I received a very special "teddy-gram" in the mail yesterday!
Gib came in with a HUGE box. It was from our Aunt Barbara. I say "our" because by blood she is his aunt . . . but by the love in our hearts and the friendship we have, she's my aunt, too!
She is a very special woman. She has a heart of gold and will do absolutely anything for anyone . . . She was the one who came to take me to the hospital the morning that my water broke at 23 weeks with Emma Grace. She has watched my girls countless times, whether it was for me to go visit Emma Grace in the hospital or teach a postpartum class for new moms. She has loved every minute with them, and she loves them like her own! And I might add, she never had children of her own. Her great nieces (not just my girls but their other cousins, as well) have been the children she never had. But, oh, what a wonderful mom she would have been!
She is also very talented. She has embroidered many things for my girls over the years, including bibs, onesies, towels and even teddy bears.
When Jessica was two, she gave this to her.
It is a bear that she made herself. Yes, she cut out the arms, legs, body, and stuffed it just right. She even made and personalized the fleece shirt that says "Jessica's Bear Hug".
We were instructed to read a note before we could open the package from her. To sum it up, last September she was looking for something different to sew. She remembered the bear she had made for Jessica and decided she would make one for Emma Grace and Grady. After cutting and sewing several pieces and putting them in bags that she thought she wouldn't lose, she realized she had accidentally thrown away her work up to that point. She is very easy-going and thought, "I'll just start over". But before she could start over, she wrote, "God took Grady to heaven". She was so upset by his death that she didn't have the desire to sew for a long time.
When she was finally ready, she knew she was going to make Emma Grace a bear, but she now struggled with the decision to make a bear for Grady.
I have always heard her say, and she also wrote, "The wonderful thing about sewing something for someone is you get to think about them while you make it". I'm not a sewer, but how true!
She wrote in her letter what a blessing Emma Grace is to her and how she's thankful that God's plan allowed her to be here on earth with us, what a miracle she is and how great it is to love her and be loved by her. Here is her bear, which she slept with last night . . . beautiful indeed!
Still she was torn over what to do about Grady's teddy, but in the end she decided to do it! But it had to be "one-of-a-kind". She had a strong feeling that it had to be golden in color because he is a "golden boy". Aunt Barbara shopped all over town, ordered materials on-line, and after a lot of trial and error, she put together a very beautiful bear for him.
It wasn't easy, though, because the material for parts of his bear were thick and heavy. She had to work especially hard on it, and she said she was thankful for that. She was able to think of Grady while making the bear. She said that because of the time that had passed since his death, she "could have peaceful and happy thoughts of Grady". She went on to list some of the "G's" in Grady's life that came to her while making the bear:
G - God's child, created with God's love.
G - Grady Thomas - precious son and brother.
G - Glory Baby, now in God's hands and in our hearts.
G - Golden boy, child more precious than gold.
Yes, I cried. Almost the ugly cry. Gib cried. Silently, with tears streaming down his face.
I called her yesterday to say thank you. But, she is a faithful reader of my blog.
Dear Aunt Barbara,
Thank you so much for taking a chance, following your heart and making a bear for Baby Grady. I loved on it yesterday, and it is sitting in Grady's crib. I will forever treasure it, a gift that you made straight from your heart. Thank you so much for taking the time, putting forth the effort and energy to make it so very beautiful and perfect. I wish he was here to enjoy it himself, but I will enjoy it for him. You are a blessing to me and such a special part of my life. I love you more than you'll ever know!
Here are some pictures of Grady's bear.
Gib took this picture of the bear with my coveted blanket that I sleep with.
All three bears together in my glider rocker.
This is the bear's home for now. Until I take Grady's room down . . .
Hope you've enjoyed my special "teddy-gram"! Have a great day!