Recently we have had a bit of a tough time at Castle Codd, with life throwing a few stones at our windows and some of them leaving damage, and one of the things that’s still affecting us in a number of ways is the loss of our family car.
A week and a half ago Darwin and I waved goodbye to Russell as usual, and Darwin helped me close and lock the front door after him, as is part of our usual ritual. A minute or so later Russell was back, knocking at the door. I was immediately panicked as this wasn’t the usual knock he lightly raps when he’s forgotten his glasses or phone, it was urgent, harsh and hurried. When I got the door open and asked what was wrong he half gulped and half spoked some garbled message that our car had been stolen.
I’ve been burgled before when I was younger, when two men got into my flat in the middle of the day whilst I was inside, and proceeded to rob the place. I’ve never really got over that and I have certain worries and phobias that have stemmed from that which haven’t left me, and perhaps never will. The car was locked and parked on the drive just beneath our window, and was taken just metres from where we had slept through the night, and for some reason that is the bit that has stuck with me most… how it was in such close proximity to our sleeping family. I seem to have a sticking point with that, and it is affecting me. My neighbourhood and surroundings now feel less safe, and less secure. My neighbours (not my immediate, friendly neighbours, but the people in the streets and neighbourhoods surrounding me) make me feel uneasy and nervous. That someone, for whatever reason, has just come by in the middle of the night and taken our family car.
And for what? We didn’t have a fancy or expensive car. It was a 10-year-old Ford Fiesta, in raspberry-like colour. Not exactly a boy racer car; not something you could imagine stealing to joy ride in. And it had a baby seat in the back and some baby sun shades. Just a simple, little family car, but nonetheless one that someone decided to take for themselves, because in life there are those that will just take. They assume that all is fair game for the taking, whether that is your property, your time or your care, and they will do what they want with it without a thought for you.
And we haven’t just lost the car. We’ve lost the money that we are going to have to spend replacing the car, as though the insurance will pay to cover the now depreciated value we were not thinking of buying a new car any time soon and are now having to spend thousands of pounds to replace it. And our time. Not just the time dealing with the insurers, finding and buying a new car, time off work to sort everything out, taking time away from our family holiday time, but also the time that we should be together, doing other things. Days out these past two weekends, the trip we had planned for Darwin’s 2nd birthday in two weeks. And the peace of mind lost when someone comes into your life and just grabs at things. That comfort of thinking that though sometimes outside of your home and family you are worried that people do not always mean well by you, in this space with these people you are safe. That feeling, along with the car, has been taken.