LETTER: Halloween theft had big impact

To the person who stole our Halloween skull lights from our home the weekend before Halloween ...

To the person who stole our Halloween skull lights from our home the weekend before Halloween:

I have debated writing this letter for nearly a month now. On one hand, I don’t want to give you any more time or energy than I already have, but on the other, I must confess that I am still carrying some resentment, but not for the simple loss of some $10 lights.

You see, what you stole, was so much more.

Halloween is our anniversary, and we love decorating our home up for the season. We don’t buy a bunch of plastic stuff; we have made most of the décor over the years, from recycled items, and repurposing plants and flowers and other organic matter. We do this as a family. We don’t spend a bunch of money on it. Instead we use our imaginations and creativity. This year, we put up our decorations, and then went out for a lovely family night out. In the four hours that we were gone, you came into our yard, and unwired two sets of skull lights. You were meticulous, and methodical. You trespassed and youstole.

But what you stole was so much more. You stole my 11-year-old’s trust in our neighbourhood and our town. You stole the sweet memories we made that day, by tarnishing the experience with a violation of our trust. When we carved our pumpkins, which we had picked ourselves in Creston (you stole one of those too), my daughter was too afraid to put them out on display, lest they get stolen or smashed. Every time we came home, instead of celebrating the wonderful scene w ehad created, we were looking to see whether something else had been taken. You stole so much more than a stupid set of lights.

We have tried to be magnanimous, modelling generosity and understanding to our daughter. We have tried to turn this negative experience into something positive, by trying to imagine what it was about those lights that made you risk, made you take, made you feel entitled to take something that was not yours. We have tried to put as little energy into this, as youdid. But still, I need you to know, the damage you did is so much greater than the value of what you took.

And those lights? Those were the last thing given to us by our Dad, who we lost in September to a stroke. We will never get another gift from him, and the last present we had, you took. We hope you will think about the impact of your actions, and change your ways so you don’t hurt more people. You have no idea of the significance of a simple item, because it was not yours. My daughter understands this, and I suppose I could thank you for illustrating this so clearly to her, except she has understood that stealing is wrong since she was small. I only wish that you could learn that lesson, too.

Serene Stewart, Nelson