Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Emotional Attachment to Stuffed Animals

I have a problem. It's a strange one.

I have an emotional attached to several of my daughter's stuffed animals.

There. I said it. Now, let me explain.

I was cleaning Jaycee's room recently. I noticed her pile of stuffed animals was seriously getting out of control. The problem was that I couldn't bear to part with any of them for one reason or another.

There's this one.

What's so special about this dog in a pink nightgown? My husband and I "made" this puppy for Jaycee at a store in a mall that allowed you to stuff your own teddy bear. Jaycee was a few days old and in the NICU when we purchased this. We left the hospital to take a much needed break and decided on a whim to build this dog for her. When we picked out a heart to place inside the dog, I remember I wanted to cry. It held such meaning to me because we had just learned Jaycee had a large hole in her heart and was in congestive heart failure. We both said a silent prayer for her heart as we placed it inside. How can I say bye to this dog?

This soft little panda bear is another item Jaycee received as a newborn. A sweet lady of faith named Betty brought this to Jaycee after she got home from the NICU. Betty also had pizza for us which we ate together. Jaycee loved looking at this bear as a baby. This bear has stayed with us all these years. Betty has went on to Heaven, but her gift remains with us. 

And there's this one. Yes, it is a bit on the ugly side, but his body is shaped like the heart. His name is Snerdlihc, which is Children's spelled backwards. Jaycee received this from the hospital when she was 3 months old and having her first open heart surgery. Because it's a reminder of her mended heart, I have not been able to let go of this little guy.

This cute little teddy bear is another one that I just can't part with. Jaycee's grandma Ramona, who passed away a few years ago, bought this for Jaycee during her hospital stay for her first open heart surgery too. I had mixed feelings about this bear at first because it reminded me of the hospital, which I wanted to put behind us. Over the years, there have been so many hospital admissions that this bear became more a tribute to the doctors that have helped Jaycee time and time again.

This little puppy is from one of Jaycee's hospital stays for a respiratory illness. I played Bingo for Jaycee in the hospital to win this green puppy, which is Jaycee's favorite color. I felt so good winning this after having such a crummy day watching Jaycee struggle. And for that reason, this green puppy is still around.

Isn't this praying little lamb sweet? A friend of mine named Brandi came to visit Jaycee while she was in the ICU once. She sat this lamb on Jaycee's bed and explained that her daughter wanted Jaycee to have this lamb. She told how the lamb had been with her daughter when she was in the NICU. Not only that, the lamb had comforted her nephew in the ICU too. This lamb has helped three kids who left the ICU, so I can't let go this special stuffed animal either.

We picked up these two friends during Jaycee's Make-A-Wish trip to Florida. These were gifts to Jaycee while we stayed at Give Kids the World Village. That trip was absolutely amazing!! Mickey represents the Disney portion of our trip while the bunny (Mayor Clayton) reminds me of the village. I have many, many keepsakes from that trip two years ago, and I suspect that these will be around for awhile.

Meet dog and cat. When Jaycee was in the ICU once, she looked really sad. There was absolutely nothing for her to do but lay in bed and watch movies. Since we left for the hospital in a hurry due to her illness, I did not pack anything for her to cuddle. Off I went to the hospital gift shop to buy an animal for her to hug on while in bed. I picked up the cat, since we had cats at home that she loved. Jaycee's grandma Diana came in to visit bringing the dog. I told Jaycee she would have to keep the dog and cat from fighting and pretended to make them fight. Over the next few days, she would have the cat and dog fight each other in her hospital bed. It was super sweet to see her repeat this action. These two fighting animals are still around causing trouble.

I am guessing that I have provided adequate evidence as to why my odd emotional attachment to certain stuffed animals exists. These are just a sampling. Sadly, there are more in our home that have a story or memory tied to them. So, I keep filling drawers, toy boxes, and shelves with these treasures as they represent challenges she has overcome, people who have showed her love, or moments that brought joy. Who knew stuffed animals could do so much?

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