But —

On Monday, we had work done on our house. I’m not going to specify what kind of work, but I will say the organization is national and prides itself on customer service. They arrived exactly at eight and were out of here by nine-fifteen. I offered the guys coffee; I tipped them well; I got to hear them joking with each other, joked around with them myself, and in general had a positive experience. Until that evening, when Kiddo#1 came to me and said, “What did you do with my wallet?”

His wallet (really more of a billfold) never leaves his room. It lives in one specific drawer. Right before school, he’d received his allowance, and he put it in the wallet. Right after school, he’d gotten it out to count how much he’d saved toward his astrophotography camera, and it was gone.

Some of the work had been done in his room. I hadn’t left the house since then.

It looks bad, right? But, but, but —

I looked everywhere. I have moved furniture, stripped beds, searched the younger siblings’ rooms. I’ve got a large online community praying that God will reveal what is hidden, and one woman even described a picture she kept getting in her head during prayer. But after spending hours searching (and turning up puzzle pieces and other toys I’d previously thought lost forever) I cannot find this wallet. Kiddo#1 cannot find it. We’ve gone over every step of the morning.

But. But there are two children who could have gotten into the drawer and might have hidden it. But Kiddo#1’s routine was interrupted that morning and maybe he stuck it somewhere.

And more unanswered questions: How would they have known it was there? Why didn’t they take the money and leave the wallet, which my police-officer relative tells me is standard? Why would someone on a team that had been together for years, working for a great company, risk their job over some money in a kid’s drawer? (And if so, why didn’t they take all of it? There were two fives still sitting, alone, in that drawer.) How could anyone be so stupid? And why didn’t they at least look guilty when I tipped them?

But eventually I called the service coordinator and explained. I said I didn’t want anything done now. Please don’t discipline them. But I needed to let them know what had happened, and I would continue searching. The coordinator said she immediately suspected one of the new men they’d brought onboard…and then looked up my account to realize no, we’d had their best installation team.

In all this, I trust her. Everything she said about the guys on that team echoed what I’d observed.

So frankly, in all this, the weak link is us. Think how terrible it would be to destroy a man’s reputation and his livelihood only to find the thing months later? I could never make that right. This company fires thieves. How do you get another job if you’ve been fired for theft?

The coordinator assured me that the team lead (who’d been with them for a decade) would decide whom to keep on his team. So that’s good, at least. And they’re going to send us a check for the amount in the wallet.

I said, “But please, wait at least a week. Let me keep looking.”

Please, God, reveal whatever is hidden. Please let us find this thing. I would write letters of apology to every single member of that team and the service coordinator. I have offered a charitable donation in the name of any angel who helps us find it. I will gladly tell everyone I was an idiot. But unless or until that wallet shows up *or* someone confesses, we can’t prove what happened. That’s making me sick inside.


  1. whiskers09092006

    I will keep this post in my inbox as a reminder to think good, positive, wallet finding thoughts at you. *hugs* for you and the kiddos and the workmen. It sounds like a good company and I wish them and you nothing but the best.

    1. philangelus

      Thank you. I only hope we can turn it up so we know for sure.

  2. Cricket

    Praying with you. Last month I checked my blue jacket, my purse and the reusable grocery bags five times for my keys. The family searched the driveway and the car, then laughed when I found them in the green jacket. Apparently they all knew I wore the green jacket that day. They (and the keys) are wrong — I know I wore the blue one.

    Good thinking to have them wait a week. They’re used to this stage of panic when you have searched everywhere.

    On the practical side: His backpack, binder, pencil case, all pockets (even the jacket / sweater he didn’t wear but planned to). Bathroom. School locker (go in yourself so everything gets shaken out — probably needs it by now anyways). Lunch bag, lunch-making corner, beside/in fridge he got breakfast milk out of. Where he stood to put his boots on. Laundry (all stages).

    As for the other two kids, eeps. No clue how their brains work. Do they have purses / wallets / backpacks / diaper bags? Would they have put it in yours (wallets go in purses, right?)

    Also check in a different order. Closet bottom to top, then next hour top to bottom.

    When the cycle repeats, do something else.

    Hugs and prayers. This is the worst stage of losing anything.

    1. philangelus

      I emptied out his backpack. He only uses one jacket, but I checked both of them. Laundry isn’t a problem: that gets done every day, but I checked his pockets anyhow. Not in my bag.

      I went under Kiddo3’s bed with a flashlight and searched in his box spring. I pulled the mattresses apart and looked between them. I picked up Kiddo2’s mattress and looked underneath (and found 50 books and 30 pounds of used Kleenex — eew!)

      I’ve been retracing his steps trying to think like him. I’m just not coming up with anything. 🙁

      1. Cricket

        Silver lining: Much cleaning got done. (How does used Kleenex get under a mattress?)

        Time for distraction. Let everyone’s subconscious work for a bit.

        1. philangelus

          It’s a loft-ish bed, with drawers underneath it. So she apparently drops the tissues down the front of the bed between the bed and the headboard, or the side next to the wall, and there they wait.

  3. Lydia K

    I hope you get some definitive answers soon. That would made me feel terrible, too.

    1. philangelus

      Thank you. I feel worse for the guys on the team than for us, you know? Money can be reimbursed. A reputation? Not so much.

      1. Cricket

        If it’s bothering you, call them and lie. Tell them you found it. Not sure what I’d do.

  4. Sapphire23

    Any updates?

    1. philangelus

      Not yet. I will definitely post if we find it, trust me. 🙂 I’ve got too many people praying for me not to do that.

  5. Maria

    Maybe St. Anthony’s guardian angel can help.

    1. philangelus

      If the guardians living here can’t help, I’m not sure it would do any good. 🙂 Saint Anthony never seemed to like me, so I haven’t bothered him, but my mother asked for help.