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The Aftermath of a Burglary

by Andrea Updyke

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We were at the gym.

As my belly grows and my energy shrinks, I find myself doing more yoga and swimming, and less elliptical and classes with words like “intense” in the descriptions. It was a fabulous morning, and an even better workout. I even had time to jump into the Gentle Stretch class that was happening as I exited the locker room.

It was a good day.

We maxed out our time though and Oscar was growing hungry. On the way home, as I often do when he is on the edge, we started talking about what he would eat. I would say, how about some yogurt! And he would say ANNNND wubbits (nuggets)! And I would say annnnnd ketchup! And we would go through the list of items over and over until we got home. We were having a great time.

I heard the dog barking as we came up the steps. He is usually barking so I wasn’t alarmed. I noticed through the glass that the closet door was open and I thought, that’s strange, it must not have latched when we got our coats. It wasn’t until I had pushed the door open that I noticed the baby gate in pieces on the floor. Even then, I thought the dog had somehow managed to pry it loose.

When I saw the BB Gun on the couch my heart both jumped and sank at the same time.

We immediately backed out of the house and ran back to the van. I put a screaming (and very hungry) boy back into his carseat and called my husband. He told me to call 911. I never thought I would need to be told to call 911. I still can’t believe I called him first. He came right home though and I was so glad.

The rest of the day was spent talking to police and determining what was stolen from our home; TV, laptop, cameras. All of the usual stuff. We were shocked.

I was terrified.

It has been 10 days and in this time I have gone through a range of emotions, dealt with the appearance and healing of 3 different stress-induced cold sores, and as a result of not sleeping well came down with a cold. I find myself not wanting to leave. Not wanting to check the mail. Not wanting to stop looking out the window for clues. This is fear, I keep thinking. This is how people live. It breaks my heart.

I began thinking of people around the world who face acts of terror on a regular basis with far more devastating results. I wonder how women who have been raped or even mugged on the street can carry on. I wait for this feeling to go away. This violation.

Since the burglary, our local police department has recovered most of our stolen items and arrested the criminals. Kids.

KIDS…..who have never had jobs and will likely be in this cycle of crime until they stay in jail or worse. It breaks my heart.

We are so very fortunate to have the things we have and live in a home of safety and love. I wonder if these kids saw our family pictures or Oscar’s art that we saved on the fridge. I wonder if it made them sad. Or angry?

Among the items they stole were half a bag of frozen burritos and a box of chicken nuggets. It breaks my heart.

On the one hand, you want to think OH good, it’s just kids being kids. But at the same time, I want them to know that they don’t have to do this. They don’t have to have this life. We don’t care about the cameras or the burritos. We care about our family and thankfully, we are safe. We have each other.

They are alone.

And it breaks my heart.

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Michelle February 8, 2011 - 1:59 pm

I know this post was hard to write. I’ve been praying for your family and sorry this had to happen to you. Lots of love to you.

MommyNamedApril February 8, 2011 - 2:27 pm

scary and heartbreaking all at once. my hubby got into trouble like that when he was a kid – he’s now a great man, productive member of society and deeply ashamed of what he did. so, it can turn around. hopefully it will for those boys too.

Lolli @ Better in Bulk February 8, 2011 - 2:44 pm

My heart broke when I heard about this after it happened. I can only imagine the emotions that you have gone through. While you’ve had a “happy ending” (as happy as this kind of story could end), I know that there is so much more to a situation like this, including, like you said, the implications for the boys who were caught. It’s just sad all around.

Granddad February 8, 2011 - 5:27 pm

You’re right.. it’s heartbreaking.

Jenn February 8, 2011 - 5:54 pm

O my gosh! I’m so glad that you all are okay and thank goodness the outcome wasnt worse … thank goodness. It’s sad … sad that this is the choice they’ve made, that this is what they have done and that this will follow them. That this is likely only the beginning of a path they didn’t have to go down, but felt it was needed, maybe even necessary. It’s scary to come out of it. I haven’t had it happen to me, only thought it had and that 30 minutes I thought someone had broken into our garage was horrifying … i couldn’t stop thinking of how I could stop it from happening again, if I’d been home when it happened and even started looking at security websites. Thankfully, it was just a broken garage door that happened when I opened it, nothing more. But still … thank goodness.

Katie February 8, 2011 - 7:16 pm

I know it’s hard, from personal experience. It makes me sad that they are so young and seemingly very troubled.

I know it would be VERY hard to do this, but maybe once everything calms down a bit, you and G can go visit them in jail and show them the love and forgiveness of Christ. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they went from unwanted visitors to invited guests? I’m not sure if I could do this. But, had they caught the person trying to break into our house, I would certainly want to know a few things behind the safety of glass or bars. It’s taken me quite some time to get there, but it’s something I often think about.

Praying for you as you continue healing.

melissa February 8, 2011 - 9:31 pm

that is SO heartbreaking.

Amelia February 8, 2011 - 9:50 pm

I am so sorry you are having to go through this. My thoughts are with you. Is there anything that you and your family REALLY need at this moment???? Please email me.

Victoria Winters February 9, 2011 - 1:10 pm

It doesn’t break my heart that those brats were caught! So glad you already got your stuff back AND they caught them! Our friends and neighbors only 3 doors down were robbed a couple of years ago and it took months to figure out who did it (and they didn’t get a lot of their family herilooms back). Grrr. Makes me so mad for you!

Crissy February 9, 2011 - 1:39 pm

Wow, that is so intense, and scary, and yes, heartbreaking. It kills me watching prison shows like Hard Time, and seeing these hardened criminals, but behind their eyes, you can see a kid that just wasn’t loved enough.

Katja of Skimbaco February 13, 2011 - 7:50 am

So sad. I am sorry it happened to you and you are such an amazing person, having so much sympathy for people who did it. You are absolutely right, heartbreaking.

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