As Realtors, we deal with people in transition.
It's good to remember that transitions, though good, can still be bittersweet at times.
Tonight as I flipped on my bedroom light, my gaze was immediately drawn to the bed and the items sitting on top that weren’t there when I left this morning. Two Girl Scout vests, one a Brownie and one a Junior, resplendent with their insignia and patches and SWAP pins, a toddler’s t-shirt nightgown, a Mass card in memory of my father, and a bear and his detached arm. The sight of this little mound of stuff made my breath catch in my throat. Precious things from my daughter’s childhood, offered back to me, more surely signaled her college graduation in a few months than could any customized announcement.
I turned the vests over and smiled at the patches. One surfaced a memory of Annie walking down a trail at Camp Todd, lugging a 5-gallon bucket of mulch. I think that bucket was almost half her size, but I remember her smiling, laughing, racing back for a refill once the older girls added its contents to the path. Another patch from Bombay Hook brought memories of the day she overcame her fear of people dressed as costume characters. SWAPs from a GS sing-along in Washington DC almost let me hear the girls voices and laughter. So many years spent gathering so many memories, now affixed to these vests.
How long had it been since she was ever so little and dancing about at bedtime in that t-shirt? And how she had marveled at the beauty of the Mass card and listened with rapt attention to stories about my father, the grandfather she never knew since he had passed away years before she was born.
Ah, little bear. Yes, I see you there. What happened to your arm, little bear? It was broken off, the joint having snapped at some point over the years. And now, here he was, offered back up to me like treasure. I had made this bear for her sister, Jaime, and he had been passed on to Annie. His head and arms were attached with pivoting joints, which added to his character. I would make him dance and talk when they were little, and bear would help act out stories we read. As I sat down on a chair beside the bed and picked up the bear, tear began to fall. We had a talk, little bear and I.
Yes, little bear, it’s the beginning of the end. Oh, I know, little bear, it’s just a chapter that’s ending, but it’s been my favorite chapter because it was the one where my girls lived in my house with me. You see, little bear, in the next chapter, they move on and begin their own stories. They will have little bears for their little girls and you and I will stay behind. Oh, little bear, when did your fur hide your pretty blue eyes? Did I never trim it back properly? I know what we’ll do little bear. I’ll fix your arm, and I’ll trim your hair. I’ll put her treasures in a safe place in case she wants to share them one day with her own little girl and I’ll save you for one day when her child comes to visit. Then, little bear, we can tell that little girl about her mommy when she was little. Oh, don’t cry, little bear. You’ll ruin your fur. Smile and know that she’s doing exactly what we planned, oh so long ago, just like her sister. She’s heading out on an adventure, little bear, and who knows, maybe so are you and I.