It was your typical Thursday; Alarm goes off then the snooze battle begins; Finally drag myself out of bed and get ready for community service day. It was my fourth day of employment and I was going to spend the day with 120 co-workers cleaning up Atlanta’s third largest park. Luckily, the firm had provided us with T-Shirts so all I had to worry about was jeans and shoes!
I had asked my husband to take me to the park on his way to work because I was told parking was going to be limited. We walk out the door, locked it, and because I’m always paranoid, I actually double checked it was locked. Then, we were on our way.
The park was a fairly large park, albeit if I were driving by I would’ve never known it was a park–At least not before we all got to work! I had signed up for the gardening crew, thinking I would be planting pretty flowers everywhere — but I quickly learned my idea of pretty little flowers were actually trees!
Sun rise peaking through the clouds – Atlanta Memorial Park
Atlanta Memorial Park – Early morning
There was A LOT of digging and swinging a pick-axe to plant my tree and by 11AM I was already exhausted but in just two quick hours the park looked completely transformed! And, we were all having fun helping each other out even though it was a lot of labor.
It took me nearly two hours on the side of a hill to get the hole deep enough to plant this not-so-little guy.
After the clean-up & planting was completed for the day, we all headed out to Monday Night Brewing for a firm meeting. What a great time — and an opportunity to learn so much about my still new-to-me co-workers! Who would’ve guessed I’d be standing in line for food and chatting with one of the two founding partners? WHOOP!
Monday Night Brewing – Drafty Kilt
I’ll be darned if a few of us didn’t continue the party at a bar after the brewery! Also a good time — but maybe could’ve (erm, should’ve?) done without that Fireball? I finally hang my hat around 8:30 and HAD to get home. I was the old maid! (But we did get to the brewery at 2…) Luckily my husband was nice enough to pick up my not-so-sober self and bring me home on his way from the office.
I alternate talking his head off about my day and my co-workers and singing on the ride home– both things I do quite well with alcohol! We arrive home and he puts the key in the lock and turns. Nothing happens. He looks at me and I shrug. “Honey, I double checked the door this morning, it was locked! Maybe we just didn’t hear it click?”
Door opens and we walk in. At that particular second I didn’t think it was odd that my kitchen lights were on. Blame it on the booze? The next 30 seconds are a bit fuzzy as I shut the door and turn the lock only to notice the entire door frame near the lock plate is splintered. I drop everything I’m holding and turn around. Hubby is standing in the living room looking at the hallway, which is where we had a TV sitting — HAD. Then the reality sets in as I see the bathroom light and fan on and my dressers drawers astray, clothes pulled out randomly, my jewelry box open, and my fire-box rummaged through.
You don’t really know how you’ll react when you realize someone kicked in your door, violated your privacy, not to mention your sense of security — you just don’t. Especially not after a few drinks — but I promise you this is a SOBERING moment.
At this exact moment in time we had lived in our apartment one week — ONE. Seven days. Half of the building is still under construction! My first phone call was the cell phone of the apartment manager. Hubby’s was the police. My second call was my mother, and it’s probably better my father answered. I was crying so hard I could barely talk, let alone stand. Then somehow I end up outside, and the security guard is standing there listening to me try to blubber what happened to my father; Then the guard tells me my neighbor across the hall also got burgled; Then the cop arrives (dad, did I hang up on you? I’m sorry!) but the cop lives here; He had JUST introduced himself on Tuesday evening.
He comes in and takes our statement as we survey the items we are missing. You know the hardest part about trying to survey what you no longer own? When you haven’t seen most of said stuff in 19 months. I took very little from my jewelry box to Ireland with me. I knew it had been rummaged through but I had no clue if anything was missing. The important pieces (at least to me, though they are far from valuable on the monetary front) were still there. My closet was untouched, and the only valuable thing I REALLY own was on my finger that day — despite knowing I’d be doing garden work all day… I don’t really believe in coincidences, so let’s just say fate intervened that morning.
After the cop left, it really set in what the thief took and I lost it thinking about my computer. The computer! My life was on that computer! Oh, phew we had it backed up. OH NO. What about the back up external hard drive that every picture from the last 19 months over seas on it? Was it gone? I was inconsolable at this moment and my poor husband…he was trying to help me! He did find the backup in a box in the closet — OH THANK YOU LORD.
[Side note: MULTIPLE BACK UPS PEOPLE. THREE, AT A MINIMUM. We are fortunate the hard drive was nowhere near the computer and was in a box in the guest closet, but… THREE BACKUPS.]
I won’t dwell on the aftermath of the burglary. We were safe, and luckily not home at the time. We didn’t lose anything that wasn’t replaceable, and we learned a valuable lesson on that front. And the silver lining? I wanted a new computer anyway!
It’s not the stuff you need to worry about in your life. It’s you; it’s your memories; and it’s your sense of security. All of these things are priceless. Insurance can pay you for your lost stuff but not your sanity. it’s been a tough two weeks, but the new access locks around the apartment complex, the alarm system, and the support of our friends and family help tremendously.
Don’t think it can’t happen to you — because that’s the exact moment when it will. Never say never.
XOXO – K