Sunday Marks the one-year anniversary of My Dad's death. He died of Alzheimer's on March 15, 2008.
My Dad was not an emotional man. He was rather gruff and a little rough around the edges--not exactly what you would describe as a teddy bear person.
He liked hunting, reloading ammunition, guns, his woodpile, cars, westerns and all things manly.
When I first started making teddy bears, I gave most of them away as gifts. One yearI sent both Mom and Dad teddy bears for Christmas.
I sent Mom three little bears and I sent Dad a big blue bear. I wasn't worried how Mom would accept her teddy bears. I knew she would love them. What I didn't know is how receptive my gun-loving manly Dad would be to receiving a teddy bear for Christmas.
I thought long and hard before I boxed up his gift to send from Alaska to North Dakota. I slept on it, hemmed over it, hawed over it and finally gave in--willing to face the consequences, as they were.
The first letter I ever received from Dad was postmarked December 29, 1987. This is what he wrote:
I had to write and thank you for the teddy bear. It was the darndest--Mom opened hers and I was watching her. I thought they were the cutest things. You can believe this or not, but the first thing I thought to myself was that I was going to call and chew you out for not sending me one. Then I opened my package--you couldn't have sent me anything better. I really love it. Thank you very much.
I put it on my bed the other night and when I woke up the next morning, the first thing I saw was that bear sitting on the pillow next to me. It's still dark when I get up, but there is enough lite from the yardlite so that I could see the outline of it. It startled the hell out of me until I realized what it was.
Thanks again, I love it
So, you just never know about teddies. They really can soften up the toughest of people.
Blue bear has returned to live out the rest of his life where he was born, here in Alaska with me and the rest of the bears.
I miss you, Dad.
Love, Vicki and the bears (and blue bear)