Posted by: Kathy | January 17, 2012

A Bunny and an Owl

My daughter, who is 5 years old, sleeps in a big bed sometimes surrounded by 10 or more stuffed animals of various shapes, sizes, and species. Ellie, a pink elephant she’s had since the day she was born, is always next to her or tucked in the crook of her arm. No one can sleep if Ellie is “missing”. Joining the list of “must haves” is her new Memory Bear, my Christmas gift to Nikki as a lasting memory of her beloved grandmother. I never know who or what will end up in my daughter’s bed at night.

As a child I slept with stuffed animals. My favorite was Lambie, a white lamb wearing blue overalls. I slept with this lamb every night for many years. I guess at some point when I got older my mom put Lambie away to give to me one day. My dad found the lamb in a plastic bag after my mom died and gave it to me. The lamb is very worn from love and age, and, unfortunately, the bottom of it has crumbled apart. One day I would love to restore this lamb, I just don’t know how.

When my mom first died, I slept with one of her scarves under my pillow or inside my pillowcase. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I used to go up to my mom and dad’s room, open my mom’s closet, and just stand there enveloped in her scent. This was my favorite and most vivid memory of my mom, but one that didn’t last. On one of those evenings, I opened my mom’s dresser drawer and took a light green silk scarf. Sleeping with this scarf was my way of being close to my mom.

I don’t sleep with the scarf anymore, but I have a confession of sorts to make. Even as an adult, stuffed animals still end up in our bed at times. My husband doesn’t seem to mind because the two I am referring to are small and only one will “lie” in the space between our pillows. In December 2010, I went to Longwood Gardens to see the Christmas displays with my husband, kids, and dad. My mom LOVED flowers and this was one of her favorite places to visit. It was during this trip that I truly believe I felt a hand on my back at waist level, yet when I turned to see who it was no one was behind me. Could it have been my mom letting me know she was with me as I fought back tears of memories past and the times we shared together looking at the decorated trees and beautiful flowers? Of course, the kids had to visit the gift shop before leaving and I purchased a stuffed animal for myself, an owl. My mom loved owls and an owl was the mascot of her college, Bryn Mawr. Whenever I see an owl I think of my mom. A few months later my husband gave me a little stuffed bunny for Easter.

My daughter loves both of these stuffed animals and they “travel” back and forth between my bedroom and my daughter’s, usually in her hands. I never know exactly where they are, as they could be on a bed (usually Nikki’s), on a chair, or on the floor by the bed. But they are always in one of the bedrooms. Last night, our bedroom door opened and in walked my daughter. The lights were off since my husband was sleeping, but I was still awake watching TV on my iPad. I got up to see what Nikki needed. She whispered “here Mama” and handed me the bunny. As I walked her back to bed, I asked Nikki why she brought the bunny to me, especially since she’d been in bed for over an hour and hopefully had been sleeping. She said “I thought you might want it”. So last night the little white bunny lay next to me as I slept, and I fell asleep thinking of my daughter.

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