Monday, August 8, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

Saturday was supposed to be a normal day for my family.  It was supposed to be like any other day of our normal, non interesting lives.  Brian headed off to work in the morning. Miriam, who had spent the night was helping me wrangle the kids and get ready for my friend's baby shower later in the day.  I did a load of laundry, showered, dressed and made lunch for the kids.  I even had time to blog about my daughter's hair.  Then we packed up kids, cupcakes and decorations and left the house for the afternoon. 

We were in the middle of the baby shower when my phone rang.  I looked and saw it was Brian and let it go to voice mail.. I thought he just forgot that I was busy and I would call him later after the party.  Then he called again two seconds later.  I rolled my eyes at the ladies and went out of the room to answer the phone.  " Rachel, you need to come home now!" my husband said urgently.  "Umm I am in the middle of the shower.. remember??" I said impatiently.  "Get your stuff and come home now.... We have been robbed.  I gotta call the police I need you home now." He said quickly with a hard edge I don't hear very often.

I realized I was crying as my mom and Marlana came and hugged me.  I couldn't talk, I couldn't even breathe.  I didn't know what to do but sit down.  Someone got me my phone, my purse and my keys.  Someone else was asking questions.  I was still crying.  All I knew was that I needed to get home.  I raced out of the church and to the car.  I tried calling Brian but he wasn't answering.  My mind rapidly raced over what was in the house, what was important, and what they might have taken.  Brian finally picked up.  He asked me how long before I was going to be home, and I asked him how bad was it?  He was quiet... he said he didn't really know. 

That ride was the longest of my life.  Finally I turned into our driveway.  I saw the police car, I saw Brian and his parents sitting on the porch.  I saw our blue doors standing wide open.  I turned cold.  As I got out of the car Brian came and hugged me and seeing him upset made me start crying again.  I wanted to run in and start looking at the wreckage.  Brian started whispering to me.  "Babe stay out here.  The officer is checking things out.  They don't want us to mess any evidence up before the investigator comes."  My mother in law was trying to hug me and encourage me. I sank down on the porch still numb. 

The investigator came, he asked us to walk through the house with him to try and get an idea of what was gone.  I wanted to go in, but I didn't all at the same time.  He ushered us in our own front door.  Our entertainment center was empty... cords hanging everywhere, Ps3 gone, Wii gone, all the games.  I nodded... that was expected.  We turned into the kitchen area.  There were tools scattered everywhere.  Travis' trains and train tracks were spread everywhere. And then I saw my work area.  On my table ( where my work computer and laptop resided) was a scattered mess of papers, coupons ( they dumped my coupon notebook in their haste to grab stuff) and random toys.  We then moved to our room.  My eyes wouldn't take in what I saw.  My bed had been torn up.  The mattress and box spring strewn in the corner.  "Why would they do that?"  I whispered to no one in particular.  "They were looking for money most likely." the investigator answered.  On my dresser       ( which is usually in some state of messiness) things were in even more disarray. My two jewelry boxes were of course gone. In my head I started thinking of what was gone.  Mentally ticking off what was now missing.  My high school class ring, Brian's as well.  My sapphire and gold birthstone ring my parents gave me when I graduated.  Maddy's handmade baby bracelet that I was saving for her to give her daughter.  All the charms Brian had given me for my necklace. ( He had given one for every special occasion in our life )  The tears started again.  Brian just hugged me tighter.  We kept walking through the house.  DVD players both home and portable, my camera, all of Brian's tools.  We went to garage.  They had taken Brian's golf bag and his ancient sound system.  When we were done with the walk through my mind was reeling.  I was left with a torn up house and a broken sense of security.

After the investigator left, my inlaws and their friends helped us clean up what was left behind.  We cleaned up the scattered papers, whe put our bed back together and gathered up the toys and dvds spread on the floor.  Brenda ( my mother in law) popped up with surprise and grinning at me showed me Travis' favorite movie.  "Buddy will be ok! He has his movie! She exclaimed happily.  I smiled, relieved we didn't lose that.  We were amazed to see that they didnt touch any of the children's things.  Maddy's pink barbie power wheels, her princess bike, or even their VERY heavy piggy banks.  We could be thankful for that at least!  The house was cleaned, my inlaws left and Brian and I sat down in silence.  We looked around at the hole in the entertainment center, the empty work table and equally empty garage.  I didn't know what to do or say.

Soon help arrived!  John and Emily came bearing gifts.  John carried in a t.v. and a dvd player.  I thought with relief that now Travis could watch his Cars movie and be happy.  Emily came in and hugged me... not saying much, but the hug was what I needed.  We sat and talked things out, occasionally interrupted by other friends calling to see how we were doing and what they could do to help.  My heart was heavy and full all at the same time. 

We went to dinner, and then when John and Emily left we headed to the bedroom.  We started on our list of what was missing and what it all was worth.  I started crying again.  The TVs, the electronics, the tools they were immaterial to me.  My heart was crying for the irreplaceable things.  Maddy's baby jewelry, handmade necklaces from my sister.  Things I knew those robbers would care nothing for and most certainly would toss somewhere.  Our list was done, they had taken over $6500 worth of stuff from us.

Then the hard part came.  We got ready for bed, turned out the lights and tried to sleep.  I realized quickly that this would not be happening for me.  Brian fell asleep quickly holding my hand.  I closed my eyes to try and sleep but all I could see were  nondescript people running through MY house.  These same people touching MY things and then simply driving away.  I saw them clear as day in my room, pulling my bed apart and grabbing things off my dresser.  Then I started hearing every bump, every scratch, just EVERYTHING.  I pulled out my phone and turned the music up as high as I could stand.

I cannot describe how thankful I am to everyone.  Our friends, family and church came out in full force on Sunday showing us how much they care.  Things will get back to normal.  The kids will come home soon, the door will be replaced, and sooner or later so will the stuff that was taken from us.  Now what I am praying for is peace.  I would like to not be afraid.  I would like to get the picture of those people combing through our stuff OUT of my head. I have heard that comes with time.  Pastor Ernie said on Sunday that time heals all things. I am waiting for that healing now.  Our home is a precious thing to me.  It is NO castle, but it is where I used to feel most comfortable.  We have raised our children there. We have had celebrations there.  We have cried there.  I love the memories that we have shared there.  There will be more great memories to come.. those are what I treasure most anyways. I am so thankful that my babies were not there!  Those are my TRUE treasures here on this earth.  Everything else, is immaterial.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

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