All parents know the devastation that occurs when a child loses their favorite lovey—there are tears, refusals to sleep and just utter heartbreak. So when 4-year-old Colin lost his prized stuffed animal, an elephant named Fezzik, mom Tabby Mehring knew it was a very big deal.
At first, Mehring and fiancé Will Jackson tried to tell Colin he had just left Fezzik at his grandparent's house, which seemed to calm him. However, he soon started waking crying in the middle of the night for his beloved stuffy, leading Mehring to scour every inch of the house in search of him.
She tells Today, "I tore apart the house looking for Fezzik with no luck. I started texting everyone Colin had visited asking if Fezzik was there. No one had seen him. Fezzik was officially gone."
When she realized he was no where to be found, the Kentucky mom posted a desperate (and creative) plea on Facebook, asking friends and family to please send Colin postcards and letters from Fezzik so that his distraught little mind could be at peace.
That's when Josh Conner, one of her friends, came up with a brilliant idea, suggesting that Mehring post her request on Reddit where some Photoshop-whizzes could actually put Fezzik into pictures showing him traveling the globe, à la the garden gnome in "Amelie."
There was no way Mehring could've anticipated the enthusiastic response to the Reddit post. Soon, thousands of pictures were pouring into her inbox transforming Fezzik into a globe-trotter, with photos in front of every major monument in the world—from Big Ben to swimming with the turtles in the Great Barrier Reef.
"It sort of blew us out of the water when the one or two responses we expected turned into almost two thousand," shares Mehring.
In order for Colin to receive all of these amazing e-postcards, Mehring set up a special email account for him and uses each new travel-gram to teach Colin about different counties and cultures.
Postcards have also been coming in via snail mail as well:
In light of all of the horrible news in the world lately, Conner finds the overwhelming response life-affirming: "I think it's important to try to be good to kids when the opportunity comes along. If anything, I think that when Colin grows up, this can show him that there are a lot of positive things out there and that his parents love him very much."
One kind Reddit user even went through the effort of locating another Fezzik through an online auction and offered to buy the replacement for Colin. He was true to his word and the new Fezzik is already hiding in a box at Colin's house. But when his parents will give it to him is still a mystery.
The family has been enjoying opening up the postcards together and marveling over Fezzik's journey, an experience that they don't want to end anytime soon.