Five-year-olds Violet and Asher Eastman received a very special gift this Christmas: Teddy bears made from their late father’s police uniform.
Barry Eastman was a Washington, D.C. police officer who died on Sept. 25 after a head-on crash while driving home from a shift. The 31-year-old father died at the scene, leaving behind his wife, Jennifer, and their twins. He served the police force for four years.
For the holiday season, a fellow officer, Rebecca Werner, who worked in the Third District with Eastman, handmade two teddy bears from items from the children’s father’s uniform. The bears’ eyes are made from the buttons, the feet have Metropolitan Police patches, and the bears wear fashion neckties, just like the officers.
“My kids were thrilled to receive them,” Jennifer Eastman told WJLA. “They love talking about their dad and they’re really proud of him.”
The bears are cute and huggable, and perfect for helping the children keep their father close to them in a physical way.
Officer Eastman was known in his community for his charitable and generous acts. “At work, he would carry spare coats, blankets, cold weather accessories in his trunk from time to time in the winter and he would hand them out to various homeless people,” his wife said.
The Washington, D.C. police force is helping the Eastmans cope with their first holiday without their father and husband. “He would love that so many people are reaching out to our kids and doing such wonderful things for them,” Eastman told WJLA.
The family said they will still continue beloved holiday traditions like looking at Christmas lights and making a big Christmas morning breakfast.
Eastman says her children sleep with the bears every night, but they are yet to name them. Upon receiving her teddy bear, Violet’s response was as simple as it was heartwarming: “I can give daddy a hug.”