We all remember that special and very loved companion we had when we were little. Mine was my blanket, Sara had "Pinky"-- a little pink and white teddy bear she received as a gift in second grade.
Mike's favorite was a blue and white quilted blanket that an old friend of mine had made. And we all remember when the moment came that we put them away as keepsakes, at least the ones that survived our loving.
Some of these best friends have led rather interesting lives while others have lived out their retirement on a dusty shelf or a cobwebbed corner of our memories. Pinky went through all the trips to the hospital with Sara when she was diagnosed with cancer and even had her own id bracelet. And Pinky even made it to Navy boot camp.
This story is about Pinky's son, Teddy. And Teddy belongs to Evan, Sara's little boy.
Now Teddy was a gift to Evan from Saras' father when Evan was only nine days old. They have been together every day ever since, lifelong buddies and confidants. Well, let me amend that every day part and tell the beginning tales of Teddys' Adventures.
The first one began at the Portland Zoo when Bret, Sara, Evan and Eric had a family day there.
They strolled past the elephants, they cruised past the polar bears, Conrad and Tasul. There was a wonderful interaction between the boys and the orangutan when all three were face to face, eyeball to eyeball at the window. It was shortly after that when Teddys' disappearance was noticed. "Where's Teddy?' one parent asked. "I don't know, I thought YOU were watching Teddy"...and the search began. I don't know how the rest of the visit went with Evan and Eric and all the animals, I wasn't there, I just heard the story afterwards.
Mommy was heartsick for Evan, his little heart was so sad and the tears flowed and ran. How do you explain to a 3 year old what "gone" and "lost" mean?
Mommy called the Portland Zoo and reported a lost Teddy bear with this description:
Bobbly head, brown 'fur' well-worn and loved, black eyes and answers to "Teddy". Little boy is heartbroken without his buddy.
It wasn't long before a return call from the zoo announced that Teddy had been found! He would be on his way home via U.S. Mail very soon.
Three weeks ago, Teddy went MIA again. This time, Evan had gone to spend the weekend with PeaPaw (Brets' dad) for a little one-on-one time. Everywhere that Evan goes, Teddy goes, too.
Time comes and Evan has returned home, only there is no Teddy. Evan is beside himself and once again the tears flow and come and Evan's little heart is sad, he was convinced that "the Indians took him and burned him" (this from the OLD Peter Pan movie!). No no, mommy said to him, he's trying to come home, Evan. There was concern for Teddy that his "little feet will be dirty and sore from walking home, Mommy, he doesn't have shoes!" Oh my heartstrings are just breaking here.
I am happy to announce that Teddy's adventures have been halted once more and again, he is coming home via U.S. Mail. It seems that PeaPaw finally found Teddy and he's sending him home, although at this moment, Evan seems to think the Tooth Fairy had him and is now mailing him home.
I can't tell you the feelings I've had for the last three weeks for Evan, for Teddy and for Mommy.
This Teddy meant as much to Sara as he did to Evan; he was her fathers' first gift and her heart hurt for her little boy as well. My heart hurt for all of them. Grandma's don't die, they just get sappier.
So today when I got the call that Teddy was coming home, I cried tears of joy for that reunion!
I was able to speak with Evan on the phone today and tell him how happy I was for him and that I bet his little heart was happy now. "My heart is very happy, Beema!!" Maybe there will be a little welcome home party for Teddy the Adventurer!