Sunday, January 6, 2013

Story Telling Sunday - My Precious

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):

bear
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.

26 comments:

Maria Ontiveros said...

Cheri,
What a fabulous story! I have a bear which may very well be featured later this year. I'm really loving the precious stoires.
Rinda

Jo said...

This is a great story and it stirred up memories of my childhood because my cousin had exactly the same bear. I'm sure he will always make your heart sing.

Kara Monroe said...

What a great story Cheri - I love seeing objects from people's childhoods that have such deep meaning. Those stories are always so sweet.

MonicaB said...

Great story - I had a special doll that went to the hospital with me and the doctors bandaged her up just like me. Your story made me remember about her.

Jennie said...

Oh - such a beautiful story - I am sure he will always be loved - and I like that he is just "bear". And I can so sympathise with the pain - having siffered from pleurisy myself three times - one occasion when it turned into pneumonia. To this day I dread winter coughs and colds - in case I get it again. Thanks for sharing "bear" - he is charming - no wonder he's precious. J xx

Tammy said...

Wonderful story! I'm glad he's stayed. :)

Lythan said...

I love the fact that you just can't part with him - because he brings so many memories with him. Thansk for sharing your story

Sabrina S. said...

Your bear looks very similar to a little monkey I had and that I gave to my best friend before he died of cancer. He was cremated with it. Thanks for sharing your s-precious story with us. Happy 2013. Cheers from Bordeaux, France

scrappyjacky said...

That's a great story,Cheri...I bet there's a few of us who have at least one precious toy that we could never get rid of.

Sian said...

What a lovely story this is. Funny, I recognised that little face too because I had a - monkey! It's amazing to think of similar characters in homes across the world, keeping us all company. This one has put a smile on my face Cheri and I'm looking forward to seeing what else you maybe have tucked away in that Hope Chest. Thank you.

Becky said...

That is a lovely story and I am so pleased that bear still makes you happy!

alexa said...

Ah, what a heart-warming story and companion you have there ... And how lovely that he lives in a Hope Chest. I'd love to know more about it. Perhaps another 'precious'?

Alison said...

Love it Cheri...my story is about a soft toy too!
Alison xx

Elizabeth said...

If something makes your heart sing, you must keep it--forever! Darn cute little bear, too.

Missus Wookie said...

Your hope chest comment made me smile, and I smiled again to see Alexa's comment - they don't exist over here. Mine caused great confusion because it was second hand and that was also considered odd. Hmm - I think that might be a story for both of us to share during the year. Explaining a hope chest to the Brits ;)

Melissa said...

I love it & am so glad it's not been "decluttered." I have a monkey that I got when I was in the hospital in 6th grade. Hmmm....maybe a story for a future Storytelling Sunday.

Ginger said...

I like your deciding factor questions! I love that you kept it and it still has a place in your heart :)

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

What a wonderful story! He is so cute! I wish I had gotten a hope chest. it'd be nice to have a decent sized thing to keep my treasures in

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

This is such a cute bear and lovely photo, Cheri. I'm the same way when I'm in the mood to purge, and I do have a few things that always go back where I found them, rather in the box to be donated.

Irene said...

Such a wonderful story about your much loved bear. Far too precious to give away. He carries the stories of your life around with him.
Thanks for popping into my blog. I do hope you have grandchildren one day and enjoy them as much as I do mine.

Chipper said...

Bear is just adorable! I am glad that he was there to sit with you for those long weeks. I was once ordered to rest in bed for three months (thankfully I wasn't in pain like you were) but I was insanely bored and often lonely. My only saving grace was that a 'friend of a friend' lent me his entire collection of Star Trek videos (yes, I am a HUGE fan). It wasn't quite so boring after that. Oh, and my bed rest was worth it as my son arrived full term :-)

Sheena said...

What a fabulous story.
he certainly is too cute & special to part with x

S said...

You can't possibly purge anyone or anything that qualifies as a traveling companion and is so beary cute! But wouldn't he much prefer to sit on top of the hope chest instead of inside?

Karen said...

Your bear brings back memories of a much loved bear, that sadly, no longer exists. Yours has held up remarkably well. I think our hearts do know what we need to keep with us.

Kai said...

Love! I have a similar little buddy that my dad brought me when I was sick with tonsilitis... he went with me everywhere and still sits by my bed on a book case. :)

Rebekah said...

Oh my goodness, I remember these little guys...they had a name or brand or something but I can't remember it.