This past Thursday afternoon, my son came home from school to discover we had been robbed.  He didn't realize that's what had happened and when he called me, I didn't grasp what he was explaining to me (we won't get into his lack of clarity with the English language) so I didn't discover it for another hour but there it was...  dressers ransacked, the contents dumped on the floor like discarded tissues.  Jewelry.  Gone.

Almost every piece of jewelry my husband and I own.  His jewelry was actually his grandfather's.  Inherited just four years ago next month.  My jewelry box contained my memories.  There was the birthstone ring my grandmother had designed using family diamonds, given to me on my 16th birthday.  There were earrings my mother had purchased for me on her trips to Hawaii and Alaska and a Cameo necklace my father gave me for Christmas one year.  There was my grandmother's Cameo ring - fragile and very old but filled with so many memories for me.  I couldn't look at that ring and not remember my grandmother in so many places at so many different times. 

The diamond circle necklace my husband had given me.  And...the wedding band he put on my finger the day we wed.  It sat in my jewelry box because it never did match up to my engagement ring and wasn't a comfortable fit.  A plain, white gold band we have always planned on having replaced but there to remind me of that wonderful day. 

The mother of pearl inlaid silver cross my son had picked out as a Christmas present...

There was other jewelry, too.  Gifts from old boyfriends (I'd often planned on putting those pieces on ebay.  Teach me to procrastinate?), other gifts from my parents, grandparents, husband and son.  SO many memories tied into that jewelry box.

The irreplaceable - a lock of hair from my son's first haircut.  Irony in that one - I carried that lock in my wallet for twenty years (or more) and had only recently stored it in my jewelry box because where I had it in my wallet had ripped. 

My husband's box was filled with stories, too.  It held his grandfather's rank (Lt. Col. in the Army when he retired), cuff links (from what I've heard, that man looked good in a suit...and could dance well enough to make the ladies swoon).  The dresser held his Army medals (my husband's grandfather was a well decorated WWII Vet). 

We didn't look at this stuff as expensive or worth a lot of money.  These things were tangible reminders of incredible, amazing memories.  We could look at these things, even if it was a glance when digging out a pair of earrings for the day, and take a long, long walk down memory lane.

Now...some of it will be Craigslist, pawn shop or ebay fodder.  But most of it will end up in the trash.

It is that thought that actually brings me to tears.  My precious, family memories reduced to garbage in some stranger's hands.

I am sickened by the thought of this person in my bedroom, the most intimate and personal room in my home.  I am sickened by the thought of him touching my clothing, my bed.  I still have many things that need to be washed.  I want to cry at the thought of him laughing at my loss of my son's baby hair.  I want to rewind the clock to lunchtime Thursday and move those two boxes out of the bedroom.  Take them with me to work so this person cannot have our history.

To me - they are my story.  To him - a few dollars.  To me, my memories.  To him - garbage.  To me - my history.  To him - a means to get some drugs.

Yet I know...I know so much other truth and that is what I am fighting to hold onto, swim my way back to - with everything I have, to hold onto His peace at the loss of my "things."  They are just things.  Yes.  I do know and completely understand that.

A friend of mine included these verses in an email to me when she first heard:

These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!
Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.

~Proverbs 1:18-19

How so very true...and while that thought gives me comfort, I fight to hold onto that, too.  I don't want to think anything but unkind thoughts right now.  I am hurt, frustrated, angry and above all - powerless.  I don't know anything about the person who broke into my home, I can't hunt him down, I can't beg him to give me back the stuff that is valueless money-wise but oh so meaningful to me.  I am stuck with a gaping hole on my dresser to remind me of all that he took.  I can't turn back time so I am forced to look forward, to figure out how to deal with this loss.  Pick up the pieces and move on from here.  Figure out a way to keep people out of my house and keep my family safe.

But until I do all of that...I sit and weep at the sinfulness of man and its oh so tangible consequences.


Parsley said...

I would be out of my mind with a mixture of anger and sadness. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious items. It's truly a violation.

God knows these thieves. May he convict their hearts and bring them to the truth.

HeathahLee said...

Oh, Bonnie...I sit here crying (my husband just brought me the kleenex box because of my sniffling) as I think of the loss you are suffering. My heart absolutely breaks for you. I will pray that you are able to forgive and that the anger won't turn to bitterness. You know that's heavy on my heart, as well.

I will also pray like Parsley did that He will convict them and they will find Him.

Remember, God does not waste ANYTHING. No experience, no heartache, no loss, no joy, ANYTHING. It's all for HIS glory. Hold on to that! Another thing you can hold onto are those precious, precious memories that no stupid druggie convict can take away.

Love you!