My class ended 10 minutes early today, and I happily walked to my car, excited to get an early start to myweekend, When I got to my car, I realized my car keys were not in my bag. I took everything out of my bag, I jumbled it all around, I searched in every pocket. Finally, I walked back to my office.
I searched my entire office and then the class I had been teaching in and still, no keys. I walked back to my car sure that they must be somewhere on the ground.
I looked into my windows, thinking I must have locked my keys in my car, but they weren’t inside my car (and my car is unusually clean right now, so I could see clearly inside). I dumped my bag out again. Still, no keys.
I walked back to my office sure that I must have missed them. By now, I was getting a little panicked. Maddie was waiting for me at school. On the way to my office, I called my friend Megan to see if she could pick up Maddie when she picked up her daughter, but she didn’t answer. I searched my entire office again, the classroom again, and dumped my bag out once more.
Still, no keys.
I decided to walk to the police station to see if anyone had dropped off my keys, thinking perhaps I had dropped them when I walked to class this morning. By now, I was in a real panic: It was 10 minutes past 3 and Maddie had been out of school for 20 minutes. If my keys weren’t at the police station, I was going to have to call the school and have them take Maddie to extended care, and then call someone to bring me my set of spare keys. Which meant I’d be at school for at least another half hour.
As I walked to the police station, I saw a woman walking there as well. I hurried up to beat her, but she walked faster than me. Clearly she was walking faster than me because she was angry, which I figured out as soon as I walked into the police station where I witnessed her, irate, telling a detailed story about her unfair parking ticket.
Shit. I was going to be here for a while. I silently started praying “Tony, Tony, look around. I’ve lost my keys; they must be found.”
If you recognize this prayer, then you’re clearly Catholic, and you know that St. Anthony is the Catholic saint of lost and stolen items, and you’ve been told by all your Catholic grandmothers that this prayer never fails, but if you’re like me and think the whole Catholic saint deal is a serious load of shit, then you only utter the prayer in pure desperation.
This was a moment of pure desperation, and not because my weekend was now starting off late, but because Maddie was sitting, alone and scared (as I was imagining) waiting for me to pick her up.
As I uttered the prayer over and over, I reached into my bag to grab my phone to call the school, and I swear to God, out came my keys.
This makes absolutely no sense to me what-so-ever. I emptied my bad at least 3 times and looked in every nook and no keys. Then I utter a simple prayer and they turn up?
My logical side tells me it’s just a coincidence and that I had obviously missed the keys, that perhaps they were between essays in my bag.
But my not so logical side KNOWS it was St. Anthony and I’m super thankful for his intervention.
Now if that doesn’t make me a typical Catholic, I don’t know what does.
P.S. Maddie was content and happy to wait for me because she was talking to friends. She didn’t even notice I was late.