Smokey and Snowball, my forty year friends

Another silly story about stuffed animals, who happen to be my oldest friends in the world, Smokey and Snowball

A mismatched pair
of grizzled old bears
Tell stories, tall and long
Of days gone by
Where adventure was nigh
With occasional breaks for a song

Smokey came first
Those days were the worst
Before old Snowball got here
But once he arrived
It wasn’t contrived
That both let out a huge cheer

From that moment hence
And every point since
They were an inseparable pair
Through 40 odd years
And laughter and tears
They were Smokey and Snowball the bears

Now they spin yarns
In homes and in barns
To anyone willing to listen
They tell of the past
And how it comes fast
As their eyes start to glisten

Of loss and of friends
And scars that won’t mend
Their stories roll out like a river
They meander and bend
But by the end
The moral will always deliver.

Seek love and not money
Adventure not fame
Be kind and be caring
And you won’t be the same
The journey and time
Will change you, it’s true
But known in your heart
Just what makes you you.

Smokey and Snowball are my oldest friends.  I have had them since I was a little boy.  They helped me through surgeries and the random crises of youth.  They were there when I was teen and a twenty something.  They were there as I went back to school and advanced my career in my thirties.  They were there for all the moves, thousands of miles.  They were there for heartbreak and misery.  They were there for moments of joyous exuberance.  A steady presence, reminding me that I was never alone.  Now they are old.  They are dusty from years on a shelf.  But that dust is magical.  Pull them off the shelf and give them a snuggle.  Poof.  A rush of positive neurochemicals immediately course through me.  It is more than nostalgia, for by-gone youth.  They are family.  They are the family that I can’t hug because they are too far away.  They remind me that the world is full of good things and full of good people who love me, even on the darkest days.  Through the years they have absorbed all manner of tears.  Tears that have crystalized into hope, and joy, and happiness, and love.  Absorbed for the days when I have none.  If there was a fire, they are the only objects I would save.  I have a cabinet full of trinkets, mementos, and nostalgic do-dads, the history of my life and travels.  It could all turn to dust.  My lego collection could melt to a single acrid pool of plastic.  As long as Smokey and Snowball are safe.  They are my personal talisman.  My connection to the world far away.  Connection to far-flung family and friends.  To emotions I can’t (or won’t) emote.  To words I cannot say. 

Grinny Frog, Brownie Bear, Baa’, Bob Beaver

This is something I want to pass on to Katie.  Her first gift from me, months before she was born, was a teddy bear (Brownie).  Before she was born I would find myself giving Brownie hugs, just to imbue him with some innate level of love.  I also recognize that this is ridiculous.  This isn’t Toy Story, inanimate objects do not have feelings or memories.  I also know that Kate will choose her own way to connect and remember.  It might be Brownie or it could be Toothpick or BlueBear, or even Grinny Frog.  Or it could be none of those things.  She will be her own person.  But just in case… she has Brownie.

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This entry was posted in Creativity, Fatherhood, nostalgia, Poetry on the Blog, Stuffy Stories, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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