A Very Special Christmas Doll. But this doll has a unique story all her own. First, I must begin by saying I'm reluctant to see her go. She is the only Madame Alexander doll I ever had. She also brought a lot of happiness and a bit of wonder into my childhood.That was 60 years ago. My mother knew I wanted a Madame Alexander doll. So, without my knowledge, mom found a "Cissy" doll (she knew I'd want the doll to be blond like her), then she carefully hid her away to be given to me on Christmas day. During those years, mom was my closest, my only friend.
I'd just transferred to yet another school -- the 5th school and I was in the 5th grade. Dad's work had kept us moving. I was pretty much an outsider. Always the "new" girl -- different, awkward, shy.
Dad was busy with his career and always gone. My two teenage brothers made it clear they did not want their dopey little sister hanging around or tagging along -- ever. Now even worse, for some reason mom was busy with some secret project and not to be disturbed. Summer was turning into fall.
It seemed like my parents were constantly going to important events with dad's clients. I remember wistfully watching mom getting ready to go out, usually wearing one of her sophisticated black dresses. I couldn't wait to be "grown up" and have to struggle into a girdle like she did.
Her blond hair swept up in soft curls, her perfume, the kid gloves that fastened with little of mother-of-pearl buttons -- the pointed-toe high heals, her pearl earrings and necklace -- yes, even after all these years I seem to remember well how she prepared for those glamorous evenings. Left by myself, I'd watch t. Alone and go to bed by nine. The next day I couldn't wait to see mom.
She would tell me every detail -- who they dined with, the gourmet food, elegant people. Her stories were magical to me.One morning, I remember softly tapping on my parent's door -- it was well after they were usually up. Then I cracked the door. Most of the day was an anxious blur. My brothers would only say that dad was okay, that something had happened to mom. That evening, our neighbors came to the door. They told me to put on my prettiest dress and spruce myself up.
They had to smuggle me into the hospital under my neighbor's heavy mink coat. A cranky nurse had insisted that "Rules were rules" and No one under 18 would be allowed in the I. It was all so strange and frightening.
They lead me to an awful room with beeping heart monitors, tubes going this way and that and an oxygen mask covering my mother's face as she lay helpless in a hospital bed. I simply held her hand and silently prayed. Dad was frozen with worry. I don't think he noticed me. I could hear snippets of conversation.
Doctors can't do anything more -- fall too serious -- skull fractured, discs crushed. Maybe tonight, maybe a month. It was then I realized I was there to say goodby. How I regretted having seen so little of her for the past weeks. My neighbor, Al, lifted me so I could kiss her forehead.
"I love you forever, mommy, " I whispered. Just then, miss crabby nurse appeared, barking, What's that child doing here? She'll upset the patient!
Our neighbor, Al, came to my defense. This is a very shy, quiet little girl.Let her have these moments with her mother. It's against hospital policy! She'll make noise and disrupt the patient! I remember how soft Al's voice became. The only person making noise in this room, is you.
I was ushered out, but not before my mother squeezed my hand. She didn't want to let go.
Our neighbors took me out for ice cream soda afterward. I couldn't swallow, couldn't talk. My heart was in my throat. Alone in my room, I felt so helpless. Several awful weeks later, the miracle I'd hoped for came true.
But it was short lived. My mother was brought home in an ambulance. I heard my big brother repeat the doctor's words, Maybe six months, or we could lose her any day. At school I could barely focus. I just wanted to be by her side.
Would she be there when I got home? In the month that followed, for a few minutes a day, I was allowed to see her. I just held hand, tried to smile and silently prayed. I won't even mention what Thanksgiving was like that year.My father angry, closed off, anxious. My brothers much the same.
Was there even going to be a Christmas? It didn't seem right. The only good news was that mom could be propped with pillows and take off the oxygen mask long enough to talk briefly -- too briefly before she was out of breath.
On Christmas day, my brother got me up, trying to be cheerful. He practically had to drag me out of bed. Don't you want to see what Santa brought? But all I wanted was for mom to be well.When we got to the living room, there was the "Cissy" doll, dressed in the most gorgeous, handmade wedding dress I had ever seen. I thought she looked like an angel that belongs atop a tree.
I now realized what mom's secret project had been during the Autumn before her accident. She had spent weeks, working late into the night, sewing the custom creation, laboring to put the finishing touches on the exquisite tulle, satin and lace wedding ensemble. Custom lace, French seams, braided satin straps, silk and satin trimmed lace, tiny pearls nestled in glistening opalescent sequins, layers of tulle veil, and a doll with the most angelic face I'd ever seen. In my mind, I couldn't call her Cissy.
" So I renamed her "Grace. The story doesn't end here.
Nor does it end sadly. Something I can't explain happened. So much love and devotion had been put into her. I wanted to run to my mother and cover her cheeks with kisses. She was too weal to be disturbed.
So I took Grace to my room, said a prayer of gratitude, then wistfully looking into her soft blue eyes, asked, Will mother ever get well? I turned away to wipe my eyes, it was then I heard a slight rustle. When I turned back to Grace, I saw her head had tipped in a gentle, very slight nod. Did I carry her too fast? Was she going to die, too?
I was hoping; Maybe she'll nod again. That night kneeling by my bed, I said a prayer for both my parents. That mother would be well and my angry fathr would find it in his heart to be kinder. I snuck a peek at Grace.
During the day, I recall gazing at Grace's wedding dress, the fine sewing and needlework. And again I asked blessings for my mother. She hadn't just given me a doll, she'd given me her heart in a labor of love. I don't know where my brothers disappeared to. Dad was closed up in a bitterness I could not fathom.
So one day, after thinking it over. I just put the question directly to Grace.
I know you spent a lot of time with her. Do you think she will be okay? Yeah, kids can be a little nuts. Then, as I was scolding myself aloud for being such a dummy, came a slight, gentle nod from Grace. Yes I'm a dummy or yes mom will be okay?Mom's going to be okay, right? And, yes, I'm a dummy. But I held on to the first explanation. Some days later, I got up the courage to tell my dad. Big, big, bigger than big mistake. I could barely answer, I don't think so, I think she was... If that doll is broken, so help me... (No one would want to hear my dad when he got mad).
"But Grace isn't broken, " I pleaded. I think she's trying to say... That mom will get well.
He looked at me as if I'd lost my marbles. Now I was sorry I'd said anything.I just wanted my dad to feel better -- less angry -- but.. That day he put Grace on his dresser. "Well, he frowned "she seems okay to me.
For the next week, I could only visit her on dad's dresser. And no reassuring nods from her.At the end of the week, he issued his verdict. "There is nothing wrong with her, " he grumbled. That's what I was trying to say.
Why the devil have you been wasting my time with idiotic stories? Now, out of my room and don't bother your mother! I took her back to my room -- now feeling worse than ever. I looked into her face. I don't think he understands, Grace.
At that moment, standing alone on my bedside table, Grace tipped her head ever so slightly. I nudged the table to see if it was unsteady. Maybe I was just a desperate little kid.
But somehow, for some reason, I started to feel like things were going to work out. Real life stories don't usually end like fairy tales, and that's okay.
It took long years -- what was left of my childhood and adolescence, for my mother to get stronger, to live almost another 50 years, to see me graduate from high school, college -- to see all her children happily married, to know her grandchildren and great grand children. Even my dad mellowed (well, just a bit). As for Grace's head? It seems to be well connected. However, as I passed from childhood to teens, I cannot tell you if her reassuring "nods" were just my imagination.
That was a lifetime ago. Grace has been carefully preserved and sleeping for many years.I would like for her to find a nice home. Now, looking back, I know I was given a very special gift that Christmas. Maybe I shouldn't have renamed my "Cissy" doll Grace. Maybe I should have named her Hope. The item "MADAME ALEXANDER CISSY DOLL from 1958" is in sale since Saturday, December 15, 2018. This item is in the category "Dolls & Bears\Dolls\By Brand, Company, Character\Madame Alexander\Vintage (Pre-1973)\1948-59". The seller is "byrhol" and is located in Ramona, California.
This item can be shipped to United States.