Bobo is a small yellow and white teddy bear bought for me by Dutch relatives on the one occasion I remember them visiting my country. I have him because of the war. The war changed many things. My grandfather had a brother and the war decided this arrangement should not continue. The war won this battle with slippery ease. He was bombed in his own barracks in his own country as he’d gone back to search for a replacement shoelace because his had snapped. I know a shoelace did not kill my great-uncle; the war did. Without the war, a snapped shoelace would not have meant the difference between dying in your twenties or your seventies. The Germans killed him but they are only men as we were and we killed their families too. The man who dropped the bomb has my forgiveness a million times over.
Back to the bear, my grandmother’s brother was also in the war and was stationed in Holland. He met and fell in love with a Dutch girl. She got pregnant, as girls do when you love them so much that you do things to them that might cause them to get pregnant. The Americans intervened. I don’t blame the Americans any more than I blame the Germans, although I do find it odd that they were supposed to be on our side. They brainwashed and tortured my great-uncle and forced him to leave the country, his wife, his unborn child. He spent his remaining years in a mental institution back home in England, finally dying in the 1960s. However, he begat a son, and his son visited my grandmother (the sister of his father) many years later, when I was born. I remember him arriving and I remember how wonderful his wife was and how she took me to the shop at the end of the road to buy me something, to leave something with the family her husband would have had. I chose Bobo and my grandmother who is now fifteen years dead named him. As I write this, he is less than four feet from me. I am now thirty-six years old and I have never once considered the idea of parting with that bear.
I didn’t go through it. I am not the one to talk. I am not Iraqi or Afghani or Somalian. But my family lost men younger than me because of war in the past. If you are reading this, you are most likely privileged enough not to lose your father or your brother on the whim of a leader. If you are reading this, do you not consider the fate of those not reading this and think for just a second?
Tags: bear, family, teddy, war
Right now the saddest thing i own is an orange stuffed frog with suction cups on it’s feet for sticking it to windows and such.
Someone who was very close to me left this frog at my house with some other frogs like it that he was using for an art project. I returned the other frogs but this one fell behind my dresser and i didn’t realize it until i just cleaned my room.
This person and i had planned to work closely together with our art, we had dreams of starting a studio together. We had a romantic relationship, but we both just screwed it up. He didn’t realize i needed more affection and consideration, and didn’t listen to me when i tried to tell him because he had other things on his mind. I got frusterated and acted out in a hurtful and immature way. Now we’re not speaking with eachother and haven’t been for a month. I know i need to move on and i am, but i still feel sad whenever i think of him. I just wish he’d speak to me again, so i could get some sort of resolution on the situation. I really miss having him in my life, and a lot of my dreams for the future regarding my art have been chaged, to put it mildly.
Tags: art, frog, love, stuffed
The saddest thing I owned was a wind-up toy bear I pulled from a trash-heap in Queens, NY. In a former life, it once held a book in its paws, and the wind-up action was that it would look down and turn a page of the book. When I found it, though, the book was missing, as was its neck support. Its head hung limply and forlorny, ever looking down. Instead of turning a page in its now-missing book, the windup action caused its left fist to smack its head, sending it flopping over and over in an “oh, God…what have I done” action.Share Your Thoughts