I have postponed sharing this news for the past week because I think I've been in denial. I keep thinking that he can't really be gone. But...it's time I face the facts. We have lost a dearly loved member of the family.
(You may recall hearing about him in this previous post.)
I'm saddened to report that Owen's most loved stuffed pal, Mr. Lion was inadvertently left at the park last week (at least, that's what I think happened to him). I remember Owen asking if he could bring him with us and I told him he could, but that he had to stay in the car. (That was pretty commonplace, actually.) And I am certain that our friend did not come with us (knowingly) into the park. But sadly, he never made it home. So, my guess is that he must have fallen out of the car as we were getting in or out of it, and none of us noticed.
I called Ryan immediately once I realized he was gone and he did a quick drive-by of the parking lot to search for him. And I also drove back there that afternoon (after the kids had napped), but alas, he was nowhere to be found. I even called the parks department after a few days to see if anyone had turned him in, but that was a dead end, too.
I'm pretty sure that I am far more upset about this loss than Owen is. We have misplaced Mr. Lion quite a bit in the past, so O's been pretty understanding about going to bed without him on occasion. And now that he's gone for good (gah!), he's really only asked about him once or twice and has seemed perfectly fine with our answer: "We lost him at the park, buddy. He's gone." (Sniff, sniff...)
As it turns out, Owen has two other stuffed lions that seem to have replaced (in my opinion, the irreplaceable!) Mr. Lion as his favorites. So, maybe it was time for Mr. Lion to fade out of first place anyway.
But when I lie in bed at night and think about the fact that we'll never open up a box of Owen's special memories and pull out raggedy old Mr. Lion someday...well, it just makes my heart ache. I'm serious, y'all. I may or may not have actually shed a tear over this.
I really am still in denial. I keep hoping that we will miraculously find him stuffed inside some random box somewhere (also commonplace) and will all laugh at how we thought he was gone forever, but here he is...back with us once again! Oh, how I hope that happens...
In the meantime, let's all take a moment now to remember the good times (in reverse order) that we shared with our dearly departed pal, Mr. Lion.
R.I.P. Mr. Lion (2010-1012). You will be missed.