Friday, September 4, 2015

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart

Last night we came home to find our side door kicked in and our TV missing. Stephen called the police and we waited in the car for fifteen minutes until a squad car arrived. We informed the officer that we had not been through the house yet, so he called for backup and together they cleared the house, basement, garage and yard. Confident that we were safe from any violent intruders hiding in a corner somewhere, we walked inside to survey the damage. Our home was not in complete shambles, but things were off. A few of our drawers had been rifled through, Our mattress was moved, and our fridge was left open. Our side door was splintered into pieces and the door leading to the basement was pulled of its hinges. At first, the only thing we noticed missing was the TV, but as we looked through the closets we realized that my violin, my camera, Stephen's laptop, a Kindle, a Playstation, and our Apple TV were all missing, as well as my very inexpensive jewelry and peaches from the fridge. 

We're insured, and things are replaceable, so it's not the ultimate worst case scenario. Everyone is safe, nothing in the girls' rooms was touched, and Wendy the fish lived to swim another day. I'm just finding it difficult to not take the invasion personally. I feel completely disrespected. We are not wealthy people. We're fine, we're relatively comfortable, but we don't live a life of luxury. Our nice things are either items we saved for, or gifts that meant a lot. I remember the day I chose my violin with my mom and violin teacher. We spent hours in Summerhay's Music playing each violin until finding the one whose tone I liked best. I took that violin to Europe and Carnegie Hall. It was a significant purchase for my parents, and I treated my violin as my greatest treasure. When I was pregnant with Ivy, I wanted to buy a camera that would take really great baby pictures. I researched for weeks, called B&H photography multiple times, and asked for advice from every photographer I knew before deciding on my Canon T2I and made what felt like a significant purchase. I took pictures of my kids nearly every day with that camera. Ramona's newborn photos are on a memory card in the case. Stephen, a certifiable audiophile, has hundreds of hours of curated music on his laptop, as well as pictures from the past eight years. Stephen's brother just returned from his mission in Hong Kong, and he brought home some jade that I was going to wear as a necklace. It's gone. Our flashlight is gone. The nectarines and freaking orange juice from our fridge are gone.

I knew when we moved to the city that a burglary was likely, and maybe even an eventuality. I guess I had hoped that if things were taken from our home, it would be by a Jean Valjean-esque kind-hearted individual just trying to feed his (or her) family. But it appears that what we got was the work of some real jerks. They couldn't be bothered to bring their own thievery bags and instead used my pillowcase. They kicked the basement door in instead of simply unlocking it like civilized humans. They left our fridge door open and our milk spoiled. Is it too much to ask that they show just the smallest bit of common courtesy and at least let us have fresh dairy? 

Feelings of violation and material losses aside, there's a lot to be thankful for. The crime lab technician went the extra mile to check for prints and eventually captured some on windows. The sweet officer stayed with us much longer than necessary, chatting about anything and everything, which was just what we needed. Our neighbors are full of empathy and Jim across the street actually saw the car pull out of our driveway, and was able to provide a timeframe and a description of the vehicle. I had my laptop with me so I can still do my job and access our family photos. They left my sewing machine, all our clothes, and the food in our cupboards. Ivy doesn't even realize anything happened, and no one was hurt. It could have been so much worse. But I'm still feeling just a little sorry for myself. I really loved my camera and my violin and the jade from Hong Kong.