Donna Hamby

I, like many other children in society, came from a very broken home. Not only was it broken, I did not even get to know who my father was. I grew up with my Grandmother. She was a wonderful woman, who had raised 12 children of her own. She was already older when she took my sister and I into her home. We were very poor and never received much for Christmas. Usually a pair of p.j.'s and a doll. The last doll I received was a composition and cloth doll with a saran wig. I was the age of maybe 8 years old. There was always a lot of uproar going on in the family, and most of the time I would retreat to my room and play with my doll. She had the dress she came with and a pair of p.j.'s my grandmother had made for her. Every night when I got ready for bed, so did my favorite doll. When I got dressed the next day, so did she. This doll was, at the time, the most important thing in my life. It was mine, and the only thing that I could really call my own. Many hours were spent with that doll, comforting me, as I lay in my bed at night listening to the adults, not being so adult.

One year I was sent to stay with my mother and the other kids. Of course I took my favorite doll. One of my brothers was a really mean child. We were all running in the house one day and he was being mean to everyone, as usual. But on this day, he could not have been more evil. He grabbed my doll and ran to the bathroom where my sister was taking a bath, and threw my doll right into the water. Of course it soaked up the water like a sponge. My mother did not try to dry it out, but I’m sure we did not know how to fix it?

Many years later, I began to collect dolls. On a trip to visit my husband’s mother, we stopped at a garage sale, you guessed it, and there she was, sitting smartly in a small chair, as I walked up the driveway my heart raced. It took forever to get there, her face was crazed and she had a mohair wig on, that was the only difference in the two dolls. The face was exactly my original dolls face. I got her back for only $15 dollars. I am 61 years old now, and still hold my favorite doll like a child. I’m still collecting, and they will all go to my only granddaughter when the time comes. Don't give up the search for your favorite doll; she's out there somewhere waiting for you to take her home.