I’ll be watching the family jewels instead of fireworks tonight

Originally posted in 2008 at Chicago Moms  Blog. Although referencing our previous home, it explains why we might be sitting out the fireworks tonight. My family returned home from watching the July 4 fireworks to find our home had been burglarized. The thief entered through an unlocked porch door. It was unlocked because the porch contains nothing of value- lots of stinky shoes and bathing suits and towels drip-drying on a rack- and we have a door with a deadbolt lock that leads into the main house. Only the burglar didn’t pry open that door, instead he removed a screen and climbed into our house through a large window that connects the porch and the house.

Ironically, when he stepped into our house, his foot landed just inches from a copy of Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew. However, the thief didn’t leave many clues behind. We didn’t even realize our house had been burglarized until my ten-year-old attempted to fall sleep in DH’s and my bed (a Friday night ritual) and asked why I left my jewelry on the bed.

Um, I didn’t.

I asked son #2 if he’d been going through my stuff prior to our picnic.

Nope.

Then I noticed DH’s bureau was wide open.

There was a quick shout across the house to DH. A moment of panic. And then I called 911 for the fifth time in almost as many weeks.

I was instructed to get my family out of the house ASAP in case the burglar was still in there. I suspect he was long gone, but who am I to challenge an operator who’s surely heard it all?

So my boys, who were in their jammies, DH and I stood waiting out front for the police, whom we later learned got held up in post-fireworks traffic snarls. My freaked out boys were shivering partly out of fear and partly due to the fact that in summer their pajamas consist of a pair of boxer shorts.

“Maybe we should get the boys some clothes,” suggested DH.

I grabbed a solid four-foot walking stick from our front stoop and loudly tromped into the house. If a burglar was in there, I was ready to kick his ass. Unless he had a gun, in which case, he might have killed me. But I didn’t think of the gun scenario at the time, plus, we were pretty certain the house was empty.

We got clothes for the boys and called their grandparents (not the ones who rescued our kids during our ER visit in June, we like to spread the love) to pick them up for an impromptu sleepover. The cops came and stayed for two hours, taking pictures, asking questions, and dusting for prints. Our very own CSI: Chicago.

While the burglar didn’t take everything. He did get some key piece. I overheard my older boy telling his friends the next day that the burglars stole about $1,000 in cash and $3,000 in jewelry. I don’t know where he got these numbers. They are way off. Waaaay off.

Like he got maybe $80 in cash and, well, I don’t know how much in jewelry because all of my “real stuff” has been inherited.

He took a ring with great sentimental value and, now that I think about it, perhaps significant street value: a platinum and diamond cocktail ring from my Great Aunt Rose. Aunt Rose was the wild aunt who taught my brother and me games like blackjack and gin rummy and lived a glamorous life in Hollywood, serving as Jerry Lewis’s assistant for many years.

My mom gave Aunt Rose’s ring about a year ago. It was quite the bling ring, and though I’m not quite the bling gal, I like to think I was channeling her adventurous spirit the few times I wore it.

We didn’t insure it because I knew it wasn’t the kind of thing I’d replace (perhaps pure naivete), but I’m really sad when I think about it winding up in a pawn shop or simply being taken apart.

The thief may have also taken my wedding band. Years ago, my widower uncle passed on my aunt’s gold wedding band and matching diamond-chipped anniversary band. At the time, I was having health problems that swelled my fingers, making my wedding band tight and uncomfortable to wear, so I switched to wearing hers. I eventually switched back to my smaller, but nearly identical band, but as the swelling would come and go, so would the different rings. I’ll have to assume that hers got stolen, not mine.

But regardless, the family jewels are gone. And it sucks.

Post Script: a couple of weeks after this was posted, I found my aunt’s bling ring on the floor behind my bed. It must have fallen as the thief rifled through my jewelry box.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.