Just thinking about this brings a great sadness to my heart. We have lost our beloved Whaley. Whaley was a baby shower gift we received a few months before Harold joined our family. As soon as we brought Harold home from Guatemala, he latched on to this particular stuffed animal.
Everything about Whaley was just right. His flippers fit in Harold's mouth perfectly, his fur was soft and he was just the right size for snuggling. Burying his face deep into the stuffing and biting Whaley was soothing for Harold. Once Harold was talking, he even offered to let us take our own chop out of his whale. We kindly declined, he was getting pretty disgusting by that time. Whaley was seriously thin, not a lot of stuffing was left, where holes wore through, he had been stitched. Every fiber of him had been hugged, stroked, soaked in drool, cried on and loved deeply by our little boy.
Whaley and Harold traveled the world together. Together they flew on over 60 airplane flights, stayed in many hotels, at friends' houses, in tents, drove in many car rides, stayed with many babysitters and went on over night trips to the grandparents' house. But at last this beautiful friendship was about to come to an end.
On our last journey from Minnesota to Brevig, Whaley was lost. We're not sure if he was left on a plane or in our hotel. I tried calling the hotel to see if they had seen him but had no luck. As for the airline, I don't even know where to begin. Since we're not certain which one he was left on, it's like searching for a needle in a haystack. At last, I just had to come to terms with the fact that Whaley was gone, never to be recovered. I'd like to think that he's gone on to bigger waters.
When I think of all the places we've taken him, I'm amazed he wasn't lost sooner. We did have a few scares along the way, like the time we thought we accidentally donated him to the women's shelter. That time we found him in the sleeve of C.O.'s shirt. A couple nights ago I dreamed, that I unfolded some laundry and found Whaley stuffed inside. If only it were true.
I'm not a very sentimental person when it comes to material possessions. Stuff is just not of very much importance to me. I am on a continual rampage to get rid of things from our house and lives. I have saved very little to give Harold as a memento of his childhood. We saved his "original packaging", the outfit he was wearing the day we got him, his first Christmas outfit and that's about it. The only other thing I had on the list to save was Whaley. Hence, the great sadness of loosing him.
You may wonder how Harold is fairing through all this and I'm happy to report he's doing just fine. For this I am thankful, I can now concentrate my energy on my own grief.