There are not a lot of heartwarming moments that can compare to the time when who or what that was once lost is finally found. That positive outcome to searches for missing persons or things does not always happen, and over the past weekend a Filipina-Canadian residing in Vancouver was worried that she might never see her most prized possession, a Build-a-Bear teddy bear that plays a recording of her late mother’s voice. Thankfully a social media buzz started by Canadian Hollywood star and fellow Vancouverite Ryan Reynolds brought her story plenty of attention, and that made a big difference.
PEOPLE.com tells us that the case of the missing/stolen teddy bear of Mara Soriano came to a happy conclusion this Wednesday, July 29. As Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds reports on his official Twitter page, the lost Build-a-Bear toy for which he had generously offered a $5,000 reward towards its return was handed back to its Fil-Canadian owner. “In happier news… thank you everyone who searched high and low,” writes Reynolds. “To the person who took the bear, thanks for keeping it safe. Vancouver is awesome. #FoundMarasBear” His earlier July 26 tweet mentioning the reward for the bear reached over 342,000 likes at the time of recovery.
For her part, Mara Soriano relates that by the evening of Tuesday, July 28 (Canadian time), she received an email from an anonymous source that identified himself as one who found the bear. Soriano then contacted Deborah Goble of CBC, who initially reported on her situation days ago (and whose Twitter post was how Reynolds became acquainted with the story). Soriano arranged to have the finder meet with her in the CBC studio, where she was ultimately reunited with her precious keepsake. “MAMABEAR IS HOME!!! #FOUNDMARASBEAR” she tweeted July 29.
Nothing more was said about the other items Mara had with the bear inside her stolen bag, which included her citizenship ID and two gadgets. And even returned, the teddy bear was missing its glasses accessory, similar to what Soriano’s mother Marilyn wore before she passed away from cancer last year. At least the toy’s voice box containing the recording of her mom’s voice was undamaged. That was extremely vital because the late elder Soriano’s voice when making the recording was, according to Soriano, her normal tone, before her stay in hospice care until her death would change it dramatically.
The message recorded by Mara’s mother was a mixed Filipino-English greeting of love and a promise that she would always be with her daughter. As Soriano, who has lived in Canada since moving from the Philippines at age nine, explains, “It’s a reminder of home. The bear has a message in it in Filipino. It says ‘I love you,’ but in our language. So it’s very specific and very unique.” No details were given whether Ryan Reynolds gave the promised $5,000 to the anonymous party who found the bear, but Mara gave a cash sum to the finder as “collateral.”
Image courtesy of Yahoo News