Celebrating Old Friends

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

That Ralph! He knew what he was talking about, didn’t he? He is totally right-on.

Old friends are special for many, many reasons. But one is that you can be yourself. You can be your goofy, funny, silly, crazy, stupid self with people who have known you forever. Who love you anyway. You don’t have to be what you’ve become. (Old and serious?) You can be the way you were. (Young and stupid?)

I have one friend, Rosann, who has been a great friend since 7th grade. I could go on and on about her and probably have before here. But the thing I enjoy the most about us is the "stupid" thing Ralph mentioned. When we meet for lunch, we giggle and carry on and generally disrupt whatever restaurant we are having lunch in. And, invariably, we are late getting back to work. (I need to call her, it’s time for some of that old friend fun again. The holidays were so busy and this weather so crazy, we’re behind in our lunch date!)

But I have had a friend even longer than 7th grade. My oldest friend of all is someone who has been a friend since I was a toddler. I loved him then, and I love him today. When we lost touch for many years, I missed him like crazy. And then, out of nowhere, he showed back up. You can’t imagine my joy when he was at my parents’ house one Christmas Day. When I saw him, I squealed and hugged him tightly. I cried just to lay my eyes on him again.
My oldest friend of all is a teddy bear. Those years that he went missing, well, I mourned him terribly. I was convinced that he had accidentally been thrown away. I was so sad that such a thing could have happened to something/someone that meant so much to me. How could I?
In fact (thank goodness!), he was lost at my parents’ house. I can’t recall how he got back there to their house; he always came with me when I moved from one place to the other. And there for awhile, I was moving a lot.

But somehow, there he was, back at my parents’ house. And when they were searching for Christmas decorations a few years back, they found him in the attic, stuffed into a plastic bag.
My Mom put a bow around Seddy the Bear’s neck, wrapped him up in bright Christmas paper, and put a very special box under the tree for me.
I had no idea what was in that box when I opened it. I cried like an idiot when I opened it, I did. I get tears in my eyes even now just thinking about how I felt when I first saw that inside that special box was Seddy, my long lost friend. (And yet again now, I have tears in my eyes again now–as I edit this post. Good grief, but I love that bear. He’ll be the one hanging off my wheelchair when I’m an old lady.)
I named my bear Seddy before I could pronounce my T’s" “Seddy Bear.” I didn’t care much about baby dolls, or Barbie dolls. It was Seddy whom I pushed around in a baby carriage. It was Seddy whom I carted around to the grocery store. Seddy was the one I slept with every single night.
Seddy is over 50 years old, so he actually looks pretty good for being loved on for so long. (Seddy was given to my older sister by someone my Daddy worked with. My sister, as it turned out, liked dolls better than bears. So he was passed him down to my older brother. My brother couldn’t have cared less about him, so on down the line he came. To me. Yes, to me, where he belonged.)
Seddy used to have two ears. And two eyes. And a nose. Throughout the years, my Mom kept him together for me. Putting a stitch here or there. Using yarn for missing things.
Now here we are today. And it is no surprise that my daughter’s favorite is also a bear, a gift from my parents when she was a baby. My daughter gave her the name Sandra Lynn. Don’t ask me. 

So many times my daughter has examined Seddy, with his missing ear, and missing eyes, and she gets sad. “Will Sandra Lynn ever look like that?”
The truthful answer is yes. Yes, Sandra Lynn will get exactly like that. Her fur has already become flat and matted. One of her eyes is chipped. Her snout smished. But I say to her, “Well, I don’t know. But I do know that I love Seddy. It doesn’t really matter what he looks like. And you’ll feel the same way about Sandra Lynn.”
I ADORE this picture of my daughter and Sandra Lynn that sits on a mantle.

(couldn’t bring myself to edit out her hand and the "joy"—)

Years ago my daughter declared that Sandra Lynn’s birthday was January 15th, 2000. And each year we celebrate her birthday in grand fashion.
We make Sandra Lynn a cake and sing "Happy Birthday" to her. My daughter usually makes her a present. This year she drew her a picture.
We made some amazing chocolate cupcakes for Sandra Lynn’s birthday. 

I used Ina Garten’s Chocolate Ganache Cupcake Recipe.
And let me just tell you. I took a bite of one of these babies and oh my! I called for a moment of silence right then and there.
They are that good.
You must. You must. You must. Holy moly, but you must. Dense rich chocolaty heaven.

That night, when my daughter’s eyes were getting heavy, and the Sand Man was beginning to do his thing, she called out to me, “Muzzie?” (that’s what she calls me).

I came in and she softly said, “Thanks for making such a big deal about Sandra Lynn’s birthday every year. It means a lot to me.”

“I know,” I said, “I like doing it. You’re very welcome.”
It’s no trouble really. Because I know about bears. I really, really know.
Do you have a special old friend? Human or otherwise? Won’t you take a minute and tell us about your old friend? We’d all love to hear!
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. Sherry says:

    My friend is Charlie..he is a year older than me at 52. My mom got him for her 18th birthday, and I glommed onto him. He is an old stuffed droopy hound dog with a teardrop in his eye and a rubber? face….He used to have a squeaker in his ear and he was white with really soft curly fur. He is now very dirty gray, now has no fur, no squeaker, torn ears and barely any pad left on his paws….but he still has the teardrop…and I still love him dearly. We always say..just like the velveteen rabbit…any stuffed animal loved that much just has to be real. I loved your post…and it brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes too.

  2. Sarah says:

    My special friend was Alice. Also a teddy bear. I felt the same way about dolls and barbies. Only needed my bear. She has had several repairs over the years. The biggest being when her arm nearly came off, that was pretty tragic. One time (when I was a preteen) I put makeup on Alice, blue eye shadow and pink blush. She stayed that way for years, and then I finally got a little tired of Alice looking that gaudy and luckily that makeup came off with hot water after all that time. She now sits in a basket on top of my bookshelf with several of her friends that have made it through all my moves. She will always be my special friend. 🙂

  3. Dianne says:

    Rebekah, Thanks for the nice blog. My best friend was a 24 inche doll with curly blonde hair and rubber hands. Every single finger had a bandage where the stiffing was coming out. One day I left her outside in the sun and when I found her she had a permanent tan. Oh, how I loved her. I could sit down and ball just thinking about her. One day, my Mom threw her in the trash because she was so bad looking with the tan and all. I had a meltdown. I cried and cried and demanded we go to the dump to find her. We never did go. Sad times they were. I was mad at Mom for a long, long, long time. Isn’t it great that your Mom had Seddy and that you have him again. Knowing how important something is to someone is such a wonderful bond. Many happy returns. Thanks DIanne PS I also can cry when I hear or see JT!!!

  4. Genevieve says:

    Aw, this made me cry. As a kid I always became super attached to my toys–I couldn’t imagine their not having thoughts and emotions just like me. I still feel an inexplicable, overwhelming tingling when I come across one of those old toys–must be the love.

  5. Becky G. says:

    Only a year ago my mother found, and returned to me, my favorite doll as a child . . . my Betsy Wetsy! She is probably about 52-55 years old by now, and I still love that little girl and her little pink dress made by my great grandmother – Ma Cook. How little we realize when we are young, how much these things will mean to us in our second childhood! Thanks so much! Becky G. in GA (FG Sis 1941)

  6. Ann says:

    My daughter (32) has a rabbit (Thumper) that she received when she was five. His whiskers are chewed on, and he is now flat,(we say he looks like a road kill rabbit) but he will be with her forever!

  7. mckee says:

    When I was 7, my mama got me a pink puff a lump ( a 80’s toy) and from then on, we were the best of friends! It went with me everywhere, and every time we moved, it was right by my side. All through my teen years and early adult it was on my bed. It is packed up right now, we are in between homes right now. But that is the first thing I am going to get out when we unpack everything!

  8. Judy T. says:

    What a beautiful post! I cried to. Glad you found your bear. I must try the recipe, the cupcakes look so good. I could use some chocolate right now.

  9. Frances says:

    I find your words powerful and sweet. My friend was also a bear, light colored blue. His name is Jazz. I still have him and he is also missing some important parts. I replaced his eyes with buttons when I was 10 or so. They have long since fallen off too. Perhaps I should sew some more buttons on so he can see again. 🙂 I keep Jazz on a high boy in my guest bedroom. I know he is safe there.

  10. carol branum says:

    Becka your daughter is adorable…great post…my favorite is a scarecrow from the movie the wizzard of oz and I still have him after all of these years.have a great day,it is snowing hard here so try to stay warm,blessed be,carol

  11. Brenda says:

    I also have my childhood bear. He is not very big and has one of those rubber faces with a sad mouth and his eyes painted on closed. He is made by the Knickerbocker in this good ol’ USA and the tag also says he is washable but I am afraid to wash him because he might fall apart. His fuzzy hair is half missing and since I am 53 I would guess he is too. His name is Boo Boo, only reason I can think I named him this is because I loved the Yogi Bear cartoon when I was a child. This was a sweet post and I certainly will check out the cupcake recipe!

  12. Cheri says:

    I LOVE this post. Mine is a lamb, I got her when my little sister was born. I was, hmm, 9 years old when my mom planned on gifts for us for each day that she expected to be gone at the hospital. She thought ahead. Lambie is an awesome neck pillow- WAY BEFORE anyone sold them for that. He went along on many horse shows, was never lost in the hotel rooms (ok that is when i was in high school and college) and is at my home still. He is now on my daughters bed. Now she has a piglet, that looks alot like your bear. It is great to hear similar stories. You cant PLAN on a specific toy becoming their favorite, it just happens. THANKS

  13. Ann says:

    Rebekah, thanks for your post, I no longer feel silly for loving my "Blahs" to this day – 3 baby blankets my parents purchased before I was born. I swear, they have their own personalities, and nothing else can comfort me as much as their warmth on my feet at night (can you believe, they only reach to my knees but I once used them to play dress-up. Over the years they have lost their edging, have changed from white to a grey-ish color, and I think one is about to disintegrate, but when I get married, they will be coming with me under the guise of "for my future children" 🙂

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