Skip to main content

Gumpy Bear is more than just another Teddy Bear

When my Grandfather passed away, one of the Hospice nurses asked Ema for one of his favorite shirts so she could make a memorial gift of him for our family. The nurse trimmed down one of his flannel shirts to fit a Teddy Bear, and pinned a horse lapel pin to it for good measure. That little act of kindness was a cute reminder of Gumpy that sat on the wall where the old Ben Franklin stove was in the living room of the farmhouse.

Gumpy Bear sat there for a few years until The Kid came along. Last summer, Ema brought the bear down from his perch for The Kid to play with. She dragged that bear, along with a few others, all over the house each time we visited.

When Ema passed away, The Kid was able to take Gumpy Bear home with her. She was happy because she has another bear to hug, one who's pretend diaper needs frequent changing. I was happy because she has something of Gumpy's to remember him by. She never had the chance to meet him, but I hope she will always feel she knew him because of my stories and because of Gumpy Bear.

Popular posts from this blog

Our family became whole because another family fell apart

A co-worker shared a powerful story from Huffington Post with me today. It was one adoptive mother's account of the days from meeting their birth mother to walking away from the hospital with their soon-to-be-adopted daughter in tow. I almost cried reading it because I can relate to the story in many ways, especially the feelings of uncertainty that are ever present until you see the amended birth certificate in the mail. 
"Bearing witness to her sorrow, I realize BabyMama is also experiencing three days of labor. As we text and grieve, we experience the contractions of the heart and body and mind together." -Kathleen Dennehy 
Our situation was different. The family in the story had to wait for three days in the hospital while the birth mother had to make the impossible decision to surrender her child for adoption. The Kid's foster mom had taken her home from the hospital and cared for her until her birth parent's legal rights to custody were terminated. We met h…

To a generous young trick-or-treater for his kindness

Our neighborhood is unbelievable on Halloween night. Starting about 6 p.m., our street is packed with trick-or-treaters. If you don't start stockpiling candy early, you could go broke trying to keep up with the crowd.

The Kid doesn't really like the trick-or-treating part, she loves to hand out the candy. She ventured out twice, once with me and once with Grandma, but returned because she loved being the helper kid who was making everyone enjoy their holiday.

One young man hesitated at our door after she stuffed a few treats into his bag. If I had to guess, he was about 10 or 11 years old himself. He started fumbling in his bag, pulled out a treat and said, "This is for her since she hasn't been out trick-or-treating for herself."

I think he was a little embarrassed by our effusive praise of his generosity. He didn't have to do that for our little Wonder Woman. She was having a great time and has a boatload of candy from her two tours of our block. But he wa…

A random conversation at the Peninsula Grill

There were four of us seated at the bar last night at the Peninsula Grill, a regular on the end to my left and a couple at the other end on my right. I purposefully picked the middle of the bar so I could watch the Tigers game while journaling in peace. Between finishing my soup and my whitefish arriving, I had managed to fill almost an entire page.  

I write letters to The Kid in the journal. Someday, I will probably give it to her. Many of my letters are simple remembrances of the funny things she said, accounts of the astute observations she's made or me reminding her future self of the giving things she did as a four year-old. Some of the content is about my journey to becoming her Papa, and that can be deeply personal. She's also getting to an age that blogging all of it is no longer appropriate, she deserves her privacy, so I decided several months ago to start an old-school journal to preserve my memories.  
After dinner, which was excellent, I continued to pour my hea…