Fear. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Paranoid. Hopeless. Defeated. The robbers took so much from us beyond the tangible items. They took our sense of security. They took our hope that things could get better; that we had survived the worst and were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
THINGS can be replaced. Yes they can. The pictures on that card inside my camera are gone forever. The quick cute videos of the kids on the iPad will never be seen by us again.
2014 has been horrible. We are just back to whatever a normal routine is but nothing is really normal. Five months of recovery from the medical nightmare of the summer was over and we are trying to get our life back in step to recover financially and for me, recover my career and emotionally move on from the hard year. Its a paycheck to paycheck style of living as I am getting back to work to ensure the medical bills and house bills are covered each month as well as the kids have the things they need. It's not a unique problem to our family I know - so many people here struggle. I know that. But it doesn't make me less sad or stressed about our year.
Christmas was going to be different this year -- smaller piles for our kids and no gifts for each other. Gift bags under the tree held these gifts and the couple other items we were able to get for our family.
When I walked into the house and saw what had happened - saw my belongings gone and what was left all over the floor, my heart broke. The world around me was crumbling. The police took fingerprints and went on their way, leaving us behind to clean up the mess. It took me 4 days to get energy enough to clean my closet and master bedroom. I still wake up in the middle of the night running through that day over and over and over in my dreams.
A week later, there is hope. There is love. There is help. And help from the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways.
Friends from high school. My dance teacher and elementary school teacher. Bill's high school classmates. People I don't even know! They have all come to help us. Friends with bigger problems than mine have taken time from their own families to help mine. Even typing this post, it makes me cry. Happy, grateful, awesome tears. Never in my life did I ever expect this kind of help; I didn't know where to turn or what to do or how to get help. Or even what to ask for.
Because of this village, our Christmas is already amazing and we will be able to cover our insurance deductible and actually replace some of the tangible items taken. And we are able to show the kids that yes, bad people are out there but there are more good people and good people always win.
The goodness in people is amazing and I will forever be searching for ways to pay it forward; to make sure that other families experience the love I am feeling from the village out there in our life.
My words will never be enough. I hope that my actions will be enough someday.