GROWING OLD WITH GRACIE

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Western Maryland, United States

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Little Strange Maybe?

I had  heard stories about Suzie, but one warm spring day I would finally meet her in person. 

It was early 90's and my almost daily visits to the assisted living apartment building where my mom lived, never happened without my 2  year old daughter Lindsey tagging along with her baby doll of choice.   Lindsey loved visiting Grandma.  It was warm in her apartment and it seemed that the sun brightened Grandma's small apartment even on the coldest and cloudiest of days. 

One day shortly after we arrived, Mom got a phone call from the man upstairs. 

No - I mean...  really - the man upstairs. 

His name was Oney.  He wanted us to come up to his apartment. 

Oney had cancer and according to Mom, he was a little 'strange' but very kind. 
He lived alone in his 3rd floor apartment.  Well...  he wasn't quite alone.  He did have Suzie. 

Suzie was a doll.

Suzie was his life. 

He spent much of his day in his rocking chair by the window, singing and talking to her...  and rocking her back and forth. 

A little strange, eh? 
Or maybe just different...  who can say.

When we arrived at Oney's apartment he kissed Suzie on the forehead, 
then he asked Lindsey if she would adopt her and take care of her. 

"I've watched you just about every day for the past year," Oney said.  "You get out of your car and walk to the building..  and this little girl always holds her doll tightly in her arms, taking such good care of it, sometimes talking to it and kissing it.   I know Suzie will have a good home with her." 

Tears filled his eyes as he watched us walk away.  He died several months later. 

  We painted Suzie's  nails and lips and put a wig on her tattered, matted hair.  Then we'd dress her, according to whatever holiday was close.

She was always 'hanging around' and she was loved. 

When Lindsey grew up, and didn't care to have her anymore...
and when she started getting in my way
 (and spooking me when she'd stare at me with those stone cold piercing greenish eyes),
we sold her on ebay. 

I guess there comes a time in our lives
when we must just move on.