Today is National Teddy Bear Day!
I have a teddy bear and no, I am not ashamed to admit it.
Here is an excerpt from a memoir piece I wrote about the spine surgery I had when I was fifteen. It is called Woman of Steel and reveals how we meet.
The day after my fifteenth birthday, I woke up hours before the sun had opened its eyes. Wishing I could dive into bed and pretend it was not the day of my surgery, I groggily climbed into my mother’s car. On the way to the hospital, I watched the dove-gray sky lighten degree by degree. Slowly, as if its muscles ached, the sun stood up in the sky.
I followed my parents into the hospital as my heart pounded in my chest and my knobby knees quaked. With each step, I silently hoped we would get lost. Unfortunately, we found the right area and sat down in uncomfortable chairs to wait for the inevitable.
I hugged my backpack to my chest and tried to calm my racing heart. The woman sitting behind the receptionists’ desk saw me and called me over. I watched her heft a giant garbage bag off the floor and dig inside it, oddly resembling Santa. She pulled out a brown teddy bear with silky hair and a blue ribbon tied around its furry neck.
“You look like you need to hug something,” she said as she handed the bear to me. Normally I would have turned my nose up at such a childish gift, but at that moment that teddy bear looked like a life preserver to me. I took the bear and embraced it with all my might.I don’t have a picture of him when I first got him, when his fur was silky and smooth, but this is a picture I took a long time ago.
He looks pretty much the same these days and now my youngest nephew cuddles with him whenever he’s here. :)
QUESTION: Did you have a favorite teddy bear from your childhood? Do you still have a teddy bear? If so, give him/her a hug. :P
And while we’re on this topic, you should check out The Bear Who Woudn’t Leave by J.H. Moncrieff. You might need to hug your bear while reading this short story. Or it might make you look at it sideways….
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