On Reflection, The Holidays

True Halloween story: Bronnie and his demon childhood toy

When Bronnie died, he left behind a teddy bear he was given at birth in 1957 – and that thing is bloody scary with a capital F.

I went along with Bronson for years, telling the children the affectionate story of how that bear (thing) was given to their father when he was a day old, blah, blah, blah, and just how very special it was to him. (But I knew the tide was turning the first time one of my bunch asked innocently: “Why doesn’t Daddy’s bear have a name, Mummy?”)

So, as the children grew older, the debates about handling the ugly-teddy-bear-effigy-thing… became more frequent. No longer could I parentally force my little ones to look that thing in the eyes (eye), far less take it to bed. (Yes, Bronnie made that request of them – once. The children stopped screaming around March time when Bronnie suggested they take it in turns.)

Today my ‘little ones’ are very vocal and independent young men and women, none of whom want to take daddy’s bear to University, school, or either of two apartments. No, not even for old time’s sake. (No guilt-tripping this lot.)

So I got to keep ‘thing’ after their father died.

But I’m thinking of calling a halt and actually getting rid once and for all. (And when I say get rid I don’t mean to the local charity shop. We’ve tried giving it to several – all of whom return it at arms length in a bin liner attached to a stick, while anointing themselves with garlic and chanting psalms.)

Bronnie's demon bear
Photo credit: No-one’s taking credit.

Except, when I went to fetch ugly from the bookcase (where it has been since I moved into this apartment)… it wasn’t there. Instead it was sitting on the bed, propped up against a pillow.

No lie and, by the way… oh, shit.

I’m not a fanciful or overly superstitious person. I’m sure there are a number of plausible reasons why a demon stuffed toy, which hasn’t moved from its spot for 5 years, should suddenly relocate when the apartment owner is thinking of getting rid of it… during Halloween season. A number.

But if you don’t hear from me in the next, oh, I dunno, 3 years, please send a shed-load of garlic, a 6ft crucifix and any and all saints. (And Bronnie, one of those saints had better be you to finally take possession of your childhood scare bear.)

In the meantime, I’ll hang onto it until then. Because that’s what loving wives do.

Our father, who art in heaven…