As the dolls came to me to be sold the temptation was often great to offer to buy one out-right to keep for my own. There were so many that caught my eye and many of the fashions very much inspired me and made me start thinking about my own wardrobe and how I could put pieces together to mimic some of the character’s outfits. To have a collection of these chic and opulent dolls lined up on a shelf to look at all of the time would be great inspiration; but each time I resisted, telling myself that I needed the extra money more so that I could get myself home for the holidays, or Mother’s Day, or any other moment when I was missing my family. My mom and my sister, along with her two children, still lived in West Virginia, in the house that I grew up in. My dad had passed away from lung cancer; he was diagnosed in the early part of December 1998 and died on Valentine’s Day 1999. They first diagnosed him with pneumonia but I had a strong gut feeling that it was much more serious and upon arriving at the hospital from my home in Ohio, the second time my mom took him to the emergency room, I demanded that they run certain tests. Within 24–48 hours we were delivered the news, devastating to my mom and my sister but not as shocking for me, somehow I had already prepared myself for the C word. My dad was a mailman; I sometimes wonder what he would have to say about all of the packages that I ship on a weekly basis. And so, after a few months of the inner battle with buying a doll for myself or selling it to have the extra money to do the extra things in life, I came to the conclusion that there was a way to have my cake and eat it too… I DO have a doll collection; it is a continuous and constant rotating collection, each week I get to marvel and soak in the beauty of a whole different array of dolls and doll clothes from a variety of eras and makers. There are still times when I desire to have one in my possession for a bit longer but I let it go, sending it off with a thank you for the time that it influenced and/or brought joy to my life in some small way.
My Dad, the mailman - guessing the late 70s.