|Thelma and Tommy soon after their marriage|
Once, after a period of extended illness when Tommy’s wife, Thelma, had been with her almost constantly for several days, Mama sought to express to Thelma how much she loved her and appreciated all she had done.
“Thelma,” she said, “I love you just like and just as much as I love Tommy. As far as I am concerned there ain’t no difference at all in how I feel about him and how I feel about you!”
Then, wanting to express that in spite of what she had just said, Thelma needed to understand that, even with all that, blood is indeed thicker than water. Quickly she added in profound conclusion, “But, if one of you had to die, I’d rather it be you than him!”
That was her way of emphasizing that even if it were just a small difference, it was a real one.