We unexpectedly lost a dear friend this past year. He left behind two adorable young children and a beautiful wife. Our families were close, it hit home on many levels. No one can describe how to handle a situation when someone passes unexpectedly, it is even harder to try to share this with a child. You try to hold onto something to take you through the rough patches, sometimes not knowing how to find your comfort. It is in times like these when lives are comforted in the most surprising and simplest of ways.
Meet Kim Foster. Here she is with her Dad on her wedding day. She lost her father unexpectedly in 1999. It was then that Kim discovered one of life’s most treasured comforts… “a happy memory” in the form of a teddy bear.
Why was this Teddy Bear so comforting? It was made from her fathers favorite shirt, the same shirt that he wore on weekends to relax and play around with the kids, the comfy rode trip shirt that ultimately made it’s way from their home in San Diego to their vacation home in Lake Tahoe. Those Eddie Bauer shirts reminded her of the part of her dad who cherished his family and home. Kim shares “After my dad died, my mom had teddy bears made for my sister and me using one of dad’s favorite shirts. It brought me great comfort then, and still does.”
Kim was now on a mission. It became so natural to want to share that same comfort she experienced with others. Kim offered up her first comfort bear to a close family friend that lost their son defending our country. “Their pain was still raw. I went ahead and made a bear using Army fatigue, the collar being the original off the shirt and all the original buttons were used as well.” Kim shared. A replica dog tag hangs around the bear’s neck with the inscription, I Was Once Worn By Someone Dear, Through Loving Memories Will Always Be Here.
Her gifts of comfort grew from one friend to another. Favorite teams, Polo shirts, Tommy Bahama, fine dress shirts. How simple a comfort transformed. I just fell in love with this whole TLC effort and just had to share with all of you.
Below are our friends children loving all over their Hero Bears from their dad. Mom even got one too.
So, “Hats Off” Kim Foster for providing such comfort to so many, especially our dear friends. Your passion shines brightly as your time and talents provide so much comfort to others and happiness for all.