When I was in the 10th grade (15 years old), I came down with a really bad case of pleurisy. I missed ten days of school. It was the only time in my life that I can honestly say the mere act of breathing caused excruciating pain.
At the time, our family of eight (two adults, six kids) lived in a home with only a single bathroom. I spent my two weeks of illness sleeping on the sofa in the living room so I would be closer to the bathroom and wouldn't have to navigate the stairs. Other than my pillow and blanket, my constant companions in the living room were this bear (purchased by my Mom to make me feel better):
and the book Trinity by Leon Uris (all nearly 900 pages of it!). So when I wasn't sleeping (I was on some decent pain meds), I was reading and this little guy (he's only 12" head to toe) kept me company.
Once I was better, he still hung around. A lot. He went with me to college. All four years. He traveled with me again when I moved away from home. He spent a lot of time on or near my bedside. And yes, he's a tad worse for the wear. Believe it or not, he's never had a proper name, just "bear".
Ultimately I grew up, got married, and started sharing a bed with someone who took up, well, a bit more space. Since then, this little guy has been consigned to my hope chest.
I've had several major purges of "stuff" from my home in an effort to reduce the clutter. Purges where I was absolutely brutal and got rid of many things which might have been considered to have sentimental value. When I am in de-clutter mode, I ask myself two questions - "Do I love this?" (not like, LOVE, as in does it make my heart sing?). If I LOVE it, it stays. If I don't love it, I follow up with "Do I use it?" Yes - it stays; No - it goes. Through every de-cluttering rampage, this little guy has survived. I guess he still makes my heart sing.
For more Precious Stories visit Sian's Story Telling Sunday.