Peace of mind

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

To the Editor:

Thou shalt not steal. We have all been taught this simple biblical law. I would dare say that is was probably written for the honest people of society. I’ve heard that locks keep the honest folks honest while sharpening the skills of all others. I speak only because I find myself once again the focus of such skilled craftsmen.

On the 11th of September, I arrived home earlier than usual. I noticed the rear entrance was open and suspected that my youngest was home from school and enjoying an afternoon of video games or TV. After a closer view I became well aware that the door was opened by an intruder.

A swift kick just below the paneled glass and the casing gave way. A short reach around to the dead bolt door knob and entry is made. A skilled craftsman at their best. My heart raced as I spoke loudly, “Is there anyone in there?”

The silence was as horrifying as the thought of what may have already occurred within the house. I shouted again as I reached for the door thinking that maybe my child was inside. I found myself moving quickly to the first hallway opening. I shouted again.

Nothing but silence. My mind relaxed somewhat as I remembered that both sons were still at band practice. I looked toward the family room and everything seemed to be in place. Down the hall a second bedroom looked untouched as well. I slowly moved toward the other bedrooms and out of the corner of my eye I saw the craftsman’s work. The only disturbance to the dwelling was found on my side of the room. Night-stand drawers ripped out and dumped wildly. Mattress cast to one side. Inside the closet I saw a box that held the mirror to the dresser. It hadn’t been unpacked since the move. It lay on its side across the mouth of the doorway. Three guns were quickly noticeably missing. Up on the shelf a lone snakeskin boot sat where a black case had once been.

My heart started racing as I searched through the remaining closets for similar items. I calmed myself as much as possible and called 911. I called my spouse to let her know and waited for the deputies to arrive. I looked around without touching anything else and noticed that only guns had been taken. No jewelry, money or electronics. Nothing was disturbed except for things that belonged solely to me.

One of the guns taken was given to me by my deceased father-in-law. We named it after him. The kids always joked that, “Thomas, was a stone cold killer.”

The deputies tried to get fingerprints, but there were none to be found. They asked if I had a safe for the guns. My response was, “1,500 square feet of safe. No one should be in it.”

The smudged finger print dusting powder on the outside of the door, which refuses to come off, is a constant reminder. The windowed area of the door which used to shed so much light into our home is now boarded with plywood on both sides.

Each time I open the door I am reminded that someone has taken something from me. Not my guns. Not my ability to defend my family. Instead they have taken my belief that all people are genuinely honest. That if you make the effort to keep them honest they will oblige.

That if I have treat them with that same level of courtesy that says, “Please don’t make me your victim,” I will go on with my life and not fall prey to the skilled craftsman. I am wrong.

Someone has taken it upon themselves to breach my sanctuary and soil my security. Someone has taken my peace of mind. Now it’s personal.

Charles Branch