Beth’s Bear

I had to return the camera I was borrowing before I had a chance to take a picture of Beth’s Bear, but I wanted to talk about it for a little while this morning.

Judy Smith told me of her friend, Beth in Liverpool, who was being treated for breast cancer, sent me photos of the poor woman after she had lost her hair….. who wouldn’t be moved over something like that? We talked about doing a simple pink bear, maybe a pink ribbon. I dashed out quickly to find some beautiful, light pink mohair that looked and felt like cotton candy. However, trying to work with it was devastating. Not only was it KILLING my hands, it was shedding in my fingers, and the stitches weren’t getting close enough together to hold in the stuffing. Judy said, “You’re the artist. I trust your judgement.” So, I thought about it for a moment and what I felt deeply was the idea of reminding Beth of her condition. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. She’s very aware of what is happening, and sometimes the better course towards healing is the distraction you find in thinking, “I am healthy.” So, I wanted Beth, whom I have never met nor spoken to, to feel the same comforts that anyone HEALING does. A stuffed animal, a box of chocolates, and flowers….and all in one gift.

I have this bear design made of dark brown called, “I’ll be your bear when you need me.” That was going to be the bear I started with. That design based on its intention, its motive. A comfort to hold when you need it. But he had to be modified just for Beth. I gave the bear pink paws, not for the idea of Breast Cancer Awareness, but for the idea of chocolate covered cherries. This was the nod to the box of chocolates. And to finish the piece, I crocheted a 3 dimensional flower of pink and white with 3 layers of petals to place on the chest instead of a ribbon. This would be the homage to flowers.

So, I wanted Beth’s Bear to look like a stuffed animal, chocolates, and flowers all in one go to comforting design. I hope she loves it, and hopes she’ll send pics of the bear for us to see once it arrives in England.

Furthermore, throughout this whole episode, a door was opened to some fascinating women who also are going through the same trials of the rehabilitation from Breast Cancer. Of one of those, I met Kellie, who crochets caps while waiting for her doctor appointments. She recently started a blog called “The Brave Little Owl,” which I recommend you check out, for there was one theme I saw while reading it that had me floored with devotion. “Inspired….and thinking about my future.” If that doesn’t put anyone’s life into perspective. Dealing with something as heavy as a disease and still considering your future. I love it.

And last but not least, I still have this bear, HUGE bear, twice the size of my normal bears, made of this lovely soft blue acrylic that FEELS like the bouncing hush of a marshmallow. He’s another of my one of a kinds. There won’t be a second. I had to charge an extra $5 because of the amount of stuffing it took to work him up, so if you’d like him, click here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday morning. That’s it for now….many thoughts brewing on my mind at the moment. Trying different therapies for my nerve issues….but in light of Beth and Kellie and all other women going through that particular hell, I think I’m pretty ok.



  1. I love your description of Beth’s bear and your thought process behind it! I knew I had every reason to trust you implicitly, and you didn’t disappoint. We’ll get Beth and Mike to post a picture. Thank you for pulling this out of the fire in the midst of your own physical trials. Love ya’, kiddo, and I sure hope you’ll feel better SOON!!

  2. Also, Kim has kept Buddy Bear right by his side since he first went into ICU, other than while he was in surgery. BB has been a very comforting presence in his hands. The nurses love him (meaning the bear, but Kim too, of course) and one wrote down your website for a baby gift. You’re doing a very good thing for all sorts of people!

  3. I’m one of those women, Gregory. Diagnosed in April 2010, considered clear of the disease after two mammograms. Now my daughter is going through the same thing. I so appreciated the kind thoughts of all who sent me breast-cancer related items, however, I do not like to be reminded of it and I do not wear pink ribbon-related items. I think your bear will be perfect for Beth!

  4. Thank you so much for the kind words about my new blog. I lost everything a few years back, and it has been such a struggle for me to venture into the world again. My very shadow scares me somedays. I love all the work you are doing to inspire so many. You have definitely “changed” my life. I have had an amazing week. I do not have cancer, but it does run in my family. So it hits home when I read people giving back to those who are suffering. I was once a very inspirational person, and someone who saw the beauty in the world. I cannot imagine being diagnosed with cancer, but if ever I find myself there: I HOPE I am as Brave as Kellie. Crocheting my way through treatment. Much love -jd

  5. You’re bear for Beth is a perfect sentiment, and it was of no wonder to me that you related it to your “I’ll Be Bear for You” Bear. As soon as I read the story for that one, I had to have him…to protect me during my treatments of chemo, and all the sick days that follow. Gregory, I love your heart, and I love your zest for life! You inspire me…thank you for your kind words about my struggle…and I still have plenty of hat pics to share, if you like. Just tell me where it’s best to get them to you… Blessings!

  6. Greg, Beth’s Bear arrived yesterday, and is already right at home. Beth had told me that Judy asked you to make this Bear. I am moved to read how much care you have taken in making the Bear. You will note that I keep saying the Bear, that is because we take a lot of care in naming bears in this family and we are not short of a Teddy or two. Beth will tell me the name she has chosen later, and a photo will be added, probably to include other ursine favourites. I’m sure Beth will email the pic to you, so it can be added to this page. My thanks to you and Judy!!!

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