Rick Charlie

Of Stuffed Animals and Life

June Sunglasses from Arne. First major Hospital stay April 21 2011

My children are unusually adept at the “claw game”. You know the one, put a buck in and get 1 or 2 tries at maneuvering a steel claw over a prize (typically stuffed animals) to grab it and hope that it picks it up and makes it to the prize chute and it gets dropped in. We probably have about 3 dozen stuffed or bouncy items from the past few years abiding in our home.

This, of course, leaves us with plenty of items that lose their interest much past a couple of weeks into their relocation from the machine to our abode. While many of them may still sit in display, they certainly do not get a prominent place or privileged spot on the bed, or in the room (I sometimes imagine them having “Toy Story depression” from the lack of playtime with the children).

Alas though, their lot was not to be the long term cherished toy. For the most part, they are memories of the small (or great) victories from various places and times in their lives. That does NOT, however, make them insignificant in any way.  Just different.


The cherished items carry much more for both of them. For June it is the purple Platypus the Easter Bunny brought her years ago. He has been by her side at the hospital for just about every medical procedure she has had. Then would be the bunny that her “step” sister Greta gave her (that gift means a lot to her). Last is the dog she bought on her own. He reminds her of our now gone family pet. Zep – (our pet dog’s name) was a very loving dog. He is certainly missed, but his memories always live on.

And, I guess that is the point of all this. It’s about the memories, and the times in our lives that brings us the joy we experience when others are a part of what we do while lifeing (yes, I just made that up). While June can take a stuffed animal, and take you through the journey of how it came into her life, and maybe who brought it, she can also tell you about why that is important to her.

While we can’t always take an object and match it with meaning in our lives we can usually show a picture or a song and bring out of that, a person and time of substance in our life. And that is something we carry with us always no matter what stage of relationship we have with that person. Whether it is an old acquaintance, or a friend we don’t get nearly enough time with, or an author that brought a particular part of our life to light, or a cherished partner now, or long gone; it is in the essence of the experience with them that lives on in our hearts and soul.

I have a sea of people in my present life, and an ocean of souls that have entertained and enlightened me in the past. Each is like one of all those stuffed animals – they make up who I am, and each has a place in my life. I can choose to be sad about those that are no longer a part, but I find a different light on that. I choose to look with great joy that they participated in creating the art that is me. I can only hope that I have returned the favor.


it is in the essence of the experience with them that lives on in our hearts and soul.

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4 thoughts on “Of Stuffed Animals and Life

  1. Gwennie

    I, too, have a few stuffed animals from my past …. they may no longer be a in my life, but their memory will always be cherished and they still remain a part of my very being — as will all of the current stuffed treasures in my life 🙂

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