As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I haven't been blogging for a few weeks because my laptop was stolen. This happened while we were all away from the house, thanks be to God, but it still involved a smashed window, blood and broken glass all over our little house, and a sense of security that vanished with one phone call. I'll never forget the panic that gripped me when my husband called me at work and told me I needed to come home, someone had broken into our house. I spent the ride home on the phone with the insurance company while a police officer searched our house. He gravely informed us that this is a frequent occurrence in our city, and reassured us that they'd do what they could to help.
It took a few days for the reality to sink in. The burglar stole my laptop and my jewelry box, which I'd carefully filled with all of my holy cards, a scapular that was given to me by an order of Carmelite nuns during my pregnancy (unfortunately not the most practical thing to wear with small children), various saint medals, a saint bracelet, and nearly three decades' worth of jewelry. My grandmother's engagement ring, the string of pearls my mother gave me to wear for my wedding day - I'll most likely never see them again.
I felt a deep, wrenching sense of loss when I stumbled upon a Buzzfeed article about "things Catholic girls like." As I read through the list and recognized things I, too, loved, I pictured the drawer in my jewelry box where I'd find each of them.
And then I remembered it was gone. Smashed in some Dumpster somewhere, or crushed unceremoniously by the side of the bike path that runs through our neighborhood.
I was overwhelmed by sadness from the first moments I spent inside our house after the police investigated. I found a medicine bottle that had held one or two Percocet, left over from my C-section over a year ago, stained with bloody fingerprints inside my sock drawer. The bottle lay empty, separated from its lid. I pictured the desperation of a thief who would smash double-paned glass, squeeze through an opening too narrow for even my petite frame, and splatter blood from his wounds everywhere as he searched frantically for valuables. I was overcome with pity for this man and his miserable existence. I wished I'd had the chance to offer him food, drink, a pair of clean socks. A part of me wished he could come into his right mind and realize the sentimental value of the things he'd stolen - the pictures we can't replace, the emptiness I feel each time I remember the blank spot on my dresser.
I've tried to pray for this man when I think about the break-in. I pray that another family will never have to go through this, that perhaps he looked at the holy cards and saw the beauty of God's love for all his people. I pray that he will get treatment for the addictions that undoubtedly plague him. I pray that even when we who are so blessed must endure such things, we realize the magnitude of our suffering in comparison with the rest of the world, and act accordingly. Please keep him in your prayers as well.
I did get a new laptop (more on that soon) so I'll be back to blogging more regularly now. I can't wait to share some great posts with you in the upcoming weeks! It's great to be back.