(here the Bears can be seen coming out of hibernation and still in cuddly mode)
From the warmth and comfort of the towers that are A Word with You Press in Moscow I am drinking beer and eating Oreos (they’re not just for breakfast!) and sorting through the stories that are piling up for our contest A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Contest.
Here is a sweet story by the even sweeter Barbara Keeling, her entry into the contest:
By Barb Keeling
Of all the stuffed animals we have as kids I would guess the Teddy Bear is close to the top of the list as a favorite. They become super pals. Mine was a basic medium size brown bear called Frisky Bear. I might have been about six when he joined our family. It seems like I made sure he was involved in nearly everything I did until I was a teenager.
Frisky Bear was my first best friend. He was who I played with, had tea with, got mad at, told my deepest secrets to, cried with, slept with and I didn’t go many places without him. I even put him in my bicycle basket when I went out for a ride. If it was cold I had a little wool hat I slipped over his ears and a tiny scarf to tie around his neck. When I went roller-skating I would just hold tight to one of his arms and away we would go.
Besides being my best friend, he was part of my sleeping routine. Going to bed with out my Frisky Bear would be un-heard of. I once pulled the waist band elastic cord out of the PJ bottoms I was wearing and tied Frisky Bear to my waist. I was sleeping on the couch and wanted to make sure when Daddy moved me to my real bed that night, Frisky Bear would come with me. He made the trip just fine.
The fact that I still remember this little bear with such fondness in spite of my now old age and leaky memory means he was indeed important to my life.
As years went by, Frisky Bear’s place in my heart changed but he still was part of my life as he sat on my bookshelf.
One Saturday a nice man that always mowed mother and daddy’s lawn was there working. He had his 3 year old daughter with him. He took her everywhere, for he didn’t want to miss a moment of her life. Mother had heard that the little girl had cancer, but it was only a rumor. The youngster didn’t have anything to play with while she waited for her dad to finish his work.
Mother suggested I give the little girl something of mine that had special meaning to me. “That way you will remember giving the gift,” mother pointed out. The fact that I still recall this gift given, means Mother was so right.
I gave the little girl my Frisky Bear. She beamed with delight and squeezed him tightly into her arms. He had provided me with so much love and now he could do the same for this little girl. She died a few months later. I always wondered if they buried the bear with her. I hoped they did so she would have Frisky Bear forever.