Tuesday, August 9, 2016


In the middle of June, I was a victim of crime.
It happened like this:
Before eight, still in my nightgown, the doorbell rang. I peeked through the curtain in my room to see a tall, burly, African American man, wearing a dark hoodie and holding a brick in his hand. I realize it reads like a bad-dude cliche, but I tell it as it was. I went to get DH up from his downstairs office. Something about the doorbell ringer felt “wrong,” somehow. 

Before DH had a chance to even stand up, BOOM! —a loud thud, the house shook, and the door upstairs was kicked-in.

I, always leery of guns, said, “he’s IN,”  and then I added, “get the gun!”
 DH managed to get his gun and run upstairs as loudly as he could. I heard a scuttle. I called 911. I let them know it was ongoing.

I was too scared to go upstairs, but when DH came down they had run away. (I only saw one, but DH confronted two.) The first was in our bedroom, and ran out with “something.” Only after the police arrived (within minutes) I realized the burglar had taken my pocket book.

They escaped in a car that was waiting for them downstairs, a Subaru-like gold or gray SUV with a sunroof.

I have alerted the bank, and the credit bureaus, and something called ChexSystems. (This last one recommended by my bank.) All accounts were closed. As they took all my seeing glasses, (those were in my pocketbook) I couldn’t drive until I had an exam and glasses made. My address book with many addresses that I still wonder how to retrieve, was also in the robbers’ possession. Not that they can get much from it. Some of the people in it are not living anymore. It was that old.

Weeks later, we were notified by a check-cashing service that someone tried to cash one of my (by then canceled and account closed) checks. They provided a phone number where someone pretending to be me said she indeed wrote that check. They have the crook on camera. The police have a detective on the case.
These criminals are not just brutes, they’re not very smart. In the end they got nothing they could use.

I have had friends and neighbors tell me we were lucky. It could have been so much worse. That brick could have been used to bash my head. They could have gotten more stuff. They could have had a gun.

So why do I feel so unlucky?

Too many people are victims. As I shared the story with dear friends, they opened up about their brushes with brutality. We made jokes about the difference between outlaws and in-laws. You know, the first burst in and leave quickly, the second burst in and… you get it.

Suggestion: do not tell crime victims they were lucky. It is well-meant, but let time convey this, seeping in as all experiences that awaken us will do.

The physical damage is relatively light. The emotional will take time to absorb. It took me almost two months to write this post.


  1. I'm sorry this happened to you, Mirka. Hugs.

    When burglars broke into my mother's house while she was in Florida, the security company called me in the middle of the night. Although the burglars broke a window and only took a broken tv, the break-in left me feeling vulnerable.

    Do you have an alarm system? I suggest you think about getting one. Or a dog.

    1. Thank you, Barbara. The usual burglar alarm doesn't help with a home invasion, as we were there. A large dog would be nice, if he doesn't eat cats... we have three. one of my cats was so traumatized he threw up right in front of them. His job, as a rodent-thwarter, was not useful with these big invaders.

  2. I have the chills just thinking about it. I'm so glad you are okay. How very traumatizing. Perhaps a silver lining - if there is one - is that this provides rich, raw emotional writing material.

  3. Hugs, my dear, dear friend. I wish this hadn't happened to you.

  4. So sorry you went through this. I'm glad they weren't able to access your accounts and steal more. I agree with Barbara, though: Get a dog. They really are an effective deterrent. Would be burglars don't want trouble. A barking dog is enough to make them move on.

  5. Mirka, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm just glad you're okay. A purse and its contents can be replaced. You can not. I hope you're able to move on from this soon. Hugs to you!

  6. That's great there is now a picture of them and hopefully those on the case can find them! I think that this experience will eventually find its way into one of your novels.

  7. How frightening! I am glad the two of you are okay. Peace, my friend.

  8. Oh, Mirka, I'm so sorry. What a terrible thing to have happened. It's so violating for strangers to come into your home. Hugs and love!

  9. So very sorry this happened. I can certainly see why it would take a long time to recover--you were caught off guard in your private home, a place where we like to feel we are safe. I'm glad both you and your husband were not physically injured. Take care. xo

  10. Hi Mirka, so sorry for what happened.I'm happy you are ok.Take care.
    Thank you for the comment for our children's book,and waht a lovely Toof fairy, she never wrote to me when I was a child:) Hugs

  11. My God, I'm relieved you guys are all right, Mirka. It sounds very scary and DH was very brave to have run up to confront them. Take your time to recover from this but always reach out if you feel you need more help.

  12. What a nightmare. I hope they recover your things soon and put these guys behind bars before they hurt anyone else. I also hope you can recover some peace although I'm sure the fear never really leaves again each time the doorbell rings. All good wishes and prayers for healing coming your way.