Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Can't Bear It Any Longer!

It started out innocently enough. When I was two years old, my parents gave me a brown furry teddy bear with a pink ribbon around his neck. Being a creative child, I named him Pinky.

I was crazy about that little bear. My parents assumed I’d give up this childish pleasure, but when I left for college, Pinky went with me. My college friends thought my affection for a threadbare teddy was a bit odd, but then, there were lots of things about me that were odd, and they accepted this quirk as part of the package.

When Dr. Lobo asked me to marry him, I loaned Pinky to him as a sign of my commitment. The two of them shared six months of Army adventures, which must have sparked some interesting conversations in the barracks. After the wedding, Pinky accompanied us on the honeymoon. The three of us became a family.


Dr. Lobo, bless him, accepted my bear obsession with grace and good humor. He started buying bears for me. When my children outgrew their bears, they let me adopt them. My friends gave bears to me.

One summer I acquired a LOT of bears. I don’t even know how many, but it was way more than a mentally healthy adult woman would have obtained. My only defense is that my mother had been placed under hospice care, and I was hurting. Those sweet, cuddly bits of fur filled a need. This, combined with my discovery of eBay during that time, resulted in financial and spacial disaster. How could I resist all those precious bears who needed homes?

For years we’ve needed some kind of bear population control management system in this house. My half-hearted attempts to give them away have been inadequate. Finally, however, I am learning to resist cuteness. I am taking my house back. Those bears have to go!

Recently I have given away many, many bears. About forty went to a nursing home. Twenty went to kids (of all ages) at church. A couple dozen went to Infant Crisis Services. Another dozen will be included in Christmas baskets for retired firefighters and widows of firefighters. Some will go to the principal at Mark Twain Elementary; she plans to give bears to children who are taken from school by child welfare workers. Other bears will go to a facility for autistic children and the rest will go to the local veterans’ hospital.

Of course, I’ll keep far more bears than any normal person would own. Junior, the little guy in the yellow checkered shirt in the photo below, will always be part of our family. He is our “grandbear.” He has a larger wardrobe than many children and an album full of pictures. He travels with us and writes his own blog. But that’s a story for another time.

And Pinky? Well, sixty years have taken their toll on both of us, and we’re showing lots of wear and tear. Nevertheless, I think he’s wonderful. I’ve known him longer than I’ve known my children, Dr. Lobo, and even my siblings. Some relationships are far too precious to give up. He's definitely a keeper.


Oklahoma Granny said...

Pinky is a wonderful bear and I loved your post. It brought back memories of the bear my grandfather gave me on Christmas. He was a large, floppy bear, yellow-gold in color with a red ribbon around his neck and he came from a store by the name of Oklahoma Tire & Supply which later became Otasco. Due to circumstances beyond my control I don't know what became of that bear but he has a special place in my heart. I, too, have too many bears and last year as we were preparing to move one of the local hotels had a "bear drive". They collected bears to donate to the local police dept. The police, in turn, give them to children in crisis situations. I hope the bears I donated found their way to children and eased some of their pain. I'm sure your bears will find such homes too.

Sassafrass said...

I'm the Development Coordinator for Infant Crisis Services and would like to thank you for contributing your bears to us! It's really amazing to see our toddlers hugging them as they walk out of our doors. We really appreciate your support.

Josh said...

"No Lips" (don't ask) the Rabbit is my life-long plush pal. When my son was born in January, he inherited him, and perhaps when he has children of his own, No Lips will go to them. However, at the end of the day, I know No Lips will end up right by my side again.

Marvelous said...

I can hardly believe it - that your bears are finding new homes! But such wonderful places you have found. I have a couple of special "Elvis" bears that you and Dr. Lobojo gave me that I dearly love. Merry Christmas!