The Teddies

Bye, bye, Teddies


In one of my posts about Hurricane Harvey, I mentioned my dilemma about my mum’s collection of Teddies. As a child, she and her siblings had very few toys. One year, when I was an adult, she shared that she had always wanted a Teddy of her own. Growing up poor, my presents to her were usually practical – clothing or money. I had a complicated relationship with my mum because of her strange mental illness (and mine) but I adored her. The Christmas after she told me about her Teddy longing, I bought her the largest Teddy in the box (which was very expensive) and put it in a huge box with lots of tissue paper. The look of delight on her face when she found the Teddy was priceless.

From then on, Teddy (my husband) and I would buy her Teddies at any opportunity and she loved every one of them. They were perfectly arranged on her immaculate lacy white bed every day. As she was approaching her death, she asked me not to give her Teddies away. My husband and I teased her relentlessly with various nefarious scenarios. Our favorite was that we would put them all in a little boat, set fire to them Viking style and send them off into the North Sea. She would be torn between laughter and tears. Anyway, my mum died suddenly at age 69 in 2002 and those dang Teddies have followed us to Africa and America. Our three Egyptian cats became very allergic to the heavy allergens in Houston (tree pollen, mold and other stuff) so the Teddies had to go into the attic.

After Hurricane Harvey hit us, I realized that this was the time to let the Teddies go. I sprayed them with anti-allergy formula and gently wiped them with anti-bacterial cloths. Then I lined the boxes with tissue paper and took them to the nearest evacuation center a few miles from my home. I knew that charities rarely accept soft toys because they may have bacteria on them but I ‘persuaded’ the volunteer that these were obviously never played with, many still had their tickets on them. For some reason, I felt happier that they were going to the Catholic Church. Surely they would treat them with reverence? To my surprise I was tearful as I left the Teddies – one last link to my mum. I am usually more pragmatic but this has been a very hard two weeks on me mentally.

Volunteering has allowed me to feel less impotent. I held the hand of a colleague who had lost everything and told him I would pray to Saint Jude. Heavens knows that we will need some prayer, magic and good will to get through the next few weeks. Please let our country stop thinking of how much this will cost and just do it. I studied economics at college and realized long ago that we could function perfectly well without money, stocks or shares. The Netherlands had a crazy period when the country was very rich when Tulips became of a form of currency. Yes, really!! If we chose to, we could share our wealth more fairly. Tears welled up when I saw a man on CNN give up the last generator that he was ready to buy to the lady behind him who needed it for her father on oxygen. I hope that the modern miracle of weather forecasting and social media allows for many lives to be saved during Hurricane Irma and then Jose. The 1900 Hurricane that hit Galveston killed more than 8,000 people. Be safe and kind. I light a virtual candle for us all.πŸ•―οΈ


I am plagued with migraines just now so please forgive me for not responding quickly to comments and follows.

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43 thoughts on “The Teddies

  1. What a great way to let your mother’s legacy continue. I’m sure there will be plenty of kids (and some adults) who will get at least as much joy out of them as your mother. Where I live right now, people tend to act extremely selfishly for the most part, but I like to think that in times of need at least some would help.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thinking about you. Hope you all recover from the Hurricanes soon. Some little children will love your mums teddies. That Catholic upbringing and praying to St Jude doesn’t leave easily. Take careπŸ˜˜πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My dear Kerry – you have been through the mill. This tender homage to your mother speaks volumes about you. The you that cares so deeply. The bears represent the care and I know it can’t have been easy to pass them on. But the smiles you have brought to children’s faces, children whose whole lives have been ripped apart is priceless. I am so proud to know you x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those teddies look lovely and I know that they will bring much, much joy to all the children lucky to get one! IΒ΄m sure your mom would have approved of your giving them away now. teddies need to be love and to spread love! ItΒ΄s their nature. πŸ™‚ Hope those bloody migraines have left you for now – I only know them too well myself. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think your mom would’ve wanted you to do this exactly as you’ve done.. As far as practical or pragmatic, this is both.. Food, water and shelter are necessities but they can’t give the snuggles, security or comfort like a teddie to hold onto in the midst of a world turned upsidedown for a child.. Your mom’s teddies are now heroes to children..
    Your gift shows much about you πŸ’›
    Glad your headaches have eased up..

    Liked by 1 person

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