It’s wild the feedback I get about my bears, the stories I learn about the people these little darlings are destined for. I received an email from one of my customers (I hate calling them that), about why she had bought her bear. She lost her first baby before it was born, and now she’s exuberant and hopeful now that she’s pregnant again, optimistic that this time she’ll finally have a darling daughter, and that the bear is a gift for her unborn precious, hoping to have it waiting in her nursery when she finally arrives screaming with life.
I sank in my chair, wilted a little, and thought about the other stories I’ve heard.
The teddy that was sent to the little girl whose been in the hospital for months with intestinal issues. A chronic problem since she was born. The teddy that keeps a lonely woman company. The one that watches out over an ailing mother as she drives herself around town-the little bear tucked in the back window. Or, the teddy going off to England soon to a grandmother, eyesight ailing, as a gesture of a hug when needed. And then simpler, equally adorable moments. The bear that was sent to the Japanese woman in Texas whose love for Ryuichi Sakamato mirrors my own. The bear sent to Virginia to a little boy whose adventures remind me of Calvin and Hobbes (perhaps he’ll get a tiger for Christmas, just to keep the tradition of Calvin running for generations to come). The bear, whose buyer said specifically, “I don’t care what color it is, just as long as it has a pink mohawk.” The stories are now at 72. At first thought, it seems like 72 bears sold, but its more than that. It’s 72 stories, 72 possibilities, 72 hearts seeking a friend, a gesture, a moment of companionship, a gift, a hug, a laugh…..a moment.
My first and still most popular teddy bear is “The Teddy That Saved Me,” because its true. That little bear helped me first feed myself, then kept me from being homeless, then afforded me a possibility for my own future. That was MY story. But upon reading these 2 months worth of emails this morning, I can’t help but think of all the faces, all the smiles, and all the glimmering eyes that have their own stories to tell.
So, in light of that I’d like to say, I hear your story, as you’ve read my own, and realize with absolute clarity, this whole teddy bear connection has made it OUR story: genuine, heartfelt tale of how a little guy with a hopeful smile is bringing the world closer together one bear at a time.
Thanks everyone. Thank you all for being part of the story.
From the book, “Will Knit For Food.”
This is the story of how I knit my way out of homelessness. To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here, or for a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here.
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