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  • He was known as Purple Teddy. Obviously, much thought had not been put in his naming, but there was a lot of love, hope and dreams behind that stuffing and ridiculous red bow. My son Nick had designated the Teddys to watch over me while he was away, living with Mom in that far away Michigan tundra. At first, I thought it was a cute and thoughtful action on his part. He stayed most of the time with Mom now, and only came to visit during the hot summer months. They took turns, the three Guardian Teddy's. We exchanged Teddys solemnly twice a year. Once for Xmas when I visited them, another during summer when they visited me. It was usually hours before leaving for the airport.Nick would give me the appointed bear for the trip back home. I usually tried to hide my tears behind a smile, it was hard saying goodbye for another 6 months.
    "Take this one" he would say.
    " Are you sure ? You know he is your favorite." Nick still slept with his Teddys back then. He was 7 or 8 and his older brother made fun of it. I totally respected him and I would promise Teddy would stay close to me, never leaving the comfort of my bed.
    "Yes, he told me it was his turn."
    "Ok then, off we go to the airport ..." He placed Teddy on my pillow and gave him some last secret instructions.

    And Purple Teddy would be there on my bed when I came back home alone from the airport. I had managed to keep my tears back until then. But that was it. As I lay down in bed, once again surrounded by an empty house, tears rolled endlessly down, while Teddy snuggled in between my arms and looked bravely ahead...
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