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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

...And Bear

Bear is my mostly companion. Back when I was contemplating getting divorced from the SGM, I admitted to my therapist that part of the reason I was conflicted about it was my dining room furniture. I loved that furniture and knew I would lose it in the divorce. My therapist had me work on an exercise. What things did I have? What things did I want? What things did I need? The first two lists were very long. The third one, not so much. In doing this exercise, I realized that, in terms of things, all I really needed were something that belonged to my father, enough money to get me to Boston from wherever I was, and Bear. That was it. And that is how important Bear is.

He was under the tree on my third Christmas. I remember him because my mother had wrapped him, not in a box, but like a giant candy, with a poof on the top and red yarn tightening it up. I had no idea what might be in such an amazing present. He was cool and I enjoyed him. And then, like all my other stuffed animals, he went away. My sister had her two special stuffed animals, but I never did. They rotated in and out of favor without my thinking about it much. So long as I had something to cuddle at night, I didn't really care what shape it was. 

This was the 1970s and women's lib was at its height. So I decided Bear was female. Put him in a blaze orange bikini. It was then that he ended up in my closet. And I forgot about him. He was moved from one state to another, unpacked, and put up in another closet. Until I was twelve and I noticed him up there.

I took him down, took off the really horrible bikini, apologized to him, and fell in love. He's been by my side ever since. He's been in hospitals with me. He's traveled all over the world. He's captured tears from break-ups and betrayals. He's been squeezed in celebration. Twice I had young men tell me that I had to choose between them and him in my bed. He won both times. For those of you who know The Velveteen Rabbit, he is real. Hell, he's in my will.

A present that became so very much more. Probably bought by my mom, credited to my Daddy Ralph, and given with no thought that he'd still be around 41 years later. But he is. And I really don't need much more than that.

Bear

Together in Utah
Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

4 comments:

Nemeria said...

I have Kitty Cat. He was a gift from my Great Aunt for my very first Christmas. One of those 70s pillow patterns. We used to be able to find the fabric at G. C. Murphy's and my mom recovered him several times when I was growing up.

Then the fabric was discontinued so we had to improvise. First she sewed a panel of fabric across the front and embroidered the eyes, nose, whiskers and bow tie. Then a few years later, in my purple phase, she covered him in silky lavender floral fabric and gave him lace eyebrows.

Then, when I went away to college, she covered him in black fabric and embroidered a tuxedo jacket on him, replete with red carnation boutineer.

And now, bless his old stuffed heart, he's a faceless, nearly shapeless black pillow. The only hint to his original origins are his ears.

I sleep with him every night and start to panic when I can't readily put my hands on him. I actually found the fabric (now considered vintage) and discovered his name is Charley. He doesn't fit anymore and I'm loath to force it because then He wouldn't be Kitty Cat anymore.

BostonPobble said...

OMG! I remember Kitty Cat! My vote is don't force it. He's not Charley; he's Kitty Cat, and has evolved so far beyond his original incarnation. Bear used to be fluffy. I cannot even imagine that.

Lori Stewart said...

I have a black gorilla called Monkey. It's really Brian's, and will go back to him someday. He had a teddy bear parade in kindergarten, but no teddy bear. So we schlepped out to buy one, and came home with Monkey. Yes, my son went to the teddy bear parade with a gorilla.

BostonPobble said...

I once went to a teddy bear parade with a Cookie Monster. Teddy bear parades are only as interesting as their outliers. Monkey should have a post. Or at least a picture. Just saying.