They got the gold. Gold jewelry. My gold jewelry.
Someone, or someones, slipped into our home while we were away, inspected my jewelry, and slipped out again carrying whatever they had found that contained gold.
The package wasn's heavy. All my gold jewelry could fit into a plastic sandwich bag with room left for the sandwich.
The thieves took only small pieces of gold, but they took big gouges out of my heart.
They took the slim gold band my father gave my mother on their wedding day. My father died of cancer when I was 9 and he was 38. When my mother remarried, she gave me her wedding band, inscribed with their initials and the date of their marriage. I have few objects that connect me with my father. That was my most precious.
They took a rose-gold locket that belonged to my father's mother, engraved with her maiden-name monogram. She, too, died of cancer when she was young. I never knew her. The locket was my only object connecting me with my grandmother.
They took the delicate cameo ring my husband bought me in England during the first vacation we planned as a married couple.
They took my husband's wedding ring, which resided in my jewelry box.
They took two pairs of tiny earrings and two small pendants, all long-ago gifts from my husband, all in their original boxes. The thieves left the boxes.
They left no signs that anybody had been in the house – no doors jimmied, no drawers open, nothing amiss. I don's wear much jewelry in the summer, when I spend so much time outside, so it was more than a week before I discovered the thefts. It was too late for fingerprints, and long enough for my treasures to have been sold to a not-too-inquisitive dealer and melted down into some anonymous, very small, pile of yellow metal.
What a sorry business, collecting a few dollars by stealing pieces of other people's lives, pieces that cannot be replaced at any price.
Friends are correct to remind me that these were only things, objects. Thieves may steal your memento, but they can never steal the memories associated with it. And I know we could have fared much worse. As far as we'se been able to tell, they took only gold. We didn's have the experience of waking up in the middle of the night to be confronted by an intruder. Nobody got hurt.
Still, I mourn the loss. I see the ghosts of those pieces in their empty spots, but that's not the same as wearing the ring on my finger or the pendant around my neck.
I also mourn the loss of the confidence that we were safe and secure in our own home. And I mourn a loss of trust. As I walk in our town now, I wonder who, among the people I meet, might be a thief. I look at women's jewelry, in case it might be mine.
And here's an odd coincidence. On the very day that I discovered the extent of the theft, and filed the police report, and informed the insurance company, and alerted local people who buy gold – on that very day, I spent two hours with my dentist as he prepared a tooth to receive a crown. It's a back tooth. I'sl have a gold crown. Precious gold is going out of my life, purely practical gold is coming into it. It's not a fair exchange.
Contact [email protected].