Monday, September 1, 2008

Beary Special Miracles Continue To Happen

I also know that when you have a dream, a deep in your heart dream, nothing can stop you from achieving it as long as you can dream it, believe it and take action toward it.

Here’s how the story goes.

I have a secret that I’m going to share with you. I am a fifty-six year old woman and I love teddy bears. Big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, long hair, short hair, mohair, bears with hats, bears with jackets, or just plain furry ones, I love them all.

Many years ago when I was a young woman going through a rough time in my life, I spotted a teddy bear while out shopping. I had to have it. On an impulse I bought the bear (which I really could not afford) and took it home with me. Every time I looked at my teddy bear, he made me smile and feel better. It was during this time that I tucked a dream in the back of my heart. My dream was to someday open my own shop filled with nothing but teddy bears.

After several years in the workplace and raising two sons on my own, I finally met my knight in shining armor. We were both ready to simplify our lives and since we both loved the country, some extensive searching enlightened us to a small town nestled in the mountains of Southern Oregon. Even though the time was not quite right, I knew that somehow I was moving closer to my dream. Indeed, this was the perfect place for a teddy bear shop.

Years later, after my husband retired, we were left with a small office building on the main street of our little town. The little dream tucked away in the back of my heart for all those years grew wings and soared. A new sign was painted for the building and “Just Bears & Stuff” became a reality.

Now, 15 years later, I know that my instincts were right. I’m glad that I listened to my heart. I don’t have one outstanding miracle to share?I have hundreds. Every person that walks through the door of my special little shop can feel it…that special “teddy bear feeling.” Whether or not our customers have come to purchase a bear or just come to visit, we know that they will leave with smiles on their faces; teddy bears just make you feel good. Most every person that purchases a bear has a story. Our bears go to people who need comfort in times of illness or loss. Our bears go to people for joyful occasions or milestones in their lives.

Sometimes people, young or old, will make a purchase just because they need a teddy bear to get them through a bad day. These people are among my favorites because, in them, I see myself all those years ago when that first teddy bear came home with me and whispered in my ear, telling me that my dream for the future could come true. I’m glad that I listene - that fuzzy bear was right!

- This story first appeared in the book Workplace Miracles.

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