I am thankful for my childhood memories. One memory is the sensation of touching soft things and the comfort they brought. Touching softness can illicit feelings of happiness, security, warmth, comfort, and/or peace.
Don’t believe me? How does a warm fuzzy soft blanket feel on a cold day? How does sitting with a warm, cat or dog sleeping in your lap while you lay back in your recliner make you feel?
What started me on these meanderings? One night I was sleeping in a motel and grasped the blanket to tuck myself in. Suddenly I felt the coverlet’s velvety softness between my fingers. As I rubbed the fabric between my fingers, a flood of “soft” memories came to me.
Grandmothers Velvet Robe
Spending the night away from home, as a big girl of about 8 years old, by myself, at Grandmother’s house without my parents was a really special event. This particular night was a chilly one even though Grandmother K. always had plenty of quilts and a fire in the fireplace.
There was one source of warmth she had that I loved dearly. It was her navy blue, velvet bathrobe. I was pretty tall for my age and although she was taller than I was her bathrobe covered me perfectly from head to toe.
One afternoon when I was feeling chilly, I curled up under that robe to get warm. The pure bliss of softness from the texture of the fabric, which felt to me like the richest velvet ever made, caused me to marvel at how it could be so soft and so warm!
I am not sure if I took a nap or just wanted to snuggle up under that robe. But I still remember thinking to myself, “This robe is so warm it could keep me warm at the North Pole!” (I of course had no concept of how cold a real arctic freeze could be.)
But I grew up and found other warm things to wear. But sixty plus years later I still remember that robe.
Me And My Smokey the Bear
My uncle gave me a Smokey the Bear teddy bear for my second or third Christmas. Smokey the Bear became my special companion. I took him with me wherever I went.
Smokey’s soft fur was always a comfort to me as a child. I think his protective attitude for the forest trees as seen in the television advertisements, (“Only you can prevent forest fires!”) must have rubbed off on me. I grew into a tree lover.
Later I went to school and grew up and married. Sadly, years after being stored in a box in our garage I had to throw my old friend away. He had been in a wet box from a flood of our garage for too long before I found him. I was so sad to lose him but my life was busy with other adult things like my husband, son, career, and church. So I had to throw him away and go on with my life.
A New Old Smokey the Bear
Years later when I was in my sixties, I saw the above picture of me and my Smokey the Bear. Suddenly it occurred to me that I might find one like him on the internet. I was thrilled to find one in decent shape just like my old one.
The new old Smokey’s fur was loved off like mine. He was missing his hat, badge, and shovel too and his broadcloth(?) blue pants had old mildew stains on them. It wasn’t my old Smokey, but I was so excited that I cleaned and fixed him up as good as he would have been, had he originally been mine. (A post about him is coming in the near future.) I feel happy knowing I gave him a second life and my inner child is happy to see her old friend again.
The Touch of Softness
I can almost feel the softness of my cat, Norie’s hair, just by looking at the way light reflects from her luminous, black coat. Norie is not a lap sitter but she lets me stroke her head, nose, neck and back at different times which makes me feel relaxed and soothed.
The Most Precious Memory
Over three years ago I began to make a new set of soft memories after my first grandson’s birth. Touching his newborn hair, head, face, and skin brought me so much joy!
Later when he was about four months old he fell asleep in my lap while I was performing grandmother babysitting duties. I covered him with a wonderfully soft, burgundy blanket, that reminded me of my grandmother’s navy blue robe. Maybe someday he will have soft memories of sleeping on Grandmother’s bed or blanket like I remember my grandmother’s: as a place of warmth, comfort, love, and protection.
What a wonderful experience to be able to give and receive love, happiness, security, warmth, comfort, and/or peacefulness through the sense of touching softness! We all need that vital sense of touching others that we love, as well as being touched by those who love us. Give everyone you love a hug; hold them close and tell them you love them. These are memories we want our loved ones to have and we want to remember when we are old.