In the South we take family relationships very seriously. When you meet someone new, the first order of business is to find out if you are related, or if you know some of the same people. Family ties are strong. Blood is thicker than water is what the old folks say. No matter what arguments or trials you have with family, you are always there for them. You always choose family over anyone else.
My grannie raised five children and instilled those strong family values into each one. She even passed those beliefs down to her grands and great-grands. Grannie believed that family was most important…blood is thicker than water.
I believe that love is thicker than blood.
I met my husband when I was 25. He was not my grannie’s idea of the man for me. He was 32, divorced, and had a seven-year-old son, Will. In the back of my mind, I wondered if my grannie would accept Will as part of the family. I wanted the same love and acceptance for Will that I had thrived in from Grannie.
Grannie made quilts for each of her grandchildren. Making quilts is a Southern expression of love. When you take the time to hand-make a quilt, you are showing how important a person is to you. With each stitch, Grannie quilted more strength into our family thread. To this day, whenever I need to feel safe and loved, I just wrap up in my “Grannie quilt.”
I will never forget the day that Grannie took Will with her to look at quilts. I remember my heart was in my throat. I quietly walked down the hall to where they were. What was she doing? I had to know.
Grannie had a quilt in her hand and she was talking quietly to Will. As I walked into the room, she told Will, “You are my grandchild now too. This quilt is for you.” I don’t know if he understood the significance, but as tears rolled down my cheeks, I did. He was family. He was a grandchild now, even though no blood relation existed. I believe that love is thicker than blood…Grannie and Will were living proof.
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