Tuesday, December 2, 2008


My van was broken into this morning.

Actually, it wasn't 'broken into', it was entered without my permission.

As I opened the door to use the van this morning, I noticed that the driver's seat had a pair of ski pants that had been on the back seat. "That's odd," I thought, "I don't remember rifling through the van for anything last night." Then, I saw the the glove box and the coin change bin in the center console had both been left open. I could then see that everything open-able (bags, too) had been opened.

I vaguely remembered bringing in groceries last night, 'bumming' the door closed (with full hands) and thinking that I should come back out and lock the car. The thought then skittered off in my brain to hide behind some more immediate thoughts, and had just poked its head around the corner now.

I began to panic. Banana's ski bag had been in the back seat. Our discount ski cards were in the glove box. Had I left my wallet in the door, as I sometimes (out of forgetfulness) do? A quick pat of my pocket eased my mind - there was the familiar lump of ID, cards and perhaps some cash. With that important part of my life still in my possession, my fright lessened but was still in the back of my throat. "What else was gone?" I wondered.

A quick inspection of the car revealed that aside from the parking meter change, all the other things (skis, boots, sunglasses, ski passes, tools, gloves, etc.) were all in place, although slightly disheveled. Rather than well up with feelings of anger or violation, I felt a bit of sadness and respect for the person who had done this. Whomever it was, they needed money and for some reason decided to take just the cash they could find and not the convert-to-cash things. I was grateful for this. I also paused to think that perhaps something might be missing and I just have so much 'stuff' that I hadn't even noticed it was gone. On that note, I decided that if something has gone missing that I didn't miss yet, I shouldn't be sorry that it had gone on to hands that did need it.

Tonight, I just might leave a Christmas card on the driver's doorhandle with $20 in the envelope. If I do, I'll write this as a sentiment:

Thanks for not damaging the interior of the car in your search for cash last night. I'm sorry that you are having a hard time with money. Here's a little bit extra to help with the journey.

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