Years later, it was heart breaking to see my mother-in-law eventually succumb to Alzimer disease—it was slow and cruel. In spite of our differences we actually grew closer as she went through this difficult journey.
I know a toy is made only of plastic and has a life cycle determined by the hard cold facts of global sales tracking, but we cannot track or even forecast the positive effects they give to children and adults alike—the emotional ties they produce with their intrinsic personalities and play patterns.
From healthy kids playing with their toys for daily amusement to children in the hospital ward finding comfort in a funny gag played out just for a moment of relief—toys bring joy. They bring comfort to a troubled mind and remain in our memories like cherished friends.
My wife, Cathy, placed toys all around her mother’s room in the nursing home. Bernie responded positively and held them in her trembling hands. She would hug the plush teddies and gently rest her face upon the soft material that always promised comfort and security. We saw first hand that there is an etherial, almost spiritual connection for souls of all ages to be touched by the wonder of play.
The toys with gags would especially bring a smile to Bernie's face and give a glimmer of joy to her eyes harkening back to childhood days. After all, moments of fun, laughter, joy and comfort are all we can really call our own as we travel through this life and prepare for what follows.