Friday, January 10, 2014
During a visit from my cousins from Minnesota this past Christmas we sat down to watch a couple of DVD's my brother had put together using family photos and video taken when we were kids; the kind of thing that warms your heart, especially during a holiday reminiscent of those past.
At some point during our DVD frenzy and having viewed some footage of myself at about 4 or 5 years of age climbing into a T-bird and onto the lap of a kind looking gentleman who I can only recall as Fred, a friend of Auntie Camille, I retold my story of how I remember Fred as being such a nice guy and how he had given me my Bear. How I remember that, I do not know. In fact, I now doubt whether I actually do know.
Bear has been with me for such a long time. Of all the toys my father slipped past me and into the arms of other children or more likely the trash bin, Bear managed to stay. He's had the honor of sitting on many a new bedspread or off to the side on a chair or nightstand. I'll admit there were times he quietly sat in the closet just waiting for me to take him out, brush him off and find him that special place in my room again.
He's been subject to the drool of many a baby whose mother arrived at our home without a toy in hand. And when I was much younger, I assure you Bear found himself battered and thrown against the wall for the sick pleasure of my brothers who never considered the effect on Bear whatsoever. In fact, I can tell you that about 5 years ago, one of my brothers upon visiting me, came across Bear and felt it necessary to re-enact the crimes of his youth by throwing bear to the wall full force in an unforgiving display of immaturity!
My poor Bear. I fear I have, in my confusion, lied about your story for so many years, it's time to come clean. You see, I have been sorting through photos for some time now and today came across a photo that I have seen many times but never really studied at length.
If you take just a moment to analyse this photo, you will see for yourself how one brother emotionless holds me down while the other is red handily pulling bear from my grip; his tongue hanging out of his mouth is proof of how difficult a task it was for brother. I have no doubt this was the beginning of the many abuses Bear would be submitted to but also explains how he never complained when I stuffed him in my closet, sometimes months, maybe even years at a time.
I apologize Bear and admit, the story I fabricated about Fred giving you to me was never meant to strip those years of faithfulness away from you. This photo was taken in 1956, probably years before Fred ever arrived on the scene. I suppose I was trying desperately to forget the years you were silently subjected to the two hoodlums who are probably at fault for the eyelashes you are missing and the bite someone took to remove the end of your tongue not to mention how often they threw me to the ground, tickled me until I begged to be freed lest I pee on them, jumped from behind doors to scare the living daylights out of me and found pleasure in tackling me to the ground in the backyard treating me as if I were one of the guys. Poor us, Bear, poor us.
As I look at you today, you seem to be at peace with the fact that much of your fur is missing. I hope you forgive me for leaving you with such ugly scars from an inexperienced hand at
unstitching you, throwing you in the washing machine and putting you back together without the least bit of concern of whether you wanted your tail refilled or not.
Ohhh, that you could talk to me Bear. But then, who knows what you'd say...what you'd tell...WHO you'd tell! For now Bear, enjoy your spot of honor resting in the comfort of my pillows. And just remember, silence is golden...One bad word and it's back to the closet!