Every young child has that one toy they can’t live without—but for one six-year-old girl, her teddy bear has an even more personal meaning to her.
Paisley Garlisi, from Gardner, Massachusetts, loves her stuffed bear, Lucy. She’s not only her favorite toy—she also contains a very special message when you squeeze her hand:
“Hi Paisley. I love you, and I miss you.”
It’s the voice of her father—a member of the Army National Guard currently deployed overseas.
“He is in Kosovo right now,” Paisley’s mother told CBS Boston of her husband, Chad Garlisi. “Third deployment.”
Paisley said that the bear means “love and special” to her.
She doesn’t go anywhere without it—so when she traveled by plane with her family from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island recently, Lucy was by her side.
But after landing, she realized Lucy was gone.
“We all just kind of searched around the house, and realized we didn’t have her anywhere,” her mother said.
Paisley was devastated and couldn’t sleep without her bear.
WBZ posted a photo of Paisley & Lucy, hoping that if someone had found the bear during their travels they’d have the heart to return it.
Miraculously, it was seen by just the right person.
Hayley Monfils, a JetBlue employee, was at Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport when she spotted a cute new addition to the terminal.
“Walking through the airport and it looked like American had this new little mascot at their baggage service,” Monfils said. “I thought how cute!”
But later, she saw the post and realized what it really was:
“And I was scrolling through Facebook and I said I know that teddy bear I just saw that!”
WBZ thrilled that their post, paid off, went to the airport to pick up the bear.
“You write to us, okay?” joked one American Airlines employee to Lucy.
Then Lucy—complete with JetBlue sunglasses—was buckled in and finally on her way home.
The station surprised Paisley on June 4 with a heartwarming reunion.
Paisley hugged her old friend and said she was “happy” to have her back.
It’s a touching story of lost-and-found, and strangers working together to bring a smile to a young girl’s face. Paisley’s father might not be home anytime soon, but she’ll always have his loving message with her whenever she needs it.