One Doesn’t Have To Do Anything … In Darkness


One Doesn’t Have To Do Anything … In Darkness


By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee





Darkness … soft darkness. Mama! Mama, please tuck the blanket around my ears like you did when I was a little girl.

Yes, I ate something. Hearing Skip’s voice asking me had I eaten while he was at work. I didn’t know if I had or not … I didn’t know anything… it didn’t matter. Yes, was my answer.

So cold, I need more blankets. Turn the air-conditioner off. I shivered under my thick layer of blankets in … 100 degree heat.

Itching … in the soft darkness, I constantly itched. I’m not sure if I scratched or not. I wasn’t aware … these were symptons of … cancer … non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

I got up out of the darkness, to shower. Time to go to get chemotherapy. I was dressing … having a hard time doing so. Very weak, could hardly stand. I was still … independent … I’d do it myself. It was my will … to fight.

Skip walked into bedroom. His expression changed … I’d never seen such shock on his face as I did that day. It reached me in the state I was in.

I looked at him, asked what was wrong. I knew it had to do with me. I had lost so much weight in a short time (another symptom of cancer) … of course, I didn’t know it, I was too sick. I wore loose-fitting gowns, so … he hadn’t noticed.

In just weeks, I had lost probably fifty pounds, and I was … thin. I had wanted to lose weight ‘before’ … at this time, I didn’t think about it. Weight … what is weight? It’s unimportant …

I am alone in the house … I wanted to get up, go outside in the sunshine. Holding on to the wall, door … managed to get to back door.

Hard to open the door, my hands are like … rubber … from the chemotherapy drugs. I don’t consciously think of this at that time. I wanted to go outside …

Standing on the back porch … the sunshine blinded me. My eyes are blurred … tears fill them. I can’t see well through the medicinal fog I was in. I saw my hoe near the porch … I loved to plant flowers.

I wanted to hold the hoe in my hands. I made my way to the edge of the porch, my hands reach out to get the hoe. Oh my … oh! The hoe felt awful in my hands! It felt … alien. I couldn’t bear to hold the handle … it … hurt. I let go of it.

My hands had become weaken, so ‘unused’ to holding things. I couldn’t hold any weight. Things felt … rough to my very smooth hands. They weren’t used to doing anything … one doesn’t have to do anything … in darkness.


Photo/Story Credit: are owned by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

All I wrote here, is true. I was trying to give you an idea of being near death … not conscious of it … the darkness … awareness of things once taken for granted … the strangeness, later (the hoe).

I shared just a few conscious moments in time when I was very sick, fighting my battle to live from cancer. My battle lasted over three years. I thought it was the worse thing I’d ever had to live through in my life … until … my son, Tommy, died.


I know what it’s like to live in darkness … there’s nothing to do there … but, ‘be’.  By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee