Farewell, My Lovey

Michelle Riddell Elementary School

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Dearest Lovey,

You have been with us a very long time, nearly a lifetime, which makes what I have to tell you all the more difficult. Let me begin by saying that this decision in no way reflects our feelings towards you. You have been a bottomless source of comfort and security for an anxious little girl—an often inconsolable little girl—and for that I am infinitely grateful. Long after my supply of Hold-yous and Calm-downs dried up; when I could no longer be cuddly or nurturing or even nice; when I could not wrap my arms around anyone but myself or wipe any tears but my own, you were there for her.

Oh Lovey, I am sorry for all the indignities you suffered; please know they were never intentional. The spills and spit-ups, the smushed berries and various other leaky foods, the peanut butter and chewing gum, the time she fell asleep while riding on the back of my bicycle and dropped you, unbeknownst to me, somewhere miles from home. The 100 times she left you in the car, or outside in the rain, or at the dentist’s office, or in a shopping cart. I’m sorry for the requisite midnight washings when I would ease you out of her grasp, unnoticed, and slide you back in an hour later, still damp but clean and sweet. Your original pink color has faded to pastel, and scars of mismatched thread hide holes I’ve sewn together. Baby pictures are the only proof that you were a beauty once and young.

You’ve had a full life, an adventurous stretch, far beyond that of an ordinary baby blanket. You’ve been on an airplane, you saw Taylor Swift, you didn’t miss a day of kindergarten. You’ve been adorned as a cape, an apron, turbans, and the edifice for many a cave-fort. You’ve graced every family gathering with your soft support, giving a hesitant little girl the certainty she needed.

You kept all of our secrets. You never complained. You came into our lives as a gift, and you stayed and you gave without taking. You are the epitome of childhood, you are innocence incarnate, you are supplemental love.

But Lovey, she’s ten; it’s time to let her go. Everything she needs from you, she already has—except the will to leave you. It’s a delicate titration, this matter, and insistence is in vain. How can I warn her that her very source of comfort could turn into a source of shame? It’s not just growing up that changes us, it’s all the goodbyes we say to things we cannot bring along. Where will you go? I hardly know. Away from her is already an immeasurable distance.

 Always know you’re in her heart, her soul, and ours. Farewell, our Lovey. 




About the Author

Michelle Riddell

Michelle Riddell lives with her husband, daughter, and poodles in rural mid-Michigan where traffic stops for turtles, tractors, and threshers. She is a free-lance writer and an editor at Mothers Always Write. She substitute teaches at the local elementary school and is continually surprised by how much she loves it.

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