Don’t Make Your Purse Your Lifeline!

All, Living Adventures, Preferred Movement     by Kelly Heitkamp

“Tis the season! My thirteen year old daughter and I went shopping this past Saturday morning.  We were thrilled to be able to spend time together and get some much needed Christmas shopping done.  As we were walking in, I questioned whether I should put some essentials in my pocket (cash, keys, phone) vs. lugging a huge purse around.  I determined that the purse option was a safer bet not wanting those essentials to fall out of my pocket.  

Score!  I found some shoes that I just had to try on.  I sat down on the bench with my purse at my side.  They fit perfectly and were on sale (bonus!  I walked the shoes 5 feet to where my daughter stood with the cart, and realized I didn’t have the weight of my purse on my shoulder.  I immediately went back to the bench not even a few seconds later shocked to find my purse was gone.  I double-checked, retraced my steps, checked the bench and nothing.  It was gone, and the PANIC button was pressed immediately.  We were an hour away from home, no car keys, no cell phone, no credit cards, no ID and no money.  All we had were the coats on our backs.  We instantly started a frantic search pulling every employee within eyesight to assist. We were checking trash cans, shoe boxes and any other place we could think of hoping my “lifeline” would show up.  Unfortunately, it never did.  

So, now what?  Who do I call?  Do you know your loved one’s cell phone numbers?  We are so reliant on our cell phones to keep track of that information for us.  I felt completely helpless.  I knew I had to keep it together and stay calm for my baby girl.  As luck would have it, some good samaritans from our area noticed my daughter’s school attire and offered us a ride.  We met my parents with a spare set of keys at a halfway meeting point.  Thank you, local ladies!  You’re amazing and you know who you are!  Thankfully, my car was still there (as the thief had my car keys) and we headed to the police department to report the incident.    

Now, time to do some damage control.  I was able to call my two major credit cards about an hour after the incident happened.  The crook racked up $800 worth of charges in 20 minutes time.

Looking back at that dreadful morning, I’ve learned a few things.  Yes, there are some morally questionable people in this world, but there are also incredible people that would drop everything to help a complete stranger.  From all the employees at the store to the wonderful ladies that were willing to go out of their way to help me and my daughter get home;  I am sincerely grateful.

I’ve learned a hard lesson and want other people to learn from me. Please  limit what you have in your purse and only bring what you need for that trip.  Do NOT make your purse your lifeline.


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