Ya know, telling stories has always been my thing. Ever since I was a kid I can remember loving the expression on people’s faces when I’d come up with a tale (sometimes true/sometimes embellished as my Mommy Gah likes to say) that even surprised my two favorite people in the whole world, my Ma-Maw and my Nonnie. Both of my grandmothers loved to tell me stories and although you could not have found two more different people, both always found a way to bring their stories back to kindness, loyalty, tolerance, forgiveness and love.
On the other hand, writing stories verses telling stories, without the use of dialect nor expression, is the most arduous task I’ve taken on in many, many years. It is a task I do not pick up every single day and why you, my reader, have not had a story from me in several months. That and the fact that I sold my beloved Tucker house and I’ve been scurrying around Chattanooga these last few months replacing it with several other building projects.
I have written about my Nonnie several times throughout my storytelling days, yet I’ve not written much about my Ma-Maw.
Why? Because my Ma-Maw just died two years ago this past September, and although it’s been two years and several months; the anguish and sadness of my loss is still very fresh in my soul; therefore, my socialistic heart would not allow my businesswoman mind to come in for a bowl of warm soup, settle into my easy chair and tell you a story about my Ma-maw.
So as I lie here in my bed, looking out at the snowy winter wonderland that is my very own instant etch a sketch George Henry Durrie painting, which occurred within minutes of my morning yawn, I felt compelled to write a story about my Ma-Maw and share it with you.
My Ma-Maw was born in Yancey County, North Carolina on Greene Mountain at the turn of the twentieth century. I have imagined life back then as being very similar to one of my grandmother’s favorite tv shows, The Walton’s.
Isn’t it funny how the Walton name today is synonymous with the giant “get as much as you can for as little as possible” retail store, yet when I was a kid, the Walton name was synonymous with stories of love, anguish, loss, hard work, war, sacrifice, compassion, community, John Boy, and all that was right about big families growing up during the depression. I often wonder if Ike Godsey had been around Sam Walton when he first opened his general stores back in the fifties, things might have turned out a bit different for the twenty first century retailer.
My Ma-Maw was a beautiful woman and held the standard for sweetness, elegance, humility and grace. Ma-maw loved to talk, just like Nonnie. Yet, unlike Nonnie, my Ma-Maw loved to share the Lord’s word and all that was good about the Bible. Yet, she always managed to never stray to the darker sides of religion.
She was always emphasizing “through Jesus, all things can be accomplished Michele”.