When she was alive, my mother indulged my passion for collecting teddy bears. What began as an innocent purchase of one old-fashioned teddy 18 years ago has blossomed into a collection of more than 300 bears.
A few weeks ago, while wandering through a favorite local store, a Hanukkah bear caught my eye, and I cradled him in my arms. I peeked at the tag, $26.99. I did not buy the bear then, but tucked the idea in the back of my mind. A week or so later, my husband Steven said, “Look what I brought home from your parents’ house.” He showed me a small wooden cigar box with the last bit of my mother’s mahjongg and canasta money. There was $24 in bills and another $6 or $7 in change. That was my mother telling me from across the great beyond that she wanted me to have that bear for my birthday.
I got that bear and cradled him into my arms and into my heart. No one can convince me that it was a coincidence. It was my dearest mother letting me know she’s watching over me. What a wonderful gift we shared throughout her life and we still share it today.