Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Of Dads and Teddies

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:

"Dear Vic;
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
Love, Dad"

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)


  1. Ah Vicki, what a wonderful memory, I have tears as I type this. The letter your Dad wrote is so precious and a treasure, you feel the pride he had in every word. I will be thinking of you as your anniversary approachs.
    Love Sue xx

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  3. Oh Vicki that is so touching, it brought tears to my eyes. And they're still there. I'm so glad Blue Bear is back home with you now, as a wonderful remembrance of your dad, and that special Christmas. I will think of you both on the 15th. Thanks for sharing your lovely story. Huge Hugs, Laura

  4. Vicki, That is such a heartwarming story. I speak for all bears, everywhere, when I say ..It's wonderful how Blue Bear so touched your dad, and we're so happy Blue is now a part of your cuddle. Here's to your dad! Hugs, Miss Chloe

  5. What a tender story. I wish my "tough" dad could have seen my bears! Thanks for sharing this Vicky.

  6. My eyes filled with tears when I read your Dad's letter. There is something so Special about a gift that is made just for you. No wonder your Dad was delighted with his bear.
    It must be a comfort to you to have Blue Bear back to live with you, knowing how much he meant to your Dad.

  7. Thank you all for your comments. I'm sure my Dad would be grateful to know his letter stirred more than one heart. Hugs, Vicki