A piece of patchwork from my childhood heart lies dormant in my attic to this very day. The design and hue of colors of my heart are wrapped well in my Mother’s tattered and torn quilt she hand-made for warmth, out of necessity for her family of a dozen.

The Holidays awaken the inactive emotions showing like a candelabra with dark and light. I have come to see, through each new holiday pictures of children’s faces in each little design of my Mother’s hand-sewn quilts.

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Quilt made by Ada Patrick Craddock (Oct 26, 1904-May 16, 1971)

Rituals and heirlooms invite me to embrace and celebrate the good of family while burying the pain of rips and tears. The value of an old hand-sewn quilt, like my patchwork heart, has turned into a golden antique hue making a mark of an old aristocrat. When I feast my eyes upon the delightful patches and touch with care these heirloom with my very own hands, I remember my better self, and it gives me noble thoughts that hopefully will endure a nobleness for her ‘now’ generations.


I believe that rituals and heirlooms don’t just happen. It takes a memory-maker to make them happen. A memory-maker takes a day, time, place or thing and makes it special. And then one day, someone from the memory makers’ clan will say, “I have a rich heritage because of a special day, way, place or quilt someone sent my way.”

I think on Mother’s ‘Homemade Biscuits’ with her churned butter for breakfast each morn. Her ‘Oyster Dressing’ for special holidays that always adorned our family table and gave a smile and a frown from different but very similar faces. Her home baked ‘Fruitcakes’ dripping in Grandaddy’s fine wine. Starched linens always topped our table with china, crystals, cut glass and silverware that was handed down from the English side and the Irish side and surely don’t forget the Scots. All our accessories were from another generation and time unless they came right out of the oatmeal box.

A Memory-maker, my Mother, has enriched my life by the thoughtful hands of a caring, generous and selfless life.

When I look at Mother’s quilt and see the tears and heavy wear, I think of all her children that she has warmed with the skill of her needles and threads that have become well worn. I then think of each child from her dozen and how she smiled upon each one with special care, love and prayer. A rich heritage has been given to each child because of Mother’s love of God and love for her clan.

She loved to, and often did, write poetry and songs. She made our clothes, quilted, crocheted, canned foods from her garden, and cooked daily meals for her family of a dozen. Yet she continued to own and operate a successful business with much of her inventory coming from the work and skill of her very own hands. They were small in physical size but large in the marketplace. A craftswoman she was. I have hid ‘Mother’s Needlework in My Attic’ for some time now, hoping to retain its luster while trying to keep it from ripping even more.

It’s times like now, Thanksgiving Day, that I take her worn patchwork quilt slowly out and feel her warmth emulating through the fibers of each thread she so graciously sewed in place. I make a prayer, not quite her way, but the best I can, for each one of her clan.

I have chosen to develop my noble birth by honoring Mother and God with words of kindness, love and hope to my little family and all of Ada’s clan. There are many similarities and differences in each of her children’s families, yet the patchwork of beauty is shining as a candelabra well lit.

I believe that rituals and heirlooms don’t just happen. It takes a memory-maker to make them happen. A memory-maker takes a day, time, place, or thing and makes it special. And then one day, someone from the memory maker’s clan will say, “I have a rich heritage because of a special day, way, place or quilt someone sent my way.”

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings Abundantly to All,

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