At the bottom of everything, it can seem hopeless. Surrounded by our worst thoughts and feelings, darkness and doubt we at times can feel defeated. Our first instincts can be in the direction of giving up; wash our hands of the “dirt”, put on a mask of pretend, and even try to convince ourselves that we are not living in denial.
That this is the way it is and we cannot change the “attitude” of the circumstances.
And how does one in fact make that change possible?
Frankly, by not giving up. Refusing to go quietly into the night. And especially seeing that every day we have, is our day to dream - To wish what seems to be impossible things; for within those wishes our realities are made – our doubts are replaced with our hopes – our hopes inspire our salvation – our salvation provides moments of bliss – our moments of bliss fuel our belief – and our belief warrants our smile each morning … a smile that proves without fail, we will find a way to make it through even the most trying of days.
When I was a little girl, around the age of seven, I remember my aunt coming over one afternoon around my birthday. She was babysitting my sister and me. Not only did she come with her bubbly persona radiating, she came equipped with items children swoon over – puffy paint and t-shirts! And for us girlie girls, oh yes, glitter – lots and lots of glitter!!! We spent the afternoon designing these shirts; some her work, some mine – and you could tell the difference! (I was only seven, cut me a little slack on my artistic capabilities!).
From rainbows, and clouds, the alphabet and hearts, even a fake tattoo of “I love New Kids” on the sleeve, my shirt was a masterpiece that I wore proudly. That same day my aunt sat me down with a birthday present; I opened the package to meet and greet what I would later name, “Mr. Teddy”. Some thought he looked more like a deformed seal, but to me he was my Mr. Teddy. And as much as I cherished that shirt I made that day, I cherished him more. From that day onward we were inseparable. We explored nature together, ate together, brushed teeth together, snuggled at night together … He was my best friend and when I was seven I really needed a best friend. My aunt somehow knew that. I remember her words vividly as I opened that present, “I had one of him when I was young – and he never failed to always be there for me”.
Many years have passed since Mr. Teddy was snuggled in my arms. He has been in my son’s toy chest for the longest time, with his presence not known to my dear little one as he is too wrapped up in his “puppy doggie” for attention to be given to other stuffed creatures. This past week I was hit with grave and devastating news on a few accounts. Not knowing how I would tell my son I remained silent. Emotions bottled I went through my evening as if nothing was wrong. Somehow though my son knew I needed my best friend, as well as my one from the past … out of nowhere he comes into my room with Mr. Teddy in hand and asked, “Momma, who is this?” …
“Why that is Mr. Teddy love …” and so began the story he was so intrigued to hear about – how Mr. Teddy was an invaluable role in my childhood and continued to be a faucet of solitude.
“Just like my Puppy Doggie …”
“Yes my darling, just like that … to some they are just stuffed animals made by a place far away and sold here at stores like Target, but to us they are a part of who we are - just like you are a part of who I am- my best friend”
“… And just like you are my best friend Momma … well you and Nick D, Will, Dalton, my Godparents, Grace, Faith, Vinnie, Mr. Chris, Courtney, Ms. Sharon cause she gives me jelly beans …”
“I got it, I got it …. I share the best friend stature … dooly noted …”
“Although I have many best friends, I only have one Puppy Doggie and only one Momma … I love you … Can I have fruit snacks?”
Mr. Teddy has held my hand, soaked up my tears, and listened for nights on end when I was scared, alone, and sad. He also was tossed in the air, screamed at with delight, and heard my giggles when I over the moon with joy. With him I shared my hopes and dreams, aspirations and wishes; sat at my window sill and wished on that star light …. At 21 years, he is my oldest best friend. Granted he is made of stuffing and fake fur, with a nose that is falling off, but he gave me insight and wisdom on what it takes to be a great friend – share, listen, support, and love without hesitation, reservation, or fail. As I have grown, I am truly blessed to have some pretty intricate real life Mr. Teddies – each adding to my life in an unimaginable way and making me feel like my impossible wishes can be achieved.
In moments you feel you are defeated, the pressures of life seem trying, and the days of bitter cold grasp your source of air …. Don’t give up. Turn to the Mr. Teddy in your life and immerse yourself in hope, optimism, and light. For those special bonds shed light where darkness used to hover. If you doubt, don’t. You cannot replace your dreams of worth with dreams of doubt. Without dreaming, it’s over. That mess is all you have, and there is no room for entertaining the angelic, magnitude of life, of existence.
When you find yourself on your knees, tears streaming, breathe lost, yet in between the sobs the whisper of please, please, please... let me get what I want … let the worries fade ... let the miracles happen … let the dreams come true … Open that toy chest of life and hold on tight to a source of renewal and strength. A source that maintains your connection with one of the most precious roles in life – friendship – a role that connects the spirits of two, and gives connection to your inner self, soul, and merit. It gives you hope to the existence – something to believe in even when all else seems to have failed, hopeless, and lost. The impossible things you wish for are not so impossible with the comfort of your “Mr. Teddies” … with them, share your dreams and rest in salvation. Don’t give up. Believe in miracles. And always, always keep wishing … for the impossible cannot come true without but first a whisper of hope.