There’s an incredible amount of power within it. Although it was scraps of fabric sewn together, it was a mighty thing.
The family blanket was created by my grandmother when I was an infant. It may have been put together before I was even born for all I know.
With its red border, it is stitched together with an assortment of mismatched fabrics and scrap pieces. It has no set pattern, no rhyme or reason really. But my Maw Maw made it with her two hands.
And it was mine.
I don’t recall many early memories of my childhood that the blanket is not a part of in my mind. When not in use, it was neatly folded across the back of my tiny-framed rocking chair. But when it was in use…that was when its real power came out.
The blanket could make any illness miraculously disappear. Many a fever and cold was cured by snuggling inside it. Whether I was bottled up on the couch or sprawled out across my bed; whether I was running 102-degree fever or sneezing my head off…the blanket was always wrapped around me. As the drugstore medicine or that strange concoction that was held in a whiskey bottle with a peppermint stick was shoved down my throat, I clung to that blanket. And it made me feel better.
The blanket could also transform you into anything you wanted to be at any moment. Wrapped around my neck, that blanket became a cape as I turned into a mighty superhero, destined to save the day. That blanket changed into the sturdiest fort cover hung over the dining room table. Inside that cave, I was protected from massive bears and gun-toting bad guys. The blanket withstood hurricane winds, transforming into the sail of a pirate ship, draped over a kitchen chair. I overthrew Cut-throat Jack and One-Eyed Willie, thanks to the blanket sail.
The blanket was many-a table set for a family picnic or a solo lunch on my own underneath a huge magnolia tree in my yard. And it beat any fancy dining table around.
It is a little faded with time. There were a few ragged edges along its fabric. But it is still my blanket. My Maw Maw kept it long after the picnics ended, the pirate wars stopped, the superhero battles ended and the illnesses didn’t need tending to anymore. Even after she died, the blanket eventually made its way back to me.
Now that blanket is at my Yazoo home
When I return home some evenings, I sit in my recliner just holding it. The feeling of imagination, warmth and protection return.
When I am done, I fold it up and hang it over the back of my own children’s chair in the living room. It was back where it needed to be.
Just an old blanket, hung over a kid’s chair. It’s old but powerful, torn but new to my own children. And it’s not going anywhere.
It makes a house a home. And it’s right where it needs to be…near my heart.