There are times when even a chronological grown up needs a teddy bear to hug. Today is such a day. Sitting next to me as I type these words is a purple and white gingham bodied, floral vested, starry eyed, bow tied little being. She showed up via USPS, sent from VITAS Hospice. I had anticipated her arrival since November 26th when my sister and I were asked if we would like to receive bears sewn lovingly from swatches of our mother’s nightgowns. Of course we eagerly agreed. As I gazed at her, I was taken back in memory a few months when I visited my mother, who had been diagnosed with CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and placed on hospice care last May. The journey meandered in time and space; frequent flier miles accumulated as I made at least half dozen trips southward from my home in Pennsylvania to hers in Florida. I watched as my heretofore independent mother who was driving until a few months before her passing, required increasing amounts of personal care. It was something that I was deeply honored to do, performing the most intimate of tasks for her as she had done when I was a child. Before bathing her, I would gather towels, washcloths, basin and soap, warm water swishing in it. A clean nightgown selected from a freshly folded out of the dryer pile. Two of her favorites now embellish my new cotton clad friend.
When contemplating what to call the cuddly companion…’Mama-cakes’ was a no brainer, since when she would refer to me as ‘Baby-cakes’, I would volley that nick name back to her. She is a poignant reminder that having stars in my eyes, as does the bear (actually she has stars FOR eyes), helps me see beyond this world to the next where all is love and light and neither can be extinguished.