Daisy Gave Me An Answer – MOO!

I have met a few significant individuals in my 40 plus years of living. Many of these people are significant in one way or another. One of the things that goes hand in hand with meeting such significant figures is that they have a story behind their place in my lives. My wife, my kids, my friends, my colleagues, and anyone who reads my essays can attest the fact that I can ramble on ad nauseam about someone who had a significant place in my life. Well, guess what – everyone is about to get another one of those stories.
Before I tell this story, I should offer some background. The character behind this story of significance is female. I met this significant female via another significant female. I met this significant female via my wife. The thing is, she wasn’t my wife at the time. At the time, she was a very new girlfriend who had a daughter that was less than a year old. This daughter is also not the main character of this significant female story but nonetheless plays a role. Another important detail is that this story takes place on Valentine’s Day (which happens to be two days after my birthday). Lastly, it is important to know that this story takes place inside Rochester International Airport in 1992. For better or for worse, the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001 now makes repeating the events of this story nearly impossible and definitely illegal. Oh yeah, one more thing, the significant female – her name is Daisy.
On this Valentine’s Day in 1992, I was preparing to fly down to Georgia to visit my parents. It was a trip I had planned since the previous November. It was also the first time I had been to Georgia since I move to Rochester, New York in 1988. My girlfriend was kind enough to offer me a ride to the airport. I knew my feelings toward this relatively new girlfriend were strong. Still, I was somewhat reluctant to speak up about my feelings as I had already endured a marriage that did not end well. I had two kids from that marriage that I missed being able to see on a daily basis. Also along for the ride to the airport was my girlfriend’s aforementioned daughter. We made our way through airport security and we were all waiting at the gate for my flight to begin boarding. We had plenty of time to spare before boarding so I figure this was a good time for us all to relax.
As it turns out, I was mistaken about the relaxing part. My girlfriend suddenly said: “OH NO!” Apparently, her daughter needed to be changed but the diaper bag was in my girlfriend’s car in the parking lot. I offered to watch her daughter while she retrieved the diaper bag. She said: “No, I’ll take her with me in case you have to get on the plane before I get back.” She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and darted toward the parking lot. You’d have thought she was entering that stroller in a NASCAR race the way she rapidly weaved through the sea of people in the airport on her way back to the car.
I nervously waited; hoping that she would return before I had to board my flight. I alternated between looking at my watch and looking through the crowd of people for any sight of my girlfriend, her daughter, or even the stroller which I still swear was detailed with a spoiler on the back. This pattern repeated for what seemed an eternity: Check for the time, check for the girlfriend, repeat. Suddenly, I saw them – the unmistakable brown tresses of my girlfriend’s hair and the unmistakable smile of her daughter. My girlfriend and I were both relieved that she made it back before my boarding call. In case you were wondering, she even had time to change her daughter.
A brief while later, they announced my boarding call for my flight. I kissed my girlfriend and her daughter goodbye. I boarded the plane and began stowing my stuff in the overhead compartment which included a guitar. Once I had everything stowed, I was immediately approached by an airline attendant. “Excuse me, Sir.”, she stated with that friendly airline attendant smile, “I’ve been asked to give you this box.” I curiously accepted the box and sat down. It was a simple white box. On the top of the box, someone had written my name, my flight number, and my seat assignment. I wasn’t sure at this point if I was more curious or nervous about this box. I took a deep breath and I opened it.
My curiosity was met with a pleasant surprise. Inside the box was a Valentine’s Day card with a message from my girlfriend. Also in the box was a stuffed cow made by Gund. For the unaware, Gund is a company that specializes in stuffed collectibles. It even came with a cowbell around the neck. I placed the cow and the card back in the box and stowed the box under my seat. As my flight began, you couldn’t have removed my smile even if you were a dental surgeon.
Many things have transpired since that day. The girlfriend in question has been my wife now for nearly 19 years. We also had a child together which gave us a total of two boys and two girls. Two of those kids are now engaged to be married and a third (the one that came with me to the airport) is pregnant. The cow, since named Daisy, travelled with us all over the years as we moved several times. Sadly, somewhere along the line between the first house and the current residence, Daisy disappeared. It was unfortunate and sad but such things happen when you move from one place to another.
I got a call from my wife the other day on the way home from work. “Guess what was delivered to the house today.” she said coyly. I sarcastically replied: “Our new dinette set?” “NO!” she said, “Daisy’s BACK!”. My wife had scoured the Internet and found another Gund cow identical to the one she gave me in 1992. I hate that it was so hard for her to find but then again, I am not a supporter of Gund control. (Did you REALLY think I was going to let that one pass by?)


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