Thursday, April 11, 2013

Little Bean's Toy

Jessie: You never forget kids like Emily, or Andy, but they forget you.

Not true, Jessie. Not true. Little Bean cannot forget you. 

It's been 19 months since our house fire and to this day, Little Bean carries on daily about her Toy Story Jessie doll. That is the one thing she wants back so bad her little heart hurts for it. We had told her it might come back from the fire restoration warehouse or the laundry service but we just didn't know. Maybe. 

And she held out hope in her little heart. We hoped she might forget, that she might move on. Nope. We thought she might latch onto a new Jessie doll. Or two. Or three. Nope, nope, nope. They are not THE Jessie doll. 

Recently, her big brother picked up a broken pull-string Woody at a thrift-store hoping to ease the pain. Woody has become a frequent visitor at every family meal and he accompanies her on every trip out of the house except for school, but Jessie he is not. 

I understand her pain. There are one or two items we have all cried over and hoped against hope that maybe, they  just might turn up in the boxes that have been returned from the warehouse. 

It is just stuff. 

We've heard that a lot since the fire. It's just stuff

I say, "relevant to what?" I mean, yeah...we're alive. Life is certainly more important than stuff. But the stuff mattered, you know? It mattered. 

Molly the American Girl doll...she mattered. She was a cherished possession for Rough Stuff. Great Grandpa's wallet...that mattered. It meant the world to the Big Guy. Teddy...Teddy mattered to Tuna. Teddy shared a bed through two surgeries with Tuna. My recipe box...that mattered. I teared up every time I thought about it for days until the Big Guy was able to navigate through the wet insulation and broken glass in what was our kitchen and dig it out for me. 

Stuff matters. It is important. Our stuff is the tangible collective memory of our lives. And when we lose our really important stuff, we lose a little piece of ourselves. 

I'm angry at the stupid crock pot that burned our house up and destroyed our stuff. Yes, I'm mad at a crock pot. Because when I see my little girl crying over Jessie for 19 months straight, I need to be mad at something. I'm sad. Because it hurts to see your children suffer a loss.I know it's not all about Jessie. I know that Jessie is just a symbol for everything that little girl had to grieve after the fire.  

But...we can't stay angry and sad forever. Somewhere along the way, the laughter and fun outweigh the anger and sadness and we party on.  

Little Bean is partying Toy Story style. Yes, that is dog hair on my rug. Just keepin' it real folks.  

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