I had a room filed with stuffed toys, when I was a child. I always loved animals and my parents were wonderful about it. They allowed me to keep rabbits, chickens, dogs and birds in our little yard.
When I was six, I was hospitalized for a short time. They put a plastic bubble around my bed and pumped oxygen in. My Mom brought all my stuffed animals in and lined them around the tent to keep me company.
I told my Dad that I wanted a giraffe so he searched for days until he found a two-foot tall, green giraffe with black spots. I named himspotty and adored him. I hugged him so hard and so often, that I bent his neck in half. When Spotty stood on his feel his head hit the floor.
When I moved away from home, I put him in a box with two other stuffed animals that I cherished; the Daniel Striped Tiger, from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and a little bear my brother gave me. I planned to give to my own child one day.
And I did just that. I fixed Spotty’s neck, gave them all baths and offered them to my little one year old. He never liked or played with any of them. They were old and a little smelly and terribly boring.
Whenever we played a game he would hand me my three toys and say, “Here are your favorites.”
It is time to part with them. I remeind myself that I am parting with the object, not it's meaning. Their value lives on in my heart.