Today the #WhosYourLovey blog series welcomes children’s author Marcie Colleen. Thank you, Marcie, for stopping by to share your childhood lovey story!
And now, here’s Marcie.
My love for loveys—or stuffed animals, as I call them—has always run deep. And I have had many a lovey touch my heart through the years. But none like Sunbonnet Sue.
You see, Sunbonnet Sue is a very special lovey because she has been with me through it all. Sure there were “the dark years” when she was in the toy box. I think that was probably my high school through college and slightly beyond years. But we try not to think on those.
I don’t remember when Sunbonnet Sue came into my life, but I had quite an affinity for rabbits as a kid. So I had lots of rabbit stuffed animals. The story is that Sunbonnet Sue was probably given to me by my grandma. Maybe around Easter. I think most of my rabbit dolls were Easter presents.
When I try to think of my earliest memories of Sunbonnet Sue, she is usually on my bed with several dozen other stuffies. Nothing special stands out. But then there is one particular memory which solidifies her place forever in my heart and my life.
When I was three years old, I became very sick with a rare but serious condition that strikes without warning, Reye’s Syndrome. This illness most often affects children ages 4 to 12 who are recovering from a viral infection. Reye’s syndrome results in sudden swelling and inflammation of the liver and the brain, which can progress rapidly and cause death. Yeah. Heavy stuff.
I was rushed to the emergency room and admitted to the hospital. I underwent surgery to relieve the swelling in my brain. And…I slipped into a coma. My parents were distraught. The prognosis didn’t look good.
When I eventually pulled out of the coma, a nurse called my parents and let them know I had two requests: one, I wanted a doughnut. Two, I had requested Sunbonnet Sue. For some reason, I chose her out of the dozens of stuffies at home. I am not sure what it was about her, but that sealed the deal. She was my lovey.
I had to stay in the hospital a bit as I recovered. While there I received lots of gifts…and stuffed animals…but my strongest memory is of my trusted rabbit friend who helped me at that scary time.
Fast forward a few decades. Over “the dark years.” I was going through a pretty tough time in my life. I was in my early thirties, living in New York City, and things just weren’t going well. I battled with depression, anxiety, you name it.
My parents came to visit to me. And you know who else? Sunbonnet Sue.
Remembering the day when I specially requested her from my hospital bed, my parents brought her to New York City to work her healing magic again. A welcomed, old friend. Matted. Worn. But filled with the companionship I needed at that time. It was a sweet reunion.
Today Sunbonnet Sue sits proudly on my bed in Southern California. The clouds in my life are less frequent and the sun shines often in my heart. But the cool thing about a trusted friend is, I know, if I need her, Sunbonnet Sue is here.
Marcie Colleen is a former classroom teacher turned children’s book author. She is the author of THE SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS chapter book series with Macmillan/Imprint, as well as two upcoming picture books: THE ADVENTURE OF THE PENGUINAUT, to be published by Scholastic, and LOVE, TRIANGLE, which sold at auction in a two-book deal to Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins.
Marcie lives in San Diego, California with her husband—artist Jonathan Lopes—and their mischievous sock monkey (Sunbonnet Sue’s brother!)
You can Follow her on Twitter: @MarcieColleen1 or visit her at www.thisismarciecolleen.com