Reggie the Raccoon
It was Christmas 1983 and I was at the wonderful age of 11, when I received my pet stuffed raccoon, which quickly became my best friend. Reggie was not much of a talker, but was really a wonderful listener to my ongoing conversations that I would force him to endure. He would just sit next to me on the couch, all the while being very attentive as I would share with him about my day at school.
Reggie would sleep with me every night, as I would snuggle him in close to my heart and whisper in my little girl voice, “I love you,” as my eyes would flutter shut and I would enter into mystical places that only our dreams can take us. My comforter would always be on the outside of the bed, facing the door, and ready to leap his 3 pounds of stuffed fur at anything that was to walk through that door and cause either of us to become endangered species.
Thoughts of Reggie bring back so many smiles, as I look back on those years that he would become a treasured presence in my life. We were inseparable, that little raccoon and I. We would go shopping, to the movies, outside to play, to school, and quite often take some wonderful naps together. He understood the fact that I never felt accepted by my peers, and I understood his need to always keep me on my toes, even though he would often find himself doing quite the opposite.
My father, which would often spend most of his time either at work or the bar, always found a way to connect his little girl to him through this adorable little furry creature. I would walk out of the room for a moment, only to come back and find Reggie standing on his head. I would quickly upright him so that he would not get a headache, and offer him my sincerest apologies. Then a short while later when I would leave the room again, Reggie would find himself yet again upside down. My father would be sitting over in his recliner, watching his favorite television program, and fighting back that little smirk at the corner of his lips that I had grown to love. Reggie was soon to endure many months of seeing the world upside down as this game would play out between my father and I.
Reggie had no idea what an instrumental part he was going to play in my life. He now sleeps very comfortably tucked away in a Rubbermaid tote in my basement. However, he still comes out for some affection on occasion when I want to hold him close, and to remember those few moments of childhood when my father was still here with us. My father had passed away in early 1984, so my relationship with Reggie became even stronger as I held tightly to that little raccoon every night, hoping to smell just the slightest hint of my fathers cologne that may have been left from his flipping my little furry friend on his head. Reggie soon was to comfort many tears, eagerly soaking them into his own stuffing where they would find refuge until they were able to disintegrate. My tears remained a part of Reggie, just as he still remains a part of me.
There will be times in our lives that we find our world turning upside down, but we must never fear what lies before us. There is always someone in the next room over, that will soon be there to flip everything back to its rightful place for you. Sometimes seeing the world from a different perspective, can allow you to see things a whole lot differently when you are upright once again.