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Teddy Bear with Late Mother's Voice Recording Belonging to Age 7 Boy Found by Kind Stranger

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One family from Nova Scotia, Canada, recently took a trip to Airdrie for vacation. They took home many great memories — but they left one crucial memory behind.

Slipped over a post at the Nose Creek Park sat a lonely backpack with a stuffed teddy bear. But this wasn’t just any teddy bear: this was an important link to a child’s mother, a precious relic to 7-year-old Duncan MacMaster.

Duncan’s mother had passed away, and the bear contained a recording of her voice that was made just for him. When the family realized the backpack and its invaluable contents were missing, Duncan’s stepmom, Ranelle MacMaster, took to Facebook with a heartfelt plea.

It was another mother who spotted the abandoned backpack after taking her own son to the park. Heidi Erickson, a local, remembers the odd appearance of Duncan’s belongings.

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“There was no backpack where I found it when I dropped them off, but when I returned, this backpack was hanging on a post,” Erickson said, according to Global News. “I saw it and thought that looks so familiar, but I knew it wasn’t my kid’s backpack. It occurred to me that maybe it was the backpack from this story. I went and opened it and the bear was inside. I was in such disbelief.”

She’d seen the MacMaster’s story and told CTV News that finding the backpack and its meaningful contents “was really exciting.”

It was her 13-year-old son, Joshua, who confirmed that the bear was indeed Duncan’s.

“He squeezed on the tummy and we heard the message, and … all of us teared up,” Erickson said. “It was really very personal, but very beautiful.”

After contacting the family to reassure them that the teddy bear was in good hands, Erickson added to the charm of the story by taking photos of the bear at various local attractions.

A radio station that had originally distributed the story took over from there, promising to get the bear back home.

Duncan was — obviously — relieved that his belongings had been found, especially because the family had been told it was unlikely that they would get the important stuffed animal back.

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“I’m really happy,” the 7-year-old said. “I was feeling really sad for a few days because I missed my Momma Bear.”

While many have thanked Erickson for her part in this reunion, she’s made it clear who she thinks should be recognized.

“The real heroes of this story are Duncan’s moms,” she said. “His birth mom, who cared enough to leave that message for her son before she passed, and also his stepmom, who cared enough to keep that memory alive, who cared enough to reach out to a community to find this bear.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking