Me and Mr. Phototype, Remembering William Andrew

prhototype better

My hubby always had a dream to make his own collectible plush bear.  It would be similar to a Beanie Babie, but for adults only because he wanted each bear to have an actual 14K gold teardrop.

prhototype closeup

He wanted the bears to be gifts for all occasions, happy and sad.  For instance he envisioned a white “wedding bear” with a “tear of joy.”  He was serious enough about the idea that we took a trip to Los Angeles and met with a gold smith to get the price, size of teardrop, and shape of it.

prhototype bear

We also met with an import specialist to talk about the design of the bear which was slightly unusual because he wanted a bear with a furrowed brow…expressing emotion.  We came with a clay prototype and drawings.  The gal simply couldn’t say prototype…it came out “phototype.”  Billy never referred to the prototype properly after that. The whimsical side of him loved calling it a phototype.

Time went by and the collectible bear got put on the back burner.  In 2015 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer I wanted to honor and preserve the bear idea for his birthday so I commissioned a very nice jointed bear…far better than the quality of bear we wanted to make. I commission a 14K gold teardrop from a local jeweler and attached it to the bear.

phototype 1

When I commissioned the bear the lady requested the name for her tag. It HAD to be Mr. Phototype!

The bear sat on the dresser all these years and I guess when I dusted it I never looked at the tag or remembered the whimsical name.  On September 22, Billy went to be with Jesus, his Savior!  He took his last breath in a hospital bed in the living room.

The first night he was gone I picked up the bear to give it a little hug and finally noticed the tag MR. PHOTOTYPE.  I was hit with happy memories of the joyful and whimsical man I had the privilege to know for 21 years. I had to laugh and shake my head.  Billy you were so fun!  PHOTOTYPE!  Life was never boring…I have never met a more entertaining and interesting person in my life.

This last year has been filled with hospital stays and many dozens of doctor visits. Now he is with Jesus.   But the house is scattered with memories that whimsical man and Mr. Phototype will always be with me and every once in a while we will both have a tear running down our face.

Author: Patty Thurlby

I am a full time artist with a whimsical point of view!

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