Write Again … This is her story

Published 7:56 pm Friday, May 3, 2019

It’s an anthology of short stories for seniors, so the title proclaims.

Actually, the full title is “The Mighty Ant: An Anthology of Short Stories for Seniors.”

The profits from this little book, published in 2018, are earmarked for charity. The contents — the stories — were written mostly by residents of Chatham County.

The title story is about a father lovingly explaining to his young, autistic son, how against all odds an ant can transport food four times his size. He overcomes.

One of the stories — I would call it a “storyette” — is by Tillie Thornburg. She was 95 when she wrote it. Last year.

A native of Beaufort County, great aunt to my Sally, Tillie lived most of her life in Siler City in Chatham County. (And yes, she knew “Aunt Bee” — Frances Bavier.)

So: Let me share Tillie’s little story:

“The battle actually began with the event of my birth. My Baby Body decided it did not want to leave the warm, cozy world it had been in for nine months. With the aid of forceps, the good doctor won this battle, and I arrived.

“From that day on, it has been War! My thyroid was the first battle. It almost won with ammunition like ‘toxic goiter.’ Again, with the help of a good doctor, I won this one.

“Arthritis next decided it would give it a go and started an invasion when I was 29 years old. It didn’t win the whole battle but has been my longest enemy and has managed to invade most of me.

“As time has gone on, I have had enough operations to hold my own in a ‘Who has had the most operations and pain?’ contest.

“It is most important for me now to give a Joyful Noise to my message. There have been many happy times — marrying my young WWII veteran, working while he finished college, and starting my family. This was the beginning of a marriage that lasted almost 65 years.

“I guess the real reason I wrote this is to say that a long life is worth fighting for because along the way there can be much happiness.”

Tillie was fully engaged mentally, and kept herself informed about current events, particularly in the political world. She was a reader, a good conversationalist and a very nice person.

Tillie left us in December of this past year.

She was ready.

Note: Tillie Paul Thornburg was born in Washington in 1923, and lived in Siler City 62 years. Her husband, William Hugh Thornburg, died in 2012. She had three daughters, six grandchildren, seven living and one deceased great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.