Over the years, Hubby and I had collected numerous teddy bears in various guises, the cuddly toys, books, ceramics, pottery, pictures, figurines, and we wrote stories about some of them and how their lives were before they joined our growing family on top of the wardrobe.
This past week, we have had to separate them and the majority have found their way to the Great Dane Rescue, though one bag was given to a guy at the lock up who has a two year old, and he took the stuff sack containing Ralph (the big guy at the back), Bashful, and a lot of the little ones.
It was with a heavy heart that I sorted out the rest.
And I hope they forgive us, but we really had no choice, and at least this way they will hopefully find good homes.
A Possible Conversation.
Barney, being second in command of the Hug, was concerned and aware that although for the time being all the bears were together, it was not likely to be permanent.
Their way of life was about to change, and Grandad was in a bag by himself standing on his head and getting grumpier by the minute.
The little ones had been told to hibernate as everything would eventually work out, and when they woke up, things would be more or less back to normal but in different surroundings.
The last time this had happened, there hadn’t been so many of them, but that was seven years ago and they had all been put in a huge box then.
This time they were scattered all over the place, some in boxes protecting fragile ornaments, others in bags, and apart from Grandad, everyone had company.
Grandad was used to being on his own though having spent years in the attic when his owner had first got married. He wasn’t reunited with her until 1991, but had some fascinating stories to tell of her childhood.
Barney knew this time things were going to be different.
Grandad also knew something drastic was about to happen. You couldn’t be as old as he was and not know.
He pondered over the past couple of months when they’d all be cocooned in this dark and stuffy place how things were going to work this time.
His worst fears were confirmed when daylight interrupted the gloom and he heard two familiar voices groan as they said ‘Where do we start?’
Ralph was in a bag with Bashful and Biggles (retired Lancaster pilot) and a variety of little bears that had not been in the Hug for long. Time for a bear is nothing like time for Humans. It’s not until they are taken into a family or home that their time really begins, so that when things change, hibernation helps them cope.
Ralph overheard that he was being given away, and although he’d expected it, being the biggest of all the bears, he was disappointed. He was pleased though that he and all the bears in his bag were going to a two year old child’s nursery.
The bears in one box were actually excited. They had become bored just sitting on top of the wardrobe anyway and wanted to get out and about, so being donated to a charity shop didn’t bother them. One said it was only a matter of geography, and they were just swapping one shelf for another.
Charlie was getting nervous.
What if they gave him away? He was their First Bear, so he was relieved to find himself lifted out of another box and put to one side. Samantha followed, and there was a teddykenetic communication that all was going to be OK and they were going to stay together. Wedginald also joined them, as did Dr Ted, Dougal (he was French) and Rembrandt (a Dutch pilot, who had finally come to a truce with Biggles over The Spitfire), knitted bear also arrived, plus a couple of ceramics.
Grandad found himself in the centre (still in his bag but at least the right way up now so he could peak out of the top) of familiar faces, and smiled.
‘Looks like this might be the selected few. Good to see you guys. Where’s Barney?’
‘I’m over here, but I won’t be going with you. Seems I’m destined for promotion and Head of a new Hug elsewhere.’
‘Oh no! How could they do that to you? You’re as important as we are!’
‘I don’t think it’s a question of importance I’m afraid. I overheard their conversation and I’m not the only casualty. We knew they were going to buy a smaller property, but even they didn’t anticipate where they were going to end up. It’s not just us Bears that are moving on. Over 90% of what’s in here is going, and that doesn’t include the furniture, all of which has already gone.’
‘Yes, I heard things too,’ said Grandad. ‘They’re embarking on a completely new lifestyle, very minimalistic, and were talking about a life jacket for the dog. Space for them is extremely limited, you should see the clothes, books, videos, DVDs and most of their other possessions that are being given away. They’re not happy doing it either, but they have to be practical, and you know our Humans, Practicality is their middle name.’
With a sad smile, Barney said
‘I’ll miss you lot. Wonder if you’ll be able to pinch any more of the dog’s biscuits Wedginald? Now it’s up to you to take care of Samantha, Charlie, and the others, and all of you look after Grandad, he’s not getting any younger and despite what you may think about his grumpiness, he’s one of the best.’
Barney turned away before they could see his tears.
It was for the best, he knew, but it hurt so very much that he couldn’t go with his friends. Valentine, Wellington, Honey, Eric and Ernst (the two German bears that were forever arguing over who started the war) were also subdued, and together with a host of others they were loaded up into the car and taken away.
Barney decided to hibernate until the upheaval was over and closed his eyes.
Just as he was drifting off, he heard Grandad’s voice enter his subconsciousness. He sensed he wasn’t the only bear picking up Grandad’s teddykenetic message:
‘Don’t be afraid. You’ll never be alone as true friendships never die and our loved ones are never forgotten. Bless you all.’
I feel a bit daft having written this, but it’s how I feel about having to part with so much of our life together.
We have the memories and my teddy bear stories are all on a backup CD so they can never be lost.
It does hurt though, even over the inanimate things.