When the MacMasters wrapped up their Airdrie vacation and returned home to Nova Scotia last week, they left behind a very important member of the family: a teddy bear belonging to their seven-year-old son, Duncan.
But this is no ordinary stuffed animal. The bear contains a very personal voice message recorded by Duncan’s birth mom before she passed away.
Duncan’s stepmom, Ranelle, took to social media, asking Airdrie residents to keep looking for the teddy.
On Monday night, Airdrie resident Heidi Erickson dropped off her son and his friend at the downtown Nose Creek Park and discovered the bear and Duncan’s backpack in mint condition right by the entrance.
“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 explained. “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.”
A few social media posts later, the lost bear’s identity was confirmed. Duncan woke up to the best news possible.
“I’m really happy,” Duncan said. “I was feeling really sad for a few days because I missed my Momma Bear.”
“To the woman who found it, thank you for getting it back for me from the park and I wish I met you.”
There are lingering questions about where the bear actually was and who put the backpack on the park post.
What matters most is that the stuffed animal was found.
The bear is getting an express ride home and will be back in Duncan’s arms next week. In the meantime, the bear is enjoying a victory tour around the city and is stealing the hearts of locals.
“The real heroes of this story are Duncan’s moms,” Erickson added. “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.”
In a statement to Global News, Ranelle MacMaster said their family wants to thank the city of Airdrie for helping bring the bear home,
“We are so thankful for all the caring people who shared the posts, went out searching for the bear, and sent their well-wishes for her safe return,” MacMaster said. “We are so happy to have momma bear back.”