Sunday, May 18, 2008

Michael has a new friend...

Today was our adventure at the Build A Bear Workshop. It was held at their store in the Carousel Mall in Syracuse and was sponsored by an organization that hosts fun events for children undergoing intense medical treatments. The organization was founded by a woman who lost her daughter to childhood illness a couple of years ago. Her daughter loved Build A Bear in her final days so her mother, Gayle, shares that joy with other children. There were around 16 children there today and each child was allowed to pick out an animal and stuff him. Michael chose a Bunny whom he named Midnight.

And while the girl from the store filled Midnight with stuffing, Michael pushed the buttons to add "Hugs & Kisses", "Love", "Kindness", & "Friendship".

Next, Michael pushed a button on a machine that caused a flurry of little red hearts, one of which he caught one to place inside Midnight. They also gave each child a "special" purple heart to place inside their animals that represented the little girl that was lost. A poem was read while they placed these special hearts in their animals about her smiling down from Heaven on them. It was very touching.

Then each new animal friend was sewn up by the store personnel and given an "air bath" by their new young owners. Each child was then allowed to pick out a new outfit and dress their new friend. It should come as no surprise that Michael dressed Midnight in a construction outfit consisting of a red t-shirt, blue jean overalls, a hard hat and work boots. And he completed the look with a tool belt full of toy tools.

On our way out of the mall, Michael and I took a spin on the antique carousel that the mall is named after. It was a wonderful way to spend a rainy Sunday morning. And, when I learned the story behind the generosity of this day, it made it all that more special for me.

Please keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers, JoAnne

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