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It was November 26, 2008, a Wednesday I recall. I returned home from work to find my front door ajar. At first I was excited to see that my husband may have arrived home sooner than I but as I opened the door, I first noticed the damage to the door frame and the trim from the door was lying on the floor. We were broken into.
We lived directly across from a park, on a oneway side street; perfect place to live right!? Well, that means there isn’t a neighbour across the street who may be able to keep an eye on your home and it also encourages unwanted traffic, people who park and do things you’d prefer not to have occur in front of your home (let your mind run wild, it was probably out front).
Back to November 26th. Not taking the time to analyze the situation, I quickly raced through our home to see what damage had occured. Our puppy was roughly 15 weeks old and I am glad I had kenneled her that day or she would have been gone too. I raced around our home, calling my husband to describe our home. Kitchen cupboards were left open, drawers were left open, our bedroom had open drawers in the bedside table, dumped all over our bed as well as our dresser. Eureka! They left a glove on the bed too; I’ve watched enough Dateline to know that they can get DNA or something from that glove.
The police arrive soon after to review the damage. The crooks had taken a crowbar to our front door, entered, filled their bag with my husband’s and my jewelry, some of his cologne, all of my nailpolish and my digital camera that sat on the table next to the front door. “Kids,” the officer stated. He shoved the ‘glove’ into his pocket like it was of no use, wrote out a police report for our insurance company and moved on to his next call. By the way, buying the heavy duty, more expensive deadbolt and knob does not prevent a crowbar from opening your door.
Reassessment time validates our appreciation that we still have each other and our first born, our puppy. We were wearing our wedding rings and anything else was ‘stuff’, replaceable. The next few days that followed we slept with the chesterfield pushed up against our front door, wedged between the wall and the stairs until our front door would be replaced. Each night that followed was one of frequent awakenings, peeks out the window and tense moments while I assess our surroundings. Frequently, we would wake up by the sound of a doorbell clear as a ‘bell’ (pun partially intended), was it a dream or was it harrassment? Soon after I decided I was not going to let the people who broke into my home control my life anymore; easier said then done.
Two years later, we relocated to a new home in a new town. This move has allowed me to relax slightly and I have had MANY more relaxing sleep moments (when children and dog allow).. My poor husband still gets locked out of the house when he mows the lawn, being in the backyard means I probably have passed by the front door and locked it. Being in the front yard probably means I have passed by the back door and locked it. I have an ingrained fear of invasion that fills me, perhaps created out of habit but also an awareness of the two other, newer members of our family that are our responsibility to protect.
The last two nights I have been awakened at night by a knock, knock one night followed by voices the next night where I find myself going back to the old days of peering out the windows, checking the locks, and I cannot return to sleep until I have verified my children are at peace in their beds too. I still do not know if the either of the noises were just in my dreams or if they were actual noises around my home but I do know my reaction was fear…. Again.
Here I stand, a vulnerable mom burdened by the actions of ‘fools’ who felt that invading my home was worth a temporary thrill, minor financial gain and whatever pain or discomfort it caused homeowner victims was worth it. Each night I need to remember to give it to God and know he will protect my family. I know with my entire being that I do not want to feel this Violation…For Life.