We’ll stuff them! This is one of my favorite memories.
This picture of my parents, Sue and Julian Keppler, was taken shortly after Dad’s eightieth birthday and my mother in her mid-seventies. For my father’s milestone birthday, their children and spouses and grandchildren met in Florida where they lived, and celebrate we did!
My father was a passionate man and as he grew older, he became more emotional and more sentimental, always wanting his children to get together; we accommodated his wishes as often as we could. At one point during the afternoon, Dad stood up wearing his red and green plaid Scottish tam, expressing his thankfulness that his children enjoyed each other and requested that we continue family reunions even after they passed on. As tears started to well up in our eyes, my twin brother suddenly stood up and said, “I know what we’ll do. We’ll stuff them and bring them to the family reunions!” Of course, the tears of sadness turned to paroxysms tears of laughter. Having knitted many character dolls, I decided to knit them and “stuff” them, and they proudly hung on the wall in their Floridian condo until they moved to New York to be closer to my siblings. I have my parents’ dolls now and love “seeing” them every day. My mother was known for her little black hair bows and the one she is wearing is in the drawer of my nightstand. I am my father’s daughter, passionate and a bit more emotional.
Self-care ritual: memories are so special because they indicate that you have lived a rich life. Savor them, share them, and make new memories by telling the young’uns about their ancestors.
P.S. The dolls began with the Little Old Ladies from Pasadena, and since then, I’ve knitted doctors, lawyers, policemen, Ricky Henderson known for stealing the most bases through his baseball career, 49-er football athletes, my sister, my brother, a beautiful young wedding couple, aerobics dance instructors, Ernie and Bert, Cindy Lauper, and Michael Jackson, and many more.