Saturday, September 23, 2006


letting go of the sentimental stuff...

Ok, I'm actually not a very sentimental person, but there are a few soft spots in my life, and one of those involves the gifts that I received from well-wishers during my cancer treatments about 20 years ago. I received dolls, teddy bears, a handmade quilt, etc. I've been in remission forever now, but it's been awfully hard to part with many of these items, even though I am not a doll & teddy bear type of person. Well, I finally got around to decluttering my dolls and I had a pretty remarkable experience. I wrote it up for flylady and she sent it out to her mailing list as a testimonial. Thought it might be of interest to readers of this blog, too. [Note: I have a huge amount of respect for flylady, even if I don't consider myself part of her purple-puddling target audience]:

Dear Flylady:

When I was young my grandma gave me a Madame Alexander doll each year for Christmas and my birthday. I had a lovely cupboard in my room with glass doors where I displayed my dolls. I thought they were so beautiful. Then, when I was 12 I was diagnosed with bone cancer. During the year that I had chemotherapy I received many more dolls from relatives and well-wishers. My cupboard was so full! When I looked at it I felt the love of all the people who had cared for me during my cancer treatments.

As I moved through the years I saved these dolls thinking that I would have a daughter who would love them as much as I had. Well, now I have a 9 year-old daughter who doesn't like dolls! She really wanted the glass-fronted cupboard in her room to store her favorite stuffed animals, trophies and such. So one day I sat with the dolls all around me. I looked at their little shoes, patted their curls, ran my fingers over the lace at the edge of their frilly little dresses--just as I had many, many times over the years. It was my good-bye. I knew I didn't need to save them for my daughter and they needed a new home.

Though these dolls have some collector value, I didn't want to sell them on ebay. I wanted to find a girl who would love them just as I had. I posted a note on my local freecycle group to see if I could find someone that would be a good new owner for these dolls. I had _dozens_ of replies. But one caught my eye. One mother had told me that her daughter would really like some pretty dolls. This mother included a link to her family's homepage in her email message. I clicked on the link and discovered that her daughter was in the middle of cancer treatment. As I read about her story I knew that this was the young girl who would most appreciate my dolls. I contacted her mother and we arranged a pick-up date.

When they arrived I took a few minutes to tell the young girl about my cancer experience. I told her some of the stories about my dolls. She picked her favorite one out of the box and carried it in her arms as they left my home and headed to their car. Wow, was I happy!! Much happier than I ever would have been if I had packed the dolls into a box in the closet. And now I have this absolutely perfect memory to keep in place of the dolls. :)

what a great story. that made my day. (and i bet you made that girl's day too!)
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