Stef called Helaine from Vegas last night. She was beyond distraught. Yogi was missing, somehow snatched from her hotel room!
Yogi came to our house while Stef was still an infant. He was the one stuffed friend she latched onto and slept with every night.
Yogi was an unusual stuffed animal in that he was also a puppet. I’d stick my hand up Yogi’s back and tell stories or make believe Yogi was playing tennis. It’s the kind of thing a dad does and a child understands.
Stef never lost her affection for Yogi. He followed her to college and on vacation. He moved with Stef when she went west. He drove to Las Vegas with her for Stef’s six week stay. He has slept with her nearly every day of her life.
Our guess is Yogi was in the bed and mistakenly sent to the laundry when housekeeping changed her sheets. That’s not a good fate for a 24 year old stuffed bear.
Stef contacted the front desk who connected her to security who sent someone to the room. The more people she spoke to the more stories she got. It seemed like everyone was trying to be polite, not helpful. They wanted the problem to disappear.
I called the hotel and spoke with a bunch of people. Twice I got names from folks who were supposed to call me back. They did not.
I can’t begin to describe Stef’s upset. It tore at Helaine and my hearts. We were affected as much as she was. Yogi is Stef’s oldest, dearest possession.
Helaine and I discussed it last night. The calls were futile. It was all for nothing. It’s just what a parent does, even when you’re powerless to help.
I heard from Helaine about 20 minutes ago. She was sobbing. Her voice quivered. Stef had just phoned her.
Helaine spoke. “Steffie has Yogi.”
I don’t have all the details yet. What I do know is Stef was in her room getting ready for work when she heard a knock at the door. A hotel employee was on the other side.
“I think this is yours,” he said. And with that he handed Yogi to Stef. I am crying now as I type this.
There are a few takeaways here. Parents feel their children’s pain. Love, even love for an inanimate object, is real and often goes deeper than we realize. Never give up.
Really, never give up.
So, it turns out the hotel didn’t give up either. They deserve praise. Out of respect for my daughter’s privacy I’m not going to name them now. However, when Stef moves back to LA I will reveal where she was staying (in the nicest hotel room she’s ever been in).