The Bear's Secret Heartbeat

The Bear's Secret Heartbeat

A Story by texasjane

My sister still does not know the secret.

"Grandmother, Grandmother, where are you.  Jackie's Teddy Bear is alive!  It has a heartbeat."  I was running from room to room trying to find my grandmother.  I knew she would want to know about my discovery.  I had spent the whole day next door playing with Jackie and her grandfather while grandmother took care of my sister.  My sister had been hospitalized because of her ears.  She was always getting ear infections.  The only way to fix it was to put some sort of tubes in her ears.  My sister had only been home from the operation for three days.  I just knew I had an answer that would make her feel better.

"I am in here, but you wait there till I come out."  Grandmother was wiping her hands and adjusting her apron when she came into my room.  "Now, what is all this about a live bear?"

"Yes, Jackie's Teddy Bear is alive.  It has a heartbeat."  I repeated it.  My grandmother's mouth flew open and her eyes got big.  "But how is that possible?"

"It must be magic.  I begged Jackie to let me have the Teddy Bear to help my sister but she would not part with it.  Even her grandfather said the Bear had a secret and could not be given away."  Grandmother frowned and then she started doing her finger on the chin thing.  She gazed out the window and just kept tapping her chin.  I knew it would not be long before she would figure out a way to get that Teddy Bear.

When my mommy got home from work I started to tell her about the Teddy Bear.  Grandmother stopped me and told Mommy she would be back in a while.  She had waited until Mommy got home so she could leave.  Next door, that is where she was going, next door.  I just knew it.  Suddenly, Daddy showed up and she got in the car with him.  They both took off.

I went in to see my poor sister.  She looked so small in that big bed.  I crawled up on the bed and laid down beside her.  We held hands and she smiled at me.  I tried to talk to her but her ears were full of stuff and all wrapped up.  She looks like she had on earmuffs.  I thought about what would make her happy.  Then I remembered how much she loved music.  I ran and got Daddy's little radio.  I turned it on and placed her hand on it.  She smiled when she felt the music come through.  This was so sad for me.

We had been told just last year that she was almost blind in one eye due to a birth defect.  We had already gone through the double teeth thing.  It was awful.  Her baby teeth refused to fall out and her permanent ones came in anyway.  The dentist had to pull her baby teeth.  The kids at school had been so cruel to her.  I was always in trouble for beating someone up who made her cry.  The glasses she had to wear were thick and a double row of teeth did make her look like a monster with pretty blond hair.  I tried to make sure to sit on her right side so she could easily see me.  Now, her ears.  I just had to get that Teddy Bear.  I know the magic in that bear would heal her ears.

Grandmother and Daddy came home with big grins on their faces.  Daddy came in carrying a big Teddy bear.  One the same size as the one Jackie had.  Without even waiting I grabbed it from my daddy and ran to my sister's room.  Her little arms stretched out to hold her new friend.  She was grinning and holding her bear.  All the grown-ups had followed me into the room and were also grinning as she patted the bear's face.

I let her hold the bear until she went to sleep then I had to find out for myself.  I slowly took the bear so her grasp would release it.  I held the bear and I heard nothing.  I was devastated.  This was not the right bear.  This bear was not alive at all.  It would make her happy but it would not heal her.  I cried quietly so no one would know my heart was broken.  I thought Grandmother understood.  Why won't Jackie give me her bear?  I would give her such a bear if it were me.  Then I thought about what I had just said in my mind.  No, I would not.  If I had a live Teddy Bear, I would never give it away.  I guess the only thing to do is hope grandmother will stare out the window, put her finger to her chin and find another solution.

I awoke the next morning.  I jumped out of bed and looked on the floor.  The Teddy Bear was gone.  Oh, No!  I ran to my sister's room, it was not in there.  Grandmother was serving my sister her breakfast in bed and helping her with napkin duty while she ate it.  I glanced around and could not see the bear anywhere.  "What are you lookin' for, baby?"  Grandmother was finished and headed to the kitchen.  She was grinning but I could not figure out why.

My sister was very sad and crying because she missed her bear.  I brought her all sorts of toys in from my room but she only wanted that bear.  No grown-up in the house was talking.  I got up on the bed and let my sister lay her head on my shoulder as I held her and just let her cry.

Bang, Bang... Our next-door neighbor showed up at the door.  He had my sister's bear!  I grabbed it and took off to my sister's bed.  I did not care if it was not alive.  It made her happy.  Her outstretched arms showed me I was right.  I was thrilled.  My sister sat up in bed and held the bear very tight and gave him a big hug.  "Wow,"  she said.  He held him close and gave him another hug.  "Wow."  She was grinning.  Then she started laughing.  All the adults had gathered into the room to watch the magic unfold.  She looked at the bear who now had long eyelashes and kissed it.  Then hugged it again.

"The doctor said today was the day so here we go. Daddy came over to the bed and slowly started taking all the stuffing out of my sister's ears.  She held on to her bear the whole time.  When he was finished she hugged Daddy.  Then she again hugged her bear.  She squealed and waved me over to the bed.  She said, "Hug her.  My sister said, "Hug Sister."  I was taken back, she had named her bear Sister.  She called me Sissy or Janie.  The Bear from then on was Sister.

I followed her lead.  I hugged the bear.  I suddenly stopped and realized I could hear her heart beating.  Just like Jackie's bear.  She was alive.  My sister was healed.  She could hear.  I was thrilled.  That bear stayed with my sister all through high school and was still with her after her first son was born.  I knew it was the magic that it brought.  She once said it brought the magic of love.

All the grown-ups had to talk me out of trying to feed the bear.  It seems when I held it at the dinner table, I heard its tummy rumble.  That is a story for another day.  The secret to the Teddy Bear's heart was love.  You could not hear it without a hug.  I do know that for many, many years I thought when my grandmother was tapping her chin, she was talking to God.  I told my sister several times that is when Grandmother was calling in the boss upstairs.  I still think I was right on that one.

What I did not know at the time but learned many years later is that his granddaughter's bear had been through an operation which included taking his old stethoscope and placing it just so inside the bear.  Every time she hugged him, she could hear her own heartbeat.  This also lets me know I was not crazy.  I did hear his tummy rumble.  I don't think anyone ever told my sister the Secret of the Bear's Heartbeat.

© 2021 texasjane

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Added on July 25, 2021
Last Updated on July 25, 2021
Tags: Teddy Bears, Children



Hawkins, TX

I a retired Texas widow. I live alone with two dogs. I love to look for the humor in almost everything. I like to pass along a giggle when I can. Wisdom is also fun to pass along. I like to pro.. more..

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