Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dirty Little Pillow

I just want to relate a story that happened about a week and a half ago. It's one of those stories that really doesn't connect to anything, but in the big picture it connects to everyone of us that has an inanimate object that weaves into our lives, for whatever reason, and becomes part of us. Many times in private, sometimes in public.

I've seen guys wear the same cap for years... too attached to it to get rid of the thing, and pretty soon you can describe the guy to someone "You know him. He wears the red Budweiser hat." and everyone nods, knowing exactly who that guy is.

Sometimes it's a car that we can't bear to part with. It costs us money in repairs and isn't efficient on gas, but it carried all your kids when they were little, your oldest took it to college, the front fender is caved in from a parking lot mishap... but still you drive it because it's part of you.


Sal and I were in a restaurant with 4 friends of ours, 3 of which were a mother and 2 of her daughters. MB, M, and H. At some point in time conversation had fell very briefly to what one of us said we wanted for Christmas and H. said... "I just want my pillow."

Conversation stopped. At first I thought what an odd thing and then I looked at H. and her eyes were welling up with tears... and I knew there was a story.

I lost a little bit of the detail to this story as to what the exact origin of this pillow was, but the gist of it is, it was part of something else that was a gift for H. when she was just a little girl. The pillow became a part of her, a piece of her childhood that she could cling to and hold and smell and bury her face in and have complete and total comfort.

It was a very small pillow, maybe a dolls pillow.... I don't know for sure that part. H. kept the pillow at home and when she was there, it was there. Her mom said that she wouldn't let her wash it, it would loose it's smell... probably a smell that was a potpourri of all things that are "home". Our sense of smell is amazing, able to pick out differences in odors is incredible. I can understand the smell. I love to walk by Sally when she's sitting in the office and give her a peck and sniff her hair and I'm immediately taken back to when we were dating and the first time we met. I love that smell.

Sometimes when H. would go to school she would put the little pillow in the refrigerator so when she got home she could pull it out and lay her head on it and feel it's coolness and probably calmed racing thoughts of the day.

When she was still small the pillow went missing for a time and MB found it down in the guts of the couch where it had slid off to. Thinking that H. had gotten over it and maybe it was time to put away this piece of her childhood, she put it up in a closet.

Christmas came that year and everyone opened their gifts and it was all over with and MB noticed that H. was just sitting quietly with a "look" on her face. Her mom asked her if something was wrong and H. said... (this caused me to tear up) "I really thought that Santa would bring my little pillow back to me for Christmas..."

MB just went to the closet and got it and gave it to her. It gripped the family so immensly, this dirty little pillow... it became the focal point of Christmas morning.

Years and years went by, the little pillow staying with H. wherever she went. H. is now a mom herself on her own and less than a year ago... the pillow went missing again. Hardly more than a dirty little rag now, but still imbedded firmly in not only the heart of H. but everyone in the family. While they told Sally and I the stories about the pillow, I think everyone teared up at some point during the tellings and H. had to excuse herself.

The whole thing seemed silly at first, but it touched me so much, a day hasn't gone by since that evening that I haven't thought of it and thought of H. sitting across the table from me with tears in her eyes.

If you happen to read this H., thanks for telling it to us. You're awesome.

I really do hope that Santa brings it back to her this Christmas. I really do.



Jennifer and Sandi said...


- Jennifer

P.S. Boy a lot of ppl sure do have a lot of ex's that look like Squeaky MN's Largest Boar! INCLUDING MY EX Hahahahahahaha

Jennifer and Sandi said... I'm crying. What a great story. It sure tugged at my heart. I pray that H gets her pillow back too someday.

I lost my mom last week.....she'd been very sick for a long time. I know she has a perfect body now and I know where she is and that she's happy, but I want my mommy back.......


Jerry said...

Thanks Jace. That was a great story, but more than that it evokes those nostalgic feelings we all sometimes have - memories of precious things from decades ago.

My mother used to make Pooh bears - little teddy bears about 10" tall. Nearly years ago she gave one to us and Anne still sleeps with that thing. It's all threadbare now and some stuffing is coming out (she's even cried about that) but it's still there. :)

Reenie said...

Was stopping by to say *howdy* and had the pleasant encounter of your post. I'm gonna link ya.

Netta who wrote WalMart is someone I've blogged with for 3 years over at Journalscape - a small & safe spot. I've always loved her WalMart story and the story of *goodness* she gives the reader.

If you are interested in knowing Netta, she's at Journalscape with me. My address is: I probably won't be posting at Blogspot again - I did it for the heck of it. :)

Netta's link is t my other Reenie's Reach as well as other good destinations.

Best, Reenie

brent said...

What a touching story. H, thanks for sharing and thank you, Jace, for putting it in print for the rest of us to appreciate....