With Puckered Lips … Sleepy Eyes


With Puckered Lips … Sleepy Eyes

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

Gloria Faye Brown Bates (photo owned by me) …

 

 

 

Long hair spread out over the fluffy pillow

She stretched … woke up in a fog

Yes?  She questioned the presence she couldn’t see

She felt a cool hand brush hair back from her forehead

Her skin was very hot, feverish

Yes?  She said once again …

Mommy loves you, Baby

She heard the voice say

Mommy kissed her goodnight

The sick, little girl turned her head

Tried to see her mother to kiss her goodnight

She lifted her head with puckered lips … sleepy eyes

Goodnight Mommy … I love you

Mommy tucked the blanket around her ears

She felt safe, warm … knew everything was going to be all right

Poem/photos owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

 

 

She Called Me To Please Help Her … I Was Too Late


She Called Me To Please Help Her … I Was Too Late

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee

 

 

My beautiful mother, whom everyone always said was the prettiest woman ‘in these parts’.  She always looked like Elizabeth Taylor.  Daisy Earlene Strother.  Photo is owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee.

 

 

We were shopping at Sam’s Club, enjoying walking around. Each of us were pointing out things that caught our attention.

I saw a beautiful, big vase shaped like an urn. The thought went through my mind as I looked at it (later … that haunted me). It was made of porcelain, blue and white. The big vase had a matching top. I was thinking … I really want that.

Later, we walked back by the vase … I put it in our shopping cart. Besides, we both loved the Biscotti biscuits that were inside. We would have them to look forward to when we drank our coffee.

We paid for our purchases; pushed the shopping cart to the food area. We ordered the special they always have … the big hot dog, and huge drink for a couple of dollars. The hot dogs are wonderful, though … we could never eat but, one.

We drove up in our driveway, began taking things into the house. I walked by the phone, saw the flashing light … someone had left a message. I didn’t listen to it … then.

When we finished putting things away … I stood looking at the red light … walked to the phone, pressed the button to make messages play.

I began going into shock … (I know shock only too well, as I’ve experienced it over, and over in my lifetime … one would think I’d be used to it).

An eerie, unearthly sound began coming out of the message machine. My mind worked against my ears … to understand what I was hearing. Skip! Skip, please come here! Help me, Skip! Something bad … something bad!

We both walked out of the house … not knowing to think. My mind kept replaying the awful sound from the phone … my mother was calling for me! I had to get to my mama!

She was saying in such a sound that wasn’t from this life … she was ‘keening’ … ‘Help me, Fay-eeeeee-eeeeeeeee’. It played out ‘long’… it went straight to my Heart. I couldn’t get to her … fast enough!

We drove up in the driveway … got out, went inside. I saw her big, upholstered recliner (it was a rocker, also). My mother wasn’t sitting in it … she always sat in it.

My eyes were drawn to the floor in front of it. There were all kind of things lying there . The one thing that drew my attention was a white hairband sold by Avon … I saw my mother’s blood on it. I saw a strand of her hair … I picked it up.

Oh, my God, what happened to my mama! It’s hard now to think back to that day … September 09, 2001. I sat down in her chair trying to feel her. I couldn’t … all I could feel inside was … panic!

Soon, people were standing, sitting on the front porch of her home. We went outside to stand … the shock froze me. I couldn’t move, think. I stood … the phone rang inside the house. We all had a reaction to it … soon, someone came out of the house.

She walked over to my mother’s husband, told him it was the hospital calling … did he want to speak to them. This stood out to me all these years; he said … in these exact words …. ‘she’s dead, ain’t she, goddamn it’!

I don’t remember anymore from that evening. My mind doesn’t want to remember … I can’t take it. Something wasn’t right … I won’t remember back … then.

No one went to the funeral home to see my mother before she was cremated. Skip had no choice but, to leave on his big truck. My son, Tommy, and I were the only ones to view her.

I walked into the room … my eyes paid attention to everything to do with my mother. Did they think they had disguised the hose that went to her body … to the place where they were draining my mother’s blood?

I am going to look, see what we all aren’t supposed to notice. It’s my nature … I look at the background … while you look at what’s in front of you. But, sometimes … I can’t.

I’d worked in the hospital where I had been used to seeing ‘everything’ … so, it didn’t offend me. It did hurt my Heart … that was my mama!

I stood there … noticing how tightly someone had wrapped the pure, white sheet around my mother’s body.

I’m sure that sheet was wrapped purposely like that … to discourage someone who might think of pulling the sheet back, only to discover the tube ….

My eyes went to my mother’s face … oh my! My mother’s face had become so much younger! She looked like she was in her thirties … she was so beautiful. My mother had been the most beautiful woman around ‘these parts’ … when she was young.

Her hair had been washed. I reached out to touch it … I rubbed my hand over her hair, fluffing as I did. So soft … that was the last time I ever touched my mama. My hands ‘remember’ the softness of her hair, so clean … fresh.

My hands ‘remember’ me touching my son’s head in death … to discover the stitches in the back of his head … as he lay in the wooden box. My mind … I don’t want to remember … now.

As I fluffed my mama’s hair, something wet fell onto my hand. It was a teardrop from my eye … I stood looking at it. It was like a crystal ball where one could look … hoping to see the future. I couldn’t look that long … life was in front of me … no, death was in front of me … staring me in the face.

Mama! Mama! What happened to you? My mind closed up to what it knew … felt. Through the years since her death … I’ve had to do the same thing. I won’t, can’t think about it.

I played the recording of her on our message machine, two months ago. Through time, no one ever wanted to hear it. Skip asked me to please not play it when he wasn’t around … maybe not play it at all. He is the only person to know the effect it has on me.

Two months ago, I played it so, both Skip and I would hear it. I instantly became sick, panicky, upset. Her voice came over the recording … ‘keening’… for me to please help her! Something ‘bad’ was happening to her …

Since September 2001, I’ve tried to listen to the recording … I go to pieces. I try to play it … sometimes. That is the last time my mother’s voice spoke … it spoke ‘from another world’.

There are certain sounds now, that pierce through my Heart, that I can’t bear to hear … it sounds like her! It’s a certain ‘high’ tone … not one you usually hear everyday.

The strange thing is that the message on our machine said 4:10 pm … the call to the rescue was at 4:00 pm … her husband said he was doing as they told him to do … to revive her. He was … doing … CPR.

My mother didn’t sound like she was in this world on the recording … I’d never heard her voice sound like that. When she was dying … how did she call me for help.

No one needs to answer my questions … I have many more that need answering. I’m waiting … to add what I don’t know … to ‘what I know’.

Either way … my mother ‘called me’, begging me to help her. I got there too late. In my mind … I don’t think my mother called from their phone ……….. how could she? Knowing what I do … you would wonder the same thing. No way …

 

 

Photo is owned by me; it is of my beautiful mother.  Story is written, owned by me.  It is a true story.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

When I Hate You! Means I Love You


When I Hate You! … Means I Love You

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

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Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I hate you! I hate you! The little girl was crying uncontrollably. A bright, red handprint blazed across her face. Someone had slapped her … slapped her … some kind of hard!

You ain’t my mama, anymore! Leave me alone! Leave, and stay longer this time! The little girl of ten was hurt deeply … she only knew it as anger. The angrier she was … the more she hurt.

Her mother’s eyes were angry … she turned, walked away. She was just a young woman. She had no business with a child. She loved to roam, travel places … stay gone as long as she wanted to. She had … wanderlust.

She had to go … she didn’t mean to slap her little girl, but sometimes … that child made her so mad! Now, she was leaving, didn’t have time to make it up to her.

The little girl stood in the living room looking through the window. Her little shoulders shook as the sobs tore through her body. Mama! Don’t go! Mama, I don’t hate you! Please don’t leave me here!

She watched her mother get into a car … the car backed out of the driveway. The little girl sunk to her knees, fell to the floor. She cried until she fell asleep.

When she woke up … she felt scared. Her mother was gone, and she’d told her she hated her! She loved her mama, and the more she loved her … the more she hated her for leaving her!

Several months passed … the little girl heard a door slam outside in the driveway. She ran to the door … everything else around her faded … she focused on the beautiful woman smiling at her. She began to run! Mama! I love you, mama! I missed you! I don’t hate you! Her mother held her close.

This is when … I hate you, means … I love you. This is a true story of a little girl’s mother who had wanderlust. She’d leave the little girl in Hell while she traveled, for months at a time.

The little girl would become so upset that she’d cry hysterically, scream that she hated her mama … it wasn’t so, she loved the ground her mama walked on.

She didn’t know how to tell her mama to not go away, again. Anger, pain made the little girl feel hate … which was strong love for her mother.

I hate you, mama! It means I love you so much, please don’t leave me, again!

Photo Credit/story is of, owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka &grannygee.

This is a true story … I knew that little girl well … I used to be her. My mother had me at fourteen years old … she was still playing with dolls. She didn’t know how to care for a child … she was one, herself.

My mother was a beautiful woman. She was a good person … she just didn’t know how to be a mother to a little girl. As I became older, I could understand … and forgave. I loved my mother with my Heart. She was very good to me years later, until the day she died.

 

That’s The Beauty Of Becoming … Older


That’s The Beauty Of Becoming … Older
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Do you have to constantly get something from another … for you to give your friendship to?
Do they have to ‘buy’ you?  I remember being younger, and the ‘friends’ I had … weren’t real friends.  I had to keep giving … this was before I learned I ‘could say no’.
One memory comes to mind, was when someone I really liked, came to visit me.  I was probably eighteen… she was a little older.  She came into my living room all smiles, confidence.
She looked me sitting on the couch in my pretty nightgown, my book close by.  She said, “I want your nightgown!”  She saw my book, said she’d like to have it, too!
I gave her both… I didn’t want to.  I didn’t know how to get out of it… gracefully.  I would have been very embarrassed to have explained ‘why’ I wanted to keep my nightgown, my book.
It took years to learn to ‘say no’.  I look back to ‘before’… when I should have.  It would have saved me so much grief.
You know how being young… you think you have to do everything someone else tells you … or someone’s going to get mad at you.  Back then… I couldn’t bear for anyone not to like me, much less be mad at me.
Today … I am myself; I can tell you ‘no’!  If you don’t like it… or turn against me … you just have to.  I can go my way… ‘let go’ of you.  I would never if possible say ‘yes’ to something I don’t want to do, or agree to do.  I would wish you all the best.
That’s the beauty of becoming a little older…
Photo Credit/ Story are owned by me (of me), #Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka #grannygee

All She Needed Was A Little Place To Put Herself…


All She Needed Was A Little Place To Put Herself…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee…. at age 3

 

Skin burning on her little arms, legs

She looks down to see blood smeared everywhere

The bones in her little body felt almost… broken

 

Pain made her moan as she lifted herself off the floor

Mama!  Mama!  Mama, please help me, she cried out

Her mama wasn’t coming… no, not any time soon

 

Especially this very moment when someone abused her child

The little girl cried silently… she didn’t scream, cry aloud

She left the room, curses followed her out the door

 

She opened the front door, stepped outside

The sunshine blinded her… she closed her eyes

Her face stung from her own salty tears

 

The cement porch felt cool to her skin

As she sat down on it, her feet hanging off onto the step

She hung her head… nobody loves me, she thought

 

No matter where she went in this world of hers

She seemed to be in someone’s way

Where was her place… her place she could be at peace?

 

She knew where it was… no one ever noticed her there

Back into the house she went… she walked to the couch

The old, red vinyl couch that had a small space at the end

 

A small space in between it, and the old bookcase sitting there

The little girl slipped into it, sat on the floor

This was the only place she could sit, no one yell at her

 

This was the place she was safest at in her world

She reached for a book off the shelf, picked up her pencil

Sat there for the next hour, drawing on the white pages

 

The white pages at the front, back of the book

She dreamed of being a fashion designer

Just a child with big ideas… no one cared

 

This was her favorite spot at her Grandma Alma’s

Where no one bothered her… where she wasn’t in the way

All she needed was a little place to put herself

 

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Navy Beans… Cornbread and Sweet Tea


Navy Beans… Cornbread and Sweet Tea

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

My beautiful mother, Earlene… and my special Grandma Alma

My beautiful mother, Earlene… I always wanted to be as beautiful as her.

 

My beautiful mother, and her sister came to ‘rescue’ me from my stepmother, and father’s house.  Rescue me, they did.  They would have fought her, if necessary.

 

They did fight… with words.  While they did, I went inside to get my things.  My stepmother, father had done the ultimate to me… she had caused him to hit me in the face for the first… last time he ever struck me.

 

All because of lies… one of my sisters used my father’s razor, put it back uncleaned… they all pointed fingers at me… knowing I’d take the blame, they would stay out of trouble.  I did things like that to be a ‘big sister’… to be loved by them.

 

My stepmother loved it… she had real ammunition to make me look bad once again.  Didn’t my sisters say that I had used my father’s razor… it had to be so.  Truthfully, I never went into my stepmother and father’s bedroom, nor their bathroom… I don’t know what his razor looked like… even today.  I didn’t do it.

 

Like water flowing under the bridge … life went on.  I was fifteen, and I was very glad to see my mother.  I was so proud she was my mom… she was beautiful.  She looked like Elizabeth Taylor.  Men loved her… she was the prettiest woman around… everyone always said so.  People who knew her… say it now.

 

My mother really tried to be a good mother… there were times she couldn’t be.  That’s another story… this one is about a favorite lunch she would make for me.

 

Life settled down into a routine.  I began school; I walked to school.  We lived in town.  I began walking home at lunch time to eat.  My mother would have the best lunches… sometimes, there would be goulash.  I wish I knew that recipe now… something that was made with Campbell’s soup, mustard, hamburger.  Oh my, it was wonderful.

 

She’d make me sandwiches, sometimes… banana sandwiches.  Her sandwiches always tasted best… even to this day.  Mamas have a special way of preparing food… no one else can do it like they can.

 

My favorite lunch coming home at noon… was navy beans, and the little cakes of cornbread she’d fried, and sweet tea.  I loved the taste of the navy beans, and in that period of time… that’s the only time I ever ate cornbread.  We would cut the little cakes in half, put a pat of butter in it.  It was the best cornbread… I’ve ever eaten… in my life.

 

The navy beans were out of this world.  Rarely, have I eaten them throughout the years… I don’t cook them.  The ones I’ve ordered with a meal never tasted like my mother’s.  The ones I did try to cook… in no way was like my mother’s.

 

I was sitting here thinking about my beautiful mother… and the good foods she cooked.  One favorite being navy beans, fried cornbread and… sweet tea.

Wanderlust…


Wanderlust…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

Gloria Faye Brown Bates … 6 years old

 

Lights flashing… red, blue… amber, green, yellow

Figures move in the shadows, doing what I don’t know

They bend down, stand up… move all around

 

What’s happened… what’s happened

I know now, there’s something I don’t want to know

I move a little closer, my nose to the windowpane

 

I don’t understand what I’m seeing

I turn to look at my mother who is asleep

I feel the bus come almost to a stop

 

I look down, see a man lying on the ground

I’m afraid when I see all the blood spread around

Spread around him, like a puddle of red paint

 

Oh, Mama, I’m afraid … please wake up

I turn around to see if she woke

She never woke up to see what her little girl saw

 

When riding on that big Grayhound Bus

Back in the day… back in the day when it was exciting

In the day… when it was fun to ride one

 

I was but, a little girl … yet, I heard a sound I loved

Big motor running, the smell of diesel fuel

It meant excitement, it meant going places new

 

This is when I found out I was like my Mama

Everyone always said she had to go, had to travel

This is when I found out that I had … wanderlust

 

Anyone Watching…


Anyone Watching…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates and her Son, Tommy…

(I’m fortunate to have this photo… it survived a housefire)

 

I become aware of myself from time to time

As I go about doing my daily things

The other times, I’m in a trance

I don’t think about things at all

When I become aware of my thoughts

I catch myself standing… my eyes half-closed

My head tilted to the side, my ears

Trying to hear sounds from the past

Anyone watching would see a woman

In deep, deep thought

What she’s seeing, no one else can see

She’s in her own mind… she’s in the past

A little smile plays on her full lips

Her eyes soften… diamond teardrops fill them

In her mind, she sees a tall, gentle giant

Who is smiling back at her

He walks toward her, holds out his arms

I love you, Mama… I miss you, too

She closes her eyes as the ghost of her son

Hugs her tightly, she hugs the… air back

Anyone watching would see a woman

With arms reaching out as if to hold someone

Tears streaming down her cheeks

She seemed to be hugging someone, but… it was… herself

Anyone watching would see her lips move

Hear her say… I love you, too… Son

I miss you with my very Heart

Please don’t go, stay here for a while

I have so much to tell you, I have a lot to say

You have to go… you can’t stay but, a moment?

Please come back as soon as you can

I’ll always watch out for you, I love you, Son!

Anyone watching would see a woman standing

Standing, watching something they can’t see

Hear her speak, listen to someone they can’t hear

See a woman crying her Heart out, sobbing… please don’t go!

I go about my daily things, my eyes burn

I think about my precious Son…

I’m … inside myself … looking inward

I’m trying to enter the past

Try as hard as I can… I can’t find the way

I mentally feel with my hands, trying to part the way

I look past things that try to attract my attention

I don’t want to think about this… that… I want to enter the past

I want to go see my Son… back when he walked, talked

I want to hear the sound of his voice, his laughter

Hear some of his funny jokes

Reach out to hug him tightly… kiss him on the cheek

Anyone watching would see a woman standing there

Many expressions pass on her face

While she stood there, unaware

Of herself…. as she came back … to herself

I felt a bittersweet smile on my lips

My cheeks felt wet as I reached up to touch them

I became aware that I was crying silently

Anyone watching would hear me say… I miss you, Son

Anyone watching would see a sad woman’s face

Quickly turn into a bright smile when she saw them

Anyone watching would hear her say… I was sad for a moment

But now… everything’s going to be alright


Anyone Watching…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

 

Gloria Faye Brown Bates and her Son, Tommy…

(I’m fortunate to have this photo… it survived a housefire)

 

 

I become aware of myself from time to time

As I go about doing my daily things

The other times, I’m in a trance

I don’t think about things at all

 

When I become aware of my thoughts

I catch myself standing… my eyes half-closed

My head tilted to the side, my ears

Trying to hear sounds from the past

 

Anyone watching would see a woman

In deep, deep thought

What she’s seeing, no one else can see

She’s in her own mind… she’s in the past

 

A little smile plays on her full lips

Her eyes soften… diamond teardrops fill them

In her mind, she sees a tall, gentle giant

Who is smiling back at her

 

He walks toward her, holds out his arms

I love you, Mama… I miss you, too

She closes her eyes as the ghost of her son

Hugs her tightly, she hugs the… air back

 

Anyone watching would see a woman

With arms reaching out as if to hold someone

Tears streaming down her cheeks

She seemed to be hugging someone, but… it was… herself

 

Anyone watching would see her lips move

Hear her say… I love you, too… Son

I miss you with my very Heart

Please don’t go, stay here for a while

 

I have so much to tell you, I have a lot to say

You have to go… you can’t stay but, a moment?

Please come back as soon as you can

I’ll always watch out for you, I love you, Son!

 

Anyone watching would see a woman standing

Standing, watching something they can’t see

Hear her speak, listen to someone they can’t hear

See a woman crying her Heart out, sobbing… please don’t go!

 

I go about my daily things, my eyes burn

I think about my precious Son…

I’m … inside myself … looking inward

I’m trying to enter the past

 

Try as hard as I can… I can’t find the way

I mentally feel with my hands, trying to part the way

I look past things that try to attract my attention

I don’t want to think about this… that… I want to enter the past

 

I want to go see my Son… back when he walked, talked

I want to hear the sound of his voice, his laughter

Hear some of his funny jokes

Reach out to hug him tightly… kiss him on the cheek

 

Anyone watching would see a woman standing there

Many expressions pass on her face

While she stood there, unaware

Of herself…. as she came back … to herself

 

I felt a bittersweet smile on my lips

My cheeks felt wet as I reached up to touch them

I became aware that I was crying silently

Anyone watching would hear me say… I miss you, Son

 

Anyone watching would see a sad woman’s face

Quickly turn into a bright smile when she saw them

Anyone watching would hear her say… I was sad for a moment

But now… everything’s going to be alright

 

 

 

 

Just Another Day In … Hell


It Was Just Another Day In… Hell

It Was Just Another Day In Hell
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Photo of a little girl… Gloria Faye Brown Bates

The old woman sat there in her old rocking chair
Staring off into space, thinking about everything… nothing
While listening to the sounds around her

The sounds of hell were beyond her eyesight
Soon… to be in the arena before her
Sure enough, the sounds appeared… owners behind them

I’m going to whip your ass, knock your teeth down your throat
You’ll know who to mess with after this!
Two young women begin to fight, slugging like men

They were on their feet for a time, each as strong as the other
Until one made a mistake, the other knocked her to the floor
Jumped on her… to knock her teeth ‘down her throat’

She slammed her fist into the fallen woman‘s mouth
The fallen woman screamed an ungodly scream
The pain made me come up from the floor, her mouth pouring blood

Anger made her jump on the other, tear her ass up
Beat her to the floor, began choking her until the death
Until… a blind man began feeling for her fingers, took them off the other’s neck

Come on, come on… you love each other, please don’t fight
He spoke gently while he pulled the sisters apart
All of a sudden, his ass was knocked to the floor

The fight wasn’t over, he couldn’t see what happened
The old woman sitting in her chair began to scream, cry
Stop it, stop it… you are killing each other, someone’s going to die!

The two young women never heard her; nor did they see the little girl
Watching them, crying.. her little fist stuck in her mouth
Mama!  Mama! Don’t hurt my mama!  I’m going to hit you!

The little girl couldn’t bear it any longer, she ran to the fight
Her mother was on the bottom, she struck the one on top
Her little fist pummeled the woman in the head

She was slung backwards, fell against the wall, stunned
She watched as her mother was beaten, slapped, hit time after time
Her mama was finally released… she got up off the floor

Both young women were bloody, scratched up from the blows
Upon each other as they fought to the death in the arena
Before… their paralyzed mother sitting in the rocker; the blind step-father who was still on the floor

No one saw the little girl, until she sobbed, cried ‘Mama’!
The mother walked to her, pain in her battered body
Pulled the little girl to her, held her tight

All the hell had went away for a while… all was calm again
The little girl closed her eyes, held tightly to her mama
Knowing she was going to be alright… it was just another day in… Hell