For my sixth birthday, my older sister Laurie gave me a teddy bear just as she left for her first year of college. I named him Beary Bear, and he has been by my side ever since. He’s been there through break ups, loss of loved ones, fights with friends, sickness- you name it. My mom and mother-in-law have even both knit him clothes.
Emma has begun to love Beary Bear and asks for him to comfort her at times. Just the other night, there was lightening and thunder. As we were tucking her into her bed, she saw a flash. She asked me for Beary Bear to help her feel safe. Little did my sister know that when she picked that brown stuff of fluff off from the shelves, she was buying a lifetime companion that would help me through some of the toughest times in my life including the passing of her.
I wish I had hundreds of Beary Bears to give out in the world. From the parents who lost their two year old son tragically at Disney to the families and friends mourning from the nightclub shooting at Pulse, everyone could use a Beary Bear that doesn’t judge them for being gay or letting their child wade in water.
And yes, it may seem silly that an almost 40 year old still sleeps with a teddy bear at her side. But, there are times when friends and family can’t be there for me for one reason or another. I know that Beary Bear is right there sitting table side (or in Emma’s bed if she asked for him) ready to just listen and lend a paw to dry my tears.
I hope everyone has something they can turn to in life during the hard times from a stuffed animal to a dog at home. If you don’t, you can turn to me. I’ll try to do my best to be there for you!
Emma snuggling Beary Bear at our campsite.
My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)