The real significance of
crime is in its being a breach of faith with the community of mankind.
~ Joseph Conrad
A Walk in the Woods
Check a Sheila Video
10 July 2004
I remember coming home with my parents one day, opening the front door, and discovering that someone had broken into the house and we had been robbed. In truth, I cant remember the condition of the house or what had been taken. The only thing I remember clearly is that the thief had gone into my underwear drawer, found the piggy bank my friend had given me for Christmas, broke it open, and took the money inside. It couldnt have been very much money, but the money was gone, and what was worse, the piggy bank I loved was smashed to smithereens.
What's more, for weeks afterwards, I had an uncomfortable feeling knowing that somebody had been rummaging around in my underwear. The sense of violation was the worst part. Some bad person I didn't know had been touching my things. It was a long time before I got past the feeling of vulnerability.
It's the same kind of feeling when we get into our car these days. The car that was stolen awhile ago. When we went to pick up his mother at her retirement complex, Walt didn't have the card which permits him to enter the grounds without having to have the guard call ahead for the OK by his mother. Somehow the thief had kept the card (or thrown it away). There are constant little reminders that someone else was in our car, driving our car, rummaging about in the glove compartment, throwing out things that they found useless.
Someone else had stolen a part of our life, along with our car.
I received a note from a friend yesterday, sending photos of her house.
While she was at work, someone broke into her house and ransacked the place. Many things of value were taken.
The good news is that her animals were not harmed and the thief did not ransack the entire house. Her computer equipment was not touched, nor was some other valuable equipment.
But I know that this is little comfort when faced with the knowledge that, even with all the best security measures in place, someone was still able to enter the home and create such havoc.
The chance of catching whoever did this are probably slim. The police didn't even rush out to take a report, but will get around to it "soon."
The "easy" part of this all is cleaning up and putting all the stuff away. The hard work is getting past the notion that someone could penetrate what, on the surface appeared to be an impenetrable fortress. Learning just how vulnerable we are, how quickly things one never anticipated can change our lives.
We go along, day to day, pretty much taking our security for granted. We do all the necessary things to insure that we'll remain safe. We lock the house, we put up bars on the windows, chains on the back gate. We lock our car. But yet someone can still come and steal our sense of security, can turn our world upside down, along with our dresser drawers.
Our life, Walt's and mine, has changed since the theft of our second car. We now carry that huge "club" in our car, to attach to the steering wheel, whenever we leave it somewhere. We never used to even lock the car when we parked it in front of our own house.
It's too soon to know what the aftermath of the break-in will be for my friend, but I know that it will result in some life-altering decisions.
What a shame that some thugs can rob us of our sense of security so easily.
Those lovely Australian galahs...I miss them.