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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Teddy Bears Picnic

Several years ago my niece was scheduled to undergo some intensive surgery. She lives near Atlanta and I was not going to be able to travel there for the operation. But my heart was so powerfully with her and I tried very hard to come up with a way to let her know how much she was loved and cared for.

That’s when I thought of the teddy bears and how they could deliver the message to her.

Teddy bears have long been a wonderful expression of comfort and caring. They are something to hold on to…to draw strength from. This could be a way, I thought, for my niece to symbolically feel the concern of loved ones.

Family members all decided they wanted in on the fun and everyone sent my niece a teddy bear. They came from California, Ohio, Nebraska and Michigan. Each one was different, selected with love and special intent by individual family members. The bears made quite a motley crew of various colors with assorted ribbons and bow ties circling their necks. Before long, a parade of teddy bears was lined up in her hospital room, representing the prayers and caring hearts of a family who loved her.

After her stay in the hospital, my niece took the teddy bears home with her…a reminder of how she is always surrounded by bountiful good wishes and prayers...and quite a cast of eccentric teddy bear messengers.

Even though my niece was an adult at the time of this surgery, her inner child really connected with the message. Clearly, we all need to feel deeply loved and comforted when we face our especially difficult challenges.

Is there a teddy bear parade or picnic (or other enchanting love symbol) waiting to enter your family’s or friends’ lives?

If you go down to the woods today,
You're in for a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today,
You'll never believe your eyes.
For every bear that ever there was,
Is gathered there for certain because,
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

words by Jimmy Kennedy in 1932
music by John W. Bratton in 1907


  1. Sending the bears was wonderful for me as a sender because it felt like the bear was my proxy; it was a physical manifestation of the love, care and prayers.

  2. I was the recipient of the teddy bears. They were so special to me - it meant my family was walking through this time with me even though they couldn't be there.
    I still keep one of the teddy bears on my mantle to remind me of the love of my family even though I live so far away from everyone.

  3. Terrific and beautiful idea. I will remember it. A few years ago, we were donating stuffed bunnies for Easter to an organization that took them to a local children's hospital; Joseph, myself, our roommate at the time --there was no limit on how many one could donate, so we had some fun shopping for those! :) Kind of hard to part with them, all those adorable Bunnies out in the world at this time of year. We adults fell in love with them, too, so they went to those children with lots of love. (There was a large bin for donations where Joseph worked.)
    Thanks for reminding me!