Terry and I both want to thank all of you who posted comments on the blog, e-mailed, or called us after reading about our encounter with an armed burglar in our RV. Your concern and support are very much appreciated.
We are okay, but both of us feel totally wiped out, I think myself more than Miss Terry. I have always been able to function during a crisis or emergency situation, but like this time, a day or so later it all hits me at once, leaving me feeling shaky, wrung out, and feeling like I am teetering on a ledge.
I only slept an hour or so Friday night, and ever since the incident, I have been going over it in my head, second guessing myself, and wondering what I could have/should have done differently. Looking back, I keep thinking that the second I realized that we had been victimized, we should have backed off and avoided the potential confrontation that followed. And I keep thinking what could have happened to Terry if he had shot me and she was left alone with him. I am mentally kicking myself over and over again for putting her into that situation. That is the worst part, the what ifs.
Rationally, I know it all happened too fast for me to have had time to think it all through and consider my options, and that I reacted the way my instincts and training told me to do. And it worked out; nobody got hurt (except maybe the intruder’s arm), and we are here to tell the story. But again, there is that nagging “what if.”
Somebody wrote to say that this could have been avoided if we had been in a campground, instead of dry camping in a parking lot. But there are no campgrounds open where we are this time of year. And while we have dry camped in everything from truck stops to rest areas, to the open desert with no problems, this was an RV repair facility’s RV parking area with hookups. The only other time we had a crime issue was in our first month on the road, when somebody tried to steal our pickup truck while were in a Coast to Coast campground in California. So much for the argument of campgrounds over other locations to spend the night.
I also had several people tell me that they would have shot the burglar and worried about whatever happened later. With all due respect, that sounds a lot better in talk than in real life. Once you pull that trigger, you can’t take that bullet back. The legal and civil ramifications that will follow will cost you much more than whatever they may have stolen, not to mention the psychological aftermath.
Taking another person’s life is about the worst experience one can ever have, no matter what the circumstances. You will relive it for the rest of your life, trust me on this one. I’ve been there and still wake up too many nights in a cold sweat. Would I have shot the guy if he continued to be a threat to our lives? In a nanosecond. Would I regret it forever after? Yes, I would. I’m just very grateful it didn’t come to that.
On another note, our faithful old MCI bus conversion is on its way to California with its new owner, Rich Perry. Rich and his friend Bill flew in Friday, spent most of yesterday going over the bus from stem to stern, and left about 4:30 yesterday afternoon.
Here is a picture of myself and Rich shaking hands on the deal, while Bill and Miss Terry stand beside us.
Bill has an MCI 7 of his own, and has converted several buses for friends, so I feel confident that he’ll help Rich get our beloved bus to its new home. It was really sad to see her driving away for the last time, but as the old verse says, “to everything, there is a season…”
Before all of this started with the burglary, we had planned to leave Elkhart as soon as the bus sale was wrapped up. Now I’m not sure what will happen. I have an appointment at the VA hospital in Lexington, Kentucky on Wednesday morning, and trying to cancel and reschedule it would be a real hassle. But we may have no other choice. We obviously need to spend some more time inside a repair shop before we can go anywhere.
Thought For The Day – It is not what you are called, but what you answer to that matters.