This teddy has a tale to tell which hopefully will warm your heart.
He doesn't have a name. He's about eighteen years old and for the first few years of his life he sat in my baby son's bedroom along with lots of other stuffed toys, neither loved nor played with.
He was just a gift-shop bear that someone had given my son when he was born and basically was used just to help decorate the baby's room.
Then, in 1995, my Nan died. Remembering she'd once told us that, growing up, she'd always wanted a teddy bear but never had one, I looked around the house for a bear to sleep with her in eternal rest. The unloved, unnamed bear was taken down from the shelf and his destiny was sealed...or so I thought.
My mum suddenly announced that she'd had the exact same thought as me and had bought an anonymous bear from a card shop.
Our bear was reprieved!
Now this unnamed, unloved bear had a special meaning for me and for years sat on my bedside table until, one day, my then five year old daughter came home from school very excited and announced there was to be a Teddy Bears' Picnic the very next day and they were all to take in a Teddy to join in the fun.
Guess which bear she picked out of all the bears in the house?
So this unloved, unnamed bear was suddenly elevated to 'very special, very lucky' bear and spent a day in the sun at a Teddy Bears' Picnic.
Whenever I look at him now and think of where he could have been, I can't help but give him a hug.