This is a story that should have been written almost three and a half years ago. I guess the old saying of; time really flies is true. The three bears in the picture at the top of this page live in my bedroom. They reside on an antique rocking chair in the corner, right in front of a window. I love stuff bears, in fact, many from my collection adorn their own Christmas tree, during my favorite time of the year. I could go on and on describing my bears but that is not what this story is about. It is about a special bear who brought me peace shortly after my mother passed on December 13, 2013. I am not going to tell you which stuffed bear touched my heart. Perhaps from the clues you, the reader will be able to figure it out.
And this is where my story starts…
My heart broke the day Mom passed. Within seven weeks after being diagnosed with a fast growing mass at the base of her stomach, she took her journey to Heaven. She died a peaceful death with a smile that put our hearts at ease. The following days were filled with tears, funeral, more tears, luncheon, and more tears as we cleaned out her apartment. Then something strange started to happen. Something that was hard to believe. Something that took me a while to figure out. Something that made me smile as I looked up to Heaven and said, ” Thank you!” My question to you at this point is, do you believe that our loved ones send messages after they pass? I know that there will be some readers who might say, ” I think she flipped her lid.” And some may say, ” Wow, she has a vivid imagination.” I am also sure some will say, ” Yes, I believe that our loved ones send messages.” I cannot speak for my readers. I can only speak for myself. I do believe that love never dies. I believe in Heaven and I believe that God works in mysterious ways. So sit back and relax as I tell my story about the bear who brought me peace.
It was about two weeks after Mom passed when my husband, who had gone up to bed before me mentioned that he had been hearing Christmas music in our bedroom. My reply to him was, ” Our bedroom? That can’t be. Maybe a car went by with Christmas music playing.” He looked at me, with that maybe you’re right look, and walked away. However, that very night snuggled in my bed, I heard what sounded like Jingle Bells playing somewhere. I listened for a sound of a car but did not hear a motor running. I even got out of bed and checked the window in the front of the house and the window on the side of the house. No cars. When I returned to my room, it was silent. I thought to myself, ” Girl, you have had too many Christmas cookies!” Two hours later, I was awoken by the same song, a little muffled but recognizable. I once again got out of bed and checked to see if a car was outside. Once again, nothing! I thought to myself, ” What are the odds of hearing the same song twice in one night?’ Since weirder things have happened to me, I tried to put it out of my head and went back to bed sleeping with one eye open and one ear listening ready for the next time that song might start playing again. Well, I can’t tell you if Jingle Bells played again that night since trying to stay awake was never something I had ever accomplished. The next morning over coffee, I told my husband that I too had heard the music. I asked him what song he heard and he replied, ” I’m not sure. I think it was the one with a one horse sleigh in it.” My mouth gaped open as I asked, ” Could it be Jingle Bells? ” He looked at me, snickered and said, ” Yup, it was Jingle Bells!” I was perplexed and at that very moment, the detective came out of me. I almost wished I had a sleuth hat and a pretend pipe. Columbo would have nothing over me. I would get to the bottom of the Jingle Bell escapade one way or the other.
For the next few days and nights, neither of us heard the music. Then on Christmas night, as I was walking up the steps to my bedroom, I heard Jingle Bells again. I hurried up the last couple of steps but the music had stopped. I checked out the windows, no cars in sight. Then as I turned, I heard it again. As I walked into my bedroom, the sweet sound of Christmas was coming from my rocking chair. I walked over slowly and picked up the bear. The music stopped. I pressed his paw and heard Jingle Bells playing, chills ran up and down my back. I put the bear back down, stepped back and just looked at the bears sitting so comfortably as if they were old friends. I stepped forward and picked up the bear once again. This time, I shook the bear; nothing, not even a squeak. Then held him upside down, nothing again. It was not until I squeezed his paw, and squeezed it hard did it play. I place him among his friends and went downstairs to share the news with my husband. He couldn’t believe that it was the bear. That night, I read for about an hour before turning off the light. The bear was quiet during this time. I remember glancing over for one more look then turn off the light. As my mind tried to relax, I felt tears filling my eyes. It was an emotional day. A busy day with a house full of family. An evening with my sisters and brother and their families, and a heavy heart for Mom, whom I missed so much. It was our first Christmas without her. When all of a sudden, Jingle Bells filled the air. this time it did not sound muffled. This time, it filled every inch of the room. When It stopped, I squeezed his little paw and the old-time favorite played again. I gently put the bear back down and went to bed. As I lay there, thinking about Mom, a thought came to my mind. I remembered sitting at my dining room table with her. She was working on a word search and I was working on a Christmas project. I was humming a holiday song. Mom told me to sing it. The song I sang was Jingle Bells. She joined me and together we sang that song like we use to when I was a little girl. How odd was it that I heard that same song coming from a stuffed bear. I tossed and turned that night listening to Jingle Bells three more times.
That was the last time I heard Jingle Bells. The bear never played it again. In fact, I find myself looking at the bear and wishing it would play. But it hasn’t. It only plays when I squeeze its paw. I believe that Mom sent me a message. I believe she was telling me that she had made it home and that she was okay. That Christmas night and early morning of December 26, 2013, started a healing that continues to this day. Although I miss Mom very much, I have a special place in my heart for the little bear who brought me peace.
I decided to write this story now, for a variety of reasons. One, the obvious, that time got away from me. Secondly, with all the sadness, hate, and anger in our country and world, I thought a story about a little bear who brought peace just might brighten hearts. Last but not least, I believe that our loved ones in Heaven are always with us. Remember, love never dies.
So, which bear do you think played Jingle Bears?