A Teddy Bear Memory

About a year after my very special Mom passed away, the time came for me, as her executor, to make decisions about some final things. One of these things was what to do with her full length mink coat.

Like many women of her generation a fur coat meant something. She diligently saved the $5000 it cost to buy this coat – no small feat when you consider this was in the 1970’s. The coat kept her warm for years – through the cold winters as she sat in her car waiting for it to warm up so she could drive it home from work. It made her feel beautiful as she dressed up for special occasions with my Dad.

My Teddy Bear made from my beloved Mom's mink coat

My Teddy Bear made from my beloved Mom’s mink coat

But then along came the “No Fur” movement. Not that I disagree with the idea that fur looks best on the animal it was meant to clothe, but because of this there are thousands of coats out there, languishing and waiting for someone to put them to a good use.

What do you do with a fur coat that : 1. isn’t cool to wear, and 2. doesn’t fit anyway.

Then I remembered that I had sold some bears in my store years ago that were made from old fur coats. I decided to look into it and went on line to find someone that did this in our city. I found a lady by the name of Teresa Brunner from Sherwood Park and made arrangements for her to meet me, my sister and brother to talk about what she could make with our Mom’s mink coat.

Teresa showed us some wonderful examples of bears that she had made. They were beautifully crafted and each had a personality of their own.  It was with somewhat heavy hearts, however, that we were making this decision because somehow we just could not reconcile ourselves with cutting up our Mom’s prized coat – but we could think of no other alternative.

As Teresa was ready to leave, she reminded us to check the pockets of the coat before she took it. I went through the two front pockets. Nothing. But …  inside a small pocket in the lining I found something very special.

Mom always cut out little articles and sayings from the newspaper or magazine she was reading that held meaning for her. This time was no different. It was a short newspaper article that spoke about turning old fur coats into bears. We saw this as sign that she intended for us to do this all along! I can’t tell you how much that meant to all of us. We felt she had spoken to us through this little article and it brought tears to our eyes. There was even a little poem in the article, which I believe, is what our Mom felt. It’s not clear who originally wrote it but here it is:

Its cape was made from the lining of the coat

Its cape was made from the lining of the coat

Here’s a very special Teddy Bear made from my very favorite coat

Hold it, love it, and hug it tight, and it will be there day and night

It can’t replace the love I held dear, but it’s reminder that my love is still there

So when you’re sad and feeling blue, Hug your bear as though I hugged you… 

The bears have just arrived in time for Christmas – it’s like having a piece of our Mom with us again…

For more information about Teresa’s bears check out her web site: Teddy My Bear