I’m Proud Of You, Son …

I’m Proud Of You, Son …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Watching tv tonight, I watched a young man sing on America’s Got Talent. When he found out he was among the chosen, he put his arm to his face. He pressed it there, to catch his tears.

His gesture touched something deep inside me. Not only that, his whole demeanor reminded me of my son …. Tommy. He was humble … it meant so much to him to be chosen to go on in the competition.

When he left the judges, he called his mother. He told her that he’d made it through. She said the words that I remember so well … words that I used to say to Tommy … many times.

Tears sprang to my eyes … I put my arm up to my own eyes when I heard his mother say … “I’m so proud of you, son”!

Photo credit: Photo is of my son, Tommy… owned by me. I’m fortunate to have my photos. They survived a house fire that destroyed all our belongings. My photos are damaged from smoke, water. I treasure them with my Heart.

I was reminded tonight of how I used to tell my own son, Tommy … many times … “I’m so proud of you, Son”.

Tommy died May 29, 2010 with 2 blockages to his heart. He collapsed at Myrtle Beach on the sand. He’d been running, playing with his 3 year old son.

Tommy made it ‘just in time’ … to play with Taban. I miss my son with my very Heart. I was … most proud of him.

I Only Have My Grief… To Compare My Grief To…

I Only Have My Grief… To Compare My Grief To…
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

4-20-2013 060

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee… 2013
Everytime I begin to write today… it seems my words begin to talk about … Tommy. I wonder ‘why’? He would have been 43 years old on November 20th… and this is the third Thanksgiving he isn’t … here.

I know I’m thinking about him… though, my mind is thinking about other things. I’m glad I’m not crying. Do you know …I miss my son. I miss him with my very heart.

I don’t worry that you will tire of me writing about him, when this happens. You have the choice to go on to the next blog… post. This happens ever so often. I write grief, pain… it’s what I know best. Then, I write my colors/my life… my thoughts.

I was thinking today of how Tommy died… I wondered if his eyes were opened long enough to look up at the beautiful, blue sky… see the white sea gulls flying over him. I keep imagining the sea gulls singing to him… ‘Tommy, come home… it’s time to come home’.

I pray that he didn’t feel any pain in his chest… nor feel pain as his body collapsed on the sand. I pray that invisible angel’s hands guided him gently as he fell.

Did his ears hear the waves as they washed ashore close by where he lay? My son died a beautiful death… people say this to me. I can ‘see’ that they are right. Everyone would want to ‘go’ that way. My mind worries for any pain he might have felt… he had two blockages to his heart. The autopsy showed this… I wonder… is it possible he didn’t feel pain?

Imagine the music that the ocean, and sea gulls make as the sounds blend together… soothing, soft… hauntingly beautiful. Doesn’t it touch your heart? I think Tommy heard this special music as his soul … soared to Heaven. Soared to the sea gulls singing, ‘Come home, Tommy… come home’.

For the moment… I’ve went to the place where I don’t usually allow my mind to go… to ‘that moment when my son lay on that sand’. To the moment… he… died. I feel I want to cry… but, I know I won’t for now. I don’t know ‘why’ I won’t… I just ‘know’.

I can see in my mind’s eye… my little 3 year old grandson squatting down to his daddy’s level… asking him to come play with him. He probably put his little hand on his daddy’s shoulder, to shake him to wake up. Tommy was always playing with him… pretending to be asleep, and such… then, surprise his little son with a big grin, and a roar! He didn’t … that time.

Thank-God for the little group of people close by… they were the only people around. They came to Tommy, and Taban… watched over Taban until he was safely with his mother. His mother didn’t know where Tommy and their little son… disappeared to. She, her family were putting luggage up in the hotel room.

I wonder when Tommy grabbed Taban by his little hand… did he feel an urgency to get to the ocean, to play with his little son as he wished to do… as quickly as he could?

He barely made it in time to play for a short time… he left on a journey that was unexpected… one he can’t come back from.

The grief… in my grief, I would almost feel he was going to walk up any moment… appear from around the corner. It felt like ‘almost’ anytime, I was going to see my child. It was like when I was diagnosed with cancer… in that shock… I kept feeling somehow, I could step back ‘through a door’… and everything would… be back the way it was. Everything would be alright.

Some day I will sit, and try to explain that more… it’s a very interesting way of thinking. I’ve never heard anyone describe ‘real grief’… I’ve never had opportunity to be around anyone who has grieved like I have. I understand… no one’s been around me to see me … grieve … like I have. It’s a very private thing.

When someone you love, dies… somehow, in the shock… it feels like you can ‘shift the time’ just a little… and it’s like ‘they can come back’. It doesn’t make sense… I just tried to ‘go back’ for a moment to ‘feel’, so… I could describe it. It sounds strange… maybe sometime, I will examine it more in my mind… and write it, to tell you.

In my mind, I used to wish I could reach out… part the air like opening a curtain… see the steps to Heaven… go up them quietly to the top so, I could peep… hopefully, to see the angels walking by… see Tommy. I would have softly called, “Tommy”! Then, watched for his sunshine smile!

We all wish… we all think… don’t think… feel, cry… sob, weep when we grieve. Sometimes, we do nothing… I grieve quietly, privately… the only way to know I’m grieving is to see it in my writing. I don’t talk about it. Only at a rare moment will Skip see me grieving… I don’t want to upset, worry him. If I’m not alright… he can’t rest. So, I write the pain…

When you look at me… you’ll see my smile, and know everything’s alright. Because… really, I am. I don’t know how others grieve, I know how I do. I only have my grief… to compare my grief to.


Someone Else’s Son…

Someone Else’s Son…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




My Precious Son, Tommy… Born November 20, 1969… Died May 29, 2010




We walked toward the big box store

People were standing in a group to collect

Money to repair a church roof

My eyes were suddenly drawn to one person


Tommy!  Oh, Skip, look!

That guy looks so much like… Tommy!

My eyes followed the guy as he talked,

Moved, smiled… my heart began to hurt


I couldn’t take my eyes from him

So engrossed I was … I ran into a barrier

In front of the store


The pain in my stomach wasn’t anywhere as near

As the pain in my heart as I tried

To tear my eyes away from someone else’s son


Sick to my very soul, I followed Skip inside

Skip!  Did you see how much he looked like Tommy?

Did you see… he had glasses, his kind of haircut, too


Tommy, for a few moments I watched ‘you’ move

I watched you smile, talk

Today… in someone else’s son



Author’s Note:


Grief is a terrible thing… it strikes like a rattlesnake hidden in the grass.  No matter how beautiful the day, how wonderful all is… it strikes with a vengeance… the pain can bring one to their knees.


It can’t be predicted… no more than when lightening will strike something from the sky.  You can’t imagine how bad it hurts to lose your only child… how bad it feels, knowing you have nothing to look forward to in later life… no son, no grandchildren.


The only protection is being strong, determined… looking forward, not backwards.  I do this every day, minute… I have to.  It’s like walking a tightrope… I always have to be balanced, so… I … don’t fall. Sometimes, I fall very hard when… I least expect it.  I tell you because when it happens, I promised to.


Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Room Of Empty Bottles…






I was limping, I stopped, pulled my loafer off to look at the heel of my foot. It was bleeding and had little holes in my heel. Those nails were cutting into my heels, it hurt so bad. The inside of both of my shoes were bloody. 

For so long… I had to wear these shoes… at one time they were pretty, and didn’t bite into my feet to make them bleed each day. No one ever knew… I was too ashamed… too proud to let anyone know how I suffered. I would try to wipe the blood out of them each evening… I hated the smell of blood. That’s what the inside of my shoes smelled like… blood.

I wished for a new pair of shoes, but, I thought no farther than that. The pain was too great. I just wanted to get home, I was tired from being in school all day… I had fought my daily ‘battles’ there, as I did each day. Not physically, but.. mentally.

My classmates, other kids made my life harder, never knowing how they contributed to my pain… pain I hid from them. No one knew how I suffered both…. mentally, physically. I was someone they could pick on and take attention off their ‘imperfections’. Yes, I made it easy for them to ‘point with their finger to direct attention away from themselves’. I had to walk 2 blocks to get home… I wanted to take those shoes off my feet.

I worried at how I’d find my beautiful mother. Would she be herself today, or would she be a ‘monster’ today. Everyday I always had to wonder what I would find when I got to the house my mom had gotten for her and I … this was now… home.

I had my own bedroom and sometimes at nights I would wake from nightmares. One of the nightmares would be of my mama being under my bed having convulsions. I couldn’t bear for anything to be wrong with my mama. To think about how much I loved her… brought tears to my eyes.

It was an awful nightmare that haunted me for years…. in my dream I would hear something under my bed, I would slip out of bed and look underneath… my mom would be lying on her back having a convulsion.

I would be sick at heart and scared when I woke up. I worried so much about my mom. Men tried to take advantage of her when she ‘wasn’t herself’. They would come here to this new ‘home’. I hated them.

I loved it when my mama was ‘my mama’… I loved my mama. She would smile, her eyes would sparkle with mischieviousness, and happiness, she would talk and laugh with me. She was so fun, and so beautiful! I was proud of my mama when she was like this. I wasn’t proud when she was like…..

I came inside the house, I was looking around sensing like I did every day to know if ‘mama was my mama’…or… if today she would be the ‘monster’.

I heard her in the kitchen, I followed the sound. She had her back to me and I couldn’t tell just yet. “Hello mama”, I said. She turned around and smiled at me. I took a deep breath and thought inside ‘thank-God’… that’s my mama! I knew we’d have a good evening talking and laughing.

I walked by the little room we called a pantry. There was nothing in there, excepting…. even today I see this little room as I stand in the doorway…. bare wooden floor, sunshine coming in from the one window in there… over in the far corner a stack of clear medicine bottles piled up high in the corner…. sloping down toward me on the floor… dusty floor.

The sun was shining on the bottles, in each bottle I could see a little liquid… it was very pretty in the sunlight. It was green liquid. This room of empty bottles always made me sick to my heart. These bottles with the green liquid turned my mama into the monster she became for about three days at a time. She made my life pure hell and I was frightened of her.

The pile of empty bottles kept growing … as it grew, I knew firsthand ‘why’. My mother drank it… it changed her from beautiful to a monster. In my mind, at the age of thirteen, the only name I could think of to describe my mama when she changed …was ‘monster’. She was mean and very cruel to me. When she was my mama… she would never be mean to me.

My heels hurt so bad. I had to wear hand-me-down shoes, the nails in the heels were coming through… my feet bled and hurt. I never thought past that… I thought probably that was the way life was supposed to be. I never complained. I went into my bedroom to take my shoes off.. I just wanted to feel the cool hardwood floors on the bottom of my feet.

I ran into the kitchen to talk to my mama. Edna, my only friend, had come to see us. She lived next door to us. She was always so nice, and I thought alot of her. My mother liked her, too.

We all three were standing around the dining table, we were drinking glasses of chocolate milk. I still see the image in my mind, how funny and happy that time was. Someone said something so funny, that unexpectedly I became so tickled that I began laughing, chocolate milk spraying from my mouth.

I remember looking at my mother’s eyes to see if she got mad. Her eyes were so full of surprise, and she began laughing harder. That was one of the happiest moments in my life with my mama. She never got mad at me for the chocolate milk… we all cleaned it up.

Several days went by, all went well. I was growing more tense by the day… ‘it was time’. It was time, my mama was going to be a monster soon. It never failed. I wished so much my mama would stay the same way. I never told anyone at school what I lived with at home. Even as a child I was very private about ‘what really went on in my life’. I protected everyone by not saying anything… it also, kept attention off me.

I was moved from here to there, made fun of depending on ‘who’ I lived with… I dressed good here, dressed bad there. I don’t think anyone ever asked me why I’d come to school for a while, be gone for months or maybe a year or so, come back. It was a pattern.

The teachers even began to make comments saying that my mama ‘not only looked just like Elizabeth Taylor, she got married as many times as Elizabeth Taylor’, and moved as many times. They never realized ‘it was only me’ that was moved many times… they wouldn’t have cared anyway.. they all had good lives and couldn’t ‘see’ past that.

I would feel embarassed, but, I accepted that as part of my life. I didn’t complain, I cried only when my feelings were hurt or I was physically hurt. I don’t remember crying over something I couldn’t have… somehow, I knew I wasn’t good enough to have things. To have things one had to be like the girls who gave me that present with deodorant, soap and lotion. They lived in cosy, nice homes with real parents, cars, and they got to be in the Brownies, and in different things at school. At that time, I knew I wasn’t ‘good enough’, also… there wasn’t money for anything I needed. I never asked, I didn’t think to.

Oh no! I heard something falling to the floor in the kitchen when I came in the front door. I felt that familiar dread, sick feeling in my stomach, my hands began trembling. I walked slowly to put my things in the bedroom. I knew I had to see my mama sooner or later. I hoped she wouldn’t scream at me. I took my hated shoes off my feet.

I tiptoed quietly to see where my mom was, I heard her. She was in the kitchen. She’d made a mess on the table. The ‘monster’ was here now. I was afraid. I was sick to my soul, life was going to be hell for several days.

My mama began screaming at me to do this, to do that. I couldn’t bear hearing her voice full of anger at me. What did I do? The whole evening went like that… she was cussing, ranting and raving at me. I asked her once could I go outside and play in the street with the kids. “Hell no!” she screamed at me. “You have too many things to do in here!”

I gradually sneaked off to my bedroom to get away from her. I couldn’t feel good being in there with her, nor here in the privacy of my bedroom. She could come in here at any minute to scream at me. My mama did just that! Her face would be contorted into a face that I didn’t know, a horrible monster face with demon eyes looking out at me. It seemed she took pleasure in making me cry, hurting me so, that I would. She hated me when she was a monster. ‘Why’… I didn’t know.

Life was hell, and it grew to the point that I couldn’t take anymore of it…. I didn’t have anywhere to feel safe at, I was hated at home, at school… no one would look at me, if they did they ‘looked down’ at me. I’m sure they thought I was white trash. A girl had already called me a whore… I didn’t know what that meant. I was labeled with names I hadn’t deserved ..or earned as a child, much less knew the meanings of.

My mama whom I loved with my very heart… could become a monster just at anytime. I didn’t know exactly ‘why’ she’d become a monster but, I did know it had something to do with all those clear bottles in the pantry…. in that big pile that sloped down… in the sunlight those bottles were pretty… each held a small amount of green liquid in them… the ‘whole’ picture of those bottles was … pretty. Colors attracted my attention… the pretty green always drew my eyes toward it.

Somehow, I ‘knew’ that green liquid in those bottles contributed to the hell I lived in for that period of time. Yes, each and every one of those empty bottles affected my young life in some way… many ways. Not only that… my beautiful mother’s life. We were both victims.

That room of empty bottles… with the little splash of green color in each one. Empty bottles, green liquid… all sloping from high up in the corner into a pile downward toward the door… toward me, when I stood there. I never thought to taste it… to see if I’d like it. I knew that I liked that pretty color… green. I liked how the clear glass bottles sparkled in the sunshine… diamonds and emeralds… that’s what they made me think of, in that room of empty bottles.

Those bottles, that beautiful liquid of emerald green had… strange powers. Those crystal clear glass bottles… with a splash of emerald green mixed with the golden light of the sunshine piled high in that corner… only a dusty floor beneath them, and bare walls around them, one window letting the sun shine through to highlight… those empty bottles, empty excepting for the little splash of emerald green in each bottle. I remember those bottles so well.

Those bottles made such an impression on me the day I walked into the door of that room… I don’t remember seeing that ‘pile’ grow… I just remember the pile that was so high. That pile of bottles … if one had taken a photo of it, it would have made a pretty piece of art… colors of crystal clear, golden light, emerald-green liquid in a stark, empty room…with a dusty floor.

Know that this author loved her mother with her very heart, know that she would be rich just counting the tears she cried just for her mama in her whole life. Just think how rich I would be if I counted the tears for ‘all’ the ones I’ve lost in my world…

I miss my mama with my heart. She was a very good-hearted person… she really would give you the last thing she had if she knew you needed it. She was beautiful, no matter the life she had… addictions are powerful. We all have had one or the other in our lives… habits are hard to change. They become ‘one with us’ until we no longer recognize ourselves or… others recognize us…… without them. We can’t live without them. I always ‘saw my mama’, I always recognized my mother.

In my life my ‘addictions’ have been smoking as a young woman, it took almost dying and forgetting there was such a thing as a cigarette… to break my addiction. I never remembered smoking after I entered the world between ‘life and death’. I know firsthand how powerful that addiction is. My next addiction was/is ….. eating good foods. Just these words in this paragraph… think about them………….. if you smoke ..you are knowing exactly what I mean.

If you don’t… ‘feel’ the power of those words and ‘know’…… that once people are addicted, it’s not easy to ‘let go’…. of anything. I have compassion, empathy for people who fight addiction, because in ‘my own way’…. I know and have this to compare with.

I can look around me, watch tv… I know that I’m not alone in this ‘addiction/habit’ of … eating. We eat for comfort, pleasure in tastes and textures of different foods as well as for satisfying our hunger.

I constantly ‘fight the battle of obesity’… I’m fighting it now, and actually doing very good in my struggle. As a young woman… to stay ‘beautiful, perfect’… I could only eat a couple of spoons of food, or eat several very tiny bites of food, only drink mostly liquids, dance and walk, run… to stay small enough to wear sizes 8-9. Oh… I would look at my beautiful designer clothes and know if I wanted to wear them… I would continue to starve myself. I know what it’s like to be ‘on both sides’.

I would like to add…. ‘everyone loved me, Gloria’… when I starved myself… and stayed so tiny. I was popular, what I thought …mattered, when I spoke…everyone heard me no matter how softly I spoke. I was ‘perfect’ as long as I ‘had that addiction to starvation’. I had to suffer for years to be so popular, so ‘loved’, so ‘perfect’………… I was the most imperfect being in this whole world. Strange ‘how we humans’ …….. ‘see and think’. Don’t you agree?

I suffered to be loved and thought of as ‘somebody’. For a number of years now… I am only myself, I don’t starve for anyone’s attention or their love… I like myself.

I wonder if my mom’s addiction began at some point to make her more acceptable in other people’s eyes, more beautiful, more ‘perfect’? Something made her have a ‘starting point’…. all addictions …do. She was ‘perfect’ in her beauty, her personality… just being herself. Of course, like people who have entered ‘that world’………. it becomes ‘more than that’… they begin to not be able to live without what they ‘need’. It’s almost ‘too late’ for them.

My heart breaks for people who go through their ‘own hells’ while living here on earth…. my feeling is that when you live in ‘hell’ while here…. you go to heaven when you die. You’ve earned it by the time you die. My opinion only… I know you have yours…. I respect it, as I know you will mine.

I am sitting here… I see that ‘room of empty bottles piled high in that corner’…….. with a little splash of emerald green in each….. beautiful, golden sunshine making all ‘sparkle’….. magic. My favorite jewelry is gold and diamonds, emeralds… I wear only gold and diamonds… maybe one day a emerald. I would think of those bottles, and their power.

I’m glad I never thought once of…… tasting that beauty… it never lured me excepting to see ‘the art, the colors, the way those bottles sloped down to the dusty floor, sunshine making the bottles, liquid… sparkle’. Such beauty in that ..somehow. Strange, isn’t it… strange how I think that… looking back.


If She Was Going To Live Now… She Might As Well Get Started

If She Was Going To Live Now… She Might As Well Get Started

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee


She sat up slowly, tried to focus her eyes

Closed them, opened them hoping to clear them

Of Death’s glaze that almost sealed them forever

She put her hands over her eyes


The pain… pain everywhere, nowhere the most

She looked over to the steps that led up on the porch

Looked to the door… then, to the sky


Where it was blue, white clouds before… it was getting dark now

She wanted to be in the house if she couldn’t lay here dead

Afraid of the dark outside, more than the darkness on the inside

She began to push herself up to stand up


She trembled, almost fell back down to the ground

Determination pushed her ass to stand up

She stood as she meant to, if she was going to live now

She might as well… get started


She put one foot forward, held it firmly to the ground

She wasn’t going to fall down, she had to make it inside

She was afraid of the dark, something might get her

Being alive brings its fears… the darkness was one of them


She put one foot in front of the other

Until she got to the steps… if she had to crawl

She was going up them, she didn’t make it this far

For nothing, she’d get herself in that house


Lock the door against the night, sleep on the floor

If she must… it didn’t matter now, if she lived

Everything past death a short while ago is a plus

She could … ‘not be’ … doing anything … now


Holding onto the hand rail, she pulled herself up

Until she got to the top, stood there, slowly looked around

She didn’t know she’d see all this again

The big oak tree in the yard, the yellow bushes with flowers


When she closed her eyes last, she never thought about

Ever seeing again the things she loved

As these thoughts went through her head

Where before… no thoughts were being thought of


She reached the storm door, opened it… went inside

Closed the wooden door that was still standing open

How long ago did it get left opened

She couldn’t think past this moment, she locked the door


She walked slowly through the living room, down the hall

Turned right, went into the bathroom … turned the faucet on

She propped herself on the counter, put her face down

Splashed cold water onto her face, in her eyes


Toothbrush in hand, she put the toothpaste on it

Brushed the taste of death out of her mouth

If she was going to live, her teeth were going to be clean

When she was stronger, she would get into the shower


For now, she was going to lay down

Sleep the sleep of life, not death

Either way, she wouldn’t have to feel the pain

That pushed her into Death’s arms


When and if… she woke up, she’d decide what to do

For now, it didn’t matter… she couldn’t change a thing

No strength was left in her mind, her body

For now… she couldn’t do a thing


Hours later, her eyes opened, her ears heard no sound

She lay there, letting her mind fill with thoughts

She felt anger, pain in her heart… she knew now, what to do

If she was going to live now… she might as well get started.


I Don’t Want You To Know… You Might Not Be As Strong As I Am

I Don’t Want You To Know… You Might Not Be As Strong As I Am

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




My son, my only child… Tommy, holding his little son.  I miss you, Son.  I was so proud of you.



You know how it is when you get busy doing something… your mind begins to wander here, there.  In just a short time, one can think a ‘million’ thoughts… about many different things.


My mind lingered on my new book I’m in the process of completing.  I’ve had to stop for a few days.  Chadwick, our Pup, had 2 seizures ‘out of the blue’.  My attention has been on him… I couldn’t concentrate on ‘writing words’.


I did go outside, on the porch… yesterday.  I painted while I was near the Pups, where I observed Chadwick.  I paid close attention to him.  He’s normal… he is the same Pup.  He has never appeared to be sick.


I’m thinking that what I read is… what’s wrong with him.  I ‘feel’ it’s low blood sugar.  He’s so active, moves very fast… he burns up calories quickly.  I looked back in my mind… both times, he and Camie (the little precious puppy I rescued) were running so fast around their yard… that I could hardly follow them with my eyes.  Are they secretly …gray hounds?  Race dogs


I know blood sugar can drop lower in a person when they exercise.  I feel that happened with Chadwick (we call him ‘Wick’ or ‘Wick-Wick’).  I have been making sure to give him a little snack every several hours between his main meals at breakfast, supper.


I began thinking about wiener roasts, toasting marshmallows, and hot chocolate.  Fall time, my most favorite season is upon us… it’s time to think about these things.


The strange thing is… I forgot to think about such things since Tommy died on May 29, 2010.  I thought about what I’ve forgotten to think about for 3 years.  Holidays are ‘one of them’.  I think that I can think about them this year… and ‘everything be alright’.


I have been so ‘lost’ until this past year.  I have been ‘finding myself’… things happen to knock me back down.  I keep getting up, dust my ass off (yes, I said that in defiance)… and ‘go it again’.  I’m not staying ‘down’.  I’ve come a long ways… I’m sure not ‘going back’… too dark, scary… too easy to become lost once more.


Can’t take that chance… have to keep my mind on the light, colors, life… now.  I have to hold on to these things with my very life.  I don’t have to hold so tightly now… because I know I can make it ‘now’.  I think I can relax my grip on life… some ‘now’.  I don’t want to go back to the … darkness.


I still go through such overwhelming periods of time, grieving for Tommy.  It consumes me, occupies my every thought…  I feel as if I’ll die, myself… it’s the very pain.  The intensity…  can make me have to lay down… it hurts that bad.


I keep telling myself, just bear with it… it’s going to be alright… just get past this… it’s going to be alright.  A lot of times, it gets alright in a short time.


It’s those times, when it takes… longer, that make me afraid.  That’s when I’m afraid… that’s when the pain is so raw, so ‘looming up in my mind like it has just happened’.  That’s when my chest feels it will explode, I feel as if my very soul is screaming.


That’s when it’s hard to live with myself… I have no place to go.  I can’t go get in the car, drive away… leave the pain behind.  I can’t simply walk off from it, and not feel, hear, know it.  It follows me my every waking moment.  I only find peace when I go to sleep… when my mind can’t think.


Though, I tell you this… I still know everything’s going to be alright.  I try to think of something to describe just a little to make you know how it feels.


Nothing I tell you can describe the grief for the loss of your child… you DO have to lose a child to know this pain… so, when I try to describe in mere words… know this.


Suppose you had to walk everyday to where you are going to.  You don’t have a choice… you are going to go whether you want to, or not.


Suppose there were things on your path that you ‘were going to face’ each day.  Bad things.  Maybe there’s a yard you have to walk by that has a very mean, angry dog… and it comes after you, follows you for a time, until it turns back.  It could get you any moment, shred you up in a ‘million’ pieces.


Sometimes, it draws blood.  The mean, angry dog grabs you, shakes you, bites you several times.  You fight like hell, manage to get away.  You’ve been wounded, yet… over time, you are going to be alright.


Each time you pass by that yard… depending on how much that mean, angry dog wants you… determines the severity of the pain he inflicts on you.  He could destroy you… but, only … if you allow it.


Grief is like this… only … worse.  It isn’t the same each time it ‘happens’.  Everyday… the ‘threat is there’… to get me.


When your mind begins to panic, thoughts going here, there non-stop… your stomach feels the trapped birds in a cage… pecking, screeching, fluttering their wings wildly to escape… the pain so great… you feel as if you’ll die from it all.


You HAVE GOT TO make yourself… your thoughts slow down.  No matter what, you have to do this… I never said it was easy… and I didn’t say it’ll work every time.


Slow down enough, so… you don’t become confused, forget where you are… because as sure as the sun shines… you are going to get lost in… grief.  You’ll get lost in the dark…


You can’t find your way back easily… if you ‘go too far’… you have to make yourself think, slow your thoughts down… to come back.  Otherwise… something bad’s going to happen.


Saying all that… is easy.  It doesn’t mean you can do it every time… you can’t.  In fact, sometimes… you can’t think … for the pain.  You do get lost in grief… I do get lost in grief.  I can’t think about things around me… they cease to exist for a time.


I am looking ‘inward’… I’m trying ‘to bring Tommy back’.  I’m wishing Tommy wasn’t gone… Tommy wasn’t………………. …………. can I say it?  I’m wishing Tommy wasn’t ….. dead.


Dead… my son is … dead.  I can say it right this moment.  I’m not … lost in grief.  Sometimes, I can be alright… and grieve at the same time.  Sometimes… I can say ‘that word’… dead.


Dead… dead… dead.  I made myself say it… I felt my eyes close, and I felt a bright flash of pure, white anger.  My son is … dead.  I see his face in mind… I do have stop, now.  Sometimes, one can push things too far…


‘Bittersweet’…  flavors of life… death.  It’s very painful, but… one can find beauty, specialness at the same time… but, only at times when it’s a ‘bittersweet’ time.


I won’t become lost in grief, today.  I can tell at this moment, I will be alright.  I did ‘feel mad’ for a brief moment.


See how my thoughts… turned to … grief for Tommy, my only child, my son?  This happens all the time… right in front of you… everywhere I go, no matter what I do.  You never know… unless you come ‘here’ to read it.  I never bother anyone with… my grief.


If you read about it… you choose to read, and leave quietly with thoughts of your own.  So.. no matter what, everything is alright… you can go back to your life… see, hear, enjoy your children… I smile for you.  I wouldn’t want you to know what I feel.  It’s already happened to me… I’m stronger now, for it happening.


No, I wouldn’t want you to experience this.  I’ve accepted I can’t change a thing.  I don’t want you to know this… since it’s already happened to me… let me be the only mother to know.


I’m going to be thinking about what could possibly be special, beautiful about death… about Tommy being gone.  What positive can I find in my heart about him being gone?  What have I learned from the death of my only child?


No more questions… you, no one can answer them for me.  I won’t waste my time asking ‘why?’  I may as well walk to the wall behind my desk… stand there, beat my head against it… I will never learn the answer to my ‘why?’.


Don’t tell me… if you really don’t know.  If you do know, ‘have been there’… I’ll listen.  Otherwise, don’t say anything… I don’t want to ‘not’ like you.  I’m not writing to just get comments.  This is … real life… the ‘bad’ part of it.


This is the part of life, ‘you’ don’t want to know.  Just read it, and be so grateful you don’t.  I’ll tell you so, you don’t have to experience to know.  I don’t want it to happen to you.  You might not be as strong as I am.





Grief is the threat of a thunderstorm happening anytime, day or night.  Written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I Thought I Could Tell You More… But, I Just… Can’t

I Thought I Could Tell You More… But, I Just …Can’t

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




I was standing in the middle of the floor.  I couldn’t think clearly, my mind was a fog.  The pain in my heart was overwhelming.  I put my hands over my eyes, rubbed them.  I’ve got to get ready, I thought.


My eyes were swollen, my vision was blurry.  I wanted to lay back down.  I couldn’t, we had to be some place that morning.  Some place I didn’t want to go to… the last time I was there… oh my God.  I couldn’t bear to think about it anymore… but, the vision came into my mind, I couldn’t stop it.


No!  No!  No!  My mind began screaming from the pain that pushed the words from my very soul.  I could see in my mind… standing there… Tommy and I were standing there… we were the only ones … who stood there… looking down.


Fresh tears flowed freely down my face, my chest felt like it was going to explode.  I felt like I was going to faint… oh my God!  Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Mama!  No! No! No!


For a moment the tv caught my attention… I saw some buildings smoking, heard excitement in the narrator’s voice.  I stood there, vaguely wondering what kind of movie was that.  I was feeling my face, touching the wet the tears left.  I rubbed my fingertips gently under my eyes.


I stiffened… I leaned closer to the tv… I just couldn’t see clearly.  I was going into a deeper shock.  Something about the picture I was seeing on the tv screen.  I couldn’t quite grasp what was happening… but, it was sinking in through the state I was already in… something bad is happening!


I was in another world… like being outside of a glass window… it being foggy… and I was trying to look inside through the tiny places that were clear.  I was trying my best to see the picture on the tv… hear what was going on.


Slowly, it began to sink in… the twin towers were being hit by planes!  I watched, my very soul was screaming in pain for the people who were running, screaming, crying.  Their cries, their shock … I felt it through my shock, grief-stricken state.


Soon, I was crying for what was happening… though I couldn’t understand all at that moment.  I just knew it was BAD… and so, bad that it came through my grief to affect me.


We had to leave, be some place in a short while.  Skip, Tommy, and I went outside to get in the Expedition.  I wanted to lay down… I felt weak.  The weight of grief is heavier than any weight anyone has ever had to carry… I know.  I’ve never know a heavier weight to bear.


I laid my head back against the headrest.  I couldn’t bear to keep my eyes open.  They burned, physically hurt.  They hurt being closed.


We drove to Wake Forest, NC to Bright’s Funeral Home.  There, we picked up my mama’s ashes.  We picked up my mama’s ashes on the morning of … 9-11.  My mama died on 9-09.  She died four days after the first birthday of her only great-grandchild.  She had only met her great-granddaughter… once.


I won’t go into her death… it seems like I could do it after all this time.  It’s not easy tonight for some reason.  So, I won’t.  I can’t bear to think… now.  I would have to travel too far ‘inside’ … I don’t have time tonight… it’s hard to come back.  For some reason, I feel I don’t have that strength it takes… not tonight.


Tommy and I stood there… looking down at my beautiful mother. She looked to be in her late thirties… so pretty, her hair freshly washed.  An expression of pure peace lay over her face… it was soft, beautiful on her.  It was invisible… I could see through it.


I didn’t see any lines anymore… oh, mama… how beautiful you are, I thought.  My tears fell on the hand I held in mine.  I placed my hand on her face, touched it gently.


Oh, Mama… I cried inside… no sounds ever escaped from my soul… they were trapped deep in me.  That was my way… I never could cry … out loud.  The pain of crying is … too much.  I’ve known my share of tears… diamond tear drops.  If all the tears I’ve ever cried in my life were frozen into diamonds… oh my!


I stood looking at my mother.  She was swathed in a white sheet… I tried so hard not to look… but, my eyes were drawn to a … hose that led up into the sheet.  Embalming… for a moment I thought… she’s being cremated… why?


I looked up at Tommy.  Tears were falling down his face.  Tommy was like me… he hurt in silence.  If one didn’t bother to look… they’d never know.


I won’t go any farther tonight.  It’s rare I speak of this… today is September 09, 2013… my mother died September 09, 2001.


On September 11, 2001… we went back to the funeral home to pick up her ashes.  A very sad thing happened in the parking lot that day.  I won’t even go into that … at this time.  So many painful things… tonight, I’m not strong enough to talk about them.  I thought I was………


I thought I could tell you more… but, I just… can’t.





‘Kiddlehopper’… a childhood nightmare to me as a little girl… today… I just can’t take it!  Especially the ones that are… flesh-colored… look like little fat men staring up at me… I know they are ‘going to get me’!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
I saw a ‘kiddiddlehopper’ yesterday… it took my breath away It saw me, jumped at me… I took its breath … away
I just can’t take a kiddiddlehopper, not at all I’m sorry it had to go… I was in a battle… I had.. to.. win
It shouldn’t have jumped … oh my God, that little fat belly! A nightmare from childhood.. jumping at me in present day!
Goodbye little kiddiddlehopper… I’m sorry… there’s only enough room For ‘one sheriff in this town’!
Now.. I grieve for you … did I do wrong? I killed a kiddiddlehopper… and I feel bad about it
I left it lying on the ground… I walked away With my battle-torn body; I’m sheriff of this town! :)))


You Had Better Act Like Somebody…

You Had Better Act Like Somebody…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Going out into the world daily, I see some of the nicest people in the world.  I know there’s not a mean bone in their body.  I see such warm smiles, kind words… actions even nicer than their smiles, words.  They‘d never hurt a ‘flea’.  Everyone ‘acts so nice’!

There’s no way possible… they are ever mean, ugly… real.  They are like that… all the time.  Those good, sweet, kind, perfect… wonderful people.  I wish I could be … like that.  I am just… me.  I can be so nice… sometimes, I’m not feeling like being nice.  Darn it… it’s hard to be something… I’m not.

That’s ‘why’ I’m the first person to tell you … I’m not perfect… I’m just not perfect at all.  The only thing I have going for me is… I really try to be a good person… the best person I can possibly be… all the while making mistakes, learning to the day that I … die.

Doors are opened for others… ‘let me get that for you’.  Why just yesterday… Skip ran into a situation that… wasn’t acting.  The man was … really ‘himself’… without a mask.

Skip was at a store, getting ready to walk outside.  A guy in front of him walked out the door, as Skip began through the door… the door slammed on him, knocking his drink out of his hand.

The man in front of him …never bothered to hold the door out of courtesy… for just a second until… Skip could also, make his exit.  Skip made a sound… the man turned around, told Skip he was in a hurry, went on about his life.

The man never acted like he was a nice guy… he was really what he was… he didn’t pretend.  He didn’t care if anyone saw him for the real person he was.  He was a … turd.  Yes, he was a… turd.  Shame on him.

Most people are like this… but, in public we try to hide it… we try to project ourselves as the ‘nicest person in the world’.  That man must have given up … pretending.  Even if we don’t feel nice… we should pretend we are.  I’m not saying to the extent… someone would take advantage of us.

I’m glad I wasn’t there… I would have smiled at him, softly told him what he was.  I would have been nice about it.  Guess what?  I would have my ‘sweet, nice mask’ on.  I would be acting… nice, when in fact… I would be just before being… ugly.

I can say this too, in all honesty.  That man didn’t know he could have gotten his ass kicked… all he saw was an older man coming behind him.  He probably intended for that door to hit Skip.  Skip could have reminded him of something he didn’t like in his own life.  Maybe his ‘old daddy’… or old grandfather he hated.  Maybe …he hated his ‘old ass’ …self.

I think people make a mistake when they ‘see older people, assume they are ‘weak’.  I think they make a mistake… when they make this mistake.  Knowledge, experience ‘got that older person this far’……

Haven’t you heard on the news how criminals sometimes, meet more than their match when they rob ‘an old grandma’… go to beat up ‘an old man’.  They get their ass kicked… and some more.  I love it.

My advice is… you never know what you’re going up against… someone might be ‘old’… but, it’s knowledge, experience that counts.  You might get more than you bargain for.

Some ‘old’ people know how to fight back… you don’t know what you’re messing with.  Some of these ‘old codgers’ might know martial arts; they might be veterans… who fought for your ‘little boy or little girl ass’ when you were a child … for your freedom.

Then… some of you grew up to ‘rob them, murder them’… after they fought for the world you live in.  Yeah… they fought for ‘your freedom’… just so you could murder, rob, or humiliate ‘them’ one day when they are ‘old’.  Shameful…  You ‘act like’ you care, love, respect them… all the while… waiting for them to become weak.

Sometimes, it gets into some younger people’s minds… ‘older people don’t need what they have anymore… they are old; they could die any day’.  I need it… I can do a lot with their things to make my life better.

They begin to plot, to plan, to slowly ‘take’… by ‘acting’ like they’re somebody.  It could be a lover, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, daughter, son, grandchild… a ‘loving one’.  It’s easier to take what you want… if you …act like somebody.

Strange enough… others can ‘see’ it.  The person who is ‘old’ doesn’t see it… they just want to be loved, cared about.  They want to believe in someone who is ‘acting like somebody’ they know… loves them.

I think you, like me… love it when an ‘old’ person gives somebody ‘bad’… what for.  I love it when an ‘old’ person’s eyes ‘open’… and they begin to see through others… see that the people who ‘acted like they loved them’… are deceitful, dishonest.

Especially when in life they… ‘use their position in life’… to deceive to take from an older person.  This could be a pastor, a fireman, cop, christian… whoever.  I love it… when ‘their acting’ can be … seen through; they are no longer trusted; no longer ‘well-thought’ of.

I love it when an old person kicks somebody’s ass… when they come up to physically assault, rob, murder them.  I love it when I see evidence of ‘their ass getting kicked’.  I love it when ‘they get it good’…

Acting… it seems that ‘acting’ is what makes the world go ’round.  If we act like somebody… we gain in life.  Just depends on what, who you act like to gain trust, material things.  We’ve all been guilty in one way or other.

We’ve all acted to be ‘somebody, something in this life in order to be accepted’… pretending the whole way.  That’s ‘how doors are opened’ to us.  How many ‘real people’ do you …know?  Sometimes… we hate the people ‘who know us as we really are’………..

So, think about what I wrote above… acting to deceive a person into thinking someone loves them… when there’s no love there… only …greed.  I know a lot of people like this… I recognize them if I don’t know them.  Don’t you?  I know you do.

I think this is one of the most awful things we can do… unless the one who ‘acts’… acts it all out in a ‘good’ way, never hurting, harming another.  How many times does that happen?

How many times a day do you smile, be so honey-sweet to people when you would like to tell them what you really think?  You have to if you are going to be out in the world… you are… going to have to act.  You are going to … have to pretend you are something… you really aren’t.  Do you know why?

Because, you’ll be shunned… people will go in an opposite direction when they see you coming… if you don’t ‘act right’.  Watch people’s expressions when they ‘see you’… if you sense they’re thinking ‘oh no! it’s you… again’!  You are probably sensing …right.

Even I have sensed that through time.  I don’t think there’s a person who hasn’t sensed that.  No one likes ‘you’… all the time… no matter how pretty, sweet, ‘good’… you are.  Sometimes, I like ‘mean’ people… sometimes, I like ‘ugly’ people.  Sometimes, I hate ‘everyone’… no matter ‘how they act’.  We all are like that.

I smile inside because when I see people I know… out in the world ‘acting’.  Why?  Because, you hear people say, ‘isn’t that the nicest person’?  I’m knowing probably that’s the ‘meanest man, woman that ever walked in two shoes’.

What’s funnier… really isn’t fun-ny… is when people say that about people we all hold in high esteem… and ‘we know better’.

I can look back through time… and remember ‘people who were the best christians, and even a pastor’… who chased a little girl I know personally… to do things… ‘ungodly’.

I am sure all of you can look back, remember such things in your own life.  Just because you say ‘someone is a cop, pastor, doctor, lawyer, fireman… so on, so on’… doesn’t mean they are all ‘good’.  We all have to ‘act a part’ when we go out into the world.  If not… you’ll be shunned.

There’s always a ‘bad apple’ in … everything.  Always remember that… open your eyes… and you’ll spot it no matter how ‘pretty, shiny, spotless’ it is. The better it looks… the better it hides to deceive others.  Think about a serial killer… that’s how they do to get their victims… they appear ‘perfect’ to everyone.

Nothing is perfect… I know… at one time in my life… I really tried to be; I couldn’t.  Keep an eye out for bad apples… they’re rotten to the core… don’t believe me?  Just bite into it…..

So, if you get up feeling bad, feeling as if you ‘hate the world’… you had better think twice.  In our world … you’d better ‘act like somebody’… whether you like it … or not.  Act ‘like somebody… even if … you aren’t’.

I suggest acting like a good person… even if you aren’t.  You might fool yourself into believing you’re a good person… before you know it… you might be one.  Acting, believing is how we develop habits… now, all I got to do is to ‘act thin’… that’s the habit I have forgotten.  :)))

I’m going to try my best to act like somebody… myself.  Hopefully, I can … act in a good way, be real.  I don’t like to fool people.  So, I’m going to act like somebody… Gloria.

Please, I Don’t Want To Hurt Anymore…

Please, I Don’t Want To Hurt Anymore…

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I sit here tonight thinking of you

I can hardly see for the tears that fill my eyes

Grief fills my heart, pain fills my soul


I’ve tried to put my grief away

Just as one packs things away in a box

To store up in the attic until… one day


I can’t seem to stay away, I keep going back

To bring my box of grief back down

For me to open… because… I can’t forget you, Son




There goes that old, familiar sensation

In the bottom of my stomach

The one of birds trapped in a cage


Their wings flutter wildly to escape

Grief, pure grief is like that

Panic, pain mixed together


Panic that when I let myself think

That you really have gone away

Oh God… the pain really hurts so bad


Tommy, I miss you with my very heart

I cry to heaven… it does no good

Cry all I want… won’t bring you back


Sometimes, I wonder why

You were taken away at such a young age

Parents are supposed to be the first to go


I’m left here… my only child is gone

Can you imagine how it feels, how it hurts

No… you think you can, but… you don’t


You never will… unless you lose a child

Only then, can you possibly understand

The pain is forever… it never goes away


Once again, I thought the pain was tucked away

But, I see… that I have to tuck myself along with it

I’m going to bed now… sleep it away


I pray that when I wake

That the pain won’t wake when I do

Please give me peace, Lord… please, I don’t want to hurt anymore