I don’t normally talk about the really serious stuff on this blog – mostly because I like this space to be a whimsical, care-free place for me to escape. But today I found these words coming out instead, and felt that I would share them.
This Saturday, I was having a lazy afternoon, just laying around in my apartment and watching a series marathon. Until the phone rang. A lady from ADT Security told me that there had been a break in at my parents’ home, and that she was phoning me since they had been unable to contact my parents. My heart sank. It was 15h23 on a Saturday, which meant that both my parents and my brother should have been at home. I imagined every worst possible scenario. In fact, it took me a full half an hour to realise that the alarm had gone off, which meant it had been turned on, so no-one was at home. I managed to get my mom on the phone to tell her what had happened and we all rushed back home (my family from their impromptu shopping trip and me from Stellenbosch) to assess the damage.
Today, I’m very thankful that no one was home and no one got hurt. I’m so grateful that my brother decided to go to the shops with my parents instead of staying home like he usually does. Because when a crew of criminals is prepared to smash through your security gate and break open your front door just to get your television and other electronics, who knows what they would do to anyone that happened to be in their way?
Frustratingly, this all happened 5 months ago. Exactly the same way. Almost certainly the same crew. The bastards have even been caught on someone’s security camera and the photo placed in the local newspaper. And the police are entirely and utterly useless.
I don’t think any of us slept well that night. We alternated between anger – that people could invade our privacy so violently – and paranoia. I was grateful for every message of support that came from my friends, both IRL and on twitter. We didn't even give a second thought for the fact that so many of our things were gone – they were, after all, just things. Items that could be replaced. But it’s difficult to shake that feeling that comes with your home, your sanctuary, being invaded. Of having strangers rip through your personal belongings. Of walking into your bedroom and seeing your possessions carelessly strewn across the floor, broken or trampled on. Of having to get a carpenter to barricade your front door shut for the weekend until a new one could be made and fitted.
Most of all, my heart goes out to all those families who were not as lucky as we were.