When I was a little girl, my favorite “teddy bear” was a black and white panda. I cuddled and slept with it every night, and dragged it around, by its arm (or leg) all day. I had other stuffed animals, but this one was my real buddy and companion. I didn’t want to share it. I didn’t want to wash it. I didn’t want to be away from it. Over the years, it became withered and torn and kind of sad looking, until one day…..I just forgot about it as I grew up into other interests.
Many years passed: grade school, middle school, high school, engagement, marriage and a child. A beautiful baby girl with blue eyes and a bright smile. The joy of our lives. We all had great hopes for her happiness and success and made plans for her future as a grown up girl. You never realize how much impact a child can be until you hold her in your arms and look into those innocent eyes and see a little bit of yourself in them.
On my 30th birthday, August 21,1987, my daughter was just past turning 5 years old and my father gave me the most precious gift. It was a framed picture of a panda with a note he had written on the back. It told me that my ownership of this special picture was only temporary, as I was to give it to my own daughter on her 30th birthday and she to hers and so on and so on. In this way his love and legacy would be passed through the generations to “all the little girls”.
This year, my daughter turned 30 years old – where did the time go? It was my priviledge to turn the picture over to her loving care until another “little girl” in our family reaches 30 years old. Even more special, was that my father was able to see his legacy passed on to another generation.
The Panda that was “born” in 1957, will live on and on, bringing joy and comfort and love on behalf of Dad, GrandPa, Great-GrandPa and on and on. Thank you Dad, for thinking of your “little girls”.