Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Teddy - The Love for a Bear

13:23:00 Posted by Pamela Winning , , , , , No comments

There’s something appealing about teddy bears. Over the years I’ve accumulated many. They are not all mine, though they are very welcome to stay. The ones left behind when our children moved out have been given a home on a shelf in the spare room or in my writing space. I even have a Children In Need Pudsey Bear charm on my Pandora bracelet. I was delighted to discover a Teddy Bear Café in York last year and looked no further for somewhere to have an afternoon snack. It’s a shop, too, full of bears and I still can’t believe I didn’t buy one.

Meet Grandpa Teddy. He’s my oldest surviving bear and he’s been my treasure for fifty-seven years. A lifetime of continuing love has left him blind, threadbare and with a growl so weak it’s hardly audible. I was four years old when he arrived, a surprise gift as it wasn’t Christmas or my birthday. He was lying on the living-room floor, hiding under opened-out tea towels.

Covering him in clean tea towels was how my parents decided to wrap him up for me. It sounds bizarre but Grandpa Teddy is massive, much bigger than I was at the time and there was always an abundant supply of fresh towels in the pub, my parents being in the licensed trade. Also, it should be mentioned that they brought him home from a Licensed Victualler’s ‘do’ which would have involved the consumption of a couple of drinks, and I can imagine the pair of them, evening gown and dress suit, giggling as they draped the towels over him. The story was that Teddy was the subject of a ‘Guess the Name’ and nobody got it so they auctioned him instead and my daddy rescued him for me.

I don’t know what my first reaction was and there’s no one left to ask, but I would have been over-joyed.  I’ve always kept him in my bedroom and yes, that’s where he is right now, after nipping downstairs for a quick photo shoot.

The bears all mean something to me, though Grandpa Teddy, stuffed with straw and on the hard side is my favourite, they all bring comfort and joy.

 My son’s teddy from his baby days lives here, waiting in our cot to keep our grandson company when he stays. It’s a tuneful bear that plays Brahm’s Lullaby very gently over and over.

 I don’t know what happened to my first teddy. I named him Mickey Dripping and I used to take him with me to Sunday School. Maybe he’s the reason why I was given a certain book at prize-giving.

Recently, I was visiting my sister. She’s moved house and was showing me round.

“Ah, Teddy Carlo,” I said, delighted to see her first teddy propped up on a pillow in her bedroom. I remember he was a christening present to her. Now he’s pale and floppy, well-loved.    

We all need our bears, however mature we are.
 
Thanks for reading, Pam x

 

My Big Teddy
Grandpa Teddy, you’ve always been here
For all of my life I’ve kept you near
You’ve given comfort to my sadness
And shared in all my joy and gladness.
Your stitched-on smile is coming undone,
Your orange glass eyes have long since gone.
Straw stuffing is sneaking from your seams
You keep hold of my secrets and dreams.
Your proud growl, now a tiny rumble,
Brown leather nose begins to crumble,
Golden fur is thinning and threadbare,
And I love you, special teddy bear.
 
PMW 2017
 

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