PLAINS TWP. ‚?? To most people, the giant inflatable Tweety Bird decoration outside Valerie Swaditch‚??s home was a cute Christmas decoration meant to brighten the holiday.
To Swaditch, however, the 8-foot cartoon character dressed in a Santa suit represented a lasting memory of her mother, who died in June.
So when Swaditch awoke last week to find the decoration had disappeared from the porch of her Cleveland Street home, she was devastated. ‚??I opened my door and noticed he was gone,‚?Ě said Swaditch. ‚??I asked my neighbor if she heard anything, and I just burst into tears.‚?Ě
Sometime between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. last Wednesday, someone apparently snuck onto her porch, cut the wires and ties that fastened Tweety to the railing and fled.
Swaditch, 41, has been a Tweety Bird fanatic most of her life, collecting all types of trinkets, jewelry and clothing emblazoned with the hugely popular, Looney Tunes character.
Her late mother, Lou Anne Shatrowskas of Wilkes-Barre, always had been her biggest ‚??Tweety contributor‚?Ě prior to her death on June 6 from cancer. ‚??She‚??d get me things for my car, pajamas, pictures, stuffed animals, jewelry,‚?Ě said Swaditch. ‚??Everything you could think of that had Tweety, my mother went out of her way to buy it for me.‚?Ě
The blowup decoration was particularly special because it‚??s very rare, she said. Her mother ‚??searched high and low‚?Ě to find it for her.
Even if she could find another one, it would be meaningless, she said. ‚??It‚??s not the object itself. I just lost my mother and it‚??s like they took a piece of her away from me,‚?Ě Swaditch said.
Swaditch said she finds it hard to comprehend that someone could be so brazen. She suspects the thief previously had driven by her home to know it was there, since it was not inflated the night it was stolen.
She‚??s hopeful that by getting out the message, someone might see the decoration and alert her, or that the thief will see how much the decoration meant to her and return it, ‚??no questions asked.‚?Ě
‚??The person probably just thought they‚??re stealing something someone bought,‚?Ě she said. ‚??They didn‚??t think they‚??re taking a piece of my heart.‚?Ě