Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Grinch came early.

Burglary. n. The crime of breaking into a building, home, or some other place with the intention of stealing.

We have been burgled, robbed, hit and any other word your thesaurus specifies.  First off we are all okay!  And really that is the most important part of the story.  We are blessed by the people in our lives, not the stuff in our possession.  Secondly as burglaries go it was a mild one.  No trashing of the interior of the house, they did not take everything we own, no obscene messages left to unnerve our family.  But it has still rattled my world.  Never before have I been "fearful".  A friend and I once chased a car down the interstate as they were throwing furniture at us just because we caught them stealing from a charity drop box.  Smart?  Well, no, but we did get the license plate number to the police.  As a friend posted this week, I have a "feisty" nature.  I can thank my mom for that gift.

It was an ordinary morning with the eldest.  We went to the tutor and then stopped at a store so I could pick up supplies for a jewelry gift I am planning to make.  As we drove into the driveway the eldest pointed to the front doors.  My very large double doors were wide open.  Now once in a while one door will open with the breeze when a child has not closed it completely.  Okay, make that frequently, because kids either slam doors or don't close them.  There is no middle ground.  I knew those doors were locked before I left.  So the eldest was commanded to stay in the van as I went to the door.  My fight or flee response was definitely set for flee but I went in just far enough to see into my bedroom which is right off the foyer.  Nightstand drawer open and a pillow on the floor.  Not the way I left my room.  After that I sent my child to the neighbor's and called 911 and then my husband.  As the afternoon unfolded, because this was after all broad daylight, we figured out that they had forced/kicked open the double doors and stolen two TVs and the majority of my jewelry.  On the whole not as bad as it could have been. 

But then I started itemizing the pieces of jewelry that they snatched.  Now being the spoiled only child of loving parents and the spoiled wife of a generous husband I had a lot of jewelry.  Several custom made pieces.  But it is not the dollar value that upset me.  It was the memories.  The custom ring given to me by my parents for my college graduation, the earrings commemorating the twins birth (with the wrong birthstones because they came five weeks early).  My original engagement ring and wedding bands.  On a daily basis I just wear my anniversary band.  The incredibly ornate ring given to me by one of my favorite aunts.  All the emerald and diamond jewelry given to me over the years.  Emeralds, because my husband and the twins are born in May and diamond, because the eldest was born in April.  The costume brooches that my grandmother wore.  She loved brooches and almost always had one on for special occasions.  To say that tears were shed over the memories lost would be an understatement.  I mourn not for the jewelry but for physical representation of all those birthdays, anniversaries and other important milestones.  They were like pictures lost in a flood or fire.  Irreplaceable.

In addition to the loss of something so intimate is the insult of my pillowcase.  Yes, pillowcase.  Like a papercut next to a major wound, it is the little things that put us over the edge.  The pillow on the floor of my bedroom was left there after the thief ripped off my pillowcase to carry away my jewelry.  Really??  Who knew that creeps thieves do not bring their own eco-friendly shopping bags like we do at the grocery store?  It really galled me because that is the only set of sheets I have that fits my new, fluffy mattress.  And I had just washed all my bedding the day before.  I know, petty, but it still made me hostile.

Perhaps the greatest loss of all is my loss of comfort in my own home.  Now we will be putting in a full-on security system.  Today I skipped mass because I was so nervous being away from home before the security system is installed.  In time this will all get better.  It has only been two days.  But I still hate that feeling of insecurity this event has given me.  I have been in the worst parts of New Orleans, Houston and New York City and have felt more confident and secure than I do now. 

Now that the siniveling is over let me move on to my reasons to be thankful. 

  1. I am thankful that the Eldest and I arrived after it was all over.  No surprising  the bad guys in the middle of the crime and ending up hurt.  
  2. I am grateful that they did not take anything that belonged to my children.  My children are a little unnerved and angry but since the scum did not appear to go upstairs the boys are not as impacted as they could have been. 
  3. The beast dog was not injured.  Because he is so destructive he is kenneled when we leave the house.  He was ballistic when finally released but he was safe.  Of course now he is left out when we leave as a hopeful deterrent.  I am sure we will live to regret him being loose. 
  4. I am thankful for the push this has given us to get our ducks in order.  Get appraisals on what is left, recording serial numbers, videotaping a home's contents, installing a security system.  All things we planned to get around to and never did. 
  5. And last but most important I am thankful for the outpouring of love and support we have been given by family and friends during this stressful week.  No matter what happens in life, I am always reminded how blessed we are by the people in our lives.
Now we go forward.  We will replace the TV's, a security system will be installed by the end of the week, new memories will be made as a family.  As we go forward I will try to do what a friend gently prodded me to do.  Forgive the thieves and pray for them.  I am not there yet.  Forgiveness is my weakest area but I am working on it daily.  I hope that you all have a less "exciting" week/weekend.  But remember to watch out for yourselves and neighbors.  Tis the season of the grinch and he is a busy, busy boy.