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Protect What Is Important

It was a hard and painful lesson many years ago, but it has never left me. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and my husband and I decided to take a quick walk on the city’s jogging trail in Elm Grove.

We parked in the lot on the Elm Grove side of the trail. Several other trail users were parked there as well.

Before we got out of our pickup truck, I grabbed a small coin purse that contained my driver’s license. I thought it best to always carry I.D. even if going for a walk. I tucked my purse deep under my seat. We locked the truck and began to walk.

Upon returning to the parking lot, we knew right away something was very wrong. There was glass all over the parking lot. Every vehicle there had been broken into via smashed windows. My heart pounded as I searched for my purse. Of course, it was gone. Others in the lot lost personal items as well. It took less than 30 minutes to become victims in broad daylight.

We called the police and searched the creek bank and road trying to find our lost items, but we figured much of it ended up in the creek. We then hurried home to cancel credit cards. The thief also had the keys to our home. We had no idea what to expect when we got there. I sobbed thinking about all that was lost in that stupid moment of trusting that nothing like this could happen to us. We spent the rest of the day making phone calls and my husband went to Lowe’s to buy new lock sets for the doors.

But it was something more valuable than money that I lost that day. Some might say it is silly, but to me it was irreplaceable. Inside my purse and tucked in my wallet was a small, well-worn paper booklet. Our son made it when he was in kindergarten and it contained pictures and words about me for Mother’s Day. Those words and hand-drawn pictures were precious to me and now they were gone.

The point of my story today is first, think about what is in your wallet and then make sure the important stuff is safe. Second, consider sending a Valentine card to someone who would never think of getting one this year. You could make someone very happy by such a gesture. Let them have something to hold close to his or her heart. Little things mean a lot. Cherish them.

Heather Ziegler can be reached at: hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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