There once was a boy whose father used to hit him. He’d strike the boy when he came home from work, he’d scold the boy for being too thin, too weak, too smart. On occasion, the father would hit the boy with more than his hand, he’d hit him with his words. “You can’t be my son. You look nothing like me. You look stupid with that red hair and freckles.”
Feeling unloved, the boy yearned for something to hold onto. Something to cling to. He had a puppy once, a puppy that was killed when his father let him out the front door into traffic. So, the boy wished for something he could quietly keep to himself, something his father wouldn’t be able to take from him. He dreamed of something he could hide beneath the bed, under his pillow. The boy wrote a letter to Santa Claus, asking for a teddy bear, a plush teddy bear to protect him from the hurt, from the pain, from the dreams being broken daily. Hopeful and enthusiastic, the boy left the letter on the Christmas tree, hoping Santa would see it. Much to the boy’s heartbreak, the next morning, Santa had scribbled a reply. “Dolls are for girls.”
The boy grew up to be a man, did worldly things that some yearn for. He rushed far from his youth by exploring worlds and ideas he would never been allowed when he was a child. Then one day, everything was taken away. He lost his home, his money, his livelihood and friendships and was left with nothing…..but a memory. The boy, now a man, decided he would have his teddy bear. He would make it himself.
For days he worked through the movements, the motions, the face, the dream becoming real again: something to hold and cling to, something no one could take away from him. Finally, the teddy bear was done and the man clinged to it with such wonder, such joy, until the teddy bear looked back at the man’s joyous tears and asked, “Why are you crying, my friend?”
“I’m crying because you’re here now. You’re really here.”
“But, I’ve always been here. In your heart, whenever you needed me. Don’t you remember? You called me a dream. But, if you can imagine me, then I exist, my friend.”