When I was little, Grandma used to say the same prayer with me every night. You know the one, "Now I lay me down to sleep...." We did it night after night the same way together until I got old enough to pray it on my own.
When Belle was a baby, even before Estella was born, Grandma found a bear for her that, if you pushed its foot, would say our prayer. I think she got it at a Dollar General store, but she was so excited to have found it. I didn't tell Grandma at the time, but Belle really didn't care for it. In fact, I don't think she even touched it until Grandma died, and then she slept with it every night for months. She called it Memaw Bear, and even if she wasn't playing with it or sleeping with it, she had to know where it was. Last year or so, Estella Dru became just as attached to Memaw Bear. She would try to sneak it in her bed without Belle noticing. Belle would then figure it out and try to sneak it back into her bed. Even yesterday, they were fussing over that bear.
And just this week, someone else has taken up with Memaw Bear. He pushes the button over and over to hear it say its prayer. And most every time I hear it, I get a little lump in my throat. When Grandma gave that bear to Belle, I thought so little of it. A dollar store bear. How long could it last, right? Belle had so many 'good' toys, what would she do with an ugly little pink bear that prayed? Six years later, that bear is most definitely the most special toy in this house. He's a little more ragged than he used to be. He's lost his hat, and his hands don't stay together like they once did. But he still prays his prayer. The same one I said with Grandma hundreds of times in bed at night. These days I hang onto every piece of her I can for me.. and for my babies. I think sometimes I get caught up in worrying that I won't be able to tell them enough about her... that they won't really know who she was or how much she loved me and them. Isn't it funny that she's still giving to them all on her own without any help from me? That's just like you, Grandma. Just like you.
5 days ago