Classified ad, kind stranger, deliver Christmas miracle named ‘Froggie’

By NATALIE RAU
Guest columnist

Froggie came into our lives in the summer of 2008. Silas was only 5 months old.

I decided to take the children to The Cherry Bowl Drive In to see “Wall-E.” This was when the drive-in still had their gift shop open and the Cherry Bear Workshop. Because Silas was so young, he stayed home with his dad. We decided to get him a frog to match the frog border that was put up in his nursery, which is now replaced with race cars.

From the moment Froggie was given to Silas, we knew he was a special toy. Silas would lay in bed and roll the silky tag between his fingers while sucking his thumb. Eventually, Silas loved the tag off Froggie, but he still remained a faithful friend.

Froggie took a trip to Florida with me when my grandmother had a stroke. He got left behind, so he got sent back via air mail. In the mean time, Silas’ dad ordered two duplicates, which of course, Silas never waivered and remained a steadfast friend and did not want anything to do with the Froggie look alikes.

Silas’s Dad and I divorced in December, 2009. We both went our separate ways finally in July, 2009. Froggie was the one common thing that always went back and forth between our houses with Silas.

Froggie has been run over after being accidentally left on a boat landing, that is how he lost an eye. He caught the wind one time while driving down the highway. Silas’s dad discovered this after seeing crocodile tears coming from Silas’s eyes. He swung around in the median and found Froggie. He lost a little fur from that one.

Then, there was the fateful night, Dec. 10, 2011, at the Santa Train in Manistee. I was reluctant to bring Froggie, but Silas insisted. There had been a lot of talk about Froggie and how he was losing his fur and only had one eye. Silas had been contemplating Froggie’s demise and this made him very sad when he thought about it.

So, as I unloaded the children from the car, I tried to plead my case with Silas to leave Froggie in the car and he insisted that he wanted to bring Froggie to see Santa because maybe he could fix him. So, Froggie came along. We waited in the cold for a while and finally, Santa arrived. I brought Silas to see Santa, but there was too much of a crowd so I picked Silas up and took him out of the crowd, Silas must have dropped Froggie then.

We all piled into the car and as I was buckling Silas into his car seat, as he always did, he asked for Froggie. I felt sudden panic because I was not able to find him. We all went back to the scene of the crime to see if Froggie was still there. No Froggie. We made the somber walk back to the car and began the trip home. Silas seemed to take it well, he only cried for a few minutes. His brother and sister were in the car with me and they lamented about Froggie more than Silas did. Silas, while he was sitting in his car seat, put his hands up to his temples and closed his eyes and said he could see Froggie sitting on his bed at home waiting for him. At that point, I vowed to do everything in my power to see to it to find Froggie.

The next morning, I drove back to the scene of the crime to see if I could find it in the daylight. No Froggie. I called the police dispatcher (on a Sunday) in Manistee to see if anyone had turned Froggie in, they called the fire chief and between the police and the fire department, they reported that no one had turned in the frog.

I then decided to call the Manistee News Advocate to place a lost and found classified ad. That was placed on Sunday, Dec.11, 2011. Things seemed very bleak and we were losing hope that Froggie was lost forever. I received a phone call on Friday, December 16, 2011 that someone had found Froggie!

I called on Saturday, and no luck reaching her. I called back on Sunday and spoke to a very kind woman, who still remains unidentified. She made arrangements for me to meet her brother as he left her home from celebrating Christmas and her son’s return from Afghanistan. We met at the Saddle Up gas station in Bear Lake. It turned out that her brother lived in Copemish, not terribly far from where we live. He gave me the frog and a sigh of relief washed over me.

We decided to give Froggie back to Silas as a Christmas gift as we tried to explain to Silas that Froggie must have hopped on the train with Santa. We (celebrated) Christmas on Dec, 28, because of the children spending time with their father. I am really looking forward to seeing his face when he is reunited with his best friend. This was all made possible by the kindness of a stranger and the classified ads in the News Advocate.

Thank you very much.

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