This last week Gleek finally claimed her room. It has been the room she slept in for the majority of her life. She shared it with Kiki for most of those years. Last Fall Kiki moved out. Gleek’s stuff sort of spilled across the room, mostly on the floor, but Gleek did not take steps to make the space her own. She pulled out all her stuffed animals and arranged them decoratively on shelves. She hung pictures on the walls. She sorted her bookcase. The room is beginning to feel like a reflection of who she is, rather than a place where she is camping.
I walked in and looked after Gleek was done. The display of stuffed animals brought tears to my eyes. For years Gleek kept all of her stuffed animals shoved into four pillowcases. Sometimes she got them out to play, but they always went back in when she was done. She kept them that way so that in an emergency she could easily grab them all. She lived her life feeling like any moment could be the disaster for which she had to be always prepared. The array of stuffed animals on the shelf means she is not as afraid as she used to be. I am very glad that she is not.