Monday, December 27, 2010

Miracle on Long Island


A miracle happened on Christmas Day. Miracle is a huge word. I realize this. I try not to overuse it, just like brilliant and genius. I reserve those words for Woody Allen and for Skylar my 6 and a half year old granddaughter.

The last time I witnessed a miracle was when my daughter was pregnant with Sky and I said to Glenn, my then son-in-law.

“This is a miracle!”

He responded, “This isn’t a miracle. A miracle would be if I was having a baby.”

I glared at him and said, “You know what a miracle is, Glenn? It’s a miracle that I have the control not to punch you in the face right now!”

Fast forward to Christmas two days ago. My daughter Jackie and Glenn are divorced and although I reluctantly admit he’s a wonderful Dad to Sky, we don’t celebrate holidays together so he’s not part of this story.

My son Doug and me and Tony Baloney, my perfect little Morkie zipped to Jackie and Sky's house near mine on Long Island to spend Christmas Day with them. We were busy bringing presents into their house so we didn’t notice that we closed the front door and Tony had wandered back outside.

Ten minutes later when Skylar showed us a present she had for Tony we realized he wasn’t in the house. A sick feeling washed over me and even as I yelled in the house.  

We all ran out, calling “To ny, To ny” trying to whistle and clap and try to see as far down the block as we could. I ran back and jumped in the car to get further faster. With the window opened I must have looked a little like a dog myself with my head hanging out of it. I felt a sob coming on and I stifled it.

People on the block said they hadn’t seen him…I described him as a little 9 pound Morkie wearing a Santa suit. A furry, four legged, low to the ground Santa has to stand out, I thought. I imagined my little guy scared and lost and my heart was doing flip flops.

Somehow, I knew that he wasn’t a Lassie who would sniff his way home. Somehow I sensed that Tony is probably helpless like me when it comes to his sense of direction.

As my panic rose, random thoughts popped into my head.

1. "I’ve ruined Christmas for Skylar. If we don’t find Tony I won’t be
     able to go back and finish opening presents. I’ll just be a mess."

2. "When do you stop looking? I’ll never stop looking."

3. "Oh, God, now am I going to be the Poor Widow Me who lost her dog?"

4. "I wonder if I'll feel like eating later"…was interrupted by,

    “Hey, that man found your dog!”

Tony was safe! The guy was driving around looking for
someone who was looking for a dog. His kids found him six blocks
away in the middle of the street. I followed him back to his house and
his kids handed my little Santa to me.

I squeezed that confused sweetface and I kissed and hugged the kids and the father.

As I walked back to the car carrying Tony Baloney in my arms I tried to
memorize the address to drop something on their stoop the next day to thank
them. I haven't done that yet. I'm blaming it on the blizzard.

The real kicker was that after a wonderful day, Doug, Tony and I headed back to my house where I listened to a message on my answering machine. I stood in my kitchen impatiently trying to make out what sounded like a 10 year old boy.

I assumed it was one of my cousin’s kids wishing me a Merry Christmas…I turned to Doug and said,

“Why do they put a kid on to leave a message? I hate that! I can’t understand a word he’s saying and he left a phone number – So ridiculous…I can’t even make it out. I’m not even going to try!”

“Hey, Mom” Doug said smirking, “Listen to the first part…he’s saying, “I found your dog.”

Right there is my Christmas miracle…not that we found Tony because of the goodness of strangers…but that I can be such an asshole.

Comments are appreciated folks...thanks!