Did you notice the family pictures on the walls? Did the studio shots mean anything to you? Yes they are expensive, but they were a present. They would have shown you that we are a small family.
Did you notice our son is only five years old. Have you tried explaining something serious to a five year old? He now talks about catching robbers as if it was a game. Because that’s all he can equate it to.
Did you notice that despite turning out all our cupboards, we don’t have much? Despite us working; childcare costs cripple us, so much so that we make ends meet, just. In fact, we have had to sell possessions and borrow money from friends to keep afloat.
Did you notice that the jewellery you took, most of it was old? Heirlooms. Items useless to you, worthless to anyone else, yet priceless to us? We’re frantically trying to find images of my charm bracelet, which was slowly collected for over forty years, from family on the other side of the world. It was given to me when I was christened, I wanted to pass it onto my brother’s daughter. But now, it’s probably gone forever, with all the stories about the charms gone too.
Did you notice that I had business paperwork next to the desk, so by taking my computer – you’ve curtailed my business and set us further back again? You’ve also taken photos and videos of our son when he was a baby, a lifetime of notes and jottings towards books I’ve been writing. I’m too scared to look in the cloud at what I have moved over, because I’m worried I’ll break down over what I hadn’t.
Did you notice the medals hanging on the wall from when my husband served this country?
Did you notice the Get Well cards and messages in the house; as the week before you arrived, I was in hospital with breathing problems that are still unresolved?
Did you notice when you pulled out our belongings, that they were ours? We’ve changed the house locks, changed the car locks, have fingerprint dust all over the house. We’ve mostly tidied up, but have a way to go before we get back to where we were before.
Tidying up is one thing; but the hollow, empty feeling inside both my husband and I, knowing we’ve what we’ve lost, that’ll take longer to sort out. Counselling will help, if we take up the Police’s offer of it, but I want my Nan’s engagement ring back. I want my husband’s watches back, his cuff-links, binoculars, my Gran’s brooch, my charm bracelet. I want the DVDs back, the bags that you walked out with our belongings in. I want the computer back, so I can open up the files I’ve accumulated over 20 years of sitting at a desk and typing.
Did you notice that what for you was maybe ten minutes riffling through, has broken our hearts? Yes to you, it was only ‘stuff’, but the only stuff we had left was precious – and you stole it from us.