Bridal Barbie Made It Special

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This Christmas will be the third without my grandmother and the second without my grandfather. I learned in my counseling classes that time doesn’t ease all wounds; in fact, sometimes the ache and longing only increases, yet the pain becomes “normal”. Whatever that means.

Lately, I’ve really been missing my grandparents. Since my grandfather’s passing, my mom’s family has become fragmented. Rarely do I talk to my great aunts and uncles or their children, or even my mother’s brother and his family. It’s never been the closest family, but it was a family nonetheless. Now we just send each other Christmas and birthday cards like old friends who once shared something, but now we’re just obligated to do something.

I remember my grandparents.  Despite their faults, I knew they loved me. I was their sole biological granddaughter and I was special to them. As the only grandparents ever involved in my life, they were also special to me. One Christmas after all the gifts had been open, my grandmother smiled shyly and pulled out a present she had hidden behind her chair. She handed it to me and told me to open it. Inside was the beautiful bridal Barbie I had been wanting since my friend got one for her birthday in August. My mom told my grandmother that she shouldn’t have as I ripped open the box with glee. My grandparents exchanged knowing smiles and to this day, I still have that special Barbie. True, her dress is a little tattered, her bridal veil has been knocked askew, and her hair’s a bit tangled, but she’s still as special as the day I got her. She’s in a bin marked “Stuff for Amy’s spawn”, a collection of special toys from my childhood I’ve saved for the children I will one day adopt.

I was in my mom’s storage area last week and I found the big marked “Stuff for Amy’s Spawn.”  I pried off the lid pulled out that special Barbie, just to remember that Christmas and remember the love of my grandparents.   Her hair was all tangled, so I used the crappy plastic doll brush and combed it out until it was flowing beautifully again.  And for a moment, I felt the elation of when I first unwrapped her and pull her brand new from her box.  Without a doubt, bridal Barbie made that Christmas very special.  Amazing how a plastic doll manufactured in China can have so much sentimental value.


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