I have had a teddy bear collection for as long as I can remember. Over the years it has grown from a few to... a room full. Once I reached adult-hood I had mixed feelings about these stuffed and fuzzy friends. Should a grown woman have a teddy bear collection? Isn't that childish? Won't people think I'm weird? Do I really want to carry these bears everywhere I move? (And we won't even touch the surface of my before-Toy-Story-existed feeling of my toys coming to life and won't-they-hate-me-if-I-give-them-up?)
With these recurring mixed feelings, every so often, I would "cull" the group. I would let go of the bears won at carnivals or through quarter-games, hand-me-downs or ex-boyfriends. But the family would soon grow again as people bought me teddy bears as gifts for birthdays, Christmas or just as a way to say, "I love you."
Once more, I was compelled to "quit" my collection. I told family members to stop buying them for me. I told my mom that I was "done" with teddy bears. Yet, as we wandered through the mall, shopping near Christmas time, we inevitable ended up in a stuffed animal section of some store or another. And every time I would touch and feel and hug the bears that whispered to me, "take me home".
On this one particular shopping trip, I found a happy bear with plaid paws and a ribbon - Christmas colors. I held on to him as I walked around and my mom said to me, "I thought you were done with teddy bears." I remember responding, wistfully, "there's always room for one more." But I put the bear down and walked out and continued on with our Christmas shopping.
I didn't give him another thought. Until...
That beautiful teddy bear, with the plaid paws and ribbon, end up as a gift to me, from my mom. Attached around his neck with another ribbon was a note that read, "Someone once told me: 'there's always room for one more.' Merry Christmas."
Through the years I have again, and again, culled my teddy bear collection. Most recently, a couple of years ago, I went through all of them, photographed most of them and packed them off to Goodwill. But there's still one among the select few who still share my home with me... my stuffed and fuzzy family.... Mr. Room for One More.
This little piece of nostalgia brought to you by Sian's Storytelling Sunday: My Precious edition. For more stories, please visit here.