On August 18th, I will note the second anniversary of my one and only encounter with a burglar. Last year I blogged about the first anniversary. It seems like so far away yet so close. I remember the fear I experienced for weeks afterward every time I would hear a noise or see a shadow. And I no longer left my windows open at night to let in the soft breeze and the warm night air.
My kids kept urging me to do something – anything. They bought me a little tube of mace – the only thing I agreed to accept – which I carried everywhere for awhile. But then that got to be too much bother, and I began leaving it at home. My youngest son is a hunter – bow and rifle – so his first suggestion was to purchase a gun. I politely disagreed as he knew I would.
Their other suggestions included bars on the windows or a security system. I guess I procrastinated about as long as I could. But about a month ago, I finally capitulated and had a security system installed.
Gone are the days of my youth in South Whitley when I left the keys in my car and my doors unlocked at night. Gone are the days of trust. Gone are the days of walking down a street without fear.
I had the system put in on a Monday night, but I could not bring myself to use it until Wednesday night. As I set the door sensors and the motion sensors for the first time, I felt a deep sadness. I looked around at the windows, in particular, the one where the burglar had entered. I felt like I had lost something valuable – something that could never be regained.
I knew that the fear I had never felt before in my life would always be with me now and knowing that I would never really be free from that fear generated a sadness that will never go away. So now I set my alarms every night, and I sleep more soundly than I have in a long time. But that deep sleep comes with a price, and that price is the loss of my youthful trust.