James Warren Wilson:
When I was in the first grade, at Christmas-time, my class drew names for giving
gifts. You pulled a piece of paper out of a box and got a gift for the kid whose name
was on it. I took it home and showed it to my mother. She recognized the girl's name.
It was a family who lived on the poorer side of the railroad tracks, in our little town
(Calvert City) in Western Kentucky. We had just moved to town that year (1950). My father had a job but it didn't pay very much then. We lived in an old house which was on the better side of the tracks; barely. It was so close to the tracks that I frequently dreamed I was riding on a train (one that I had built myself).
Grammie realized that the girl's family was so poor that it was possible that the gift
she got from me would be the only one she got that year. We were limited to spending a dollar; not that we could have afforded much more than that, anyway. Mom went out and bought a doll. At that time you could buy a pretty decent doll for about a dollar.(Comic books were ten cents then, and candy bars cost a nickel.) My mother could sew really well, and sometimes did sewing for other ladies in town. She took scraps of fabric, and spent what seems like a couple of weeks making beautiful outfits for that little girl's doll.
When our gifts were given out, the last day of school before Christmas, I watched as the little girl (I believe her name was Nell) opened her package. I don't believe that I've ever seen anyone so thrilled with a gift. I was so happy that I had such a kind and sympathetic mother. I barely remember what I got for Christmas that year (I think it may have been a Dick Tracy Police Car), but I have never forgotten that little girl's doll.
When I wrote this, a few years ago; I sent it to Mom. Her only comment was,
"I rigged the name drawing, too."
David Yandell Wilson:
I have a couple of examples of Mom's kindness. When Dr.Bill Colburn was treating
one of the Peck men that lived up the road from us, he called Mom and told her that
he was dying. Mom went and stayed with the man's wife all night, so she could rest
and have some company. She did this for the other Peck family (Roy and Ethel), when
Roy died. These people were not close friends of ours, but only neighbors.
Mom also visited Mamaw (her mother-in-law) every day she was in the nursing home
for years, and would bring her eggnog or an Icee every day. The only days she missed
were when they took a trip, or if she was sick.
Now, when Mom goes back to Kentucky during the summer, she takes everyone
blueberries she has picked, because fresh blueberries are hard to come by there.
Jay Wilson Jameson:
I remember one tiime when the boys were older (I don't remember whether
Jim was still home or not-but I think he was alteady at Murray State).
A young boy (older high school age-or a little older) came to the house
kind of late. Daddy Jay was working night shift; and it was that time of
day when, if you were inside looking out, it appears dark, but when you
are outside it looks kind of light. The boy told Grammie that he was
hitch-hiking, trying to get home, and wanted to ask permission to sleep
in the barn. Well, he looked kind of grubby, and Daddy would not be there,
so Mom told him that he couldn't. As soon as she closed the door she began
talking to herself-saying things like, "Well, what if that was Dave or Jim,
and someone wouldn't let them sleep in the barn. Poor boy, he surely wouldn't
ask permission if he was up to no good". So she sent David right away to
find him. He had already disappeared, and Mom worried about him all night.
This doesn't sound like a kind thing, but she only refused to let him, in
the first place because she was afraid for us. But, her conscience over-rode
her common sense.
Another example of Grammie's kindness was how she took in children every
summer. Cousin Tommy came to live with Grammie every summer, because his
Dad and Mom both worked. Also several summers, Uncle Bill's son Little Jimmie
and daughter Deanna used to come. April and Susan (Tommy's girls) came too.
And Aunt Patty's kids came, also.