In 1999, while my mother was in the hospital in San Francisco fighting for her life, I had to have surgery in Napa to repair a torn tendon in my right elbow. I’d been by her side for nearly two months and it was difficult leaving her.
As I was leaving for the hospital on the morning of surgery, I glanced over at the shelf of bears my mother had made over the years and pulled one little snuggly (whose original name I cannot now remember) off the shelf and decided she was going to the hospital with me.
The nurse who checked me in asked about the little bear in the pale green bunny suit. I explained that since my mother could not be there with me in person that day, she would be with me in spirit through the little bear she’d made for me:
When I pulled down the hood of the bunny suit and showed her the bear underneath, she squealed with delight. Soon the entire nursing staff had gathered around to see the little bear. And when I emerged from surgery, both the bear and I had a bandage on our right elbows. And the bear in the bunny suit had a new name: Boo Boo.
And a new tradition was born.
Since that day, every time I have surgery or some other medical procedure done, Boo Boo accompanies me. And the nurses all love him. When I had a hysterectomy in 2008, Boo Boo got a Band Aid on her tummy. And when I recently underwent a bilateral mastectomy, Boo Boo got this special badge of courage:
Boo Boo helps me get through the tough times. She reminds me that, though my mother is no longer with me, she is always with me in spirit.
What about you? What gets you through the rough times? Do you have a favorite stuffed animal or good luck charm that brings you comfort?
Repost from August 16, 2013.