When I was growing up and not feeling well, I would turn to two things. They both were there in the beginning and I'm lucky enough to still have both of them around all these years later.

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I'm talking about my mom and my teddy bear. Teddy has been a part of my life since I was two months old. He was my first Christmas present and (like my mom) has been there for me through thick and thin.

Teddy has a home on my shelf in the bedroom and I see him every day. My mom still lives in Warren Center, in the house that I grew up in. I don't see her every day but I should...or I should at least do better in seeing her more.

When I wasn't feeling well as a child, I would toss my teddy bear in the air like a gymnast. He would do flips and turns and make me feel better. In case your wondering, my mom would make me feel better too but I never tossed her in the air.

Why am I bringing all this up today on November 18th? It's because 118 years ago today that the Teddy Bear was invented. The teddy bear was named after President Theodore Roosevelt.

He was hunting in Mississippi for a bear but didn't see one. The guide wanted to make the President happy, so he went and captured a cub for Teddy. He refused to shoot the little bear.

A political cartoonist published a cartoon about the incident and New York toy store owner Morris Mitchton got Roosevelt's permission to call his new stuffed animal a "Teddy Bear."

Mitchton began mass-producing the teddy bears on November 18th, 1902. The stuffed bears became so popular that Mitchton would soon found the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

The teddy bear is still popular today and the Theodore Roosevelt Association has been keeping the spirit alive with Teddy Bears For Kids for hospitalized children. The name and the teddy bear are still here after all these years and I'm extremely thankful for that.

What memory do you have of your teddy bear...or any other stuffed animal?

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