The EPIC tale of Grandma Bear….or filler, you decide.
I think, when you lose a parent, or anyone you hold dear, you start another leg, another chapter, in your journey of life. You will sometimes cry, you remember, you laugh, you cherish, and I, sometimes create what my mother’s “worldly heaven” would be, in my head. I, like many before me, and many after me, and many who are with me, will start my journey as a mother without my own beloved mother. For the most part, I am very good at not shaking my fist at the sky and crying out to God, “why?!” Even now, though I feel my child is in some ways, “robbed”, I know my mother’s love flows through me, she is in my blood. My child will know their grandmother through me, and have her love and strength in their veins as well. My mom was preparing for her grandchildren well before Mark and I were preparing for our 1st child. We only got as far as buying a HUGE book of baby names, which in the end, was never even used. My mom had collected books, toys, and had every intention of buying all of our baby’s furniture. She wasn’t here, but she made good on her promise. With that being said, I’d like to introduce you all to something very important to me. I hope my child will cherish this toy as much as I do. This is a toy that is specifically for my mom’s 1st grandchild. She even has a name, Grandma Bear.
"Grandma Bear" in a Columbus, Ohio hotel. She was there for the free breakfast.
When Mark and I recently went back to the states, we went back to relax, and for the 1st time in 4 years, we were going to go back home together, and enjoy our family together. Not because of a tragic loss, not because we had a job to do, because we wanted to have time with family and friends that wanted to share in our joy of welcoming our 1st child in the world. That is not 100% true, I did have 1 job to do, in Ohio, and Mark agreed to go with me. I was also able to see my wonderful family and they showered us with gifts, but the original purpose for my trip to Ohio was to get my bear. Well, my child’s bear. Once Mark and I decided to stay overnight, we got to spend a bit of time with my mother’s side of the family. I can’t remember where she bought Grandma Bear. I assume it was from a Victoria’s Secret Associate sale. When my mother was well, she worked for Victoria’s Secret Direct, where she worked as a lead there and she loved her job and the people she worked with. My child’s bear is huge! Where was my huge bear when I was a kid!? For me to pretend that I was not a spoiled child would be severely incorrect. Like both my parents would tell you, I was never a brat, but spoiled, definitely. I won’t be jealous. I remember having the bear talk with her my mom. One day during an Ohio visit, we sorted through all the Vicky’s goodies she recently scored at an associate sale, and she showed me the bear that sat on top of her cabinet that was filled with Victoria’s Secret (and other Limited Brand) items. Actually, you couldn’t miss the bear, but she told me who that big bear was for. “This is for my 1st grandchild.” Who, at the time, was a good 4 to 3 years away. This huge, brand new bear, perfect in every way, was for the 1 person, she never realized she would never get to meet. The tiny person who was on the way, but none of us had any way of knowing when. That bear was my 1 job during my visit home; my child had to have his or her gift. The 1st gift that was ever purchased solely for them. No one else could give this gift for my mom and I had no problem making the side trip for her. This token speaks volumes of my mother. Much like a picture, her actions spoke a thousand words. That is a mom for you, isn’t it? So, once seeing the bear again, I told Mark, “The bear’s name should be Grandma Bear.” He looked at me with nothing but love in his eyes, and smiled, and I took that as him agreeing, because though cliché, sometimes words get in the way.
So how does one get a giant Grandma Bear back from Columbus, Ohio to Okinawa, Japan? I wasn’t going to risk mailing such an item; too many things could go wrong. Grandma Bear stayed with me and she would fly back to Japan. Basically, if I am going down, the bear is going with me. That may be too morbid but hey, it’s the truth! Wouldn’t need the bear to get to Okinawa after that! No more dark jokes. Mark, my packing and organizing hero, placed the bear in what used to be my mother’s big, pink suitcase. Now, Mark did have to tuck the bear’s legs under its ears, but she fit, and once freed, the bear went right back to its normal shape. That one agile animal! I am curious, what did the bag screeners think when seeing that bag? There was literally nothing else in that bag besides a bear, and a journal that I never leave on a trip without. Now, the Scott’s are safely in Okinawa again with a very special addition to our family.
Grandma Bear WILL watch you sleep, I told Mark we'll have to find another spot for her after Baby is born. Not trying for early dangers and nightmares!
This story is not exactly an Okinawan adventure, but this story plays a major role in my new chapter of life that will begin on Okinawa. Boy will THAT be an adventure! I wanted to share with other family and friends because every now and again, it’s okay to open the window to your soul and let some fresh air in. After all, it promotes healing and breathing, which I am still doing, and will every day I am allowed to. Now on to more pressing issues, like how to clean a giant Grandma Bear when your child pukes all over her? Something tells me if stuffed bears could talk, she wouldn't have it any other way.
Ja, mata ne! <3 Talya