We have one perfectly cozy green blanket in our home. His name is Willie Ford. At least, that’s what is stitched along the hem in haphazard capital letters made of pale green embroidery floss. He is warm. He is soft. He is as ugly as it is possible for a blanket to be, but he has stolen my heart.
Maybe it’s because he’s just the right size for tucking around me from my shoulders to my toes while I watch movies from the cushy recesses of our couch. Maybe it’s the way he’s always waiting for me in the linen closet, ready to protect me when the evening chill pokes its harsh, bony fingers through my sweater. Maybe it’s the romantic riddle of his unexplained origins.
You see, we have no idea where Willie Ford came from. He just appeared one day in a load of clean laundry, smelling like Tide and saying nothing, only holding out his fuzzy green arms for an embrace, which I quite naturally gave. Mystified, we called around to friends and recent visitors, but no one had lost a Willie Ford.
His adoption into our family was immediate and enthusiastic, and he’s been with us ever since. He plays on the floor with the kids, content to be a picnic blanket or an army tent. He sticks close when any of us is sick, keeping the drafts at bay and standing guard through long, feverish nights. He makes a great cocoon for curling up with the latest Anne Perry mystery and a cold Diet Coke. And though Willie Ford is loved by all, I know in my heart of hearts that he came here for me. We were meant to be together.
I don’t know how he found me, but the mystery of his coming has long since been swallowed up in gratitude for the wordless comfort and unconditional warmth he offers.
God bless you, Willie Ford, wherever you are. I promise to take good care of your blanket.