This picture, of a rather chewed, rather ragged teddy, is the 55-year-old version of the teddy that was in my pram as a baby. He (as I’ve always thought he was a boy) was originally pink, and I can still see the fresh pink fluffy skin in the folds of his furry body, unchanged by age. Of course, he’s well-worn now, to the point of really having no face (JESS you bad dog!!). Maybe its time to let go? but as I was clearing through some things yesterday afternoon, and sat for a while with said teddy on my knee, I couldn’t make that decision. Teddy doesn’t even have a name, other than Teddy, but he represents something to me that is hard to let go of.
From childhood, we are told to hold on. ‘Hold on to Mums hand’, ‘hold on to the pushchair’, ‘hold on to your ball’, ‘hold on to your bag’. Then as we get older we are told to ‘Hold on to love,’ ‘hold on to your dreams’. Hold on! Hold on! It’s no wonder that when the time comes for us to begin to let go, that it can cause quite a commotion in our emotions.
I remember a friend saying to me a couple of years ago that she felt she was spending all her time saying goodbye, and I totally empathize with her feeling. As our children grow up we start to say goodbye in lots of ways, whether it’s packing them off to Uni, watching them move into their own home, or maybe just saying goodbye at the station after a special visit, but there is a reason it’s so hard, and no one explains it better than another very special bear called Pooh!
How blessed we are to have had that special someone or something in our lives, the pain involved in releasing them, is proof of the years of love, affection and time that has been invested in that relationship. It’s so easy to be afraid of it, but maybe we should embrace that pain and be proud of it because it is born of Love. (ok maybe easier said than done).
Some of you will have read my previous post Slow and steady wins the race. and know that I have just said goodbye to my son Simon. Letting go in this case is a bit harder than usual, as the investment has been immense, but seeing Simons face as he proudly makes his mum a cup of tea, with his own kettle in his own cave is well worth it. Thankfully Simon isn’t quite as hairy as this little fellow.
Letting go is hard, and my heart goes out to those in America who this week are having to come to terms with such a terrible tragedy. Lives have been lost, love has been lost. It makes my feelings in comparison seem so small. Every day Mums and Dads in the States, have to ‘Let go’ as they send their children off to school, trying to hide the fear they feel, but they do it out of love and I know they will bravely continue to do so.
As parents, we do a lot of hand-holding as our children grow up, but each time we brave letting go of a hand, trusting that they will be ok without us, we are giving them the opportunity to grow. As they enter the new phase of their life, it leaves us with hands that in time, will be ready to hold something new.
Now that I have a completely empty nest, I think I have a few afternoons ahead where I will be sorting things out, and wondering if I can let go of certain memories, but for now, I’ve decided that Teddy can stay, at least for a while longer until I’m ready to say Goodbye.
Love Alison x