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Senior Correspondent

When my daughter was young she had to have major surgery. Friends and staff at her daycare center gave her a small brown and beige stuffed bear. It was to remind her, and us, of all the people who were praying for her.

Now this bear was a bit odd. His eyes were upside down so he looked … odd. It also made him special because he did not look like every other stuffed bear.

The day arrived and Baby Bear went to the hospital. The bear was treated much like an additional patient even to the point of taking a ride on the gurney to the operating room. 

Our child recovered marvelously and Baby Bear sat on the shelf until a friend of mine at work was to have surgery. We prayed for her. Our daughter said I should take Baby Bear so my friend could take him to the hospital with her to remind her of those who were praying for her. The friend was deeply touched and took Baby Bear with her. Everybody at the hospital knew about the odd little bear and the child who shared her bear and her prayers. 

Over the years, Baby Bear accompanied many people to the hospital. A friend who lived in another state had a child who had to have brain surgery. Because of the distance, I was concerned Baby Bear might get lost, so I decided to buy this family their very own Baby Bear. I looked and looked but nothing was quite right. A clerk asked if she could help and I explained I did not want an ordinary bear, that it needed to be unique. Holding up one finger in a "wait a minute" gesture, she dashed away then returned a short time later with a small black and white bear that had one odd eye! Baby Bear II went on a trip to join my friend’s child, taking with it our prayers and a small notebook to record their own stories of Baby Bear II’s adventures.

Over the years there have been other Baby Bears. Occasionally I hear from one of the families regarding the adventures of their Baby Bear. One of the more remarkable was a family who sent us a Baby Bear when our second child was hospitalized. Come to find out, this family was many "generations" down from Baby Bear II!

Oddly enough this was a brown and beige bear with his eyes upside down — an exact twin to our original Baby Bear.

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