A Faith Quiz

What kind of clothes did Faith like to wear?

While Faith was not opposed to wearing a dress, she was most comfortable in play clothes. I wouldn't call her a tomboy, but she did like to play. Her hair was usually a mess, her shirt was always untucked and generally stained with something gooey and sticky and red. But her happy and endearing personality would shine through the biggest mess.

What was Faith's favorite color?

Blue. But this color did not dominate her life. Her bedroom was yellow. Her kitty was golden. She looked best when dressed in purple.

What was Faith's favorite holiday?

Halloween, because it coincided with her birthday. A favorite tradition was for Eric to take Faith out trick-or-treating. This was their special time to be together. It was always special when Faith would wear one of Eric's old costumes (such as the tiger outfit altered to become the pokemon Growlithe). Faith would always come home exhausted and happy. Eric and Faith would then sit down to divvy up the candy.

What kind of toys did Faith like best?

Faith especially liked small objects collectibles. She liked getting key rings and patches from anywhere we visited. She liked small items that would fit into bags or boxes, which she would then enjoy organizing and re-organizing to get the collection just right. She was also particularly fond of beanie babies. She most definitely did not like Barbie dolls.

How many Beanies did Faith have?

137 (I may have missed a few). Here are some favorite beanie baby memories:

The Beanie Raffle

Each year, in the weeks preceding the annual fair at our UU church, members have the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for a variety of prizes. The fun part is that there is a separate raffle for each prize. In essence, you decide what your personal "first prize" is. In 1998, one of the prizes was a basket of 12 beanie babies. Each week Marilyn would buy a fistful of tickets for Faith and she would drop them into the box designated for the beanies. "When do I get my beanies, Mommy?" she would ask. The raffle was a frequent topic of conversation for the month preceding the fair. On the day of the fair, Faith asked, "Is today the day I get my beanies?" How do you explain to a 5-year old the rules of probability? Imagine then our joy when Faith's wish came true. While there were many more beanies to come, these were the most special ones for me.

Beanie Baby Circle Time

Faith's playtime would often reflect the things going on in her life. When she was in day care, she would gather her beanies all around her for "circle time". Mom would play the part of the teacher and Faith would tell me how to introduce the new beanie baby to the class. Every new beanie was to be introduced to the class as being shy and bashful. Faith would then want to play the part of the student whom would take care of the new bashful kid in the class. I think this reflected her desired behavior in the actual classroom.

In first grade, the beanies would be in school also. Faith particularly liked pretending to have a party for the beanies. She would carefully set their places and serve them plastic cookies and cupcakes. Often these school settings would involve some learning games where I would hold up words to be read and Faith would say the words for all the "kids".

As Faith got older she changed the theme of the beanie baby gatherings from school time to a dance party. She got the idea of a dance party after seeing all the middle school kids at the YMCA on Friday nights for the weekly dance. Faith would spread a small blanket on her floor to be the dance floor. She turned off all the lights except for the revolving night light. She played a CD (usually the Back Street Boys) and placed the beanies into couples on the dance floor. Dogs with dogs, cats with cats (no interspecies dating here).

Peking Duck

Another beanie baby episode that was totally Faith occurred at NEMC during one of her admissions in July 2001. She was admitted for severe constipation. Over the course of her three-day stay, Faith was subjected to 4 Fleet enemas, 1 milk of molasses enema and at least a gallon of Golightly pored down her nose (with a NG tube). Despite all of this unpleasantness, Faith kept her sense of playfulness.

We had brought a few of her more recent beanies with us, one of which happened to be a duck. Jeff went out to get some Chinese food for dinner. When he returned Faith wanted to know what we were eating. We told her that Mom had shrimp and Dad had duck. Faith had ordered french fries from the hospital kitchen. After dinner, when Jeff stepped out of the room, Faith told me (with a great deal of difficulty because her speech was so impaired) that she wanted the plastic plate cover and base that the hospital uses to cover the hot food dishes. She then placed her duck beanie baby under the cover. When Jeff returned she lifted the cover to reveal his dinner selection duck! We howled with laughter to see that she still had her great sense of humor through all of this.

What was Faith's favorite pastime?

Faith really enjoyed organizing her toys. She wanted everything to be nice and neat and just so and she needed to do the organizing herself.

She also liked to do almost anything that Mom was doing. If I was cleaning, she stated that she wanted to do "housekeeping" also. She especially liked washing the tub, which for her involved getting into the tub naked so she could spread the cleanser around with her entire body.

She liked riding her bike. Going to the Dragon store (a neighborhood convenience store) was a favorite destination so that she could pick out candy. We also rode a tandem bicycle a lot. She liked having a certain destination in mind such as McDonald's or the playground.

She liked to play games. Her favorites were card games, such as Uno and Kitty Korners. She also liked board games such as Mancala, Mastermind and Bingo.

Faith also loved shopping. She liked Walgreen's because it reminded her of when Nana used to take her to Walgreen's. She liked any gift shops. She liked Hallmark and Toys Etc for their Hello Kitty selection. She liked Newbury Comics for cards and Pokemon stuff. She liked Zany Brainy for most other toy selections, but she didn't like Toys 'R Us.

What was Faith's nickname?

When she was two years old, Faith had trouble pronouncing her name. What came out instead was "Faifi". Marilyn's mother was the first to notice this and use it on a regular basis. For a while, Marilyn and I would refer to Faith as "baby". Later we called her "girl" (Eric was "boy"). But eventually we adopted "Faifi" as well. But Faith loved her name and would also like to be called by her full name Faith Emily Altbush.

Where did her comfort blanket come from?

It was one of Mom's old nightgowns. Once when Faith was in bed with us and sucking her thumb, I noticed that she kept pulling my blue nightgown over toward herself. I finally took the nightgown off and gave it to her because she seemed to like to feel of the material so much. After seven years I never got to wear that nightgown again.

What was Faith's favorite beverage?

Faith loved milk especially chocolate milk. Lemonade was a close second. (Do milk shakes count as a food or a beverage?)

However, we must say a few words about tea. True to her Scottish-Irish heritage, Faith developed a liking for tea. It was mostly milk by the time she got around to drinking it, but there were certainly trace elements of tea. Marilyn and her mother always had tea when they were together; so, of course, Faith had to have some too. In time, tea time became tea party time. When Faith was there, there were no solemn discussions or idle gossip. It was time to be happy. (And, yes, it was just fine to dunk your cookie in the tea cup.) As tea time became more important to Faith, she acquired some special place settings. Faith was given her own special china cup, once the property of Marilyn's grandmother. She also was given a silver tea set by Marilyn's Aunt Alice.

What was Faith's favorite food?

Faith was not a big eater. Breakfast might consist of yogurt. Lunch was often just a slice of cheese and some pudding. If there was one constant in her diet, it was milk. There were several other favorites:

Burger King or McDonald's?

If she just wanted french fries: Burger King they really are crispier. If she wanted the kid's meal, it would all depend on which place had the better toy.

What was Faith's second favorite animal?

Of course Faith's favorite animals were cats especially kitties. Her next favorites were sharks!

She loved to visit the Boston Aquarium with Marilyn. They would go time after time and she became familiar with all the fish. She and Marilyn would always look for their favorites. While she liked all of the fish in the Aquarium, she would spend a long time at the large central tank looking at the sharks. She liked to look for the shark with the bent body and Marilyn always searched for the moray eels. They would hurry through the fish tanks so they could go to the gift shop and then to the cafeteria. Faith was a creature of habit and liked to repeat the same routine every time. She was happy and comfortable with what was familiar.