Friday, February 8, 2008

Homage to Sarah Bear

This is Sarah Bear for those of you who don't know already. I have had her since I was 2 (which makes her 25) when my Grandpa won her for me at the Oregon State Fair. He felt badly because I had recently lost my previous bear, by the name of Bear, while our family was taking a boat ride. I was apparently inconsolable about the loss so my Grandpa felt compelled to replace what I had held so dearly. And I think it is probably safe to say that I haven't spent more than a dozen or so nights without her since then.
...yes, that's right, I still sleep with my teddy bear.
But in my defense, she's a pretty great bear. I remember when I used to be angry with my parents or my brother and I'd stomp into my room, slam the door and scream at her...she never screamed back. I remember being devastated in the fifth grade when my "boyfriend" and his family moved to another state. I threw myself on my bed and cried for hours on Sarah...she let me cry it out and cuddled with me when I finally fell asleep. I remember when I got accepted to SPU and had a "serious" chat with my mom about whether it was too baby of me to take Sarah to college...she came and met a lot of cool, new people. Now I'm married and thought that now that I have a real "bear" to sleep with maybe I don't need her anymore. Well, let's just say that I don't get to cuddle with her every night anymore.
I like to crinkle her ear with my fingers as I'm falling asleep...I find it immensely soothing.
But this has clearly taken a toll on them.

This is a particularly bad part on her face, just under her left eye where not only has the fur been rubbed off, but now the material is starting to deteriorate.

Quite awhile ago, Sarah developed a pretty nasty hole in her foot. A simple stitch wouldn't have closed it up properly so I decided to patch her up. It's not great, especially since you can't really tell that it says "love"...looks more like "lole" or "vove". But I think it's charming.

This is the most recent "scar". It is a hole that opened on the seam above her right eye which stretched all the way from the black of her eye to her ear...pretty devastating. So I did the best I could to sew it back up.

This is Sarah Bear doing what she loves best...watching Tivo'd shows with me and Erich. She's really an "inside bear".

Anyway, the reason for this homage is that we have decided to send Sarah Bear to the Teddy Bear Hospital to get all fixed up. It has been surprising to me how emotional I've gotten over this decision, especially since she's just a bear. But it's more than that, isn't it? For anyone who has had a special item, be it a baby blanket or a stuffed animal, a body pillow or an oversized sweatshirt, an item that has weathered failed relationships, midterms and finals, graduations, promotions and other lifetime successes and failures, isn't it alright to be slightly more than attached?

For me the problem is that I imagine in order for Sarah Bear to be fixed up she'll need to be dismantled and restuffed, with new "fur", eyes, nose and mouth. She wouldn't come back the same bear. She might look the same but she might not feel the same and she certainly wouldn't smell the same. Is it worth it? But almost every day I find a new hole or really worn spot on her fur that needs to be sewn back together or patched and I'm really afraid that one of these days I'll wake up and find her head has become detached from her body. This is a terrifying prospect.

So, Erich, my loving husband, started looking online for someone who might be able to fix her and found the Teddy Bear Hospital which seems like it's a trustworthy, successful organization who can help us. And we've decided that we will eventually send her in to get all fixed up so that we can have another 25 years with her.

I wasn't convinced until Erich looked me in the eye and said, "When we send her away, she'll be your bear. When she comes back, she'll be ours."

And I cried.


EmilyPie said...

Oh my .. you have ME CRYING silly woman. Me. If you step back and look at it, it seems fairly odd, for a few reasons...

1.)I don't really know you.
2.) I'm reading about your beloved bear (not mine, and hey, I don't even have one)

Jenn said...

Okay, first off, I will email soon.. I have a nasty bout of brochitiis and attention span is waning.

Secondly, did you really ask if I remembered you? Are you kidding me? "COME ON!" :P (had to thrown on in there!) So I opened up your page and thought, Holy Crap, I remember that bear!!! :) You must have had it at Hume, Mexico etc. etc. :) Yeah, and why did you go and make me cry too. I love your husband already! :)

Anonymous said...

SB~ Erich could not be more sweet! I love him for loving you so much. Mel

StepheLynne said...

Sarah Bear!! I'd like to say that I can TOTALLY tell that says "Love" on her foot patch. And Erich is AWESOME. And I still have my blanket and have had to make various repairs, so I share every sentiment!

Scott and Lorie said...

oh my.
I wanted to cry,
but ended up laughing.

Such a sweet guy you married!

love to you both (and Sarah Bear)

Agnes said...

Okay, so I stumbled across your blog via some Bako were friends with my brother (Daniel). I don't normally comment much, especially when I feel a bit like a stalker since we haven't seen each other in many years, but I loved your post about Sarah Bear. I can totally understand how you feel and I thought your husband's comment was so sweet...and I teared up a bit!