Yesterday I had to clean out the closet in my bedroom so that the wall and ceiling could be repaired. In the far end of it were three garbage bags I hadn't seen since I moved in. I knew they were full of my stuffed animals, which had always been displayed somewhere in my various habitats until I moved here. I could have just moved the unopened bags into the other room, but masochist that I am, I decided to take a look at them. The expected nostalgia poured over me as I picked up each one, remembering where I got it, when, and from whom. Memories flew into my consciousness that hadn't surfaced for years.
I was surprised by this doll, though, which I didn't remember having. It was my mother's, and being hidden with my own toys, escaped the mass slaughter of the rest of her doll collection. I remember it only vaguely, connected to an incident at the nursing home where she died. During one of my visits, she told me that her roommate had stolen her baby. Her guardian and I had been careful to include the doll in the possessions we took with her when she was admitted, so I went to check her room. The doll was there, as it had been when she still lived at home, dressed in its Christening gown and carefully positioned on her pillow. No matter how I tried to convince her that it was there, she wouldn't believe me. Neither would she go to her room to look for herself. Typical of her, both before and after senility, the truth had no bearing on her reality. I see that the doll is anatomically correct, a boy. True to form, to her it was a girl and she always dressed it in girl's clothing.
I don't remember if she believed this was a real baby or not. She did, however, lament that she had never had any other children, which made the abduction of this one particularly cruel. I don't know what I will do with it now that I have found this doll. Certainly I can't simply throw away my mother's only child.