This space is for adding memories of our childhood in Tyrrell County.

My Tribute to Corinthia Sawyer Owens
by Christine Brothers Ambrose
The old Ainsley Family Bible records Grandma's birth date; Corinthia Idean Sawyer, January 16, 1898. She was the second child and oldest daughter of William Lamb Sawyer and Martha Ainsley Sawyer. She was born is a small Tyrrell County community called "Cross Landing". 

I remember Grandma's visit to our house when I was a child with warm memories. She didn't have a permanent residence at that time, so she visited and stayed with her family. She went from home to home to see how everyone was getting along, or to be a lifesaver when there was a need. When new babies were born or someone was sick, Grandma was always there to lend a hand with the chores. She did the cooking, cleaning, ironing, gardening and rocking of the babies. She had an unbelievable way of making shelling butter beans look like so much fun we all begged to help. 

As kids will do, we made fun of her old fashion ways. Not knowing at the time how much we would gleam about another way of life when Grandma would say after supper, "let's go in the house". Grandma was the only person I ever heard call a frying pan a "spider". She was in her element in the kitchen. If Grandma was coming we could look forward to fried toast for breakfast or tea cakes for a treat if we were good. Nobody will ever be able to fry okra the way I like it like Grandma. 

When my mother passed away in 1969, Grandma came to live with us for about nine months. She taught me many useful things during that time. Still today, I can sew, crochet and knit, but I will never be able to entertain a whole room full of children with simple finger games as she could. 

In the closet of the room where Grandma and I slept, there was an old brown trunk. Inside the trunk was an old pink and brown candy box tied up with string. Sometimes Grandma and I would sit on the side of the bed and she would show me the wonderful old pictures it contained. We would sit for hours as she would tell me stories about the people in the pictures and how they were related to us. That's where I gained my love for family roots. I got a terrible spanking one time for going in that box without asking permission. I loved that box. Oh no, Grandma didn't spank me. 

When my father remarried in 1970, Grandma moved to an apartment in Elizabeth City. I visited her from time to time and started noticing a change in our relationship. She was beginning to need me as much as I needed her. It was during that time that we developed a special bond that we never be broken. Although growing feeble, Grandma was still the center of our family. I kept in touch with other family members through her. I watched my cousins grow up in Grandma's photo albums. 

The loved ones in those albums all came together in January 1998 to celebrate Grandma's one-hundredth birthday. We had a grand time with one hundred and fourteen family members present. Many loved ones were there in spirit having gone on before her. This page is too small for the many stories she has told; the many heartaches she has endured; the many ways she has blessed and influenced my life. 

We laid Grandma to rest on April 13, 1999 at the feet of her parents in the old Bodwell/West Cemetery in Tyrrell County. It just seems appropriate to write this today on Mother's Day. It was always our special day. I would take her to church and hold her hand and watch the joy in her eyes as she received a rose for being the oldest mother. 

She enjoyed the opportunity  to worship every time the doors of the church would open and was delighted when I would join her on Mother's Day. God was very special to her, the only One she put above her family. I always thought that I was Grandma's favorite grandchild. Now I'm finding out that all my cousins feel the same. She had a special place in her heart for all of us. It was a big heart.  

They each thought they were Grandma's favorite, but I know which one was grandma's favorite.  It was me!  Sarah Owens Languell


And just so all of you know, I was Grandmother's favorite. But seriously, just ask anyone, they will tell you I was Grandmother's favorite.   End of discussion. Arnette


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