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The Open House Jewel Heist (standard:other, 667 words)
Author: GerriAdded: Oct 28 2013Views/Reads: 2441/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A true story of how my mother lost her jewelry when her house was up for sale.(and how the jewelry was finally recovered)

My mother is a product of the depression and as such she has her own
quirky way of doing things.  She and my dad lived in their big 5 
bedroom home in the city for just shy of 50 years.  After dad passed 
away at the age of 77, mom was left on her own.   This was an emotional 
hardship more so than a practical one, since mom was always a superbly 
independent working woman.   It finally came, in 2008, that she had to 
give up her beloved “mansion” and opt for another residence.  We urged 
her to go to an independent living facility but true to her independent 
nature, she refused and at the young age of 85, she bought another, 
albeit much smaller, one story house in a little suburban village 
closer to all of her family. 

Once mom put her old house up for sale, people came and went on a
regular basis with viewings and open houses being the norm.  It 
happened during one of the open houses, that my mother realized her 
little cache of personal jewelry was missing.  She was sure she had 
hidden it behind one of her long, floor length curtains and now it was 
gone.  Needless to say we all questioned her at length, picking at her 
memory, finally scavenging the house in pursuit of the elusive jewels.  
Success never happened and my sister, a detective on the police force, 
finally had to file a police report. 

Almost a year passed and the big house, as we affectionately called it,
was finally sold.   As we emptied its nooks and crannies, placing 
stacks of items by the curb for the “collectors” to ravage and began to 
set up for the giant garage sale to sell the fifty odd years of 
accumulation that marked my mom and dad's life, the memory of mom's 
lost stash remained with all of us.  Her son in law, my husband, 
decided that maybe, just maybe, mom's memory wasn't quite up to par and 
began a house wide scavenger hunt for those “lost” jewels one last 
time.  He began in the attic, pulling up loose floor boards (dad's 
favorite hiding place) and reached into the rafter crevices wherever 
accessible.   After much pain and suffering, with hands bruised and 
cut, the attic was abandoned.  The next stop was the basement which 
proved to be just as fruitless.  It became clear that we would have to 
leave the home of our childhood without ever solving the mystery of 
mom's missing items; closure was not to be. 

With the house finally empty except for one last piece of furniture;
that being an antique table that had stood in the entry hall for many 
years, we all stood together, mom, her brother and all four of us 
children with spouses in tow, paying one last homage to the old place 
we all had called home.  We laughed and the house echoed in its 
emptiness. Mom pointed to the old table and smiled. "That antique table 
has been standing in this hallway for more years than I can remember," 
she said, "and I'll bet that none of you know it contains a secret 
compartment." We all looked at her in surprise. "The only ones who knew 
about it were your father and I," she said and swung the right back 
edge of the table forward to reveal the compartment. To everyone's 
surprise, including mom's, her little bag of jewels lay quietly staring 
up at us from the secret hiding place.  Stunned silence filled the air 
but only momentarily as we all whooped and hollered with joy and 
relief.  Mom had elected to keep the table and lucky for her she did.  
The police file was closed, the “open house” jewelry heist was solved 
and mom's little cache of valuables now resides safely under secure 
lock and key in her current home! 

Epilogue:   the little front hall table still resides in mom's new
residence and remains our hero to this day! 


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