It was when I was six. Shortly after the sudden departure of my one and only little brother, I was feeling very alone at home and missing him every day. Usually, during the day, I was busy attending the kindergarten and playing with my best friends, and didn’t feel the void in my life too much. But once all my external activities were over for the day and I came back home, I suddenly had a lot of time to myself. Everything that I used to do with my little brother, I now had to do just by myself. I felt very lonely and I missed my brother very much.
One such evening, I was watching a TV program for children, in which one of the hosts visited a plush doll shop and made a doll modelled after him with the help of the shop owner. The process didn’t look too complicated, and at the end, he was holding a large plush doll which looked like himself. My eyes were glued to the screen. As soon as the program was over, I ran to my mother, who was preparing supper in the kitchen.
“I want to make a plush doll of my brother!”
I shouted. My mother was surprised and didn’t understand what I was talking about right away. But once she did, she hesitated.
“A plush doll of your brother?”
She tried to convince me not to make one saying that it was quite difficult to make a plush doll, but I was too determined to listen.
“You can help me, Mommy, can’t you?”
After a few more attempts to distract me from the idea, seeing that I was determined, my mother sighed and agreed to help me make one. I jumped with joy.
After supper, my mother took out a small table and brought a box of sewing tools along with a piece of old clothes. She instructed me to draw a picture of my brother on a piece of paper to use as a pattern. Once I drew one, she cut the clothes along the pattern I’d made. She made two pieces of the same shape and started sewing them together.
While we were sewing, my father came back home from work. Naturally, he asked us what we were doing, and my mother explained that I wanted to make a plush doll of my brother. My father watched our endeavour curiously from the kitchen as he ate his supper. Once he was done, he called me for the bedside story. The sewing wasn’t yet done, but my mother said I could go and she would complete the rest.
My father was reading Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver by Michael Ende for my bedside story at the time. We were reading the part where a funny creature with one tooth appeared and I was completely lost in the story when my mother came from the next room with a plush doll in her hand and placed it next to my face. The doll had no face or clothes yet, but had a human shape. I was so delighted that I screamed with joy.
That night, after my father finished reading, I looked at the blank plush doll next to my face and felt it with my hand many times before falling asleep.