February 24, 2012

JoJo and LuLu: A Love Story

When I was a little girl I was crazy about stuffed animals..... oh, I had a couple of baby dolls here and there, but they were never played with very much and always got left behind on the shelf in favor of some stuffed critter.
Many years ago when sock monkeys first became popular, my grandmother (or Mammaw, as I called her) made one for me. Well, not only for me, but she also made one for each of her other grandchildren, who are more like sisters and brothers to me instead of cousins.
(But I was her favorite. I know this because she made a hat for my monkey. *grin*)
My sock monkey was named JoJo... I don't remember exactly how JoJo got his name, or even why he was a "he", but for some reason I want to think my grandfather (Pappaw) had something to do with it.
(Pappaw felt like it was his purpose in life to give everything a silly name.)
But it didn't matter; he was JoJo, and he was my new best friend. He went everywhere I went.
Even if I was playing with another toy, JoJo was not far from my side.
Maybe it was because Mammaw was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved JoJo- or it could have been that she thought JoJo wouldn't survive being played with so much- but whatever the reason she soon made another one for me.
This one was called LuLu. (Once again, I can't take credit for the name....)
LuLu was a "she" because she had longer eyelashes and a nose. And her hat was prettier than JoJo's. Right away we all became instant pals and LuLu tagged along with me n' JoJo where ever we went.

But like all children do, I slowly stopped playing with JoJo and LuLu as "big girl" toys came into my life; and then, I stopped playing with toys altogether.
But I never got over my love for stuffed animals...

A few weeks ago I came across a very cute sock monkey pattern on a website I was visiting, and immediately memories of JoJo and LuLu started flooding back. But my heart was heavy because I had forgotten about my old friends for all these years, and now I didn't have a clue what had happened to them. Surely they hadn't been thrown away.... but after a thorough search of every box in each closet of our house, they were nowhere to be found. Mother and Mammaw are both gone now so there was no one I could ask... I thought about asking Dad about them, but his memory isn't what it used to be and I was afraid if I asked him if he'd seen JoJo and LuLu lately, he would think I needed a little vacation in the nut house.
The next time I was at Dad's house, however, I went straight to my old bedroom and opened up the closet. I started digging in some very old cardboard boxes... and then I saw it.
It was JoJo's head!
I grabbed and pulled and held my breath- and amazingly he was all there in one piece! But LuLu was not there..... not in that closet or the next one I looked in. Disappointed, I thought of only one other place she could be- in the old toy box that was still in the spare bedroom. I opened up the lid and started digging my way to the bottom..... and caught a glimpse of those eyelashes! It was her!

At first I was a little sad at the sight of JoJo- he was "well-loved" and has the scars to prove it. He's very dirty, his tail is gone, and I had forgotten all about his "open heart surgery" scar where Mother had to sew him back up once after the family dog got a hold of him.

And the years haven't been kind to LuLu either-
somewhere along the way she not only lost her tail but also her hat.

JoJo and LuLu now sit on a shelf in my sewing room where I can see them,
and every now and then I can't help but smile and give them a hug.
Because after almost 35 years apart- 
JoJo waiting patiently on a shelf in a dark closet and LuLu at the bottom of a lonely toy box-
they are finally together again.
And more importantly, we are together again.


  1. Now looky here. Reminded me of The Toy Story.

    I thought LuLu might've run of with an organ grinder. ;)

    ...and look, little monkey butt cracks. lol

  2. Now I'm all teary-eyed here...
    Oh how I loved this story-I was spellbound, waiting to see the pictures,hoping you'd find your old pals!
    This story has made my day.
    I love you.

  3. What a PRECIOUS story!! The picture at the end melts my heart!! Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

  4. You brought tears to my eyes but warm good tears. I can only imagine how you felt when you found them. There were there just waiting for you. Wonderful story!

  5. Awww, they are just precious Paula!!! I'm glad you are still enjoying them:)

  6. JP told me to have a tissue handy and he was right. That's the best story ever. Hey,,,that would make a great children's book. You should definitely write it.
    Just a really great story...thanks.

  7. this was just the sweetest thing!!! i still have my very first stuffed animal, as well as 2 others from my childhood...

  8. What a wonderful ending to a truly love story.
    I like you have not given up my love for stuffed animals, just room to put them.LOL
    thanks for such a cute story.

  9. Now, if that isn't a love story, I don't know what is!

  10. Paula, I loved this!! Just about brought tears to my eyes! I'm so glad you found them; every now and then I think about things that were kept in an old trunk for me and wonder what happened to them.

    And it thrills me to know JoJo and LuLu are sitting in a place of honor now.

  11. Isn't it incredible, the emotion old, dearly loved toys and the memories they helped create can bring up? Beautiful story and so beautifully written! So glad you've all been united again!! ♥

  12. Now that's just plain sweet.

    Lovely memories, and lucky to find your old loved friends.

    Have a great weekend :-)

  13. Paula, Paula, Paula! How do you do it? You connect with us on so many levels. What a charming story. What is it about stuffed animals and we "girls?" I often feel bad leaving my collection of teddy bears in the box in the closet at Christmastime (I used to get them out for the holidays, but not lately). I fancy them wondering why they are stuck there, ha!!! Thank you so much for the smiles from reading your tale and the huge grin at seeing that last photo!!!!

  14. So sweet! I'm so glad you found them, Paula! They must be so happy to be back in your life:). I love my old toys, too, and still have a few around.

  15. LOL They are so cute sitting there with no tails! I am so glad you found them, and they are too. Sounds like you have a real imagination, me too! ;D

  16. Oh Paula, I fell in love with JoJo and LuLu. I'm so happy y'all are together again. That last picture is adorable..

  17. And THAT, my friends, is a wonderful story!

  18. Oh my goodness what a great story.. you had me mesmerized..I fell in love .This is so sweet and tender..Susie

  19. What a dear little girl you were and such a romantic.. I love happy endings, too.. smile..
    God bless sweet girl..

  20. I completely agree...this would make the most darling children's book! I LOVED the story of these two stuffed monkeys and the little girl who loved them so much! I am SO glad you found them! That final picture is just precious!

  21. AWE!! Paula, I could hardly wait to get to the end of this love story,hoping and wanted JoJo and LuLu to be found, and the last photo is priceless, I can only imagine the joy you had when you found your lost friends, and now you all are together again too! I am such a sap for love stories. Thanks for making my day!

    Thank you too, for your kind thoughts and prayers during my illness, I am feeling so much better.

  22. Oh, Paula! That is the sweetest story I've read in a very long time! I'm thrilled for you that you found LuLu & JoJo, reuniting them not only with each other; but also with you, as they bridge that gap from childhood to adulthood, filling a new role in your home (life) today. Sweet. :-)

  23. Today I thought I lost something that my lovely mother gave me. To find something that was so precious to you are so special.

  24. Oh girl. What a story. And that last picture. Be still my heart.

  25. Paula, what an adorable story! I can't believe you found them after all these years.
    Is that their plumber's crack in that last picture??
    Hugs, Ann

  26. Oh Paula!!! What a Tear-Jerker story!! Loved It!!!! And the photos to go along With it!!! Awwwwwwww!!!!!

  27. Aww...that's the sweetest story! If you had told me that a sock monkey story would tear me up, I would have said you were crazy, but yours did!

    And that last pic....well that's the cutest thing ever!

    Glad JoJo and LuLu are back together again. It's obvious they are very happy.....as is Ms. Paula! :)

    Have a great week, my friend!

  28. Paula, I just loved this.....made me smile and teary eyed!

  29. What a heart-warming post, Paula.

  30. That is such an awesome story! I'm glad you found them again! I often think about this toy or that toy from when I was a child and wonder where they are. Unfortunately I think most all of mine are gone. Makes me kind of sad!

  31. Great story -great ending-great photo!!!!!!!!!

  32. I am surprised at how this story made me tear up, with a little sadness, and sweet joy, you found them. They are re-united with you and will spend their "declining years" with you, happy ending ! Now I am smiling.

  33. Paula how did I miss this post! I was a Sock Monkey Junkie! Loved my sock monkey until he fell apart. I made a sock monkey for my oldest son when he was little - those socks are hard to find, too!

    Such a cute post - love that sock "couple" - if I can find it I have a picture I need to show you....

  34. Paula, what a sweet story! I'm so glad you found Jojo and Lulu. I love sock monkeys too. I never had one when I ws growing up, but I made myself a couple of them now that I'm adult. I love them.

  35. what an adorable picture , i love the way you posed them :) sweet story love your pictures

  36. I made sock monkeys for my children 30 years ago and I don't know what happened to them! I'd like to make some again for the up-and-coming grandkids. Your story is amazing and so well-told. How wonderful that you could be re-united with your old friends!


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