|Dolly Bear. |
This photo was taken in May of 2012, after Dolly had a close call with being lost at Meijer's.
She had been turned in to Customer Service, slightly the worse for wear,
with shopping cart tracks to mark her harrowing day.
For the past year and a half or so, there has been one constant in Ellie's evolving life: Dolly Bear.
This week, we lost Dolly. I feel terrible, because when we headed out last Monday afternoon, I realized Ellie didn’t bring Dolly to the car, so I ran back inside to get her. WHY!!! So I know she had her when we headed to the bank. The kiddos were rather cranky at the bank, and I tried to placate them first with books, and then finally with cell phones. That one worked. (Thanks, Aunt Sandy!) I remember hearing Ellie say she wanted to look at the pictures on it. I don’t remember if she was still holding Dolly at that point, but my hope was that she dropped her there.
After the bank, we headed to the courthouse. They were closed, but we did get out of the car and walked around the block looking for the door before we realized that. We circled back around it on our first search, then I got out and walked it again that night, but no Dolly there.
After the courthouse we went to Walmart. For a few little things. Like deodorant, dog food, garden fencing (which I didn’t find), cupcake liners, fruit, eggs, and milk. Do you recognize where that takes you in Walmart? Yep, everywhere. And then for good measure, we went to the Subway in Walmart to get some cookies and water.
I didn’t realize Dolly was missing until I put Ellie in her carseat. So I loaded the kids back in the cart and we went back in and retraced our steps. Twice. Ellie called out for Dolly in the store the same way she calls for Aunt Sanny at the park. At least she didn’t get too teary. And we went to Customer Service. They have our name and number and a description of Dolly. The customer service person said sometimes things like that aren’t found for a day or so, until maintenance finds them under shelves, etc. From the look of the shelves that I looked under, I don’t think they sweep those out every day.
Ellie actually did pretty well without Dolly until bedtime. And she tried to be a big brave girl even then. We said a special prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help her to get to sleep and to help us find Dolly. It took her a while to go to sleep, and she woke up and cried a bit several times, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.
I called Walmart every day last week to check for Dolly, and she hasn't been found. She wasn't at the bank, or anywhere on the Courthouse grounds, and I think we have all come to accept that she is not going to be found.
Here are a some flashbacks through Ellie's life with Dolly Bear.
|Although not the first time Ellie played with Dolly, this is the first photo I could find of her, taken in October 2011.|
|Traveling companion on a trip to Columbus, March 2012|
|Playing at home, May 2012|
|Mother's Day 2012|
|Ellie's first birthday. Dolly helps her open presents.|
|Lake Erie boat tour, July 2012|
|Wheelbarrow ride with Grandpa Selvage, Sept. 2012|
|Dolly makes a great Peek-A-Boo aide, October 2012|
|Just chillin' at home. Nov 2012.|
|Christmas Eve 2012|
|Dolly goes with Ellie to visit Jesus, Christmas 2012|
|Cleveland Zoo, January 2013|
|Out to breakfast with Megan, February 2013|
|Tumbling with Rachel, February 2013|
|Playing with the new letters, March 2013|
|Taft playground, March 2013|
|Service doll for the blind, April 2013|
|All the toys to choose from, and Dolly is the pick, April 2013|
|Riding the Delta Queen, Florence Mall, April 2013|
|First flight, Florence Mall, April 2013|
|Brookside park playground, May 2013.|
You may not see Dolly in this picture, because she was too slippery for Ellie to hold...
|but she wasn't far behind!|
|Papa's graduation, May 2013|
We once tried to get a back-up Dolly Bear. A friend had pointed out that since Ellie was getting so attached, we should pick up a second bear just like her and use them interchangeably so that if one ever got lost it wouldn't be a problem. Easier said than done. First was the problem in finding one. Family Dollar, Dolly's point of origin, had stopped carrying them. I called every store within 50 miles to see if they had any left in stock, without luck. I searched on ebay, and paid triple her original price to have one shipped. (ebay has everything!)
Ellie was NOT amused. She rejected the back-up immediately and forcefully. One night as I was putting Ellie to bed, I slipped the new dolly into her hand so I could take the original and launder it. She was asleep, but roused enough to sniff the new doll and grunt a rejection before she fell back to sleep. That night I was awakened around 2 a.m. by a loud howl from Ellie. I went into her room and she was screaming, "Dolly, Dolly!". I picked up the new dolly and handed it to her. She took it and screamed at me and threw it so hard that it hit the opposite wall, 10 feet away. I went and got "real Dolly" and on handing it to her she sniffed it, rubbed its arms to make sure it felt right, and fell instantly back to sleep.
Ellie is recovering from her loss, and she has now taken over Beary Doll (a blue blanket bear that belongs to Tommy) for naptime and night time. She doesn’t carry him around like she did with Dolly though.
A few nights ago she was crying for Dolly (the first time in several days that the name had come up) and I noticed that she picked up Beary and was sniffing him and feeling his arms and testing him out. Tommy noticed too and threw a fit. I pulled him aside and reminded him of how much she loved Dolly and how we can’t find her and I asked him if he would share Beary. He went and handed Beary to Ellie, and although he has played with him during the day he has willingly let him go with Ellie for 3 nights in a row. In fact, after I put Ellie to bed tonight empty handed, she cried for Beary, not Dolly, and Tommy took him and handed him to her and gave her a kiss. He is a very sweet brother. J
Interesting to note that she still throws “Fake Dolly” down when it is offered to her. J