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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This Is The Story Of A Bear

 Hi everyone! Today I am linking up at a new blog hop (new to me, I mean... clearly many of you have heard of it) called Linkin With My Ladies. It is over at Sugar Me Pretty, if you want to join in!

Anyways, I wanted to introduce a long time friend of mine. He's a bear. A stuffed bear. Don't mock me. 

Not long ago, I told you the story of how I ran away from home when I was a teenager. As you may have read, I was caught and forcibly returned to my parents after a few months. But as soon as I turned 18 (actually, five months after I turned 17... it was Halloween) I left home again, returning to the street life I'd become comfortable with. (And that, again, is another story. I should be writing down all these stories I've promised to tell you!) 

So I was 18 and homeless, with the emotional age of about 12 mind you. I generally either stayed at the adult homeless shelter, or in a car with some older friends I'd met. At the time, I was the youngest person in the shelter, not including children who were there with their families. 

I became friends with a husband and wife named Lee and Kathy. (I'm actually using their real names here... although I do not know their last names... on the off chance that they might read this post someday!) Although the other homeless people were usually kind to me and tried to help me because I was young and naive, Kathy was the most motherly. She and her husband used to be over the road truckers, until things had gone downhill and they'd ended up homeless. They had a teenage son who was living with Kathy's parents. Whenever I saw Kathy at the shelter I spent a lot of time talking to her. 

Eventually they moved into a motel (a lot of homeless people get motel rooms and live there over a long term basis because they can pay week by week, which is easier and more immediate than trying to save up for a month of rent plus a security deposit for an apartment and also have to get a credit check and all that.) The motel was pretty far away, so I didn't get to see Kathy and Lee much any more. But one day she happened to get ahold of one of the people I hung out with, a guy named "Liam" who had a car. She asked Liam to bring me to the motel. At the time I was almost always hanging around Liam so he brought me to the motel to see my friends. It was around Christmas time. Kathy gave me a present... a teddy bear! The bear was wearing a Christmas stocking cap, and had a red and green plaid bow that matched his hat and his paws. Some may say I was way too old to get a teddy bear as a gift, but Kathy knew that I was young for my age and that I would love to receive a teddy bear! I decided to name the bear Chumbawamba, after a band that Liam loved and that I loved too. The band Chumbawamba played my favorite song, "Tubthumping." 


That day while I was visiting them, Kathy also told me that she and Lee had managed to get jobs for a new trucking company, and they were going over the road again. This meant I would probably not see them for a long time, and maybe never. (The latter ended up being true. After that visit, I never saw or heard from them again.) 

From then on, I carried Chumbawamba with me everywhere. Seriously, everywhere! He was with me through all the experiences of my life, up until this very moment. When I was homeless in a different town, away from all of the friends I'd made, Chumba often served as my pillow. He was, and still is, my comfort item. 

You can see from his picture up at the top of this post, that Chumba has suffered a lot of wear and tear. When my cat Sammy-Joe (who died this past February) was a kitten, he used to amuse himself while I was at work by attacking Chumba, stealing him off my bed, and wrestling with him. That is where Chumba got the large gash on his neck. (I've tried to sew it fifty billion times, but because it is so jagged and because of the type of material, it always comes back open.) His plaid ribbon fell off, and although I tied it back on many times I eventually lost it. Once while I was visiting a lady I considered my former foster mother (another long story) she made a new ribbon for him, but I eventually lost that one too. I lost his hat. His paws got holes in them. His fur wore off. His stuffing came out through the hole in his neck. I restuffed him multiple times, once using stuffing from the inside of my friend's worn out couch. A lot of people who see him assume that I've had him since I was a small child. He went through a lot of wear and tear in not that many years. 

Now, just as I'm planning a long journey, Chumba is going on a trip of his own! Tomorrow I am shipping him to Realms Of Gold, a "hospital" for stuffed animals. In about two weeks, he will return with a whole new lease on life!

I am hoping he'll manage to spin his way back to me before I leave, because I have never been on this long of a trip without him. I'm already going to be stressed out because I can't have my Small Dog with me. I need to at least have my Chumba! 

I can't wait to see what he'll look like with all new fur, new stuffing, and patches on his paws! 

Okay, now for the Happiness Challenge. I am happy it was a beautiful day out and I spent a lot of time outside, also eating two Popsicles, an orange one and a red one. I am happy I downloaded Skype so that when I am in California I can put Squeak on Skype with my parents, and when I come back here my brother and sister-in-law can put Squeak on Skype with me! I am happy that my eye infection cleared up in one eye, although the other eye still hurts like a #$@#^%!# every time I blink! And I am happy that I am going to have Chumba back as good as new! 

1 comment :

  1. I've never heard of the stuffed animal hospital! I'm going to have to check it out. I have a care bear that was made by a family member and given to me for my 3rd birthday, she needs some fixing up.

    You'll have to post some after photos of your bear so we can see how good he looks!

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