“Her Christmases with Rudy, though, were so different. He loved all of it. Finding the perfect tree, stringing it with mini-lights, hanging their collection of rocking horse ornaments. Setting the vintage rocking horse that dated back to her early years next to the tree. And Jenny’s childhood teddy bear, a red bow around his neck, under the boughs among the gifts.“
(Boxing Day – a visit from Jenny’s Toronto young teen grandchildren.) “You still put Teddy under the tree, Nana? Even when there aren’t any little kids around?” Barbie asks, folding her legs under her on one end of the couch.
“Of course! It wouldn’t be Christmas without him! Do you know that I was only two years old when Santa brought me that bear? He’s 75 now.”
“Wow! Nana!” Alex pipes, “He’s ancient! Like, man! You’re both ancient!”
“…Wrapping her bear in her arms, Jenny crawls into bed. Like a snail pulling itself into the protection of its shell, she curls into a ball.”
So where did the idea come from to add a childhood teddy bear to the story?
Undoubtedly, it was inspired by my own fur-loved-off bear who is now 82 years old. In these days of COVID restrictions, my Teddy is fortunate to have a bubble of friends, roughly his own age, who live with him in my condo.