Friday, December 7, 2007
The Perfect Teddy Bear
Not long before Christmas, my seven year old granddaughter, Mandy, asked me to tell her about my best Christmas when I was a child.
"My mommy died when I was born", I told her, "but I remember that when I lived in the orphanage, a wonderful lady gave me a little blue teddy bear on Christmas. I loved that teddy bear and wanted to keep it perfect, so I asked her to keep it on her bed. Every day I went to her room and saw it. I was four or five years old".
"Do you still have your blue teddy bear?" Mandy asked.
"Well," I continued, "one day the wonderful lady was gone and another woman with a child took her room. When I went by, I saw her daughter playing with my blue teddy bear. I asked her for it, but she said it wasn't mine. That broke my heart".
"That's so sad," said Mandy. "Did you ever get it back?" "No", I said.
Two weeks passed and Christmas morning arrived. It is our custom that the youngest child give out the gifts, and that year it was Mandy. As the gift giving ended, she knelt in front of me and placed a small parcel on my lap -- her gift to me.
I opened it and tears poured down my cheeks.
"Don't you like it"? Mandy asked.
"Dear child", was all I could manage as I hugged her, squeezing between us her gift -- a little blue teddy bear.
Yesterday I dug out my container of Christmas cards and found this little story.... yet again.
I keep it in the box, along with other little stories and letters.... each year I read it...and every single year..... I cry. Then, with eyes that can't see a darn thing...I try to address envelopes for out of country friends and relatives. Over the weekend, I will cry again as I do the rest of my cards.
I found it years ago in a magazine. Original by Ruth Lemke (in the Hamilton Spectator).
Of course, that little bear up top is Bluebeary Ice, one of my needle felts; not the bear in the story.