After watching a show on PBS on Geneology the subject of my family and ancestors was brought up. This led me to think of my Mamaw Carter, who has been gone for several years now. Last night as I lay in bed, I thought of her and all the wonderful memories I have of her. It is so hard to believe sometimes, that someone who was so “large in life” and so much an integral part of me, is now just a memory. A lot of who I am today, I owe to her.
Mamaw devoted her life to her family. She never worked outside the home, she never drove a car, she didn’t go visit friends, and after her husband passed away (My “Gran” died before I was born), she always lived with one of her sons. So her family WAS her life. We were all she had.
It is funny, what memories choose to stay with us and linger. Some of the smallest things and tiniest details are imprinted in my memory.
I can remember spending many nights at my Grandma and Grandad Bailey’s house. During the summers we stayed for weeks at a time. We loved it. Looking back, I don’t know how she managed to keep her sanity. It wasn’t just me and my siblings there, it was ALL the cousins. At any given time she would have 7 to 8 kids running in and out of the house, sometimes more when we brought a friend.
Grandma never minded though. She loved us being there. I can not remember a single time that she lost her patience and yelled at us. That’s not to say she didn’t get on to us. I remember her chasing the older cousins around with a switch from the tree or more often, her fly swatter. I don’t remember ever getting a whipping myself, though I am sure I must have. Grandma had a paddle hanging on her wall that someone had decorated and given her. “Grandma’s Paddle” was written across it. I don’t remember the paddle ever leaving her wall. Grandma and Grandad both were easy-going, never yelling or screaming at any of us. Their patience seemed limitless…….or maybe that is why Grandad spent so much time out in the shed.