When I was 2, my daytime babysitter had another little girl, younger than me, that she also watched (plus a few others) named Samantha. At the age of 2, I decided that was the perfect name, latched on, and never gave it up.
At the age of 4, my parents made me a big sister. When they brought Rachel home from the hospital, they brought me, my own baby. She, of course, became Samantha, Sammy, and no other name was considered.
Through the years, there were a few more Sammy dolls in my life. No other name held any real meaning to me.
As I grew into a woman, and my future family was considered, I knew it wasn’t just about finding a man I loved who wanted to create a family with me, it was about finding someone who would be willing to give me my real life Sammy. Pat considered no other name once he knew.
In the past 9 years, we’ve gone from home to home. Sometimes we were only a step or two above couch hoping. And our belongings have scattered. At some point, when we were living with his Grandmother and co, Sammy (the doll), in a box full of her belongings, came to live with us. But in our rush to move out when drama hit, some things got left behind where we thought they were safe. Sammy, was one of those things.
As years passed, I somehow forgot she was even moved there to begin with and I grew to assume that Sammy was safe and sound packed away in my mom’s garage or attic or someplace equally safe. I never gave it a second thought.
Meanwhile, as family members moved in and out of that condo we vacated in a rush, our belongings weren’t treated the way they should have been by people either too young or too uncaring to give respect to other people’s property.
We came to terms with it. We accepted our share of the blame for leaving stuff to begin with. And there was some honest flooding anyway that destroyed stuff that was no one’s fault. Between what was lost, it was hard to say who did what and it no longer matters. It simply doesn’t matter.
And then my daughter was born. After 25 years, I finally had my Samantha, living, breathing, and loving, in my arms. And my world became complete. The only thing missing was the original Samantha who was to be passed on to her namesake. For while the doll came first, she was indeed named after my future daughter.
So, first I searched my basement. I had moved most of my boxes, if not all, out of my mom’s garage and stacked them in my utility room. Never really had the drive or time to search through them. Never had a reason. I needed that doll though to complete the circle, so I searched. I didn’t just open boxes, I pulled everything out, and put it all in bins. Nothing was missed.
But no Samantha.
So I sent my mom on the hunt on her end of things. So she searched. Then when she came up empty-handed, I searched. The thing was, there were only so many boxes left at her place. And only so many places to put them. So it was official without a doubt that Sammy was not with me or my mom.
So that left…
Tonight, my husband and his brother, went to that condo. Abandoned. Trashed. No electricity. And looked the only place she could be. Not even knowing for sure she was there. Not knowing if she was intact even if she was.
And I’ve sat here for a couple hours now hoping. I couldn’t get my hopes up. I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I shouldn’t get my hopes up. But how could I not.
Then I received a photo text. “Is this her?”
And the tears came. There was no stopping them.
It was her
And she was more beautiful than I could have hoped, though not as beautiful as the living breathing name sake snoring beside me.
And while I have not yet lay hands on her, she is coming home in what my husband describes as “good shape for her age”.
And that is more than I could have ever hoped for. That doll is 24 years old, grew up with me, lived through total chaos in that condo, and she is coming home.
But this time Sammy is coming home to her true mommy. She is coming home to my Samantha.