Little Girl Thief

I don’t know why I stole the money from the purse.  I was plenty old enough to know it was wrong.  But I did it anyway.  I’ll never forget how my mother cried when I confessed.  And how disappointed she was in me.

I don’t even remember exactly how old I was the day I stole the money, but I was around 10 or 11 years old.  My sisters and our neighborhood friends and I used to spend most of our summer days at a local Knights of Columbus swimming pool where our family had a membership.  For weeks, my friend L and I had noticed the small dark brown suede fringed pouch hanging from a shower rod in the girls bathroom at the pool.  It never moved.

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Photo credit: Etsy.com

Then one day, my friend convinced me the purse had been abandoned and we should look inside.  She climbed up and retrieved the small pouch from the shower rod and peeked inside.  It contained a few dollars– around $5-6 as well as I remember.  Back in the late 60s and early 70s, that was a lot of money to two preteen girls.  I told my friend we should put it back, that taking it would be stealing.  She said not if it had been forgotten or abandoned.  So we took that money and we divided it between the two of us.

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By the time I went home that afternoon, my friend had convinced me we had not stolen anything, that we had just taken money that had been abandoned.  I had no guilt whatsoever for taking the money.  In fact, I was so convinced I had done nothing wrong, that I didn’t even flinch when I told my mother what I had done.

My mother always gave me $2.00- $2.50 when I went to the swimming pool which was plenty to get a hot dog, or hamburger, chips, and a drink for lunch and then ice cream or a sno-cone for an afternoon snack.

When I got home from swimming that day, as was par for the course, my mother asked me if I had any money left over from the pool that day so I quickly retrieved my coin purse and counted the money.  “I have over $3 left,”  I blurted.  Imagine my mother’s puzzled expression as she tried to figure out how I ended up with more money than I had started out with.  Then I explained how L and I had been watching the small abandoned brown suede purse with the fringes. I told her how we had watched it for days and then weeks, and how it never moved.  How we took it because whoever it belonged to had obviously forgotten about it.  My mother’s mouth flew open.  She yelled.  And then she cried.  She told me that it was not my money to steal, and that what I had done was wrong.  “But it had been left there and abandoned…. for weeks,” I said!  “I DON’T CARE, IT WASN’T YOURS TO TAKE,” my mother admonished.  She then calmly reminded me of the 8th commandment:  Thou Shalt Not Steal. 

My mother informed me I would be returning the money the next day and would make a full confession to the swimming pool manager.  Her tears and telling me she was so ashamed of what I had done, was enough punishment and hurt me worse than any spanking she could have given me.  I went to bed with a hurting heart that night realizing that what I had done was indeed wrong.  I told God I was sorry and asked Him for forgiveness.

The next day, I was driven to the swimming pool with my friend L, and together we walked in and confessed our thievery to the manager and returned the money we had taken.  He had us put the money back in the brown suede pouch.  Believe me, I did feel shame and guilt that day.  The manager made no big deal out of the incident and passed no judgement.  He watched us put the money back into the suede pouch.  Part of me wished he would have gotten mad at us.  My friend chided me for blabbing to my mother about taking the money.  She was mad at me for a few days but quickly got over it.  In hindsight, I’m not sure she ever really realized that what we did was wrong.

Several weeks later, on the day the pool closed for the summer, I noticed that little brown suede purse still hung in the same place, high above my head on the shower rod. Years later, the pool closed down and the bathroom made out of cinder blocks was torn down.  I imagined that dark brown suede pouch still hanging from that shower rod the day that bathroom was demolished. I envisioned it being buried in the rubble.

The other day, my sister asked me if I remembered how mad our mother was the day she learned I had stolen the money from the purse at the swimming pool.  I shuddered.  “How could I forget that?” I replied.  It’s almost fifty years later, and I’ve never forgotten my mother’s reaction or her tears over what I had done.

And so help me God, I never stole again.

Did you ever steal anything as a child?  How did you feel?  What was the outcome? 

Gail ♥

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Sunday Glory

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So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Luke 11:9-10

Gail 

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Sunday Glory

Holy Bible

When Jesus Christ utters a word, He opens His mouth so wide that it embraces all heaven and earth, even though that word be but a whisper.

                                                                                                                Martin Luther

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33 Years!

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We’re celebrating 33 years of wedded bliss today! 

Hubby asked me today if it really felt like 33 years and I told him sometimes yes, and yet other times, it seems like only yesterday.  Regardless, it’s an amazing milestone!

Marrying this man was the best thing I ever did.

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Gail 

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Goodbye Coco

I received a very sad phone call this afternoon.  A good friend called to tell me she and her husband had to say goodbye to their ten-year old Boxer, Coco, this morning.  My heart hurts for them.

Coco was the sweetest dog.  She was such a good dog and there wasn’t a mean bone anywhere in that dog’s body.  I know they will miss her.  I will miss her too.  I’ll especially miss the way she enthusiastically greeted me each time I went to my friends’ house.  I always got tickled at how she wiggled her butt and entire little body along with her wagging little stub of a tail.  She could hardly contain herself.  Such love she always showed.

Coco had recently been diagnosed with a large tumor in her lung.  Unfortunately, cancer is very common in this breed. It’s the number one cause of death in Boxers.  Boxers have an extraordinary high risk of tumor formation, both benign and malignant.  I had a professor in veterinary school who used to refer to Boxers as “little cancer factories.” Another professor told us to think cancer in any ill Boxer over the age of 8 unless proven otherwise.  Coco had a history of Mast Cell tumors which are very common in Boxers.  This was the third Boxer my friends had owned and all three developed cancer.  One developed hemangiosarcoma.  One developed a brain tumor, and Coco had lung cancer.

Coco’s owner once told me she’d rather stick a needle in her eye than have to euthanize a dog.  I know just what she meant.  I feel the same way.  It’s absolutely one of the hardest decisions a pet owner will ever have to make.   I pray God will comfort my friends’ sad hearts tonight and in the coming days as they mourn the loss of their beloved friend.  They gave Coco a great life and took such excellent care of her.  They loved her with a special love so deep and she returned that love tenfold.  Coco was blessed to have them and they were so very blessed to have her.

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Coco and her brother Joey

Goodbye Coco.  You will be missed, girl.

Gail 

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Sunday Glory

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For the moment, be still.  ♥  Count the ways

you are blessed.    Be Thankful.  ♥  Be slow

to quarrel.    Search out a forgotten 

friend.  ♥  Suspend Suspicion.  ♥  Be Trusting.  ♥

Write a love letter.  ♥  Share a Treasure.  ♥

Give a soft answer.   Encourage Youth.  

Show your loyalty in word and deed.  

Nourish a grateful attitude.    Keep a

promise.    Find the time.   ♥   Do not harbor

a grudge.  ♥  Listen.  ♥  Apologize if you are 

wrong.  ♥  Be understanding.    Be slow to

envy.   Forgive.   Think first of someone

else.   Show appreciation.  ♥  Be Kind.  

Count on miracles.   Laugh more.  ♥  Be

gentle.  ♥  Wage war against prejudice.   

Worship God.  ♥  Gladden the heart of a child.  ♥

Decry complacency.  ♥  Take pleasure in 

the beauty and wonder of the earth.  

Make Every Day Count.  ♥  Speak your

gratitude.  ♥  Speak it again ♥  Speak it still

again.  ♥  Speak it still once more.   ♥  

 

I love these wise words found printed on a folded piece of paper and tucked inside a drawer.  It’s from the Appalachia Service Project. 

Gail ♥ 

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Sunday Glory

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Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Psalm 100:3

Gail 

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