Ok...Here we go! More than 20 years ago I stood in my Grandma's upstairs bedroom (the one I slept in as a child growing up) helping her prepare for her estate sale after my Grandfather died. She was both giving away things to her family...and then selling the rest at the sale. I opened the closet door and stood amazed at seeing this lovely coat hanging in her closet. It was a gift to her back in the early 40's given to her from a beloved friend who was very much like a special mother. She rarely wore the coat, she said she always felt like women stared at her as if she were rich...and so, she just left it hang in her closet. She told me to try it on, I did...and it fit like a glove. The next thing I knew...
....she said, "It's yours"! I stood there in amazement...as I'd never even known my Grandma had this coat...and now it was mine. I wore it a few times, but felt bad that my other sisters didn't get to enjoy it. And, the few times I did wear it...I felt like my Grandma did, "drats" that she told me that story! ;) Many years later....and before she died, I found a dear lady named Elaine, she makes Teddy Bears (they strongly resemble the Steiff bears in design, hump on back, etc...) She travels all over the country selling her bears in special events...and has even been written up in magazines. She custom made me and my family five bears, four male bears and one female. We named the males Claude, after my dad. My dad passed away in 1996, and these bears had an inscription written on a heart shaped fabric that she placed within the bears that read like this, "It's just the way it should have been, all of us together again!". Those were the last words my father spoke to my Mother when our family was all together for the last time when he was dieing of cancer. On 2/23/96, our family (all adults), spent our final evening together enjoying birthday cake for my brother. So, please meet "Claude", he sits to the right of the Wild About You pillow...he's made from my Grandma's coat that looked very similar to the one pictured above.
Elaine Sparkes of "Heart 'n Sole Bear-Rocky Bottom Creations"is the creator of Claude, and hundreds of other little bears out in the world, I'm sure. All of Claude's limbs are jointed, including his head. He's made from recycled fur, poly filled, muslin lined, suede pads and internal heart, and has glass eyes. "Claude" resides in our master suite, on the bed. He enjoys the room since it already has animal prints here and there...kinda makes him feel at home. Below is a closer look of the room he shares with my Beloved and me. The pic is intentionally taken in the evening with dim light so you can enjoy the chandelier in the mirror over the bed, he loves the chandy! ;)
Sometimes Claude likes to sit on the hand made bench that my dad made at the foot of the bed. It seems natural that he'd make that one of his favorite places to sleep when we kick him off the bed as we crawl in, since my dad is his namesake! ;)
One more view of our room that we share with Claude~
Thanks for coming on my "Sentimental Journey" on this Meta Monday post! It's always a warm fuzzy moment for me when I can recall my Grandma giving me her coat...and remembering how I was able to "multiply" her love to my sisters, mother, and daughter. We all share a piece of the fabric of this story now, literally! And Claude will always remind me of the final evening our family spent together laughing in our home together, "Just the way it should have been, all of us together again", as my Daddy said. ;)
Till next Meta Monday....don't forget to sneak a peek at the others over at Susan's by clicking on the link above! ~CC