|Micki today with Mr. Purple|
Jill was her name and I loved her dearly! She was a hand-me-down doll, but still in reasonably good shape when I adopted her. I wanted someone of my own to love in my own way. It seemed like my mother disapproved of the amount of time I spent with her, thinking about being her mother. I wanted to be an astronaut, fireman, cowboy, scientist, construction worker, teacher, circus animal trainer, and most of all I wanted to be a mommy. My mom changed the subject when I talked much about taking care of babies, and said I needed to do something else now.
Jill went with me out to play everyday, when I read my favorite story, "You Will Go to the Moon," as we sat in a box pretending we were in a space capsule launching into outer space. She rode beside me. When I played endless hours in the sandbox, digging tunnels and driving her around in pick up trucks showing Jill the way I made new roads. When I climbed trees and got up real high she would sit in a smaller branch beside me.
Later, because Jill was sensitive about the half leg, I begged for a long dress for her. I was proud of being able to get a gift that she desired and would help her esteem. I had kind of secretly wished for a new doll, but was ashamed of my selfishness and wanted to be faithful and prove my love was steadfast, so I never asked for another doll. My gift choice was a sacrifice to make Jill happy! My mother gave me a dress, and it was a long white bridal dress! She looked so nice, and you'd never know about the missing limb. After that she always wore the dress, and began to be called Jill the bride doll. The fabric became worn and pleasantly soft to touch.
Now I was real proud of the way she looked. I thought about being more careful with her so she would last forever. She had gotten stains that didn't all come out, and her eyes usually got stuck, one open and one closed, because of the sand in them, and the balding patches of hair were because of my constant stroking and hugging. I never wanted her to feel hungry for hugs, like I often did.
Mr. Purple's nose became smashed to one side by the way I slept against his face and held him tightly against my cheek for so many years, and he was less purple and more brownish from dirt. His plaid body was becoming threadbare and needing patches. I still needed him to squeeze really tight when I slept and his soft body was just right for that, plus we had been together at night, sharing fears and tears, for as long as I can remember. I thought maybe I should save Jill for special times and not wear her out.
My mom had mentioned more than once about how I was getting too old for dolls. I tried to take Jill outside with me less. At first it was strange not having her there to share the things I loved. I'd tell her at night about the birdsong, and the trees, and the games with the kids. Sometimes she slept next to me and Mr. Purple. Other nights I kept her at the foot of my bed so I could show my Mom I didn't always play with dolls anymore. I was growing up! Soon it would be my seventh birthday after Christmas and I would truly be older. So many busy days and changes!
One morning after Christmas, I woke up early and looked for Jill so I could soothe and rock her. Where was she? I searched my bed and the whole room, then I checked the rest of the house and asked everyone. No one knew where she was! I got scared and felt sick. I had one of my feelings that something bad had happened and I would never see her again. I looked frantically even through the trash cans. I cried each day and night.
The third day I realized that the trashman had been to our house the day before I last saw her. I went to my mom and begged her help, telling her my fearful suspicion that somehow Jill was gone with the trash. My mother told me she thought I was getting too old for dolls and hadn't seen me play with Jill so much, and that she was getting pretty ragged, so last week she had thrown her away!
At night I shared all my miseries with Mr. Purple. In his mind and heart he listened, because there were no words for me to express the anger, fears and desires to close up and stop trusting. It would take a long time for the healing process that would invite me to take chances again, and forgive, and be open to the love I hoped to share again one day. These things could only be understood between my bear and me!