Seriously. This Really Happened.

July 9, 2011

Life can be so great.  Sometimes I'm convinced that God is trying to hand me my ass on a platter.  This is a true story.  Zero embellishment, simply because none is required.

At 4:30 on the morning of my husband's funeral, I was awakened by a noise in the kitchen.  I thought it was Charlotte, maybe getting a snack or a drink of water, and I thought she shouldn't be eating at a time like this.  Poor Charlotte, she is probably so nervous and sick and depressed.  Now she is up in the middle of the night, trying to calm her nerves.  Damn you, Dave.  She is such a good friend to me.  We've been friends so long; how long has it been? 20 years?  And just like that, really quietly, there is a black man standing in my bedroom.  I watched him walk in.  He wore a black baseball cap, had a black bandanna around his face, a black shirt and black jeans.  He wasn't that tall.  He looked pretty young.  He pointed his gun towards me and the kids, holding it sideways for extra thug-like emphasis.  He stood quietly by my door and said "Where da money? Where da safe?" 

"I don't have a safe," I say quietly as I bolt upright.  I was in bed with my 3 kids. We had gone to bed clutching one another for dear life.  We had cried hysterically, all of us, until we were so spent, so crazy, so out of our minds....surely we would die of the sadness.  I prayed for it.  I was surrounded by little boy arms and legs and sweaty sheets and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  "You betta get dat safe and open it up o' I'ma kill you." 

Really, motherfucker? "Well, I don't have a safe, so fucking kill me, I don't give a shit!"  I'm not the least bit concerned that he will.  He flipped on the light and all three of my kids sat up and started crying.  I leaped from the bed and floated across the room at lightening speed, right up into his face. I quickly turned off the light.  "Turn out that fucking light and don't you fuck with my kids.  Now get in the kitchen!" I hissed the words like a snake.  "My fucking husband just killed himself and the funeral is in 5 hours, so I really don't give a fuck if you kill us all.  I already told you I don't have a safe.  But I do have some money, and obviously you need it more than I do, so I will help you, but if you fuck with me, if you hurt me, you get nothing, do you understand?!" 

I know there is $120 somewhere, it was in Dave's truck and a hundred people have been in my house taking charge while I stand in the corner and try to figure out how to kill us all, making sure we all die at the same time so we can get the fuck off this earth and be with him.  This motherfucker in my kitchen is desperate, but he hasn't a fucking clue how much more desperate I am.  Is this shit really happening?  Fuck you, Dave!  I dug through some papers and the stash in my kitchen where I keep pizza money.  Nothing.  I went to my purse, and he said "I done already been through there, they ain't no money there."  Fine.  Charlotte is asleep in the living room, I prayed she had some cash, surely she drove here with something.  I said, "Let's go ask my friend if she has some money."  We walked into the living room and I quietly said, "Charlotte".  She looked up and there we stood.  He was holding his gun to my head, and holding my arm.  I calmly said, "Charlotte, this man needs some money.  We need to help him get some money."  She bolted up, said, "Ok", and she walked calmly to her purse.  I don't even know if we took the time to look at one another.  Again he repeated that he'd already been through our purses, and I suddenly noticed that credit cards and receipts have fallen all over the floor.  He doesn't want that, I'm thinking, he just wants CASH.  "You're gonna have to go to the ATM, take our cards and we'll give you the pin numbers" I said.  "OK, but I'm going to take you with me," he said.  "No way!" I hissed again.  "I already told you my fucking husband is dead!  I'm not leaving my kids."  Then Charlotte says calmly, "I'll go."  She says it like we are just about to drive to the store with friends for a six pack. I can't believe it, but then I can.  She knows I'm not leaving my kids, and somehow we know this man is not here to hurt us.  He's here for money.  I'm talking to him like he's a piece of shit, and he's not getting mad.  I give her my ATM card, she gets her purse and keys and towards the door they walk.  I run up and grab both of their arms and say, "Can we say a quick prayer?"  He says quietly, "Ya'll do that when we get back."  Then he says, "If you call the police, I'm going to kill her."  "I'm not calling the police, I told you we would help you."  As they head back through the living room he tells me to put my flat screen in the back of my Navigator.  They leave and my first words are to Dave.  "Damn you, I don't know where you are, I don't know if you even know what to do yet, but you need to figure it out in this instant and fucking help us NOW!"  My next prayer is to St. Theresa, she will not fail me.  It's just not possible.  Dear God, please don't let him kill her.  We just need to do what he says.  A little bit.  With a slight twist.  So I dial my neighbor across the street.  This guy has been a friend of ours for years.  He's such a good neighbor that I think he even cleaned Dave's blood and guts from my garage floor two days ago.  Really.  And now I'm calling him to say, "I need you to get alert and wake up right now.  We're getting robbed.  A man just walked into my house, took my friend to the ATM at gunpoint and told me not to the call the cops or he would kill her."  "Ok," he says, "we need to call 911."  "No!  We can't call the cops.  We can't take that chance.  I can't let him kill her.  She volunteered to go in my place."  The phone then makes a noise, and he is gone.  The battery died. 

I decided to call New Orleans 3rd District Police Station.  This should be a safe alternative to 911, which would surely result in sirens blazing and Charlotte being murdered in front of my house.  Oh hell no!  We just did that.  Somebody just died; we cannot at all go through this again.  I quickly explain the situation.  My voice is calm; I'm alert and coherent.  I say we need an unmarked car.  "We ain't got that," is the answer.  Really, pricks?  Really?  This is your answer to me?  So I say, "Well you need to go outside and get in your own car and drive over here then."  "That's against the policy" is the answer.  Really?  You have a fucking policy that you can't fucking save a widow and three kids from an armed fucking thug ass robber who has just carjacked and kidnapped my best friend.  "What the fuck am I supposed to do?"  "Call 911," he says.  I scream, "I thought I was talking to the fucking police!  I already told you why I can't call 911!"  It's too risky.  There is no way in hell I'm putting my friend's life in the hands of a 911 operator asleep in her snuggie.  If they get it wrong, sent cars flying over here with sirens and shit....no....we cannot have anymore people dying here, especially Charlotte. 

I thank him for ensuring that now we are all going to die, and I hang up.  I have second thoughts and great ideas about sending regular police cars into the alleys, and I'm going to tell them where to park, on what streets, what route I want them to take here, etc.  I've got this all figured out.  And I'm looking at the getaway car, only its really dark and I can't see what it is.  So I redial third district.  It rings and rings and rings.  No answer.  You gotta be fucking kidding me.  I hang up and dial again.  Same thing.  There is no answer.  I badly want to believe its because they're running like Starsky and Hutch and diving into their cars to come and save us.  Instead I know they are eating donuts and figuring out that my husband just committed suicide at this address and they're deciding that I'm a crazy, fucking lunatic. 

The thug returns with Charlotte unscathed, but there's trouble.  I've given them the wrong card and pin.  It wouldn't work.  I'm calmer now, thinking more clearly, so I quickly find my business card and thrust it at her.  He's standing right there.  Listen to me, I say to him.  This is my business card.  You can get two withdrawals with this card.  $800.00.  He agrees this is some consolation for my screw up.  They leave again, then return shortly thereafter.  Charlotte is shaking like a leaf.  I've already loaded up the widescreen myself, into my own fucking SUV.  She runs inside as he takes off in my vehicle.  My neighbor dials 911.  We have a nine minute lapse while we wait for the cops to arrive.  Seriously.  This really happened.

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51 comments

  1. Oh My God! I am pretty much speechless...and aghast...

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  2. Oh my god I seriously cannot believe this, what a horrible horrible think to happen, especially on such a day. Well done you for being so calm and collected!! Wow. xxxx

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  3. I NEED you to come here and let me hug you and stroke your hair and feed you crispy bacon while I hold you. Seriously.

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  4. My worst day ever will always be better than this. I will never bitch again.

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  5. This is pure craziness! Unbelieveable!!

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  6. MOTHER FUCKER!!!!!! I'll tell you what, when my husband committed suicide 3 days before Christmas and after telling my children who were 7 and 10 that he was going to while he had them on a visit 11 years ago, I thought I couldn't be more pissed. Gurrrrrrrrrlllll, I would be in jail right now for the shit I would do to that mother fucking police station! FUCKING JAIL!! They would never have to worry about driving again. EVER!

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  7. So surreal i think i smoked 2 ciggies in a row reading this!! Your a brave one and I salute you. xo

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  8. Too much god/prayer crap for me to take it seriously. Imaginary friends won't save you from a crazy piece of shit with a gun.

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    1. You anonymous, are an asshole! There I said it. If there was too much prayer in this story for you then simply stop reading it!! She isn't trying to convert anyone, simply re-telling a horrible event that happened to her at a horrible time in her life.
      I am not a religious person, regularly or overly, but her prayer of "Dear God, please don't let him kill her" mirror and resonate with my own pleas of "DEAR GOD, PLEASE DON'T LET HER DIE". I was shouting them in my head, because I was afraid whispering them wouldn't be enough!
      As I read this story I was transported back to Dec 14th 2011 when I received a phone call from a witness to the accident my daughter and her 2 friends were in. I was told 2 children/teens went via ambulance and 1 was thrown from the car and being airlifted to the closest trauma hospital and my daughter "is in VERY BAD shape, please hurry". I started praying and still haven't stopped really...
      Until you have walked in her shoes or been in such a traumatic experience then kindly STFU... we each have the right to believe or not believe and react as we want and deem appropriate.

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    2. man you are a creep -you evil troll. if this is what your lack of faith does for you Id rather have the STRH lady praying for me than be on the same planet with you -moron.

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    3. Hey youve been through hell and back, robbed by a dude at gunpoint but I think your story doesn't mesh with my religious views so keep in mind next time your life is being threatened to reduce the amount of times you pray for those I deem as imaginary.
      Just when I think I can't be shocked anymore someone like this is around proving how inherently selfish and rude humans can be.
      So glad you weren't physically harmed!

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  9. I just cried at my desk at work while reading this blog. Could this have been a drug (pill) dealer comming for money that was owed to him? Is there a phone book or cell phone contact list of your husbands where you could find out each persons address and go see if any of them look like this thug guy because he deserves to be in JAIL! SOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so sorry you and your children have gone through all of this and continue to suffer. I wish there was something that I could do to help you. Please think of something-anything. I need to help you feel happy for just a minute at least-please. Can I send you a mothers day gift - please? You are most deserving of a special mothers day more than anyone that I know!!!Love and Prayers from Florida!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxo <3 Marissa

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    1. Maybe I am completely twisted, but was also moved to tears...of laughter!! When your entire world is crashing down right in front of you, how can you not find humor in this insanity. What else is there? So well written! Thank you for sharing!

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    2. These guys hit five other houses in our neighborhood after mine...over a period of a few months. They finally got caught and are in jail. I did initially think they were connected to Dave, because of his pill addiction. They weren't. Their m.o. was casing houses and looking for people already outside or people coming in and out smoking, knowing they weren't locking doors each time. A ton of people had been at my house that day, and lots were smoking/nervous..even some who don't smoke!

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  13. I think that it's great that you have found healing through writing this blog and your voice transcends the page. I stumbled upon your blog accidentally and ended up engrossed in your life story. Your strength and aptitude could move mountains and it really put my peanuts of problems into perspective. I wish the best for you and your family.

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  14. Holy shit! That is all I can say to that. Wow.

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  15. I can't believe this is the first time I read this, Jerri! (You know it is the first time since Christmas I haven't been a slave to the clock and my crazy life!) Anyway, you told it very well! I truly was glad to go in your place.....I just kept telling him how all we cared about was our children....

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  16. Wow, just absolutely amazing! Charlotte, you are truly an amazing, brave friend!

    Was the asshole ever caught????

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    1. Thank you.....yeah, they caught him. We were really lucky that he wasn't a sadistic, psychotic, cracked-up freak who wanted to rape and kill us too! Just when a person points a gun at you and means it, it changes your life forever!

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  17. I don't think that finding the robber would bring any solace or closure in this case. He was just one more piece of shit that had been flung against the wall and stuck, on a day that was filled with more shit than anyone should have to handle, ever. The fact that she handled the situation calmly and with a certain kind of grace, considering the circumstances, is the point here. Catching the asshole who just frosted that shit cake with one more layer of shit would not, in my opinion, change anything or fix anything.

    Charlotte, I wish I had a friend like you. Maybe I do, without knowing it. I hope that if I were ever in a situation like that, I would have the courage and the love for a friend to do what you did.

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    1. Thanks, Anne. I didn't even think about it at the time.....because of what Jerri was already going through, I felt like it was the only thing to do.

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  18. Get yourself a book deal woman!

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  19. This made me cry! My dad died when I was very little, I just don't know what to do ,if that will ever happen to me...I had a tough life, since my husband left me for another woman, then a week after we split, my mum died, but my stories are nothing compared to yours' well done...you're doin a great job..

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  20. Thank you for sharing

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  21. Holy Hell! I'm glad the title of this reminds me that this really happened because it's simply unbelievable. God bless you and your family!

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  22. Hi. Your story is amazing in it's outrageousness and your writing is a gift for you and us. I have an outrageous story as well. We must have been born in the same bullseye tattoo parlor.

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  23. My God! This is realy... realy unbelievable! You aln Your family are amazing! God bless you!!!!

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  24. My God! This is realy... realy unbelievable! You and your family are amazing.... God bless you all!!!!!

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  25. I just came across your blog, you are one strong woman!! God Bless You!

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  26. Such an insanely unbelievable story. I can't fathom handling the situation as calmly as you did. You have a new follower. Brilliant storytelling, wish is could have been a happier story to tell.

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  27. Wow! That was a lot! You are very courageous for sharing, and I agree with one of the other comments, where is your book deal?? God bless you and your family!

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  28. Lady, I already love your blog and this is the first post I've read. You say it just like it is. What a dreadful experience, and I'm still laughing (please forgive me) at your humor in spite of all the sh*t you went through with this sorry-ass robber--let alone on the day of your late-husband's funeral. Be strong, and keep both your head and your writing up, sister. You've got a gift, and you've uplifted the spirits of probably more people than you can possibly realize. Amazing, and you have nothing but thumbs up coming from me! A new follower indeed. :)

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  29. I can't believe this story! I'm glad you all are ok. How did the children act after the lights were turned off? Did anyone try to get up? The two yr old kept sleeping?
    I want to know what else happened afterwards :) Very interesting story and I wonder what I would do in situations like this. It is a great fear of mine.

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  30. This is cRaZy and I am sorry it happened to you! OMGosh, I am speechless.

    Please take care and thanks for sharing your story.

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  31. Sorry you had to go through this, but your writing had me reading every word.
    This is the beginning of a great book!!!

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  32. I'm sorry you had to go through that, and I'm deeply sorry for the loss of your husband. I'm going through a grief class right now 'cause I lost my mom a few months ago.
    But I had to tell you....I was hanging on every word...it was a really great story (from a publisher's perspective) and would make a great beginning of a book.

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  33. OMG I read that on the edge of my seat, no shit! I cannot imagine!

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  34. Seems like everytime life is hurling curve balls your way, someone pipes up and says, "Some day, you're gonna look back at this and laugh"....I don't think so!!!!

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  35. Geez, you are a fast thinker! And you have moxie!

    Have you written a book yet? This is seriously good writing and unflinchingly honest. I have read published memoirs that weren't this well written. I know from other posts of yours that you have a wicked sense of humor too. You should find a publisher (or they should find you) and get writing (if you haven't already)!
    http://writingpaddad.blogspot.com/2012/11/is-it-really-most-wonderful-time-of-year.html

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  36. im so sorry...this doesnt deserve to happen to someone like you with im sure 3 beautiful kids and on such a date after a horrible event.... wow. god must know your strong enough though, and thats not bad. not bad at all. thank god that you, your children and Charlotte were alright though...terribly scary.

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  37. What a crazy turn of traumatic events! You checked off a lifetime's worth in just a few hours. What slays me is the anonymous moron who was offended by the meager religious reference, but no one is bothered by the flow of F-bombs.

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  38. I am so sorry...
    Now I have to read more to see if your life is doing much better.

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  39. Oh my gosh. So sorry you had to experience this. I thought my experience with my father's early death and my family turning on me was bad. I bet you don't sweat the small stuff anymore though. Love your blog!

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  40. what town is this????? HOLY CRAP!!!!

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  41. oh wow. just like in the movies i thought as i grabbed a handful of popcorn and popped them in my mouth. so glad you and the kids are a-ok!

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