A SOFT TOY STORY
by Anton Wills-Eve
A SOFT TOY STORY
Oh heavens, you won’t believe this. I wasn’t drunk or anything, but today I bought my wife a really lovely Teddy Bear. You see I’d taken my youngest son and his wife, and my wife out to dinner a few days ago to celebrate something or other, her new promotion to a leading nursing role in our main Cancer Hospital I think, and on the way out of the restaurant we passed a charity shop. It sold donated items to support a chidlren’s hospice at the hospital.
Well, when we got home my wife said, “Ton”, she always calls me that, “did you see that sweet Teddy Bear in the charity shop window? Well she’d make a super friend for that enormous cuddly bear you bought at the Scouts auction a couple of weeks ago. I’ve sewn his bad eye back on properly, and he was telling me how grateful he was as he could now see the other stuffed toys clearly, and was very sad because amongst the 79 animals there was no female bear.”
Now if you love your wife much as I love mine, the first chance you get you go in and buy the bear she wanted and tell her it’s a little girl bear, and a super friend for ‘Gladly’. Did someone say “Who the hell’s Gladly?” Look its complicated, but the bear I bought at the auction was given that name after one of the worst jokes I’ve ever been told by a nun. My youngest son’s godmother is a nun and she told me once she’d had a Teddy as a small child and said she had to call him Gladly. Wait ’til you hear why.
“My mother asked me,” my nun friend said, “Why I’d called him Gladly and I replied, ‘after the bear in the hymn.You know the one with the lines,
“Dear Lord if it would ease your pain, Gladly my Cross I’d bear.” Well you see my Teddy is cross-eyed!” As you will have guessed so was the one I bought at auction, actually my wife was so sorry for it and with no one else bidding, I had to buy it didn’t I?
Anyway, this evening we took our little girl bear upstairs to the playroom, the kids are all married and left home but even though there are only two of us we still keep the playroom properly for housing the toys. We called her Clare, after part of the children’s hospice name. My wife placed her on the sofa next to a very correctly sighted ‘Gladly’ and introduced them. You could tell it was love at first sight. And when we popped in to say goodnight to all the toys, you know before going downstairs for the evening’s telly, we could see that Gladly was clutching Clare to his chest both of them in a state of total bliss.
By the way, I’m 75 and my wife, Pammie, is 70!