BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES
I have been giving writing alot of thought. I've been writing all my life just as painting, drawing and doing things I love to do. I have always had someone to share them with ... someone to appreciate what I did... whether it be good, bad.
I have Skip who loves all the things I do.... excepting what I did yesterday! We were standing outside yesterday evening talking to our good friends, Stephen and Carol. We enjoy seeing them and always, it's nice to see their special smiles! They have smiles like Tommy... the special sunshine smiles that are real, and touch one's heart.
We were standing, talking, laughing until I saw a big mosquito (yes, in January!) .... land on Skip's cheek. I knew I couldn't let that mosquito 'just stay there to suck his blood!'
I knew I had to kill the mosquito, it wasn't going anywhere ... it did want Skip's blood. I knew I needed to save his life! I didn't waste time giving it another thought...
Smack! I got that little devil! Skip said 'what the hell!' and Stephen and Carol began laughing! I realized that I was so engrossed on that mosquito harming Skip, drinking his blood... I'd concentrated on killing it... that I hadn't given thought to.... 'what lay beneath that mosquito's feet!'
Yes, Skip's cheek lay beneath that mosquito's feet! I'd 'done' slapped Skip's face! My hero, the love of my life, my husband, my everything! I've 'done' slapped your face!
I did as I always do when I've done something I shouldn't that really is funny! I began to laugh ...alot. I couldn't stop! The more I thought about the expression on Skip's face, how he said softly 'what the hell!' the more I laughed. I was hysterical with laughter. I've laughed about it... since... like right now.... it's so funny!
I did apologize, I know you all wonder 'if' I had remorse. Of course, I did! You all know Skip is my everything, I love the ground he walks on. I 'know' none of you would ever 'think that I did that on purpose'..... would you?!!!
Anyway... back to the 'I finally figured it out' thinking. I have given alot of thought as to 'why now'... have I begun writing and can't seem to stop?
I 'have figured it out'... it came to me this morning as I woke up and got out of bed. I 'now know why'... I have begun writing and can't stop.
Tommy.... you wonder 'why Tommy'? I don't have Tommy anymore, he was my only child. I was talking to Skip about this, this morning. We know how we take for granted that our children know 'all the important things about mama or daddy' to pass on to their children, right?
Well, the most important link isn't there now... to do that. My child, my son, Tommy isn't there to carry on the things that wouldn't mean anything at all to other people, but.. eventually would to his children, my grandchildren.
I won't ever have the chance to know them as they grow up... I realize this, as I know the circumstances of each. I don't hold against the mothers this... they have to go on with their lives.
I learned as a little girl how to cope with losing people in my life all the time.. through the years that... has helped to pull me through so much. I know when to 'let go'... if it's meant for people to come back in my life... it will happen. I will be there with arms wide open.
Now... I've said all of this... have you noticed that I didn't mention the pain that goes along with learning to be like this? I can only say that the reason I don't mention the pain..... is because there aren't enough words to describe how it feels. People who are going through such as I.... 'know' how it feels though, they'd be hard-pressed to describe it in words.
After coming this far with me in my writing journey... you all have been there all along, it means the world to me... can't you already 'see how'... as that little girl... how that little girl began to learn how to be strong, no matter how bad it hurts?
Isn't it a wonder 'just with the few things you all know'... that she lived... to write about her life? You don't know anything... yet.
A little girl ... a little fragile girl... yes, one like your daughter you are probably looking at ..at this moment, or thinking about.... a little girl thrown into so many different situations, one more horrible than the other.. looking back it was like she was thrown in those situations 'just to see if she'd make it out'... to graduate to worse. I never did win a prize!
Stop for just a moment... it isn't pleasant at all... look at your precious little girl... could you even imagine her in anything I've written so far? I know you can't... if I had a little girl and was looking at her at this moment... I couldn't bear for her to know how so many things I knew as a little girl... felt.
I can't imagine how in the world a little child against the whole world... possibly survives to become a teenager... much less to survive to become an adult. Look around you... they do.
Thousands and thousands of these children ...do. They touch my very heart. I see in my mind's eye....... little fragile child-bodies standing there looking up at the very people who inflict hell on them... their little eyes looking up at them, wondering 'why?' Why are you hurting me, I ....... just love you? Why?
I sit here at my keyboard this morning thinking about all these little children... they are babies. Little innocent babies who didn't know they made you angry for getting pregnant and bringing them into a world... to just abandon them, leaving them alone for all these 'bad' people to use and abuse them. Why? would you do that?
I know there are people reading my words at this moment who have really done this. I 'know' it. Maybe it will make your heart soften, make your eyes open... to see that little girl or little boy in a new light.
Look.... can you see that little miracle standing or lying in front of you? Why.. that's the special part of you lying or standing there. Yes, that's the most special part of 'you'.... you as a human being.
Look... at that little person. Doesn't it just touch your heart? This little person probably looks, sounds alot like you... that's 'why' we all have to learn to love ourselves... because that's alot 'why' people hurt children.... they hate themselves and if they dare to see, dare to hear 'themselves' in that little child... they hate and want to hurt, destroy them.
I 'know'. I was a little girl everyone wanted to knock down, slap, be screamed at, shunned ...because everyone hated my daddy. I'd never met him! When I did meet him as a little girl for a time, I still didn't know him... I did know those mean eyes and expressions he made when he looked at me. Even he hated me!
'Family' slapped, screamed at, knocked around my daddy..... somehow.. my daddy stood there in front of them .... in disguise as a little, fragile girl named Gloria Faye.... they didn't 'see me'. They 'saw and heard'.... Gloria Faye's daddy! They beat, slapped and knocked his ass down so many, many times. Maybe he had looked at them like he did me... and pissed them off!
Not only that... there stood Gloria Faye's mommy in front of everybody.... when people were angry at her mommy.... why, there she is right in front of everybody ... they see and hear her mommy, and knock her around for that! They don't see this little girl.... she's become her own mommy and daddy... and whoever is angry at one or the other... strikes out at this little girl.
Some of those people even drew blood... this little girl's blood. They made her bleed from wounds they left on her body... why even once... she was made to fall on a very hot wood stove ... her side, hip and arm was covered in burns (not only that in this memory.. she has visions of who did it, with their burning eyes and screaming mouth as that happened to her, no matter that ..that person cried afterwards and was so sorry for causing that to happen).
This little girl loved all the people who hurt her mentally, physically. She loved them even looking at the scars left on her body that she can see.... and the scars that she can't see, but, can 'feel'.... even to this morning... even to this minute. She feels sick inside thinking about what she has written and thinks 'how about that?' Why, I thought 'all of that was gone!' I think I could cry right now... but, I won't.
Back to writing... I think we all feel the need to pass 'ourselves on' to be remembered ... we lived a life, we have been a real person with real experiences, we have been liked, loved, hated as people.
Why would a person be born and live a life... not to ever be remembered? That's why I won't let my 40 year old son ever be forgotten.
I'm not going to be forgotten either... I have been here in this world too... I wasn't 'seen' alot of that time when people didn't 'see me as a person'... but, I promise you while you were looking... I've been here the whole time!
If you come across my stories... you are going to remember me.. I've been here in this world, too. You won't forget me, I was somebody too... just simply 'Me'. :))) A good ole person!
Every minute of that 40 years Tommy lived, and was a live human being with feelings, thoughts, dreams, experienced so much, knew so much, loved so much, proud of so much, not proud of so much.... just like you, me... our children..... how can I forget my son?
If we forget each other... it makes all we ever went through, suffered through, learned in life, loved, hated, or all those feelings you and I felt in our lives........ it would make our lives worthless, we have lived for nothing. It wouldn't matter that you or I lived. Does that seem right? Each person should be remembered.
Personally... I think we should all have a book with our names on it... so, if in the future someone wanted to know about us... they could go to a bookcase and choose a book like 'Gloria', like 'Tommy', like any of my readers' names. They can see them as the people they were in real life and feel some of their real feelings, cry over some of the things that made that person happy, sad, and 'know' the person they was.
If it's a grandmother, father, sister, brother, mother, or any relative... each family member could choose that book and see if they share some of the dreams, likes, hates, happiness and love of anything... with the person whose book it was. Then, one could say... I think I'm alot like uncle so and so, or .... I think I took after my daddy, or my mommy. You know.... things like that. Have you ever thought of this?
Now... you can 'see why' I'm writing. I went through so much to get here... to this very moment.. I can't let it go to waste. My life meant something, too.
I made it to ....... here. :))) Everything is going to be alright, it always is.... we may have to go through 'bad' things... somehow, everything gets alright .. again. I promise you I 'know'.
Who knows.... maybe I can make a good difference in someone's life just by them simply reading about mine? Wouldn't that be something! I wish when I was very young... I could have had something to let me know things would be alright.. or even 'if' other people went through what I did.
I never knew others could even know about such... that's 'why' I had such pride and would make people think my life was 'perfect'... when it was completely the opposite.
I didn't want help, I didn't want pity... and I suffered in ........... silence. All because of 'pride'. Amazing, isn't it? Amazing too.... that even today I'm learning the reasons for 'why' to alot of things. :)))
I am learning 'why' I held my head up so high... in my life. I do now.... but, in a much better way. I'm seeing things now, that I have read and heard through all the years.... when we are older and can look back in our lives... I can 'see' now.
I can 'see and know now ...why'..... to most all things that happened to me in my younger years. It doesn't mean that I excuse, or love someone for hurting me... but... I can 'see, know' now.... 'why'.
I can see that alot of 'nice' people ... aren't always such nice people when no one is around... excepting little girls, little boys. I can 'see why'... they are different to those little girls, little boys when no one's around. They don't think anyone would dare to believe what those little girls or little boys would say 'if' they decided to molest them.
I can 'see' that people who abuse children can't in their wildest dreams even imagine those children growing up to be big people like them! They just can't imagine! So... how can they see that not only that child's going to grow up... they are going to remember what they did! People wonder 'why do they hate me so bad, what did I do?' They forget... the children don't!
That was just a couple of examples. I can remember 'respectable, upstanding citizens of our community, who would never do anything wrong'......... yes, they can ... some of them 'do.. do wrong'.
We put a label on someone such as 'pastor, cop, teacher, grandfather, uncle, aunt, so forth'.... we expect them to be 'just that'..... I promise you that there will be some that are not just that. Just because we say they are such and such... doesn't always mean it's true. It doesn't mean that 'they can't do wrong'.
I can't tell you how scary, strange it was as I grew up to learn through some of the worse shocks I ever had in my life, how true this is. I learned that so and so 'would do such a thing!' I can't even begin to count the times I learned 'people are not what they seem'.
One example was when my girlfriend walked out of the room to be gone a few minutes... only her father and I were left in the room. I was fifteen and very pretty, and if I liked someone I would smile and talk. I liked my girlfriend and her dad alot.
Her father was just as nice as he could be.... until my girlfriend walked out of the room. I was on one end of the couch... he was on the other. That man jumped... literally jumped from that end on top of me, began trying to kiss me, touching me fast! I can't even describe the shock of that happening.
I was fighting to get that old man off from me! His slimy kisses repulsed me, and his nasty old hands....... he heard his daughter coming back to the room... he got up calmly and put his 'daddy costume' back on... and sat back down on the other end of the couch.
I'm left there ...sitting in shock, disbelief, knowing that if I told her what her daddy did, she wouldn't believe me! He is sitting there with a kind smile on his face... as if nothing had just happened! He'd just touched 'my world' making it feel so awful!
I know she wouldn't have believed me, because once a girlfriend told me what my father-in-law did... and in my mind 'there was no way he could have done such to her! No way! Until one day many years later... I realized..........and learned by my own experience.
Later in time, I did tell that girlfriend what her daddy did. I'll never forget her standing, looking at me with 'blank' eyes. There was no way she believed her daddy did such a thing. Guess what I did? I 'let go'... I never said another word. I realized this was a situation that I 'felt ashamed of'... through no fault of my own, but, I was ashamed. Her expression made me 'know' that she didn't want to hear or believe such about her father.
I look back and see and feel the shame I felt inside.... as if 'I was the one who did wrong'. I was as innocent as one could be. I didn't jump on that man, kissing and trying to touch him where I shouldn't. I went on to feel shame... I bet he never felt anything, only a little fantasy or two later, when he was alone.
It must have been worth doing that for him to do that to me. I could have destroyed his life by going on to tell. 'These days' young girls do tell, they don't keep things secret like I did, or girls from the time I was younger. I guess what makes me angry at this moment in time.... is 'how I felt like I was a bad person' when that old man did that. Interesting.....
I have sat here thinking, wondering and questioning 'why'. I have written 'some of why'...now. I'm not going to let my life, nor my son's life just pass by without someone remembering.
I would hope that everyone would be remembered.... after-all we all have been through so much in our lives... we've earned the right to not be forgotten... or why else did we live?
I'm not the only one who has ever suffered, been happy, sad, hate, love in this world... though when you read what I've written, you might think that.
Well, since it's 'my story, my life'... that's okay, I think it's supposed to be like that. :))) Maybe if you begin or do write your stories, I can read and see you as the person you are and have been in your story... you should be the main character.... just like 'me'.
We have earned it... it doesn't matter what another person thinks or... says. We are talking about something that is only 'ours, yours, mine'. They could have been sitting right beside you when things happened... and never know how something touched and affected you at all.
It happened to 'you, me, us' Just the same when I have talked with someone about past events... I was there, but, I would learn that the way 'we saw, experienced, heard' was completely the opposite of what the other interpreted. The same things affected us all ....differently.
I will go now, and think of life again, see what I will decide to write about next time. I never know until I actually sit down and put a title at the top.... then, go on to write, go back and change the title several times... what I'm going to write about. It's like when I paint or draw... my brush or pen keeps going to here and there, putting stokes of color or just pencil lead to where I think it needs it.... all the while trying to 'complete my picture'.
I write the same way with words. I think I'm going to make a picture I have in mind... but, it turns out to be what I imagine, but.... different... and most of the time, I feel happy and satisfied with what I did.
I like to paint with words. I can paint my world in words. I can see them, can you? What do you think about this picture... it's more of a 'Doodles by Gloria' picture... there are many things in it! Alot of people know my 'Doodles by Gloria' drawings, some have them in frames, so they recognize what I mean when I say that! I have been called 'Doodles'....
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