Today my hubby made my week. He found my most prized material possession that I have been looking for literally for months. I had given up hope of ever finding it. I thought that it had somehow gotten lost in the shuffle of our last move and somehow gotten thrown out or given away to charity. I had (I thought) made a thorough search of our house and garage about a month ago when my sister called and asked if I could send her a picture of it. I looked and looked to no avail. I thought I searched every nook and cranny and still couldn’t find her. Today my hubby found her. I thought he was my hero before. But now? She was in a box with some of HIS most prized possessions. Here she is:
Is she not the most gorgeous thing you have ever seen? Of course she probably isn’t to YOU, but to me she is. She was a wedding gift from my mother and she has more sentimental value to me that anything because I know she had/has more sentimental value to my mom.
See my mom’s mother died when she was VERY young. I want to say she was 3 or younger when her mother died. This is the one thing that she had that her mother gave to her. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. The brothers could care less about “some doll” BUT I think all of us girls at one point wanted Betty. I know when I was a child I absolutely coveted Betty. I know that coveting is a sin so I guess she is my secret sin. I had wanted that doll for as long as I could remember.
Whenever my mom would pull her out from her “hiding place” I would always ask to hold her. When I was really young my mom would never let me hold her because she was afraid I’d break her. I don’t blame her. I WAS a clumsy child (not too graceful as an adult either). I would tentatively reach out and touch the edges of her little green dress and run my fingers along the curls of her hair and trace my fingers along her face. She does have a crack on the back of her head. I don’t know how she got it but I like her flaw. Besides, I’m a little “cracked in the head” too, so it makes me feel her “realness”. Like me, she’s not perfect, but she is loved. I don’t mean that to sound conceited but I know my family loves me just like I know I love that doll.
There are only two things I can remember really wanting as a child. One was an old cedar chest that was in one of the upstairs bedrooms of my grandmother’s house which she promised me but one of my cousins took after she passed away (we won’t talk about that…still a little bitter here about that) and the other was the Betty Boop doll. But as a teenager and then as a young adult I knew it would never happen. I have two older sisters so at best I was #3 in line for her so I knew I’d have to wait for a cold day in hell for her to ever be mine.
I cannot tell you how happy I was when my mother gave her to me as a wedding gift. It was the BEST wedding gift or the best gift of any kind that anyone could have given me. Not just because my mother knew how much it meant to me, but because I also knew how much it meant to my mom and the fact that HER mom gave it to her and for her to part with it while she was still alive and able to enjoy it herself touched me beyond words. It makes me feel connected to my grandmother that I never had to privilege of knowing and loving so I get to love her by proxy through Betty. I know that might not make sense to most people, it’s just a doll. But not to me. To me she is the embodiment of the love from a mother to child. A mother that the child my mom was never got to know herself. A love that passes from generation to generation. I know now that she gave it to me then not just because she knew what it would mean to me but she also knew that if she waited until she passed or left her to me in her will I would NEVER see it because one of my two older sisters would have taken her.
It wasn’t until today that I actually found out that it was because of my baby sister, SuziCate, that I came to be in possession of Betty Boop when I did. So THANK YOU SuziCate… You will never know exactly how much that meant to me. It seems that when she and my mom were discussing what she should give me as a wedding gift Suzi suggested to her that she give me Betty Boop and my mother even brought up the fact that my other sisters would be angry and jealous that I got her instead of them (and they were and made it known) and SuziCate in all of her wisdom and maturity (and I am NOT being facetious) replied to her that both of my sisters had boys but I might have girls and therefore it should be something that should be passed from mother to daughter. Little did she know that I would go on to have not one, but THREE girls. I am also the ONLY of the four sisters who had girls. NOW…. The dilemma will be WHICH of my three girls will get her? OK girls, if you’re reading this and I know you are…. (hint hint neon sign sledgehammer hit) which of YOU is going to give me a granddaughter to pass it to? You don’t have to answer just yet… I’ve just found her again and I’m not willing to let her go just yet. 😉