healing without stitches

teddy my love
teddy my love

Healing without Stitches

When I was little
My mother would “kiss” my boo boo’s,
Gently wash them with a soft, wet, warm cloth
then place upon it, a skin colored bandage

A warm, soft, gooey cookie and hug
Usually followed
Our eyes would meet and I would know
She was my safe spot

Her big brown eyes would let me know
She understood my pain
And she would wrap me in a protective layer
Of tenderness I have never felt since

When my dolls or teddy would appear with holes in them
I would stuff their filling back in
And stitch them up
Only to leave their appearance altered

I would look past the gnarly row of uneven threads
Hold them close to my heart
And sing them a lullaby
Knowing their wounds would always be visible

On the day that Teddy’s squeaker stopped working
I operated upon him and removed the broken lump
I left the spot empty, sewed in different colored stitches
And began marveling at the patchwork of love he was becoming

I liked seeing his healed spots
I wanted stitches too
I wanted people to see
Where I was hurt

A mother’s love is invisible though
Her hugs cannot be seen once complete
Only I could see the reflection of my mother’s eyes in mine
Only I still felt her warmth when separated from her

One day my mother was dressing “Tubsy” my doll for me
When suddenly, ‘snap’, her arm dislocated
My mother’s eyes looked at me
With such sadness I cried

“Tubsy’s” arm hung loose by her side
I grabbed her and held her close to heal her but it did not work
So my mother held her really tight and ‘pop’ the arm was fixed
And my mother’s eyes glistened with happy

I would lie with my Teddy for hours and wonder
How I could heal his wounds like my mother heals me and my dolls
I did not have her magic
I did not have her gift

stitches of love
stitches of love

Teddy became pieces of my memories

He lost the stuffing in his armpits
from me dragging him by one arm everywhere I went
And twirling him around like he was flying away

His fur began to rub off and he had bald spots everywhere
I thought about when I scraped my knee
My mother would put this goo on it with a bandage
So I rubbed goo on Teddy’s spots and wrapped him in gauze

I gently carried him around with me
I would tuck him in for long naps
After three days I unwrapped him
The goo was gone and he was still bald and smelled funny

Teddy and I became inseparable
Each of us carrying our “boo boo’s” around
His outwardly showing
And mine on the inside

As I grew older, Teddy found a spot upon my dresser
I would feel his glistening brown eyes staring at me
His colorful stitches holding pieces of my love for him
I, carrying my mother’s love within my soul

Throughout my years of growth
Through good and through pain
Teddy knew my secrets, he held my tears
And his body became balder, his stuffing thinner

Yet his eyes still glistened like a new shiny gem
His tiny nose still stood up tall
His arms were still full of stuffing
And his patch-worked self still healed with stitches

My big brown eyes began to turn blue inside
I saw images within my head
And each time I hurt
I painted

Sea turtles, mermaids, fish and waving seagrasses
Became my world of light, breath and color
I grew a palette from my mother’s love
And the cavernous wounds I carried which were buried deep within

Teddy and I would chat about my new sea friends
And wise old mr. Hawksbill became my protector
Armored with brushes, images and colors
I painted my way out of every corner

The inside of me became patch-worked like teddies
My scars visible only to the all seeing eye of God
I thrived in the knowledge that I would one day color this world
I would write my story, paint my life and share my mother’s love

Today, teddy is 51, I am 52
He sits proudly in my home art studio
overseeing all I do
Mr hawksbill, now on canvas, protects my public studio

Hand in hand, eye to eye, heart to heart
Teddy and I have made it through thick and through thin
He, healed by my colorful stitches of love
And me healed without stitches by Teddy’s love…

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