My mother's mother had been ill for quite awhile before I was born, and she passed away when I was 18 months old, so I don't have the memories of her as a grandmother that my brother and cousins do.

I do know that she loved dolls, since I have a Christmas photo of her from the late 19th century, holding a doll.

As ill as she was, she was eager to be the one who gave me my first doll, so she asked my parents to choose and buy one on her behalf. My mother chose a Drowsy doll, which was a new doll that year. She had kitty cat pajamas, blonde hair, and a pullstring that allowed her to say 11 different phrases.

I loved her devotedly, carried her everywhere, and pestered my brother endlessly to "listen to her, Bobby!"

41 years later, she is part of my growing doll collection. Her clothing is worn and faded; she has only a few wisps of hair; she has crayon marks from me pretending she was a tiger; and she no longer says anything intelligible, but I wouldn't give her up for anything! She is the link to someone I never knew but who loved me very much.

Last year at a thrift shop, I found a reproduction Drowsy at a very cheap price. Of course I purchased her and was happy to hear her voice again ...and of course, I just had to share my find with my brother! He was very good-natured about hearing "Lousy Drowsy's" voice again.

...and it brought back some great memories.