The red Rainbow Bright Sprite is named Romeo. I never much cared for the Rainbow Bright cartoon, but I believe it was 1982 or 1984 when my favorite person in the whole wide world died, my grandpa on my daddy's side of the family. It was probably my first real brush with death. I don't remember a lot now (it has been a while) but I do remember that I did not want to be there at the funeral home, and I remember that my Granny Belle and my Uncle Donny (on my mom's side of the family) took me I believe to K-Mart and bought me this little guy, and he became one of my favorite childhood toys. I think I was in the second grade so it would have been 1984. I just remember that Grandpa was there one day and then all of a sudden he wasn't. The next time we went to their house, his recliner was empty and I wouldn't sit in it. It's weird that what you remember most about the death of someone sometimes is their empty chair.
The Strawberry Shortcake doll was always something of bittersweet significance for me when I was a little girl, and even as I grew older. I was never very fond of being called Strawberry Shortcake but I can remember being called that all throughout elementary school and I don't really know why. To this day, I can get back in touch with certain people from my school years, and they will still call me that. I had several of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls too. There was a blueberry one and a lemon meringue one, and I think even a little boy one but I don't remember what he was called. I even had the big strawberry-shaped home that you could store them all inside safely. I never understood if I was called Strawberry Shortcake because of my obvious lack of height, or if it was I also had the scattering of freckles on my face like her.
Some of my favorite toys when I was a little girl though were the My Little Ponies! The pink one is called Cotton Candy, and the purple one is called Blossom, and there was also a pale green one called Minty, and these were my absolute favorites. The pink one with blue hair is called Firefly, and I always liked her because of her name. One of my favorite past times as a kid was catching fireflies (or lightning bugs as we called them) in old jelly jars and using them as night lights. I had so very many of the My Little Ponies, entirely too many to name. There were ones that were pegasus with translucent wings called flutter ponies, and ones that were babies, and ones that were mermaids (or I guess mer-ponies) and ones that were unicorns.
I don't know which I liked more . . . the My Little Ponies or the Care Bears. This shows Tenderheart Bear, Grumpy Bear, Birthday Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear, Bedtime Bear, Wish Bear, Funshine Bear, and Friend Bear. When my boys were younger, they briefly had Care Bears of their own. Matthew's last birthday party, his second, was themed with Care Bears. He even had a little Care Bears cake. I actually buried him with a Baby Tugs Bear. I always liked Grumpy Bear the best. Of course, he was the blue one! Even as an itty-bitty Chelle, my favorite color was blue. I had the Care Bears car that was shaped like a cloud. It was the best thing ever.
I think my mom sold a lot of my things at yard sales through the years, but I was able to salvage a few things. I also have the My Child Doll that I was given in fourth grade, and an original Cabbage Patch Doll. I have a Cabbage Patch Preemie Doll and my purple Fluppy Dog. I have the Strawberry Shortcake doll that my dad gave me that blew kisses and smelled like strawberries. I have a lamb that used to wind up and play music that I was given in second grade when I was stung by a wasp, and we learned that I was allergic to bee stings. The things that I did manage to hold on to and not lose seem to mean more and more as the years pass. I'm glad I still have them!
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