Friday, May 25, 2007

From the shelf

Yesterday, I was spring cleaning in my daughter's room, and couldn't help but notice my old Raggedy Ann doll sitting on her shelf, amidst her most favorite toys and stuffed animals. Raggedy Ann is an old and very dear friend of mine, created lovingly by my grandmother, stitched by her hands and filled with her love. This Raggedy Ann doll, to any untrained eye, may look old, worn and ready for the trash bin, but to my eyes which look at her from the heart, she is just as beautiful as the first day I saw her. She is irreplaceable, a true original, a one-of-a-kind that cannot be duplicated or found in any toy store in the whole entire world. She is worth more than money can buy.

She isn't the prettiest doll. She is missing some of her red yarn hair. Her dress is wrinkled and she smells of cedar. She doesn't talk, walk, sing, eat, wet or cry. But what she does do is something no other toy can do. She is the last surviving vestige of my childhood. In another time, she was my best friend; sharing with me long summer days, lemonade and popsicles, swings on the old tire swing, romps in the grass, favorite books under the apple tree, warm summer breezes, climbing trees and playing tag with butterflies, cloud watching and flower picking, but most of all, she represents the love of my grandmother who made her for me.

I looked at my old friend, sitting silently on the shelf, I was taken back for a moment to a simpler time, a happier time when the days seemed endless; days of childhood that, in retrospect, go very quickly. I think of her now in the care of my daughter and hope for the two of them many happy days, new adventures and beautiful memories. Smiling, I finish my work, turn off the light and close the door.

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