For those you who are unaware, Joe and Maybelle Thornton were my father’s parents. They passed away some 30 and 40 years ago. And while each member of my extended family has their own take on Joe and Maybelle. I first walked away admiring my granddad’s wit and bluntness while kinda always being a little mystified by my grandma’s silence. You see, Granny was quiet and very demure and always seemed to be a tiny wallflower at family events. It was nothing to sit at the kitchen table and see her busily going around pouring glasses of tea and refilling plates. I remember my aunts, always saying, “Momma sit down and eat, we’ll take care of this”. But “nine times out of ten”, she’d just keep doing what she’s always done, quietly serving and hosting.
As I grew older I began to see my grandmother in a different light. While spending time with them during the summer I definitely noticed Granny wasn’t always quiet and unopinionated. On those long car rides between Brunswick and Jesup there were moments when her opinion, especially regarding the store was heard. I guess what I’m trying to say is, while Granddad often loomed larger than life with his exuberance and quick wit. Granny was no less an important influence with her quiet and loving wisdom. I think it’s time I start thinking in that direction, that ego isn’t as important as respect. That having the last word isn’t always having the best word.