What To Do During Home Invasion? Hold Their Hand.Thursday, January 17, 2013
People that are from Sheridan, and currently living in Sheridan, often complain about what a terrible town it is. I've never had this problem. I like my small tractor town. I've never really had any problems here. I really like living in a tiny town with country celebrations and weird people. After all, I might be the weirdest person living here. But once in a while, strange things do happen. And apparently, the strange things like to happen to the Cooper family.
Most people have heard the story about me finding a naked little boy in my yard and having to sit with him and wait for the police to arrive. The was strange, right? But last night, it got stranger.
The kids, Roger and I got home late last night. In the rush to get jammies on, bedtime bathroom routines conquered and prayers said, Roger decided to step out and run to the gas station for a diet coke. As soon as he was gone from the house, the back door burst open and someone ran into the kitchen where I was standing. I turned around, found a woman about my size staring and out of breath like she had been running for her life.
Now...there are several things that went through my brain. I think the first was, "Who in the world is this woman? I should know who she is because she's in my house." I blinked about a hundred times trying to figure out what was going on. "But I don't know who she is." And that's when I realized, HOLY COW! I DON'T KNOW WHO THIS WOMAN IS! And that meant she was an intruder. Or something. Right?
Then my brain was flooded with a whole other set of thoughts. "Does she look like she wants to kill me? No. Not really. Did she have a weapon? No. She's in running shoes, a hoodie and track pants. No pockets. Her hands are empty but red with cold. She smells like cigarette smoke and booze. Check. Where is my gun, just in case? Crap. It's on the other side of the house. Can I take her? Totally. I'm not bigger, but I'm fierce. Where are my kids? Dangit. Standing right behind her."
The strangest, most threatening thing (in a long time) is happening in my home, and I am suddenly overly calm. I finally smile at the woman and say, "Hi. How are you?" She doesn't really say anything and Lucy is standing behind her, very confused and a little afraid (how do kids simply KNOW when something is wrong?). "Lucy," I say, smiling at her, "please go get in bed and make sure Teddy gets in bed. You can put a movie on, but please close both your doors."Lucy doesn't argue one bit. This is how I know she understands that something serious is happening. She steps around the woman and goes straight to her bedroom, shutting the doors behind her and doesn't come out again until (later on) the police are in the house. A while back, Roger sat the kids down and explained to them that if he ever tells them to run hide, that they don't argue--they do it and they don't come out again until daddy gets them. (In hindsight, I should have told her to hide)
As this is happening, the woman walks out of the kitchen and across the house to the living room where she sits on the couch.
I have to just pause because...I really have no idea how to explain what was going on in my brain. I tried to text Roger, but my phone was dead. So, I sighed and followed her into the living room, turning on the light because it was dark. I felt bad that the house wasn't ready for guests, which was a ridiculous thought, I know. I sat down on the couch beside her. I started just asking her questions, in the kindest voice I think I possess. I took her hand in both mine and she answered every question she was asked. What was her name? Where did she live? Was she in trouble or someone trying to hurt her (the last she answered yes to). I asked who she lived with, what she did for a living, where she was before she came to visit me. (LOL)At one point she nearly put her head in my lap as she sobbed. Then, when she stopped crying, I asked her if I could get her something to drink or make her some coffee. I asked about the coffee because she had obviously been drinking. So, into the kitchen we went.
I made my new friend coffee while she played with the puppy. She made some comments that led me to believe she might have come and gone from the house while I was gone during the day, telling me how great Hugo had been earlier in the day. Strange. But she may have simply been so drunk she had no idea what she was talking about. Possibly. However, when my mom stopped at 5pm to let Hugo out, she was convinced someone was in the house. Weird.
When Roger FINALLY got back from the gas station, he came in, surveyed us both...and acted like everything was perfectly normal. He chatted with the lady for a moment before we excused ourselves to kiss the kids goodnight. In reality, we went to the living room and hissed information back and forth and I clobbered him for taking too long at the gas station (not really, but sorta).
Back in the kitchen, we pulled up an extra chair and made small talk, gaining as much useful information from her as we could. Except for the moment when she tried to take Hugo outside, everything was mostly okay. She cried a lot but wouldn't tell us what was making her sad. Instead, she said she was happy that she was safe...that she had found our house, apparently.
Roger and I had no idea what to do with this women who seemed content to sit in our kitchen, make small talk and play with Hugo. I started to wonder if we should let her crash in the house, but that didn't seem smart or safe. So, I asked her if Roger could take her home, and if home wasn't a safe place, if we could take her somewhere else. We ended up with all her information--address and phone number, name and age, parents' names and address, what she did for a living, and her boyfriend's name and what he did for a living. Craziness.
When she and Roger stood up to leave, I wrapped her in a tight hug and prayed over her. She cried...
The story of what happened next is Roger's story. I don't know all the details, but it didn't go well. This is why I ended up at the police department and then later in my kitchen with the police officers. We joked around, chatted about kids and dogs, and how we need to lock our doors. One of the officers knew the woman and was worried about her. After getting all our information and the address, they set out to her house. But not before Roger had them bow their heads so he could pray over them, over the situation, and for the poor woman who will more than likely have no idea what happened last night.
At midnight, the kids were still sitting up in their beds. Roger tucked them back in, prayed over them, read scripture over them and they fell asleep and slept all night in their own beds. He read scripture over me and prayed for me, impressed (I think) about how calmly I handled the situation. And about that time, we heard something above us in the attic. So what do we do? We giggle and argue about who is going up to catch whatever is up there. We argue about the fact that we can't shoot it because the police will come straight back to our house. We search the kitchen for a weapon and decide to use the Gladious sword given to Roger by our pastor (thanks John!). So with a heavy duty flash light, a towel, and a Roman sword...we went hunting. After two o'clock in the morning, we fell into bed and tried to sleep.
I have no idea what happened last night, but I know that a very drunk, very frightened woman ran into the right house. I didn't shoot her, punch her, scream or ask what in the world she was doing. I smiled, said 'hi', held her hand and made her coffee.
I. Am. Strange.
This morning, I am all too aware that the Lord and His angels were standing around watching a crazy show and smiling ear-to-ear at all the insane thoughts going through my head. But it was a pretty hilarious show. The only thing forgot was to take my bow at the end.