My brother Onk emailed me that one of dad’s employees is collecting used toys to take to an orphanage over the weekend.Â Apparently, he’s been doing this for many years.Â Onk asked if he could pick “the ugly ones” of my stuffed animals to give away.
Have I mentioned to you guys that I have a massive collection of stuffed animals back in Thailand?Â As in, when we renovated my room when I was 13, dad had built-in wall-to-wall 3-level shelves for my “friends”.Â And yes, the shelves were stacked, some double layers, with stuffed toys.
I mean, as far as I know, growing up, I had more stuffed animals than anybody in my class, and possibly, more than anyone I knew.
My mom and I had talked about donating the stuffed animals for years. When I left home 15 years ago, mom had all of them wrapped up in clear plastic bags and cellophane to keep out the dust. I would come home to stay in my room, surrounded by my old friends.Â Even when “my” room became mom’s walk-in closet in recent years, I would still go in to my room to at least say hi to the toys.
I mean, how can I not say hi to my old friends?Â They have witnessed me growing up.Â They were my confidants, my co-stars and captive audience, my guests at tea parties, my rescues and hapless victims need rescuing.Â Among them was where my imagination grew and where I learned to keep my inner adult in check.Â But I digress.
I have asked my mom to donate the majority of the stuffed animals, keeping only the sentimental ones many times. Same goes with my clothes I left behind. But she always said, not yet, not yet. My dad said deep down the stuffed toys and my clothes in the closet reminded her of me, and that was why she kept them.
Those stuffed toys gave me so much happiness growing up. Now that mom is gone, it is as good a time to share my joy with the less fortunate children just as I have meant to do all these years.
I gave Onk a list of the ones with sentimental values that I can recall off the top of my head. I told him if he actually sends me the picture of the shelf, I can tell him exactly who to be given away.Â But in our case, I will have to have faith that my brother knows who gets to go to a new home.
And yes, I realize I called them “who”, not “which”. Hey, they were my childhood imaginary buddies. They will always be somebody to me.Â In my mind, all the toys are just like in Toy Story.Â They are alive when you’re not looking.Â But I digress again.
It’s just strange not getting to personally say goodbye to some of them though.Â I hope they would forgive me and learn to love their new friends as much as they have loved me all these years.