Vancouver Island woman reunited with beloved teddy bear nearly 20 years later

  • Sep. 11, 2020 6:00 a.m.
Tayla Beal of Parksville, reunited with a teddy bear she lost nearly 20 years ago. (Submitted photo)
Taylor Beal’s son Kain Maddison, with his new furry friend. (Photo submitted)
A young Tayla Beal shown with her beloved teddy bear in the pocket of her overalls. (Submitted photo)
Tayla Beal’s first name and age written on her old teddy bear’s tag, nearly two decades ago. (Submitted photo)

As a child, Tayla Beal’s father taught her to always write her name on everything, just in case.

Even at three years old, when all she could write were her initials, she added them to everything. Eventually she was able to write her full name and started to add her current age as part of her signature.

“I was always losing things,” said Beal.

When Beal was approximately 10 years old, her cherished small teddy bear was lost during a family move from Horne Lake. The bear had been given to her when she was four and went with her everywhere.

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She was “a little bit sad” when her bear couldn’t be found but as a preteen was starting to outgrow stuffed animals. She also suspected her mother may have gotten rid of him without her knowledge.

Beal currently lives in Parksville. Nearly 20 years after losing the bear, Beal went shopping with her young son Kain at the Society of Organized Services Thrift Shop, when she spotted a familiar face. A small stuffed bear, identical to the one she lost as a child, nestled among other well-loved toys.

“I used to have a bear that looked just like this when I was little,” Beal said to her son, remembering the many photos she still had.

The price of 49 cents was more than fair, so they decided to purchase the bear.

As they stood at the register, Beal took a closer look at the bear and inspected its tags. She saw her own name, scribbled as only a child could, followed by the number four. This wasn’t another bear that looked just like hers, it was hers.

“I started bawling in the SOS, they probably thought I was crazy,” she said.

Reunited with her long lost teddy and overjoyed with the one-in-a-million chance reunion, Beal was thankful to her father for teaching her such a valuable lesson.

Whatever adventures her bear went on without her, he was taken care of and found in great condition.

It may never be known what happened to him for nearly two decades, whether someone found him and donated him all those years ago, or if he was left behind at their old house.

But Beal is amazed and pleased he found his way back to her.

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