When I was maybe 8-10 years old, my oldest brother, Loren, got me a BIG teddy bear. Because I loved my brother so much, I loved that bear very much. At first, he just sat on my bed. Then during my years of heartache and teenage drama, he snuggled with me. Later, I used him as a pillow, resting my head on his belly each night.
When I went to college, I took him with me. He was a comfort of home that I didn't know I needed. Eventually, he moved into my first home with Matt. It was there that he lost his nose and eye in a tragic wrestling match with my German Shepard, Midway. She was a good dog, but she had a thing for stuffed animals.
As I became older, my need for this bear kind of waxed and waned like the phases of the moon. When I became a mother, he found a spot on a shelf and stayed there for several years. I didn't think of him much for quite sometime.
When Payton was about five years old, he asked me what my bear's name was. It hit me then that I'd never named this good friend of mine. He'd been such a comfort to me, yet I'd never thought to name him. I thought momentarily and told Payton, "His name is Secret. He keeps my secrets."
When we moved into the home where we live now, there just wasn't room for Secret. His home became the floor next to my bed. He was quickly forgotten. Until last week...
(I've mentioned before I'm an emotional cleaner. When feeling emotional or stressed, I clean. A lot.) So last week, I was throwing out stuff along side my bed and saw Secret next to my gym bag (also gone unused for too long). I tossed him up on my bed thinking I'd figure out where he'd go later. When it was time for bed, there Secret was. Positioned on my pillow as if waiting for me to need him again. And with Matt gone, I did.
Secret has slept with me and listened to me cry through many times in my life. Now, he has a purpose again. But at almost 32 years old, I appreciate him much more. I see his value and the love and wear he's gone through. He's very, very special to me. And I'm so grateful to my brother for giving him to me. He had no idea what that bear would mean to me, even 20-odd years later.