L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Maw, One Tough Lady

This is just another short story about Maw. As I stated earlier, She was Married to Rufus Edward Ashworth "Buster". They had six children. My Grand Mother Estella was one of their daughters. I was blessed to have been able to known her for 16 years. She is the source of most of my memories about our ancestors and most of the stories I can remember to this day.
Her father and mother was Josh and Granny Bet Perkins. She was one of about 17 children. The time in which they lived was hard, very hard. Through the conversations I have with my grand mother almost daily, I have learned a lot more about her, than what she would have ever spoke about herself.
The very first thing I learned about our ancestors is that you never heard them complain. Never. They knew what they had to do to survive and they just did it. Period. They were also the hardest working people I have ever known.
My Grand Mother told me that her daddy always had a job that he worked at. Everything that needed to be done at the house, was what Maw took care of . Everything from washing clothes, milking the cows, butchering animals, plowing and raising a garden. plus raising the kids.
I got the title of this story about Maw, from I imagine the most horrible thing that a parent would ever have to do. They had three sons and three daughters. One of their son's had went fishing down on Bearhead creek not far from their house. The kid wasn't back at home when he was suppose to have been. Maw went looking for him. She found him at a bridge that crossed Bearhead creek. He had had fallen into the creek and drowned. She got into the water and pulled him out and packed him all the way home. On her way back home she had to pass her sister's house. She went through the woods packing her dead son, to keep from getting to close to her sister's house. I never could understand why she went out of the way to get past her sister's house. My thinking at that time, if I had been her, would be that I needed all the help I could get at that moment, so why avoid her sister's house.
I asked my Grand Mother about this and she told me that her mother knew her sister had many other problems on her mind at that time and that Maw did this to avoid upsetting her even more. That had to be the most horrible thing she ever had to do in her life.
Maw was a small person. She wasn't much over five feet tall and weighed around one hundred pounds if that much. If someone asked me what is the first thing I remember about Maw, it would have to be "Barefooted". I do believe the only time she wore shoes was when she went to church and to town. Other than that she was always barefooted.
I got off the school bus at her house one very cold winter day, because my mother told me to, so I could get her fire wood in for the night. Back then, that is all the heat we had in those days, and that was a fireplace. When I got off that bus, there was Maw in a sleeting rain with ice every where on the ground, gathering up pine knots and oak fire wood, just as barefooted as ever.
When she and I went digging for snake root in the woods, barefooted. When she worked in the garden, barefooted. When she milked the cow, barefooted. When she was just sitting on the front porch doing nothing, barefooted. And if it is true about how they dress you when you die, then there she was ,again on 11/23/1974, barefooted then to.
There will be a lot more on Maw and others in other stories. But in closing this one, I just want to say, that everyone that knew her loved her and she loved everyone she ever knew. If only people cared about one another now as they did back then. This world would be a lot better place to live in.

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