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Posts Tagged ‘velveteen rabbit’

004Best Friends Since 1961

I found these two old friends in the bottom of a cardboard box in my attic. I thought I was protecting them from the wear and tear of daily life, but it looks as if the years inside the box have nearly been Teddy’s demise. Lucky has fared a little better, but he’s so happy to be out in the fresh air – and so concerned about Teddy!

Teddy was born in 1957. Lucky was born in 1961. They both came into my life on a Christmas morning shortly after their births. Lucky ran away from home once and was lost for almost a year. Lucky has also had a complete “face lift” in 1973 (his ears, tail, and eyes are original). Teddy had no such surgery, and he’s been blind in one eye for 48 years.

Did you ever read “The Velveteen Rabbit”?

I wonder what will happen to these old guys when I die. I just can’t imagine them spending out the rest of their days in a landfill. Especially since Lucky survived a year out in the elements back in the mid-to late 1960’s. Their insides are original and intact. I wonder if I can request that they be cremated with me? Would that be weird?

It would be weird to request my kids give them a funeral, I suppose. My sister and I gave funerals to all the dead creatures we came upon, so it doesn’t seem surreal to me, but I don’t remember my kids ever burying a pet fish or dead bird or… Only the pets that had names got funerals: Rosie & Cat.

But my sister and I had a graveyard out in the alleyway behind our house, each dead bird, fish, frog, or horny toad marked with some rock full of quartz crystals. Quartz crystals were a dime a dozen in my childhood.

Lucky doesn’t want me to abandon Teddy to death. He’s sitting on the cardboard box behind my desk, holding Teddy with care, and waiting for me to decide if they get to live a little longer or not. Can I heal Teddy with a needle and thread – give him the stuffed animal equivalent of a triple bypass surgery? Let them live out their lives – which are tied to mine – outside of a cardboard box?

I sat in the attic today and just held the pair of them. I cried a little. I used to fall asleep with my head on Lucky’s body, with Teddy tucked into my arms. Teddy went to Japan with me. He attended my one year of college with me. Lucky waited at home for us. You can tell by their photo how much Lucky cares for his old friend, Teddy.

It’s really hard for me to make a decision on their future. I’ve already lost most of my family. My sister died just 16 years ago this March (anniversary is 3/3/16). My daddy has been gone for 5 years. My mom – who gave Lucky his “face lift” in 1973 and surprised me by placing a completely “remodeled” Lucky under the Christmas tree that year – has been gone since 1995.

I haven’t suffered, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been incredibly blessed and protected. I’m not comparing my losses with someone else’s tragedies. I just miss my family.

And there are these two friends who crawled out of the attic today.

004

I don’t think I will ever put them into a box again. They didn’t like the dark. They want to live out their days in the light, loved by the little girl who always loved them. When she dies, they will die, but not until then.  They’re a lot fragile, but they want to just hang out with me. I think I can make room for that.

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