Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Tom Bear's Bath

My new writing den is still not completed [sigh] but I’ve dragged in a chair so I can sit at the window and write this post.

If we hadn’t altered Daughter’s bedroom to accommodate my den then Tom Bear’s bath would never have happened. The memories would still have been caught up in his dusty fur.

Charlie the cat is suspicious of the damp bear.
I used a bowl of soapy water and a cloth. I didn’t want Tom Bear to be soaked through and through. I carefully wiped his head and ears and through the smell of musty wool came memories, a pink frilly dress that I bought for Daughter, the hair ribbons, the baby ballet classes.

I rubbed Tom’s arms... The pink frills were discarded, replaced with black. Just a phase.

I scrubbed his chin... When she practised her flute I’d stop my chores, sit and listen.

I rubbed at his tummy... When she got her degree we ran together up the steps of the University to see the words on the notice board, 1st class honours.

I worked the soapy cloth around his feet rubbing harder with each memory... her packed bags, a move to London, a first job, a new life. That was when Tom Bear climbed to the top of the wardrobe, all those years ago, and he only just came down and now I have to thank him for reminding me how proud I am of her and how precious our memories are.


  1. Ros you have me in tears,this is really lovely especially as I have a daughter too and I was there with you in every line.

  2. A lovely memento. I'm currently saving memories in my loft.

    And my bear lives in a drawer, but he's a little older than Tom Bear and would disintegrate if I tried to wash him :-(

  3. Aww, I have a tear in my eye. I too have a daughter, and am on the same path you once trod.

    Very poignant post. We must try to cherish every moment we have.

  4. What a lovely post! There's definitely a story in there. My eldest is only 13, so I'm looking forward to making a lot of these memories. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is an absolutely wonderful post Ros.....so much said in such few lines...and so much poignancy in every paragraph.Loved it....

    funnily enough I was looking at my teddy and Pippy, another soft toy in my bedroom and was thinking of doing a post on them.I thin I will leave it for a while......

  6. Beautifully written Ros. What a precious gift we have in memories! Wishing you a great day!
    Duncan In Kuantan

  7. Daughters are simply wonderful, Ros - and what a great way of reviving great memories.

  8. What a lovely post. We never know when something will trigger a parade of memories like this. What a treasure ;)

  9. I'm in tears too and I don't have any children. I have memories though and your wonderful writing made them come to the forefront of my heart and mind.

  10. Those memories are truly priceless! :) Love tom :)

  11. This post brought tears to my eyes, Rosalind. I occasionally pull out a box of mementos from my kids' youngster days and get all those wonderful images and smells...memories are amazing, aren't they?

  12. this is a beautiful little essay - perfect as written. You wove memories and words together - very poignant

  13. I think we can all relate to this. Lovely post.

  14. Aww, Ros
    That was so lovely. I'm seeped in nostalgia again. Plus I'm writing another 1950s story at the moment!

    And where's your sister? Hope she's ok? I haven't heard from her for a while.


  15. Hi Anne, sorry I made you cry. I'm still feeling weepy every time I read it!

    Hi Annalisa, I have to admit that a little bit of Tom's foot came away as I rubbed. I'll have to stitch it together.

    Hi Maria, do cherish her presence. I miss the kids so much.

    Hi Beth, enjoy making those memories.

    Hi Bridget, thank you and I'll look forward to your bear post.

    Hi Duncan and Inger, we sometimes forget how powerful good memories can be.

    Hi Jo, they are, aren't they :-)

    Hi Ruth, I hadn't planned this post. All I'd planned was a bear bath.

    Hi Jemi, he is rather a handsome bear.

    Hi Patricia, I too have a bag of memories but these memories came from virtually nowhere.

    Hi Joanne and Susan, thank you for your kind words.

    Hi Pat, I look forward to reading your 1950s story... and I'll send your message to my sister. Thanks for that.

  16. That was lovely, Ros. I couldn't do that because my kids have taken their favourites with them. Mandy, my eldest, is 44 and she still has Boofuls, Debs has Blackie, John has Pooh Bear and Dan has Blue Ted. They have all been through the washing machine many times and survived to tell the tale!

  17. How sweet. What wonderful memories you have together.

  18. Hi Sis..... Pat - I'm still here - planning to send email later today :-)
    Ohhhh sis, how I wish I still had some of the old toys, not only the children's but ours too. After about 12 moves and several horrendous 'de-cluttering' sessions and sizing down twice - I cant even remember when or where they all went too. But I did find something rather wonderful in the photograph bag. Simon's hospital record birth card with size and weight etc., Its funny to compare the photo of him on our way home from hospital, a tiny 6lb cuddly bundle(smaller than the average chicken),to the muscular well built gorgeous young man of 38 who towers above me and pats the top of my head, in that endearing, loving way he has.
    Just a thought - have you still got Bessie Bear? :-) x x

  19. Beautifully written. I can feel the memories as I read. Thank you!

  20. Hi, I am a new follower, and found your lovely blog through Duncan. My daughter's room is also being remodeled into a different room (I'm not sure what it will become). She graduated this year and went to work right away. She's been living with her father for the past four years, which is 700 miles north of me. I finally had to do something because the waiting was so disappointing. Maybe she only comes back to visit us now, instead of moving back in for college. I don't know. She used to have a little stuffed beagle that she had since the day of her birth. Thank goodness she keeps it with her because I would just cry and cry if I had to encounter it again. Your writing is so beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful thoughts.

  21. Hi Ros .. great memories with Tom Bear ... the times of our life.

    I have Hardwick here, trouble is he's full of sawdust ... so I daren't start cleaning and I think after 5 1/2 years of holding - I'm not sure of his future - 'cept as Hardwick dog on shelf ... but he has to travel - so I guess he'll have his travels!

    Hope your writing den is nearly there ... cheers for now - Hilary


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