“Doodads” was labeled on the side of the brown box stored way in the back corner. I pulled the box out having no recollection of what was in it, or what possibly could doodads be. I tugged at the top flap and the box opened easily under the yellowed tape revealing my blue and gold high school yearbooks that were lying on top. My maiden name stamped on the cover seems so unfamiliar to me. I lift the books out and underneath were other mementos of long ago. Dance tickets, a couple of horse-show ribbons, and a small softball trophy. Underneath is an old ratty sweatshirt from middle school. Junk really. I start to put it all back in the box when I see the orange yarn peeking out from underneath the sweatshirt. I pull the sweatshirt aside and there she is. My oldest friend that I had abandoned years ago. Raggedy Ann.
I throw everything back in the box and bring the old doll inside from the garage. We sit down on the couch as I struggle with waves of excitement of finding my childhood treasure of guilt for leaving such a memory forgotten in a box.
I look at her as she stares back at me with black button eyes and that permanent smile stenciled on her face. The type of smile that you can’t help but smile back. I start to examine her as one does with a newborn. Her orange moppy yarn hair is still in tact attached to her dusty face her pink cheeks mostly faded. Her flowered flannel dress is faded but still in good shape covered by her now gray apron. I look closer at the hem of the apron and find the chocolate milk stain from a long ago mishap. I pull her dress up and find what I am looking for. The words “I love you” stamped on her chest outlined with a heart. I trace my finger along the heart just like I did many times. A heart that soothed many fears and gave a little girl many nights of comfort. A heart that reminded me every day that I have a friend no matter what.
Feeling a little foolish at the age of forty I start to hug my old friend. My face in her dusty hair, while holding onto her cotton filled hand. The years of comfort and friendship in such a well-loved doll came back to me instantly. “I love you too” I whispered to my dearest friend.
Today's post is inspired by Sandra's Writing Workshop. Please visit her blog and read some wonderful writing!