I’m not sure where I was born or where I spent the early days of my life, though I do know I was hand created by someone. The first real memory I had was being inside a dark box, with the sound of excited chatter coming from outside. Suddenly, there was a bright light, though not so bright I was blinded, and the level of noise increased. I remember being held up and shown off to the sounds of ohs and ahs. I am 28 inches by 37 inches and yellow with tigers, sheep, and giraffes. I was a baby shower gift for Janet, who was currently pregnant with the person I would become so special to. I was not the most popular gift that day, and Janet didn’t plan to use me, but April sought me out. She picked me as her favorite. She wanted to love me.
During my early years, I followed April around from her different homes, as she traveled from Air Force base to Air Force base. I did the normal things a blanket like myself did, offered comfort, warmth, security. She slept with me every night and used me when she played with her dolls. She cuddled with me on the couch and took me with her to sleepovers. We were inseparable.
As the years went on, April started to grow and change. She didn’t play with her dolls anymore and I often landed under the bed, as she kicked me off during the night. Her bed was white with gold trim and very princess like. It was a twin size and when April hit double digits in age, her feet would hang over the edge. When we turned 11, there was a major change in our lives. This was the year she got a new bed. It was a full size, solid pine bed with a set of drawers under it. I was so excited for the drawers under the bed! That meant no more falling underneath it. But then the worst possible thing happened. April stopped sleeping with me. Was this the end for me? Was I not going to be loved anymore?
From that moment, and for the next few years, I hung on the footboard, left to collect dust and watch April’s life go by. She grew up; graduated from the eighth grade, then from high school. Soon, she was packing for college. Would she take me with her? As I watched her pack her things, she removed me from the end of the bed and threw me in the wash. Yeah! I was getting cleaned before I headed to Western Connecticut State University with her. How exciting, I was going to college, I was going to see so much! I came out of the dryer, all warm and toasty and I was folded. But I didn’t go in her suitcase, I headed into a closet. A cold, dark, and lonely closet, where I sat on a shelf next to the Barbie dolls and LEGO sets which went unplayed with. At 18 years of age, the end of my life seemed near.
Years went by before I saw the full light of day. April returned home from WCSU after a year, because she was a terrible student. She moved back into her room and I saw brief pieces of light when the closet opened, but I was never removed from my spot on the shelf. At the age of 21, April moved out of her room and into an apartment. As she packed, I was removed from the shelf and put in a box. I moved with her to the apartment, but I never left the box. After a year she returned home to her parents, but I didn’t go with her. I stayed in my box and headed into storage. I could tell it was storage by the unpleasant smell. I’d come to hate boxes as much as I had the dreaded closet.This whole process repeated itself at the ages of 24 and 28. At least she hadn’t gotten rid of me.
At 28, I was taken out of my box and moved into a wooden chest with the rest of her blankets. It was still dark, but I was with other blankets and the chest smelled nice. But something had changed. I heard April crying all the time and she is rarely got much sleep. This was not my April. She was not happy. The home we were in was warm, but it was a very unhappy place. April now lived the same life I did: sad, dark, and lonely. I started to worry about her. I heard her talking on the phone to her mom a few times a day, and the calls were very sad. One day we had gotten a visitor. Judging by the music in the air, it was Christmas time, and April’s mom had come to visit. April and her mom left the apartment one afternoon, only to return a few hours later carrying a lot of items. Since I was stuck in my chest, I was not sure what the items were. There was a lot of excitement and activity coming from them. Whatever it was, April was happy again. It was the happiest I’ve heard her in a while. What made her so pleased?
I saw a bright light, though not so bright that I was blinded, as the lid to my chest was opened. April pulled me out and held me up to show me off. I saw a bunch of bags all around the apartment and something gray sitting on the floor in a ball. April folded me up and laid me near to the gray ball. It began to move and walked over to me. Oh, it was a kitten. April patted me and said to the cat “This is your new blanket. Welcome home, Gryffin.” What was this? Was I getting a new owner? I heard April refer to the cat as her son, so I guess I was passed on to the next generation. Gryffin was warm and cuddly and I was reminded of when April was young. She was happy, which made me happy. It had been a long time since I was happy. And I saw the light. And I was warm.
Gryffin and Blankie
It’s been 11 years since I met my new owner, and at the age of 39, I am still happy. I spend my days getting cuddled, chewed on, and just plan loved. My new playmate can only meow at me, and his nails are a bit sharp, but he is warm and playful. I won’t be wrapped around any of his toys and I won’t be used every night. But I am once again in the light. And I am loved.