The First Bike of the Rest of Your Life

When I was two-years old we traveled through this town, Tallahassee, FL on the way home to Sebring,FL my hometown. I had a teddy bear named “Heavy Teddy.” We did everything together. He was a honey-colored bear with green eyes and articulated joints, so he was real, not like those plush bears that are just pillows with fur.

We stayed in the Ponce de Leon Motel on Tennessee street, which may or may not still be here today. In the rush to leave the next morning, Heavy Teddy fell between the wall and the bed and was left behind. I don’t know when we realized he was not with us, but I am certain I was inconsolable. Oh,the guilt of leaving a friend behind. The loneliness of knowing your best friend and protector was at large in the world without you is crushing. The thought of him finding a new friend and forgetting all about you, heartbreaking.

There was nothing to do but go home and bear the suffering with my little two-year old’s amount of courage. Blankie tried to comfort me, but we were supposed to be three and not two, and Blankie missed Heavy Teddy as much as I did.

Then, and here is my earliest memory, my mom carried me to the mailbox and together we pulled out a package, wrapped in brown paper. Tired, but none the worse for his adventures, came Heavy Teddy from the packaging. That moment was magic- validation that the universe was an awesome and just place, and that stuffed animals truly were sentient and loyal and would stop at nothing to return to their best friend’s side.

I have been promised my new bike is in town, 6 weeks overdue, and I am once again at the mailbox, hopeful, and wanting to believe the Universe is an awesome and just place.


Epilogue- Heavy Teddy is retired and living happily in San Diego, CA with my nephew where I will visit him next week.

14 Responses to The First Bike of the Rest of Your Life

  1. I am still waiting for my blankie to come home to me and I don’t think it’s going to happen and thus, perhaps, my constant feeling of angst and despair.
    You have explained it all to me.

  2. You are awesome. The description of the bear episode(s) defies belief in its emotional accuracy.

    I know the feeling of new bike a-comin’. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh BOY! CHRISTMAS!

    And, may I be the first to say: Ride it like you stole it.

  3. Heavy Teddy is very happy to be resting with all of the distinguished and senior animals here in San Diego. He is as excited as he can be that you’re coming, as he wants to hear all about your latest adventures.

  4. I made many long distance calls (when they were expensive), begged, pleaded and finally threatened to send the goons in order to get the owners of that establishment to mail Heavy Teddy to you. Behind the magic is there always a mom being the heavy? If your bike’s not there today, say the word.