The day started out just like any other – we got up, dressed, kids to school, parents to work. I picked up my son at his usual after-school time and headed home. I pulled into our carport the same as always, loaded up my arms with two million bags, coats and other odds and ends from the car, and headed into the house. Two steps away from the car….and suddenly everything changed.
At first I thought nothing of the side door of the house being open as I stood there for a moment looking at it. Certain thoughts swirled through my head…was it windy? Did we somehow bump it open when we left? This was a door we never used. It was unusual. I stepped toward the door and closed it, feeling uneasy – The hairs-standing- up-on-your-arms type of uneasy when you just know something is off. When I looked up I saw the broken glass. Someone had broken into our house.
I stood there, holding my “mom load” from the car, my son still strapped into his car seat, staring at the broken glass and I took a deep breath. I had two choices: freak out a cry (that’s what I really wanted to do!) or remain calm for my son. I backed up, got into the car and locked the doors.
“Honey, I need to call 911 now okay. We need to stay in the car just for a minute because someone broke into our house.” He’s 4. He looked so innocent all of a sudden.
I remember sitting in the car just feeling bare. Home is a safe place and it suddenly felt so cold. My mind wanted to picture what had happened, dissect it, and figure out why. My heart wanted to block it all out, run away to a friend’s house, pretend everything was normal. Instead, I sat in the car, breathing in and out, my hands shaking as I texted friends and family to ask them to pray.
The thing I remember most was my kids watching me, watching my husband, watching people coming and going as they investigated, boarded up the window, made sure things were safe. My kids are young, they were trying to figure out how to feel, how to react, what to think about what just happened. Every single action they witnessed from that day will shape them forever.
The burglars didn’t take a lot of stuff – my jewelry, sentimental mostly, things insurance can’t really replace, A few electronics are gone, my son’s piggy bank. The worst has been our fire safe with all our identity paperwork (passports, social security cards, birth certificates). The identity paperwork has done the most damage. They tried to open cell phones and credit cards in our names. It’s been a long road of paperwork and it won’t end now that all our information is out there in the world. We don’t know if they’ve sold it.
I’ve tried to be thankful for this opportunity to show our kids that amidst this difficult, unsettling time God sends people to help us. Sweet friends who replaced his stolen items. I’ve tried to be thankful that more wasn’t stolen. I’ve tried to be thankful that we weren’t in the house when it happened. Sometimes I’m successful. But, I am also sad because I watch my 4 year old hide things in drawers and tell me he is hiding them so the bad people don’t get them. At times, I’m angry because I have to explain to him that I’m not sure why someone would want to take his piggy bank. And, I’m afraid because I think of the innocence of my kids and how this is small compared to what they will learn in the world.
One tangible way we have decided to use this experience is to put together some resources for others. We can take what we’ve learned and give it to you. We can’t change the choices that this person/people made, but we can decide how to respond. And, always, in every circumstance, we have decided we will choose Jesus.
In conjunction with Safety Sessions, I’ve put together some resources to help you prevent home burglary. But, the #1 biggest thing you can do – MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS. Learn more about National Night Out 2015!
Let’s share our experiences and learn from one another!