Forgive me for veering off topic this week, but I feel the need to vent.  I write this out of frustration, anger and lastly hope.  I write this for the people who meant to harm my way of life and for those who rallied to protect it.  I write this out of utter disdain for people who feel it’s ok to take from others and for those who gave back in spirit and support.

Last Thursday evening our trailer was stolen.  We take every feasible precaution to protect our business, but it was not enough.  The thieves were going to do whatever they needed to do to steal –  to steal from my family, our employees and our customers.  Yes, all of us.  It stung.  It burned.  It hurt, and I was angry.  I can tolerate a lot of things, but I cannot tolerate someone taking away my ability to make a living.

Not long after we filed the police report locally, a call came in from the Chicago Police Department.  They had found our trailer – abandoned in an alley, emptied of all its contents.  A victory of sorts, a small victory albeit.  This was, however, good news.  We had our trailer back.  There was no hope of finding any of our equipment though.  The police told us, most likely, the equipment had already made it to a neighboring state where it was being sold on the “black” market.  And the alley where they found our trailer was and is a popular dumping ground for these thieves.  They seem to have it down to a science, and although the police seemed somewhat empathetic, perhaps cordial is a better word, it was just another theft to them.  It was certainly no surprise, and there wasn’t much they could do. This was all very frustrating to me, but the police made it clear, we were SOL.

There was no finger printing of the trailer or the tools left behind by the thieves.  Apparently, this type of crime does not warrant that kind of sleuthing.  No photos taken.  Nothing.  I began to feel as if I was being victimized again.  My heart sank into my stomach.  Why me?

What happened in the hours to come was truly amazing.  When we went to fetch our empty trailer in the city, a woman came shuffling down the alley.  We assumed she was upset because the trailer was blocking her driveway, but we were wrong.  She came to offer her condolences.  She shook her head in disgust and apologized over and over again for our loss.  Hope started creeping back into my heart.  Before we had made it back to the office, our team was in full recovery mode.  They strategized, innovated and were out servicing our clients as if nothing had happened.  They weren’t going to let the thieves take any more away from them and our customers, so they soldiered on.  They refused to be victims.  I was in awe.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I was still pretty angry and had a lot of work and inconvenience ahead of me, but I’d have to be blind not to notice the support and kindness of friends and strangers alike, vendors and customers, and the care and ingenuity of my team.  The universe had handed me lemons and all but sweetened the juice to make lemonade.

By Friday I was feeling markedly better even though the lemonade could have been a tad sweeter when the news broke about the Aurora, CO shooting.  I quickly stopped any bemoaning and realized I was lucky and had nothing to complain about. I made my piece with the universe and said a prayer for the victims and their loved ones.

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”

– Oscar Wilde

Best wishes and heartfelt gratitude to all who stood tall with us!

Kim Sweeney