The FedEx guy dropped a large box on the front steps. His truck was at the end of the street before I retrieved it. It was relatively light in spite of its size. I left it by the door so Mimi could find it as soon as she returned.
My daughter opened it with excited anticipation – her hands were quickly tearing into the box. All she knew was that it contained something from her childhood that would make her happy. Inside, wrapped in tissue, was a large teddy bear dressed in green shorts and a farmer’s hat.
Casey, she squealed in recognition. Casey the Bear was her toy at Grandma’s farm house when she was three years old. She smelled the familiar scent of the farm on the bear that had been stored in the attic for almost thirty years.
Grandpa passed away recently and Dad had been sorting through his possessions. He found Casey the Bear and memories flooded back.
Grandma Jean bought Casey for two-year-old Mimi long time ago. Jean passed away late the following year and Casey was forgotten. Mimi visited the farm sporadically as a teen. A picture with my curly haired, blue-eyed toddler holding Casey in her arms was attached. Mimi, a miniature Snow-White beauty, was so much smaller than the bear that Casey appeared to occupy the entire photo.
Dad mailed Casey with a lovely note and more pictures from her rare visits to the farm. Mimi wiped away a tear of sadness and joy, regret and closure, as she read the letter.
Do you remember me, I’m Casey. Grandma Jean gave me to you when you were a little girl. I brought a picture along just in case you don’t remember.
I’ve been in a toy box for years. I am so glad to be out. A man, who said he was your father, rescued me. It has been so lonely in that box all these years and I have missed you.
No other little girls ever came to play with me. Where did you go? You were there one day then you never came back. Are you the same as in the picture? Will I recognize you?
Have you missed me, Mimi?
I am a little dusty and worn, but I am still just like I was all those years ago.
I was so glad when your father said he was going to make sure we were together again. I can hardly wait!
I will give you a BIG HUG when I see you.
Mimi closed her sparkling eyes briefly and hugged the teddy bear so tightly as if to recapture a moment of that precious time, long forgotten but missed, the carefree days of innocence and play.