Dad Bear and Mr Fluffs Still On Duty

It’s been 3 years since I last saw Watson… 3 frigging years… let that sink in for a second. The list of things missed, the time lost, the damage done is staggering and continuing to grow. The temptation to blame someone, to blame myself, to go to bed and stay there…

But I can’t because Dad Bear and Mr Fluffs are still on duty.

Right there on the bed… One in a jaunty Union Jack bow tie, One clutching the celebratory word ‘Dad’…

Watson was 6 when I was booked to sing and speak at a local church’s Winter Youth Weekend. Parker was coming on his first event as a 7th grade youth participant (that is a whole other story worth telling – maybe next blog entry) and I was going to be both Dad and Rockstar on the same trip.

I remember the weekend clearly – the area was under a Winter Storm Warning with lake effect snow coming in off of Lake Ontario in fast, huge snowflakes. I was quite certain, as we all gathered at the church, that they would call the weekend off – maybe try again the next morning when the storm had passed. We hadn’t even loaded the kids and luggage into the church van and Leader’s cars and the snow was already piling up. I looked around at the faces of the parents in the lobby and not a single face seemed fazed by the weather – it was then that I realized I was a newbie just recently moved there from the midwest and there would be no cancelling for snow! We loaded up and drove off into the dark. The normally 45 minute drive took us over 3 hours and though I was white knuckle driving and cussing under my breath the whole way, we all made it safely.

Since I was the Singer/Speaker, I had my own room and I needed a second after that drive to collect myself. I went in and dropped my bag on the bed and sat down for a moment. I remembered  being told before I left that Watson had put a surprise in my backpack so I decided to look and see what it was.

It was Dad Bear and Mr Fluffs… put there, I was informed, so that I wouldn’t forget Watson while I was gone.

Those 2 stuffed animals went with me on every tour I did from that point on. I took pictures of them on my phone in a ‘Flat Stanley’ vein and sent them back to Watson hoping to make him laugh. They came to Nashville to record a record, they made the credits of several CD’s, they never let me forget Watson.

When the divorce came and I was handed 12 boxes of things that had been designated as ‘my stuff’ they were (thankfully) in there. They have moved with me multiple times these last 3 years and always take up their position in the room I prepare for Watson.

They are funny, these 2… they never complain about the moves or the moving boxes (last in and first out), they never question their purpose, they never judge or condemn, and unlike me, they never waver wondering…

This season of ‘heart amnesia’ has lasted 3 years so far – it is easy to get tired, to become jaded, to assume that nothing will change, to want to lay down and give in to the fear that Watson has forever forgotten me…

But I can’t because Dad Bear and Mr Fluffs are still on duty.

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