Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#ExpressYourself: The Teddy Bear That Saved My Sanity #childhood #protector

Happy Tuesday, everyone. This week I will be double posting in the Express Yourself Weekly Blog Tour because I missed my post for last week. So there will be two Express Yourself Blog Posts.

Last week we were asked to tell our readers about our most beloved toy growing up. My most beloved toy is a teddy bear by the name of Honey Joe. This image best describes the relationship I have always had with Honey Joe.

I met Honey Joe during one of the most difficult times of my life. My mom and dad married when I was three years old. Their marital relationship only lasted for three years. When they divorced my mom was granted sole custody and my dad was given visitation rights. He moved to an hour north to Cleveland, Ohio. Most of the relationship I had with my dad after that was through letters and telephone conversations. He would always tell me he was coming to get me for the weekend but more times than naught my hopes were dashed because he would not show up. Like most young children whose parents divorced, I couldn't understand why my mom and dad didn't live together. I loved both of my parents and thought we should all live in the same house. Wasn't that what normal families were supposed to do?

When I was eight years old, my dad had a girlfriend named Dorothy. I never liked her because to me she wasn't my mom and in my head the only woman right for my dad was my mother. My dad broke it off with her and my parents were trying to get back together when my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. The last weekend we were together in his apartment he told me not to worry. He was going to beat this and would be there to walk his little girl down the aisle when I found Mr. Right.

A few months later, my father lost his battle. I was devastated. My father had given me a stuffed dog and three QBert Books the last time I had seen him in the hospital. (He was so duped up on Morphine that he broke the nose on the dog. I still have the dog but will never have his nose repaired because I can't bear to replace that memory.) I couldn't sleep without having nightmares and I tried so hard to not forget anything about my dad because I didn't want to forget his face or the sound of his voice. My mom had remembered that I had had my eye on a teddy bear at the local store and a few days later she gave me Honey Joe.

Honey Joe and Honey Jane Bear read one of my books. 
The same year I lost my father I had invited a few girls over for a plate date. I showed my friends my bedroom and introduced them to Honey Joe. One of the girls was so upset that I got the last Honey Joe Bear from the store that she grabbed the pitcher of Fruit Punch Kool-Aid and dumped the entire pitcher on my bear. My mom tried to wash it all out of his fur but Honey Joe never looked the same.

Honey Joe Bruning is a well loved, well cherished bear. He's been everywhere with me. Vacations, camp, college, etc. He's dried my tears, heard my fears, chased away my nightmares and more. I introduced Honey Joe to my husband while we were dating. A few years after we married he found a Honey Joe Bear at yard sale that looked brand new. I was shocked. The Honey Joe Bears were made by Dankin in 1985 and were limited editions. We bought the bear and named her Honey Jane Bear. Honey Joe has moved out of our bed and took up residence with his wife. They live on my dresser but he's still always there for me when I need him.


  1. How strange that you posted this on the day I happened to be thinking about MY Honey Joe Bear (who has traveled around the globe with me and has still has a special place in my home). I am 31 and got Honey Joe when I was about 7. He was my best friend for years... I used to have dreams about him coming to life and playing with me all the time. Whenever I was scared at night, my mom told me to hold him tight and say the magic words, "honey joe bear, take care!" and all would be well :) It worked every time. <3 Dankin sure made a special bear. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. That's amazing. Honey Joe Bear is an amazing bear. I use to have the same dream.

  2. Oh my God, what an endearing story. He reminds me of my Raggedy Ann & Andy I had when I was young. I don't remember what happened to them unfortunately. I wish I did. I'm so glad that you still have him to treasure and were able to find him a wife to boot! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Eva

  3. I still have my hunny joe (jo jo) i got hime 2 weeks after i was born. Hes been across the US with me and has gotten me threw a few hard times.