For Ed and me, it was pretty easy to get rid of almost everything we owned. For Jadelyn, it was a bit harder. Teenagers tend to link their identities with their stuff, and getting rid of it is like cutting off their arms. But Sis did admirably, selling, donating, and giving away much of what she once held dear. This is partly because she saw the space she had to store it in and didn’t like picturing herself buried in all the teen artifacts.

One thing we did keep was all the stuffed animals and, of course, Pascha. He’s been Jadelyn’s baby since she was a year old. Over the years he has been relegated to a more background position in the house, but he is still very much there. I’m not sure it wouldn’t feel like losing MY arm if we lost Pascha.

Sissy taking a picture of Pascha
Pascha goes everywhere with us and has gathered quite a collection of memorable moments. Here he is at Multnomah Falls.

Pascha, on the other hand, takes the loss of arms, legs, and even his head in stride. He keeps smiling as we pop the parts back on to his tattered body. When Little Sissy decided to put “eye drops” in his eyes, didn’t matter to him that it was Crazy Glue. He just winks and smiles.

Pascha doesn’t take up much room except in our hearts. This is not the case with Mna-Mna. There was no getting rid of him. You might think having a six-foot bear in a small space would be inconvenient and you’d be right. But he does have some uses. For one thing, Pablo is in love with Mna-Mna.

Mna-Mna and Sis with Pablo


So is Gus-Gus.

Gussy and Mna-Mna

Mna-Mna is also very good at dodging drafts as well as heat. Put him in front of any window, and the temperature almost immediately changes for the better. He’s ridiculously comfortable to sit on, lay on, lean on, or wrap yourself in. And when one of us is sad, Mna-Mna is always there with a soft shoulder, arm, or big paw. He’s like a sweater, blanket, insulation, animal bed, and pillow all rolled into one. He’s pretty much the most useful thing we’ve brought with us.

Gussy and Mna-Mna