Boo Boo Gets a Band Aid

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:

Boo Boo. Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince
Boo Boo. Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince

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 2

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.

13 comments on… “Boo Boo Gets a Band Aid”

  1. I love this story, Suzanne. I have an angel. In fact, I have sent angels off to a lot of people who were hurting. They are hard clear plastic about the size of a rock that fits in your hand. Inside the ‘rock’ is an angel. I stuff it into my bra over my heart and it helps me and has helped me through a lot, believe me, so it is definitely comforting to me.

    Sending gentle healing hugs, Suzanne. I hope you are able to make it to the meeting next Saturday. 🙂

    • I love the idea of an angel I can hold in my hand. Yes, still planning on coming to the meeting next Saturday and looking forward to seeing you then.

  2. I have a bracelet, which I wear. It’s a reproduction from the movie, Atlas Shrugged, worn by Dagny Taggert, who was a strong, confident, no nonsense woman. Even though she is a fictional character, having that bracelet on reminds me of what I value and what I’m capable of.

  3. I didn’t know Boo Boos full history! I love it! How is Star bear faring? Hugs, sister

  4. I love little boo boo. Let’s not add any more bandages though, okay? She’s perfectly cute just the way she is.

    Love the story.

    I sometimes wear my mother’s wedding ring. Usually when I go on vacation to some place she’d never been before. I like to think that she’s there with me seeing something new when I see it.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmid

    • God willing, no more bandaids for Boo Boo, but we do have at least one more surgery. Not sure how the nurses can top the most recently ones though.

      I wear my mother’s wedding ring all the time. Like you, it makes me feel close to her.

  5. I love this post. Boo Boo is adorable. I second what Patricia said, no more bandages. I hope you’re feeling stronger every day. I read your other post but couldn’t leave a comment at the time, but now I can.

  6. Boo Boo is too cute, and I love the reaction of the nurses to her. It just shows how caring they all were. I wonder if Boo Boo would like some new running shoes in honor of your next marathon?

    When I’m having rough times, I retreat into myself with yoga and meditation, and then I try to turn the goodness toward others. Focusing on someone else always seems to help.

    • Boo Boo would in fact like a pair of running shoes for the rest of this marathon! Yoga and meditation are the key for me, too, when I’m feeling out of sorts. I like how you turn it outward and focus on helping someone else. Shows how compassionate you are (which I already knew about you).

  7. I love the story of boo boo and understand completely how important he is to you. There is nothing like a home-made bear to bring back memories 🙂 Hope you are feeling great – and I echo what Patrica and Lynn said. No more band-aids on boo boo; or you. x

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