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I was giving him a quick hug the other day, when I suddenly realized that my teddy qualifies for Medicare. His name is Mish, Polish for teddy bear. An old man, he sits in the bedroom, looking dapper in the tuxedo and bow tie I found for him in a toy bear shop in Vermont twenty years ago. He has no fur left, to speak of, and his eyes, a choking hazard these days, I’m sure, were replaced long ago. My mother regularly sewed his arms and legs back on as they fell off one by one after too much love from me. His newer (only forty years old) palms and the soles of his feet reveal the neat stitches of her reconstructive surgery.
My Polish godmother gave him to me for my third birthday, and he’s been my friend through all the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of my life.
Tomorrow I’m going to send a photo of him to her son, now an old man himself. He lives in the Canadian prairies where he emigrated in the 60s, and I want to tell him how much I loved this gift from his mother so long ago.