, she would take her one good hand to try and help me to dress each day.  As time went by there, all of my beautiful school dresses, shoes changed to clothes I wasn’t used to wearing.  I know I must have looked like a little orphan back then… I was an orphan,

 

I was a thrown-away child.  Sometimes, I was wanted only to be thrown away again.  My mother couldn’t maintain a stable life for herself, much less having a child to care for.

 

Grandma Alma and George didn’t have money to buy me things, much less to buy their food, pay their bills, and pay the milkman (how well I remember the milk there… that’s ‘why’ I don’t ‘see’ milk today… no one was allowed to drink the milk… it was for my Grandma Alma.  She was paralyzed, sick… needed it.  I learned to never see it in the refrigerator.  I ‘can’t see’ milk today in our refrigerator.

 

My Grandma Alma and George… I can’t tell you how much I loved them.  I loved seeing their smiles, hearing them laugh.  I can see in my mind’s eye… George sitting there with a light in his sightless eyes, his round belly shaking as he laughed… sometimes he’d slap his knee when he was really tickled.

 

My Grandma Alma’s smile was something else… it made one feel so ‘loved’.  Her eyes would soften when she looked at me, or at any of her grandchildren.  She was like a fierce lioness where her grandchildren were concerned… even paralyzed she’d ‘fight’ from that chair that held her hostage for over twenty years… to protect her grandchildren.  She threw ‘many a glass of water’ from that chair… it was her ‘ammunition’.

 

How sad… how funny it was to a little, frightened girl who would be crouched behind Grandma Alma’s rocking recliner chair… Grandma Alma would dare someone ‘to touch that child’… if they even made an advance to come closer… my beautiful Grandma Alma would throw that water in their face!  My Grandma Alma loved me with her heart.

 

The sunshine would shine in that ‘house that was the portal to hell’ when my Grandma Alma and George would smile.  It just never lasted long enough…. it was as if that house wouldn’t let happiness dwell there long.  Hell-raising would break out constantly there… life was pure hell there.  For a little innocent child that was ‘thrown to the lions’, it was truly a nightmare.

 

I learned that ‘I didn’t smell good anymore’ from some of my classmates.  How does a child know these things?  I learned the hard way so much in my life.  How so innocent I was… how ‘so unknowing I was as a little girl’.  I still feel ’embarrassed’ in today’s time as an older woman…

 

Grandma Alma and George did the very best they could… she was paralyzed, he was blind.

 

The positive about all the negative, painful life I had was/is that once I learned, I never forgot.  Think of getting a powerful shock from high voltage every time you learn something… the life lessons I learned almost …always hurt ‘that bad’.  If you don’t want to feel pain… don’t do it again.

 

You better learn as fast as you can because ‘it’s going to hurt, hurt bad’… if you don’t!  I really always tried to learn ‘once I became aware of ‘what it was’ that I needed to learn.  I hurt… a lot.

 

For a moment I stop to think, try to ‘see a little closer’ into that time… I wonder ‘who’ brushed my hair, or if it was brushed, then?

 

I have to step back in my mind… it really hurts when I try to ‘go close’, my stomach gets a strange feeling.  Many things in my life make me feel like that… I have alot that ‘I can’t remember’ for the pain it causes me.

 

Once I begin thinking ‘beyond’ the wonderful memory of my cousins bathing in the Dial soap ‘back then’… I begin to feel that sick sensation inside.  I just wanted to remember the memory of the ‘happy’ time.

 

I showered, dressed and left to go to Walmart to pick up chews for Mr. Kissy, and Chadwick.  Kissy has to have his chew every night so, he can relax and settle down to sleep.  A chew is his pacifier. He is a big, spoiled Rottie puppy.

 

Some days are very hard for me, today seemed to be one of them.  Not only did my body hurt… my ‘mind’ hurt, too.

 

As the morning progressed, the more ‘weight’ I felt sitting on my shoulders.  I began to feel disoriented, so weak from carrying such a load. I really didn’t feel like talking, smiling… I was proud that I did, though.

 

That’s how I can fool people into thinking I am just fine… that way no one will look closely at me… I can go on my way until I make it home to… just ‘simply be’.

 

I just wanted to get home, out of sight from everyone before they noticed that I wasn’t walking tall… my shoulders were being pressed down by the weight on them.

 

I laid down on the bed, Kissy and Chadwick jumped up to lay beside me.  They knew it was unusual for me to lay down, I don’t usually give up so easily.  They loved the opportunity to be lay close to me, and sleep.  How they comfort me, I let my hand, my foot touch both of them as I slept to get away from the pain in my mind, body.

 

I wonder ‘if’ anyone can ever ‘see’ the huge, heavy weight I carry?  For a moment, I will find humor here… not the extra weight that I am working at losing… :)))

 

I’m talking about the invisible weight that sometimes threatens to crush me into the ground… I’m very strong because I carry it each day.  Some days it isn’t as ‘heavy’.  Yesterday, it was almost more than I could carry.

 

Grief… that’s what the weight is… pure, pure grief.  Sometimes it can get the best of me.  Sometimes I think I can talk about Tommy and think how well I did… when I get alone, something happens inside me.

 

It did this morning.  I was happy I could speak about Tommy, it was one of those times I didn’t feel like I would cry.  I spoke to two people I knew, about Tommy.

 

I told them a little about his ‘last’ trip to the ocean, how I worried about him and his family getting there safely that Memorial Day weekend…… how I relaxed and was so glad.  How… I got ‘that phone call’ from a stranger……… after that I stopped, I couldn’t talk about it anymore.

 

How nice they were, they both hugged me not knowing how that touched my heart, how that meant alot to me at that moment.  I told them that I write, that normally I don’t talk about things and ‘why I chose to at that moment’… I just didn’t know.

 

When I left there, the weight I felt pressing on my shoulders became ‘heavier’…. I felt my heart begin to hurt, the tears begin to make my eyes burn, the pain in my throat began… all I wanted to do was to get home.

 

Grief, something so invisible, something you can’t hold in your hand, has the power to cause such physical pain.  No one can see you being hurt by it, being attacked by it…. they stand there not knowing you are ‘being torn apart, devoured by it’.

 

‘If all of a sudden’ they could see ‘grief’ as it really was, they would see a person being shred to pieces in front of their eyes.  But.. they can’t see the gaping wounds, scars left from each time … grief strikes.

 

The strange thing is that a person, ‘me’… can stand there and smile… no one the wiser… as I’m being ‘cut to pieces, shredded’ by the grief that follows my every step.

 

Picture in your mind standing still while wild animals were ripping your flesh… to keep anyone from knowing the pain you were experiencing… you just smile, pretend everything is alright… while you are ‘bleeding to death’…. and the pain… oh my God, the pain.

 

When I finally got home, came inside… I walked to the bedroom, debated with myself about ‘giving up’ and just going to bed.  This time… I had to give up, I fluffed my pillows to lay my head on… as I laid down on the comforter I was pulling the quilt up to my chin to ‘comfort me’… like my mama used to do to me each night as a little girl…. before ‘I went to hell’.

 

I was so thankful to be to myself, where no one could see me as I laid down beneath the weight of my … grief.  Pure, pure grief.  I felt I could no longer hold it up… I had to lay down to rest from it.

 

I felt tears on my eyelashes as I closed my eyes… tears of relief that I could finally just be in the darkness for a little while… the kind of darkness that was comforting to me now…. sleep.

 

It’s strange … when we see something heavy trying to crush a person… everyone runs to rescue them.  It’s strange because when something heavy is crushing someone that can’t be seen… how can anyone run to rescue them?  The weight is just as great.

 

Grief…. the weight one carries inside, on their shoulders that can’t be seen.  I suffer in silence as it hurts me, crushes me… with a smile on my face while I let you know that I am fine, all is well, my tears and red eyes are from allergies I suffer… I stand there with such a heavy weight on my shoulders, no one can help me… they can’t see it.

 

I have tried once again to ‘put grief into words’… you can’t see how heavy it is, you may sometimes see my shoulders looking stooped from the weight.  I try to hold them high, straight… if I’m not careful, the weight will pull them down again.

 

Tommy… I just miss my son.  I miss his sunshine smile, the sound of his voice, his laughing eyes, his funny jokes, hearing his cowardly lion laugh, even when he liked to take his big hand (he was so much taller than I)… and put it on top of my head and mess my hair up!  He would say ‘mama, you have hair all over your head’!  I didn’t like him to mess my hair up… but, I’d be so glad for him to mess it up now.

 

This is ‘why’ I carry that invisible weight on my shoulders, that pain.  Only I am aware of it, because I ‘feel’ it… I can’t see it, either.  But, it’s there… always there.  Can you see the weight I carry on my shoulders?

 

 

You Are Most Perfect For… Me


You Are Most Perfect For… Me

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

 

Best Friends, Husband, Soul Mate… my hero, Skip.  A younger Granny Gee and Skip…

 

 

 

I’m always, always glad to see you.  You are the only person I can be with… around… all the time.  I’ve never been bored by you, tired… of you.  Who are you?

 

A person who is kind; the second kindest man I’ve ever known.  I knew the most kindest as a little girl.  His name was George Harris.  He was the only grandfather I ever knew in my life.  He was my step-grandfather.  His love was like his smile… it reached his eyes… his sightless eyes.

 

George was blind, yet… he could ‘see’.  He ‘could see a person’, sense if they were good, honest.  He ‘could see’ to do everything… because he wanted to do everything.  George never sat around ‘feeling sorry for himself’… George had a life.  Each day he got up, carried out his responsibilities.

 

George was my Grandma Alma’s husband, best friend, and soul mate.  He loved her dearly; she loved him back the same way.  Of course… they had some very ‘loud’ fusses… they’d tell each off in a heartbeat.

 

Anyone close by… would sit, listen… and possibly put a hand over their mouth in surprise at what would come out of their mouths!  Of course… it could be quite comical.  Why… I ‘learned my best words… my little sayings… from them’!  I know… some things to say!  How could I not know?  Everyone for a mile away… could hear them.  :)))

 

I loved them with my very heart.  They only had each other… ‘it was them against the world’.  They were together almost every minute of their married life.  They could fuss each other out… love each other so much… in the next minute.  Don’t let anyone come in there to start something with the other… because the other would instantly  begin to protect….

 

Grandma Alma could swing a mean glass of water on someone.  She’d do it in a minute.  She was paralyzed, couldn’t walk.  She could use one hand, one leg.  Her mind was as sharp as any knife in a drawer.

 

She was very intelligent.  Always… she tried to teach ‘us kids’ things… sometimes, we would sit on the floor cross-legged to listen to her talk, tell stories.

 

My Grandma Alma was a wonderful person… I only regret I couldn’t have appreciated her… while being an adult.  I think she’d been proud at how I turned out to be … after all I’ve experienced in my life.  I think she’d been so proud that I learned from all the ‘bad’ in my life.

 

I feel sad when I think of her, George.  Life is sad.  Think about it for a moment… as children, we love people who meant so much to us, yet… we didn’t know all we could have done to make a positive difference in their life.

 

When we grow up… we grow up remembering what ‘they told us we would remember’.  Such as, when ‘I’m dead and gone, you are going to wish you had listened to me;  you are going to miss me; you are going to wish you’d treated me better’.

 

As children, we can’t understand that people aren’t going to be there, always… for us.  As a child, I didn’t know death was more than what my first memory was.  My memory of death was one shrouded in mystery… the man across the road died.

 

I vaguely remember as that little girl, my mother and her sisters talking quietly… saying they were going across the street.  Mr ‘so and so’ had died… oh no, children can’t go.

 

I watched them slip quietly across the street as I stood there… darkness, the sun quit shining… whatever dying was… one had to whisper quietly about it… and children couldn’t know about it.

 

That was my first impression of death… quietness, darkness… the sun quits shining.  Fear……..

 

Grandma Alma… George.  I think about them often.  ‘Now’… I could appreciate you both, so much more than when I was a child.  I know I caused you both to yell a lot at me, as well as the others.

 

I was a mean little girl… I just know I was.  I ‘was taught by the best’……. with other children, I fought to hold my ground.  With adults… I was afraid of them… when they became mad… I knew I was going to get ‘what for’…

 

I knew a lot of ‘good, cuss words’… and if another child made me angry… they knew them, too!  We would sound like… Grandma Alma, and George!

 

There’s one thing that has stuck out through time… my Grandma Alma always said it to George, when she became angry.  Everyone would be off in a distance listening… they never knew it.  When she’d become mad… she’d yell at him, saying ‘you are a he-man, you are nothing but, a ‘he-man’!

 

What that meant, I’m not sure.  But… it was the ‘perfect button for her to push’… because George would ‘blow up’!  The fight was on!  They never knew they entertained when they had a fuss.  The children would giggle… the adults would grin a ‘knowing’ smile.

 

They were the only ones who could ‘fight, fuss’… make others laugh.  When ‘the others, themselves’… fought… the world would become a very scary place.  They would come to the ‘arena’ in front of Grandma Alma, George… and ‘fight like hell’ in front of them.  Blood was drawn, flesh was pounded… somebody was going to get hurt.  Somebody was going to… know who was boss!

 

No matter what… this little girl grew up loving those… hell-raisers.  Loved them with her very heart.  Learned as she grew older… in that family… it wasn’t possible to form a lasting relationship.  Growing older, she learned it was part of the ‘family heritage’… it wasn’t possible.

 

George… was the kindest man I ever knew, until… I met Skip.  Like my Grandma Alma… I found my best friend, my soul mate, and my hero in this life.  That doesn’t happen a lot… I was fortunate.  God was good to me… to give me someone who loved me… as much as I loved… him.

 

Life with Skip has been full of many unusual things.  We both traveled many paths in Life… a lot we learned weren’t the paths we wanted to be on.  Those paths we had all the material wealth, luxuries we wanted… people thought we were the greatest.

 

Through time, as we learned from the paths we wanted to be on, travel now… we began to not have so much.  People like us… but, not for what we have ‘now’.  I think because they see ‘real people’ now, in place of what we wanted to project many years ago.

 

Also, there are people who are glad we no longer have anything.  So, that tells you a lot about them.  A lot of them don’t, either.  Jealousy, greed… makes people ‘your best friends’… you become the worse if you no longer ‘have it to give’…

 

The way I see it… it really feels good ‘to not keep up the pretense of being something … you never were to begin with… never will be … no matter what’.  I remember my Mom always telling me something so true (I may get it backwards… I do that!  But, you’ll know what I mean! :))).  She’d always say, “Faye, don’t fly so high that you can’t fall”…

 

I love being a ‘private’ person.  I like myself… I don’t know a lot of people in my ‘everyday’ life like me.  I know that I’m ‘nobody’ to others… but, I really am to myself.  I don’t pretend to be something I’m surely not.  I like being with ‘me’… I can entertain myself with drawing, computer, reading, playing with my Pups… it’s seldom I get lonely.  Of course, with all of you who follow me, are my friends… I’m never alone.  I have Skip, our Pups… that’s my world; my life.

 

I do wish for one thing not only for myself… but, what I could do for people who ‘need’… that is to have a lot of money.  I know money is supposed to be the ‘root of all evil’, ‘bad’… but, it’s not when you are happy with it, and making a ‘good’ difference everywhere you go in life.  I do ‘know’ that for sure… I have lived it in my life… I did make a difference.  I wish to be able to do that again.

 

When I do have extra to give, sometimes even… if I don’t have extra to give… I do it from my very heart.  I feel it deeply from caring with my very heart.

 

When people are younger… life is an illusion of sorts.  They want to project that they ‘are more than what they actually are’.  I watch the same old pattern play out now… in the generation behind me.  I understand it… ‘everyone wants to be somebody… sometimes, they are on the wrong path’… to really be.  People ‘see through them’… why?  They have been there… done that.

 

The one common thing they want to project is… that they are rich, have so much… so, others can think ‘they are somebody’.  Day by day, fancy words they don’t normally use (it tells on one)… bragging about this, that….. someone is always around who ‘knows better’……

 

Then… one day they ‘know’… they know that this life is not about ‘what one has’… it’s about love, caring for others.  Being rich is a good thing because it does make possible to have all you desire… it also, makes possible to make others happy, too.  That’s strictly my ‘Gloria Opinion’.

 

One doesn’t have to brag about in words they aren’t used to saying … trying to appear to be ‘more’ than what they are.  Instead of bragging… do something.

 

I promise when you do something for another… see such appreciation, gratefulness… you’ll feel a happiness you can’t get from anything else.  I promise you.

 

Make even a ‘tiny dream’ come true for a child… an adult you hear wishing for this, that.  Whenever I get extra money… I listen, watch the whole time.  I ‘already know the amount’ I can let go of… to do something, even small… to make another person smile, happy.

 

Guess what?  Good things… do… come back to you in the most unexpected ways.  Everything goes in a cycle… it ‘all comes back to you’.

 

Just think… you don’t want ‘a bad thing to travel full-circle back to you’.  It’s like planting a garden… if you plant good seeds, tend your garden… it’s going to be wonderful seeing what comes up next!  Think of your words… like seeds.  If they are ‘bad toward others’… they are going to ‘sprout up later’, haunt you.

 

Of course, we know I’m not perfect… not even anywhere to being perfect.  I’m going to say, do things sometimes just like anybody else.  I am old enough to ‘try not to’… to ‘know better’.

 

Once in a while… I’m going to be human.  It’s my only excuse if I ‘misbehave badly’.  I try not to… but, I ‘feel things deeply’… and I’m pretty much used to expressing what I really think.  When I do … I try to do it in the kindest way.

 

I don’t like to hurt others… but, if I’m pushed in a ‘bad’ way… then, trouble is sure to follow.  Especially … after the number ‘3’.  The 3rd time… I’m holding my ground.  :)))  I bet most people are… the same way.  Especially people everyone thinks ‘are so nice… I can do them any old way… they are too nice to not take it’…. :)))

 

Back to best friends, soul mates, heroes.  All of my readers, followers, fans… know instantly ‘who’ is mine.  For those who are just learning, it’s my husband, Skip.  He is my whole life… he and our Pups are the only family I have… and the only relationships that I ‘know’ is forever, to the end.

 

We don’t agree all the time… much of the time we do.  When we don’t agree, we tell each other ‘why’.  By the time, we get it talked out, the other ‘sees why’… nine out of ten times… we end up agreeing.  :)))  Of course… we are going to have our differences… once in a while.

 

One difference being… when we cook-out on the grill.  Our steaks are going to be different.  He is going to want his more medium-rare… mine is going to be well-done.  He doesn’t like garlic… I love garlic!  We cook together… he watches his………. I watch mine!  :)))

 

My best friend, my hero… my soul mate… I’m always, always glad to see… you.  I love you, Skip.  You are ‘most perfect for me’… :)))

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaned The Dirty Clean…


Cleaned The Dirty Clean…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

Scrub, scrub, scrub.  The little hand took the butter knife, stuck it in the corner to pry matter that had accumulated there… out.  It must have been there for a million years… it didn’t let go easily.

The little hand pushed, pried…put the knife underneath the black, hard dirt.  She began stabbing the knife at it… the ‘damn’ mess was going to come out.

‘Damn’!  The little girl thought that word often.  She’d learn it prior to coming here… to Hell; being thrown into Hell.  In fact, she’d learn this one word while visiting… here… in Hell.

She was trapped in Hell, now.  Only… she didn’t know she was trapped… she didn’t know it… yet.  She was just a little girl… her eyes hadn’t even begun to open …

She didn’t know a lot of things… yet. She did know she said the word ‘damn’ more often… out of fear, pain.  She was in a scary world like she’d never known.  She didn’t know it, but… ‘it was fixing to get worse’.

Mama had tried to wash that word out of her mouth with Ivory soap… she didn’t know that Faye had hidden it… so, it wouldn’t be found.  Now… she used that word whenever she wanted to say it.

‘Damn’ was her word… her mama had almost ‘killed’ her, choking her on the white, Ivory soap bubbles.  Her throat had burned from the stinging, soapy water as some went down her throat.  Coughing, gagging, crying as she struggled to get away.  Her mama had held her until she thought, she’d ‘cleaned the dirty’ out of her mouth.

Grandma Alma was wishing the kitchen floor was clean.  The floor had white tiles.  Faye didn’t say anything as she listened to Grandma Alma… she walked to the kitchen door, looked down.

Grandma Alma couldn’t clean the kitchen floor.  But… she used to keep her floors clean.  She was saying so, in the background as Faye stood there.  Grandma Alma had tears in her eyes… that’s what reached out, touched Faye.

Tears… tears that meant pain from something.  Grandma Alma couldn’t walk anymore… she was paralyzed.  Faye didn’t understand exactly, wasn’t old enough to understand how horrible it was to have a stroke, wake up from a coma, paralyzed.

The one thing Faye was learning in her young life was… tears meant something was wrong.  Pain.  When she cried… it was the end of the world, until it was alright again.

She decided she would try to clean Grandma Alma’s kitchen floor.  She was just a little girl… she’d seen how it was done… Faye was the sort of little girl who watched, learned… then, she’d do the best she could.

Sometimes, it wasn’t the best… but, it didn’t seem to be the worst, either.  She always learned the hard way… doing it wrong until it was right.  Learning the hard way was bad… she kept on …until she learned right.

Sometimes, when she heard someone wish something… if at all in her little girl power… she’d try to do without saying anything… then, call someone to look, so… they’d be surprised; happy.

Truthfully, sometimes, the surprise would be on her… someone wouldn’t care at all… it made no difference.  What she went to such trouble to do, just wasn’t appreciated at all.  She’d just hold her little head down in disappointment, go her way.  No one would know how hard she’d tried… to please… them.

Finally, the mess loosened, let go.  The little hand took an old rag, wiped it away.  She got up, went to the trash can, shook the hardened, black material in.  She’d heard her mama say, ‘if you are going to clean something, then… clean it good’.

She had a bucket full of very warm water, sudsy water.  The scent from the water was… CLEAN.  Lots of stuff was in the water to make it smell good… a lot… was needed.

The little girl had been taught to mix Clorox, Pine Sol and whatever else was needed… into the cleaning water.  Never mind one should never do that.  This little girl didn’t know the difference.  She just remembered… watching.  She did the best she knew how.

One thing this little girl, and her first cousins who were around the same age, knew how to do… was to try to clean the dirty clean.

They were taught, made to do it.  Each would grow up to be a good housekeeper… dirty things would drive each… crazy, until it was scrubbed clean… until the dirty was clean.

In Hell, things were very dirty… as each person came through there, it was up to them to… clean the dirty… if anyone ever did.  It looked like no one… ever did.  Maybe because many were small children who had no concept of how to clean the dirty.

She stopped for a moment, began looking around, while she sat cross-legged on the old, white, tile floor.  The tile felt cool to the backs of her legs.  She wore a dress… she always wore dresses.

The only difference was… now… her dresses were worn, not the cleanest, old.  Her clothes was washed by … a blind man.  George.

He was the only grandfather she ever knew… she loved him.  He was loud; as loud as his voice was, his hand was just as gentle to a little child.  She loved George.  She loved George, and Grandma Alma.  She didn’t know they didn’t have anything; were poor; lived in Hell.  Everything in her young mind… ‘just was’.

George cleaned all the time.  He washed dishes.  George cooked, made biscuits, baked.  He made coffee in the percolator.  George used an old wringer-type washing machine to wash clothes… run the clothes through the wringer, piece by piece.  He’d rinse them the same way; gather them up in a basket, go to the clothesline outside, hang them up.  He would put clothes pins in his mouth as he used one by one.

She would watch him, wonder how he did that.  Could he really see, and just not tell anyone he could see.  She swore he could see everything… he knew everything.  He never knew it… sometimes, when she was held by him on his lap… she’d put her little hand up to his face.  He never saw it… he never blinked.

Her little hands scrubbed the corner clean… it wasn’t perfect, but… at least… she’d cleaned the dirty clean.

When I Hate You Means… You Hurt Me


Gloria ‘Faye’ Brown Bates… just before going to Hell

 

 

When I Hate You Means… You Hurt Me

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

 

 

“No, no, no!  Please don’t, please don’t hurt me!  Oh, my leg!”  The little girl was fighting to get away from the young woman who held her hand.  Held her hand to keep her captive… while she beat her.  Each time she struck the child, she drew blood.  The piece of stove wood was rough; it cut the girl’s legs each time it made contact.

 

The little girl had come into the bedroom that sat directly over Hell… this is where the portal was.  Where the portal/doorway was… was never discovered by the little girl.  What she did know was… the devil’s daughter lived in that bedroom.  She was mean; evil.  Sometimes… she was just as nice.  Sometimes… she loved her.

 

All she wanted to do was to come into the bedroom, listen to the young woman’s record player.  She was caught, couldn’t escape fast enough.  The young woman was her aunt. She was a teenager… ill-natured.  She was mean to the bone; she could be as good as gold.

 

The aunt beat the little girl until her rage subsided.  She let go of her, throwing her to the floor.  “You damn little b___”, stay out of my room!  Don’t you ever touch my record player again”!

 

The little girl sobbed, tried to stand up.  Her little girl body had taken one of the most severe beatings it’d ever known.  She had known beatings… The pain, oh the pain.  She stood up, looked at the aunt she loved.  Her little face was red, blotchy from the furious tears that rolled down her face.  “I’m going to tell my mama!  I’m going tell my mama; she will beat you up”!

 

The aunt began telling her she wasn’t going to tell anyone… if she did, she’d whip her ass again!  The little girl told her aunt as she began edging toward the door, “I hate you, I hate you”!  As she slipped through the door toward freedom, she screamed at her aunt, once more.  “I’m telling my mama when she comes back”!

 

She walked to the red, vinyl couch in Grandma Alma, George’s home.  She climbed up on it.  Her legs burned, stuck to the vinyl.  She began to notice her legs, her arms.  She had open cuts on her little girl skin… blood was sticking to the couch.  It made it hard for her to slip around to ease her hurting body.

 

She sat there quietly for several moments; in her little girl mind were thoughts of her aunt smiling at her, being nice to her.  She began crying her heart out… her aunt had hurt her, making her bleed.  She thought her aunt loved her.  Her aunt forgot she said she loved her.  As she cried silently, her little shoulders shook.

 

No one noticed the little girl sitting there on that red, vinyl couch.  Someone was always crying there… that’s just the way it is when you live in Hell.  Gnashing teeth, screaming, cussing, anger, hatred.   It was the way of life.  Someone got their ass beat every two, or three days.  Only this time, it wasn’t in the Arena where Grandma Alma, George sat.

 

Her aunt had beat her in private where no one could see the demon she was.  She didn’t think about the little girl growing up to remember her for what she did.  Children are nobody; who believes them… anyway.  Only… her niece had frightened her when she said she would tell her mama on her.

 

Her niece’s mother was this aunt’s sister… and she knew if she didn’t talk the little girl out of telling her… she was going to get the hell beat out of her.  The little girl’s mother was always going off for weeks, months… leaving the little girl there.  No one wanted to take care of her… she damn sure didn’t.  She wanted to have fun, not have to be bothered by a child.  She was still in high school.

 

Faye, the little girl, fell asleep on the old, red vinyl couch.  When she got spankings, slapped around… she always found a place to curl up, put her thumb in her mouth… went to sleep.

 

Crying made her sleepy.  As she fell asleep, her thoughts were of seeing anger on someone’s face toward her; cuss words coming from their mouths at her.  Nobody loved her.  She began crying again, silently… her little body shook.  She began rocking herself to sleep.  Faye began pinching the center of her chest.  Since being in hell, she had begun doing that.

 

She was too young to wonder ‘why?’  As an adult, she often thought about it… strange enough, when she was diagnosed with cancer… that was the area a mass was found on her lung, resting against her heart.  Of course, that had nothing to do with it… but, it was strange…

 

She awoke to the gentle touch of her aunt’s hand.  “Faye, wake up… I’m sorry”, she heard her aunt say.  Faye began sniffling once again, burst out crying.  Her aunt gathered her up in her arms.  “I’m so sorry, Faye.  Please don’t tell your mama.  I have something for you”.

 

In her aunt’s hand was a watch; a Timex watch.  Faye looked at it, back to her aunt’s face.  She had hurt her… in her mind she saw her aunt go to the wood box, grab a slender piece of wood.  Faye looked down to her little legs… they stung.  There was dry blood on them.  Her body hurt.

 

“I’m going to tell my mama on you!  You hurt me, she’s going to beat you up!  I hate you!”  She didn’t take the watch her aunt offered her.

 

One day, Faye heard someone say, “Faye’s mama is here”!  In her mind, she felt instant happiness!  Her mama was here to get her!

 

She ran to the old screen door, pushed it open.  “Mama!”  She ran into her mama’s open arms, began telling her what her aunt had done.  She never knew the effect it had on her mama… she just knew things began to happen fast.  Her mama had let go of her, walked quickly up on the porch, went inside Hell…

 

She heard cussing, flesh on flesh as someone was being slapped.  Faye’s stomach felt sick; she felt afraid.  She went up on the porch, peeped through the screen.  There in front of the red, vinyl couch was her aunt.  She’d been knocked to the floor!

 

Faye opened the door, went inside.  Her mama, aunt were never aware of her… they were screaming at each other.  Not only that… Faye saw some teeth laying on the floor… the wooden floor.  Blood…  Her aunt’s mouth had blood on it.

 

Faye felt anger toward her aunt; she hated her for hurting her.  She walked over to her aunt, and hit her with her little hand.  “I told you I was going to tell my mama!  I told you, she was going to beat you up!”

 

From that day on… her aunt held that against her.  She paid her back through the years every opportunity she saw.  Through time she worked to turn her mother against her; make passes at her husband when she married as a young woman.  Faye’s aunt hated her. At one time, she tried to turn Faye’s own son against her… it didn’t work.

 

Faye never hated her through time.  As she got older, what she thought was hatred… when she thought she hated someone… she discovered what she meant when she said, “I hate you!”  She meant… I loved, trusted you, you hurt me.

She Wanted Some More ‘Damn’ Tea…


She Wanted Some More ‘Damn’ Tea…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

Photo of a little girl… photo of Gloria Faye Brown Bates at 3 years old… she never knew fear… but then… it was beginning to find her… she just didn’t know what it was… yet.  At this age, she’d just learned a new word… ‘Damn’!

 

At this age, she was becoming aware of her Grandma Alma, George, when they visited.  It was scary there… George sure could holler loud; as loud as his voice was… his hand was just as gentle to a little girl.  She didn’t know then, what she was feeling was such … love for the both.

 

Her Grandma Alma dipped snuff… she wanted to.  Grandma Alma sneezed as she placed a ‘pinch’ between her teeth… inside of her mouth… “Damn”!

 

This little girl loved the sound of that word…. and when she played with her tea set…. on the patch of white sand at home… she would say “damn”!  She got choked on the ‘snuff’… the next thing she knew…

 

“Didn’t I tell you if I caught you saying a bad word, I would wash your mouth out with soap?  Didn’t I”?

 

Her mother held her head near the bathroom sink… the other hand

turned on the water… she made it warm.  She soaped that wash cloth up with Ivory soap… stuck it in this little girl’s mouth… tried to wash that dirty word out of her mouth.

 

She must not could find that ‘dirty word’… because when ‘this little girl who is a big girl’… becomes angry, upset… the first word she will say (after she looks around to see if anyone can hear her :)))… is…. ‘damn’!!!

 

‘She’ continues to use that word if, when she feels the need to.  She earned the right that day her mama washed her mouth out with soap… her mama left that word in there… somewhere!  Now… she can find it… anytime she needs it!  Looking back through time… I know a lot of people who love that word!

 

The photo below is just after I ‘got hold’ of a pair of scissors… I wanted to cut hair; I had seen my uncle cut George’s hair.  I knew I could do it.  I found a pair of scissors… cut my hair, bangs; cut my baby brother’s hair… I don’t know what happened… I can’t remember.  Seems like I heard the word, “damn!”, then…

 

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Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee at age 6… At this age, I was becoming aware of what real fear was… hands, hands, hands.  I was becoming afraid, was afraid of … hands when a man would reach out for me.  I didn’t know why… many years later, I knew….

 

Not only that… I didn’t know that I would be going to Hell… I would be ‘nobody’ any longer.  I would learn how it felt to be made fun of; how it felt to be mistreated… no relief from it either at school, ‘home/Hell’…

 

This was just before… I began to know hate… I learned the word when one of my family members shouted that to me as a child… when I was thrown in Hell at the age of 9.  Hell was a bad place for a child… I learned ‘a lot more dirty’ words… I learned hate; anger… distrust.  I always loved back as quickly as I hated… I only ‘hated when… I had been mistreated’.

 

I forgave… easily.  This little girl wanted to be loved… love would be given one day… the next day it was taken back.  Someone would forget they said they loved her… and mistreat her again.  Life went on…..

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This little girl… Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee… standing in the yard of Hell, looking toward the house that was the doorway/portal to … Hell.  She never knew one day she would be tossed into Hell, left to either ‘sink or swim’ to survive.

 

No one would believe how strong a little naive, innocent girl can learn to be… and not even know that she is… she just ‘is’… she never knew that what she lived in wasn’t the way ‘everyone else’ lived.  She had to make it until she was fourteen to realize how it felt … to live a normal, good life again.

 

There, at her father’s home, it was beautiful… wonderful.  She was dressed in nice clothes, good shoes… she became a beautiful flower… only for two years almost… she lived in a ‘wonderful Hell’… one where she almost lived in silence… her father never spoke to her but, once… he was drinking beer when he did… everyone was gone.

 

That’s okay… this little girl is glad as a big girl… she didn’t know as that little girl she was being prepared for the day she’d… lose her only child; her son, Tommy.

 

Even all the strength she’d gained in her lifetime… wasn’t enough to help her to come through it.  Thank-God, for placing her hero, best friend, husband, Skip in her life… and their two Pups. Without them… she wouldn’t

have known to ‘come back’… how could she?  She didn’t know she was still living…

 

They wouldn’t let her stay in the dark world she’d retreated to… to forever stay…. where she lost the will to ‘be’… anymore.  May 29, 2010… she stopped living… didn’t know she was here…

 

She was a fighter; she wanted to live… loved life.  She forgot all… when her son died.  None of what she went through in life… prepared her to lose her only child.

 

Now… everything is going to be alright… no matter how bad it is, or… can be.  I’ve rediscovered my love for life, found my fighting spirit again.  I’m going to live until… I die.

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She Wanted Some More ‘Damn’ Tea…

A little girl, about four years old, lay in her bed… trembling.  She had waken to a strange sound in the bedroom she, her little brother slept in.

 

She looked over to the bed, her brother was still asleep.  He was just a baby; he didn’t know to wake up… didn’t know something scary happened.

 

There it was again… the little girl sat up quickly, froze as the ‘scratching’ sound came again from the front window!  She was trembling, her little thumb between her teeth.  She was sucking on it, not aware that she was.

 

She tried to call for her mama.  “Mama”…. no sound came from her mouth.  The little girl was afraid, but… what could it be?  At this age she hadn’t had experiences ‘enough’ to know what fear was.  She was learning fast… how it felt… though.

 

Her eyes were wide, her precious little face filled with fear.  Her little lips were open… trying to breathe as her little heart beat fast…

 

The scratching sound came once more… the little girl sprang up from her bed, as fast as a jumping jack ,ran to the bedroom door.  She looked back as her little hand reached to turn the knob.  It was dark, she couldn’t see.

 

“Mama! Mama!”  The little girl screamed, as she ran down the hall to her mother’s bedroom.  “The bogeyman’s going to get me, the bogeyman’s going to get me”!

 

The little girl’s mother, step-father, came rushing through their bedroom door.  The little girl tried to tell them about the noise in the bedroom… but, how can a child who has never experienced fear… put into words… what she is afraid of?

 

Not long before this… the little girl had became afraid of her uncle who babysitted her.  Before that… her step-grandfather…

 

She had no idea of time… how long ago.  As she became older… she ‘knew’…

 

Her mama, step-father, made her get back into bed.  They said it wasn’t anything… “see, there’s nothing in here”.  The little girl was tucked in by her mother, gently kissed on the forehead.  Everything is alright…

 

This began the little girl’s unconscious decision not to tell anyone anything… no one believed her.  She was too young to realize that they didn’t… she’d only reacted to her fear.  Going to mama… was her natural reaction.

 

Everything is alright now, her mama said.  She’d tucked her under her bed covers, kissed her on the forehead.  Then, it must be so.

 

The little girl fell asleep… woke up the next morning.  She didn’t remember she was afraid last night.  She wasn’t old enough to let memories stay in her mind.  She ran, played as usual.

 

While she sat beneath the big, old Oak tree on Elm Street, where she lived… her mama, step-daddy were walking around outside.  She was drinking ‘tea/sand’… from her beautiful tea set.  The sun was shining, the sunlight kissing the white sand here, there.

 

“Look!  Oh, my God!  She did hear something last night!”  The little girl watched with interest… she wasn’t old enough to know … that was her bedroom behind the window they were looking at.

 

She heard them say excitedly, “Look”!  She watched them as they traced with their fingers … long scratches on the nice screen on the window.  The window screens were screens one could see outside from inside…. not see inside from outside.

 

They turned, looked at her.  She felt afraid… of what, she didn’t know.  No one said anything; they walked back to the porch.  She forgot about them…

 

She wanted some more ‘damn’ tea….

‘I Fought Like Hell To Survive’…


 

‘I Fought Like Hell To Survive’…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

Dance!  Dance!  My cousin yelled at me to dance.  I was bound and determined not to!

 

“I’m not going to dance… you can’t make me!”  He grinned, said…”Oh, you are going to dance”!  We stood there in the back yard of Grandma Alma, George’s home.  I looked at him with anger; he glared back at me with that evil grin.  He was mad at me.

 

I knew I wasn’t going to dance.  Further more… I couldn’t figure out how he could make me!

 

He stood there… there was no way he, by himself… was going to make me do anything.  We were always feuding.  Once, I beat him up when he came up to me… reached out, jerked down on my earring.  Oh my God… the pain!!  He ripped my ear lobe

 

I had just gotten my ears pierced.  What he didn’t know was… neither did anyone else… when pain was inflicted on me… ‘all hell was going to break wide open’.  I whipped his a__ before he knew it!  I didn’t remember doing it.

 

We were kids full of ‘spit and fire’… it didn’t take much to make us fight.  Our role models were there right in front of us… teaching us everyday.

 

This was payback, I was sure.  “Dance, I said”!  He yelled at me, saying if I didn’t, he had a way of making me dance.  He was holding his BB gun; he began raising it!  I felt a thrill go through me… he was going to shoot my a___!  I began running.

 

I was trying to run fast enough to get into the back door at Grandma Alma’s when I felt the first pain on the back of my thigh!  It hurt like a….  “Ouch!  That hurt”!

 

Tears filled my eyes… I turned around briefly … he had it raised to shoot again!  “Dance”!  The h___ with him, I’m running into the house!  Damn!  That hurt!  The b_____ shot me again in the back of my legs!

 

Damn!  I felt pain from shot after shot… I began dancing in pain!  I was screaming, crying.  I was going to kill him!  I made it to Grandma Alma’s screen door, got myself inside.  He was laughing at me, saying …”See, I told you I’d make you dance:!!!

 

That was one time I wanted to beat him up… but, the pain of the BB’s hitting me in the back of my legs, prevented me from getting him.

 

Later, I had big, round welts on the back of my legs.  I suffered… each one had a hole in it.  When I sat down, the pain was excruciating.  That’s how we kids played down at Grandma Alma, and George’s.  Someone was always getting injured… we were all ‘mean kids’… we had to be, to survive.  It’s a wonder he didn’t hit me in the eye, or worse.

 

Pain… always pain from something, when living there.  Pain made me feel anger.  I was always angry when I went to live there.  I was in Hell; I didn’t have a choice.  Someone was always striking out at me in anger… I’d fight back.  I learned how to fight to survive… ‘I fought like hell to survive’…

 

 

Sissies Live Longer!


 

 

Artist Trading Card by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee… ‘Muriel, the Mermaid’… I have this ATC card in an album for Taban, my grandson.  I have an ATC card for McKenzie…  This folds up to fit the card…..

 

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Sissies Live Longer!

 

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

 

 

I was running fast, I jumped into the helicopter.  There was so much room around me sitting there.  The doors stayed opened, I held on to the handle by the doorway.

 

The pilot began lifting the helicopter into the air, I felt the wind blowing on my face, sweeping my hair back.  Oh, what a glorious feeling!  I felt free… free as the wind!

 

I looked down onto the treetops, all was so clear!  How beautiful the scenery was!  I could see water down below… I did feel a little tingle of fear…. don’t crash, helicopter, don’t crash!

 

The pilot began to follow a river of water, he came down closer to the water… there was something moving in the … oh my!  There were dolphins swimming along in the water!  Dolphins with kind, gentle faces!

 

We followed, hovering from time to time, to watch these gentle creatures as they moved gracefully in the water, all in a single line….  I woke up.  I woke up disappointed not to get to follow along to  see where the dolphins went….

 

Dreams…  dreams seem so real!  It’s like you are actually living, doing the impossible in them.  In this dream, I was happy though, just a little nervous.  One never knows if a helicopter is going to crash!  :)))

 

I ‘know’ there was so much more to my dream than that… I wish I could remember it.  I should have jotted things down on one of the notebooks I have laying around.  I’m glad this wasn’t a scary dream…

 

I was thinking about the last time I was on a helicopter… I was in Miami Beach, Florida.  I got to fly out over the ocean, I saw something that I will never forget.  If everyone had seen it, too…. no one would be swimming in there again!

 

I couldn’t believe the many sharks that swam close to the beaches … close to the people playing, swimming in the water.  I thought about the time when I was a little girl… when my father, stepmother took us to the beach… they made my two sisters come back close to the sand… they never called me back!

 

Sharks!  Maybe they hoped a shark would get me, solve their problem of child support, and having to care for me … they already had two little beautiful girls… they didn’t need another one.  :)))

 

I think back to the insurance policy that was on me from the time I was a baby…. Shark, why didn’t you get me as a little girl?  After what I saw on that helicopter, I know sharks were close by!  Maybe all this was my imagination… maybe they wanted this little girl to cherish, to love, to care for just as they did the other two.  I wish I could believe that.

 

I never had the nerve to want to try surfing, never.  I’ve never wanted to fish with the alligators ( I give credit to my brother that fishes with the alligators ).  I just never wanted to offer myself up as a possible food source … something might come along, take me seriously.

 

Anything with a bigger mouth than I have, you have … wherever they are at, I don’t want to be near by when they are hungry.  Have you ever thought about it?  Something with a bigger mouth than you could eat you up!

 

The closest I came to experiencing a ‘shark attack’ came when I was a young woman.  I had waded out into the water.  I had on a long skirt down to my ankles … I loved to walk on the beach, feel the wind blow my skirt, hair, twirl around… feel free!

 

I waded into the water to mid-thigh.  I was holding my skirt up, unsuccessfully trying to keep it dry.  I felt something bump me hard on my right thigh, it hurt.  I looked down … there was a shark about three to four feet long.

 

I turned to run out of that water… somehow, I was out of it fast!  It may have not been the biggest shark… but….. it didn’t take a shark bigger than that to convince me …. to stay out of the water!

 

My Grandma Alma used to tell me, “if you play with fire, you are going to get burned by fire!”  I thought to myself, if I keep putting me into the shark’s territory, I’m going to get bitten… or be had for supper!  It’s like sprinkling food into the fish tank…. something’s going to eat it.

 

I only go in the water up to my ankles, let the waves splash.  I still keep an eye out… one can still get bitten doing that!  To those who scoff at me for being a sissy …. :)))  I don’t mind … sissies live longer!  :)))

 

 

Grandma Alma Had Pinched Me Hard One Time Too Many!


Photos of Mom, Rick, Tommy, Family 363

This is a photo of Grandma Alma in her bed.  I had come down from the North Carolina mountains to bring Tommy to see his Great-Grandma Alma, pictured here.  This is the bed I slept with her on… sometimes, putting my feet up on the wall in the background… I see into Hell here… my Grandma Alma, George were angels trapped in Hell………………..

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Grandma Alma Had Pinched Me Hard One Time Too Many!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I woke up, looked at the clock seeing it was morning… I saw 6:00 am. I was laying with my upper half of body on the bed. Why are my feet resting on the floor… it’s a good thing I love to sleep with lots of pillows. I was on my side, so… to finish getting up didn’t take a lot of effort.

I did something I haven’t done since a little girl living at Grandma Alma, and George’s. I instantly thought of them. I put my bare feet on the wall ‘just for a moment’… to remember. I was already stretched out far enough. I didn’t leave them there… just enough to remember.

I remember when sleeping with Grandma Alma, I slept on her left side. The side with her good hand. I remember well, her using that left hand to pinch me. Pinch me hard!

Why did she pinch me? Because, her bed on my side was close to the wall… making it fun for me as a child, to prop my feet up on that wall! I loved to stick my feet out of the covers, put them on the wall, wiggle them around feeling the cool surface on the soles of my feet.

Grandma Alma always knew somehow… because the next thing I knew, I’d feel her hand pinch me! She’d say, “Faye, put your feet back under the cover!” Then, George would wake up, his voice would thunder in the darkness, “now, what in the hell is going on!”

She would tell him to go back to sleep, that Faye just had her feet on the wall. “On the wall!” I would roll my eyes, sigh, put my feet back under the cover. I couldn’t understand ‘why’ I couldn’t just put my feet where I wanted to.

It became a challenge to see how far I could get before being caught by Grandma Alma… I always paid the price if she caught me. Being pinched by her… her hand twisting ever so little… she pinched just enough to make it hurt good!

I wonder if any other grandchild got pinched by her… and recognized what I just wrote. Each time I remember this, I feel uncomfortable inside from a memory that hurts me to this day.

I try to get past remembering ‘that’… it looks like I won’t this time, either. My Grandma Alma pinched me very hard, I guess I was being a stubborn little girl… it hurt very bad that particular instance.

I cried out, waking up George once again… to know George, one knew when you got his attention on you… he was going to ‘holler.’ He could thunder out like nobody’s business. I would cringe when he did it… loud? Oh, my gracious… he could be loud!

Not only loud, he would begin cussing. “What in the damn hell is going on,” George would yell. Sometimes, ‘us kids’ would grin at each other, sometimes, it was funny. Not that night, it wasn’t funny. Grandma Alma had ‘pinched me hard’ one time too many.

I cried out, tears springing into my eyes, anger filled my mind. I reached over, pinched my Grandma Alma back! She cried out, never expecting me to do that! Of course, George went into action… it took some time before we all settled back down to sleep.

George’s full-sized bed was on one side of the room, Grandma Alma’s full-sized bed was on the opposite side. If she needed George, he could get up, walk straight to her.

He got up then, came over to the bed to make sure Grandma Alma was covered up. All the time, he was fussing at me for pinching my grandma. Wasn’t I ashamed of myself? Don’t be pinching your grandma like that! Don’t you know she loves you?

Of course, I felt ashamed. I felt hurt for doing that, I dearly loved my Grandma Alma. I cried myself to sleep. “I’m sorry, grandma, I’m sorry!” To this day, I still feel so bad that I was a mean little girl who pinched my Grandma Alma. This is something I wish so much to be able to ‘take back.’

All I can say in my defense, was that I’d been kicked around so much down there, so much pain … I struck out. The sad thing is I struck out at the wrong person. Hell was always in the air…. it was still no excuse. I do think surely ‘I knew better’ than to do that. I was about ten years old.

I’d went to Hell … had begun learning to fight when someone hurt me. I just went in the wrong direction that time. I never did it again. I couldn’t bear the knowledge inside that I’d inflicted pain on Grandma Alma. It can make tears in my eyes now. It just did……. “I’m so sorry, grandma, I’m so sorry’…………….

I remembered… I had put my feet down on the floor for Kissy to use to step up on the bed. Sometimes, all he has to do is ‘get that little extra push’. Sometimes, it causes a terrible cramp, too! :)))

We go to any lengths for our Pups… all pet lovers do. Kissy is very capable of jumping up on the bed… but, sometimes, he likes to be a puppy. He and The Wick (one of Chadwick’s nicknames) are just… precious. Sometimes, those lengths we go to for them… just hurts our bodies so bad.

We let them walk on us, lean on us, fall on us… we feel it everytime. I think it’s because we have gotten a little older now… and we already hurt. :))) You would think we’d have a lot of room on our bed… it’s king-size … but, the room runs out!

For instance, when Kissy had managed to get up on that bed… ‘half of me was resting with my feet on the floor… he was stretched out from the side of the bed (across) to the middle.

The Wick (Chadwick) has stretched out ‘down’ the middle of the bed. Anyway… enough so, they successfully took enough space to make me sleep on one edge of the bed… Skip sleep on the other edge of the bed!

We always ‘make sure there’s plenty of room’ for those Pups! :))) Oh, when I had come to my computer to sit here to write tonight … I looked at the time on the screen… I saw 2:15 am. I was thinking my computer was wrong! I looked at my cellphone, it was….. 2:16 am this morning! I can’t believe I’m up thinking it was 6:00 am in the morning. I was ready to shower, get ready for the day!

I sit here, shaking my head, I think…. mmm-mmm, I’m going back to bed! Provided… there’s some room for me in there!

 

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


MY GRANDMA ALMA …

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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