"My Wallet!" I gasped after I returned from the nursing home laundry room with an arm full of towels.
For the last year and three-quarters I had always left my purse hanging on the back of my mom's wheelchair with my jacket hanging over it. I would leave my purse, not worrying that anyone would ever touch it. I trusted every person on the unit where my mom had now called home.
I will never forget the day my wallet was stolen. It was the day I had lost trust in one individual that I had befriended at my mom's nursing home. A real live wolf in sheep clothing! A sly fox with a heart of stone.
How low can any human go in this life than to steal from someone who they trust? That's the question I am about to answer with my story of the stolen wallet.
Mom was having difficulty eating for a couple months before she had passed. I made a point to visit her ever day at lunchtime so that I could feed her lunch and have my final days with her alive. I didn't want to miss a minute of my mom; her days were numbered.
February 6, 2013 is a day I will never forget. I remember having a conversation with a staff worker before lunch was served to the residents. She said to me, "I am so broke. I need money." I replied, "Don't we all?"
I liked this girl. I helped her. I brought her smoothies and "Susie Sandwiches." I thought we were friends. I believe she robbed me.
I had just finished helping my mom with her lunch. She was very sleepy so I tucked her in her bed for her afternoon nap. My purse was hanging on the back of her wheelchair with my heavy winter coat hanging over the handles and covering my purse. I purposefully backed my mom's wheelchair in backward and faced the chair handles up against the wall.
We were in my mom's room, an employee of the facility that I had befriended, my favorite resident, my sleeping mom and me. The staff worker saw me cover my purse. I said to her, "I am running down to the laundry to get some face cloths to wash my mom's face. I will be right back."
I ran down to the basement and back up within 5 minutes. I had a handful of towels and face cloths. Walking into my mom's room, I noticed my coat was hanging off the back of the chair and my wallet was missing. I looked and said to myself, "Did I forget my wallet at home or was my wallet stolen?"
My mom was having a rough day so I didn't want to leave her. I instant messaged my husband and told him that I thought my wallet was stolen or I could have left it at home. I wasn't sure. I didn't want to panic. I sat with my mom; she needed me.
It was now about 2:00 in the afternoon, a half hour after I noticed my wallet was missing. I told one of the staff who had her wallet stolen a few months back that I thought my wallet was stolen. I told her the story and who I thought was the facility thief.
The woman I told the story proceeded to give me more information which seemed to back up my belief. I lost all feeling in my body. I felt violated. Could I be right with my hunch? I didn't want to believe my wallet was stolen. Maybe I didn't put my wallet in my purse? I thought and convinced myself It was possible. I didn't want to panic.
It was now 3pm and the suspected thief was scheduled to work on my mom's unit. I waited for her to arrive so that I could look at her face, look her in the eyes and see if she could look me back squarely. She didn't arrive!
Another employee came to cover her shift, the thief suddenly had to go home because she had a sick baby. What?! I immediately felt like I was going to throw up. I rushed out of the facility and ran home to see if my wallet was home.
I called and cancelled my bank card and credit card. I called and reported my wallet stolen to the nursing home. The next day I was to meet with the head of the facility. He was going to call the police. I met with him but he never called the police. We were about ready to have a huge snow storm the following day; the last day I would ever see my mom awake.
I walked around the parking lot before I left on Thursday. I couldn't see my wallet anywhere. On my drive home the nursing home called and told me that my wallet was recovered in the same parking lot where I walked. The only thing missing was my money. It was either 20 or 40 dollars, not much money. All of my gift cards were left behind, everything was in my wallet except my money.
On Friday before the snow storm, I visited my mom. I tucked her in. I saw her smile at me with her sparkling eyes. I told her to sleep with God and I left to report my wallet stolen at the police station at the beginning of the raging blizzard.
I had asked the Executive Director of the home not to have the thief working up on the unit where my mom lived. I was ignored. The little thief worked on the unit the entire time my mom laid in her bed dying. It sucked. I felt like grabbing her by the throat. I didn't. I glared at her with my eyes. She couldn't look at me.
The thief even sent me two emails claiming her innocence. The email notes proved to me that she was the thief. Anyone who starts a sentence, let alone an email with the word, "Honestly..." is definitely lying.
I am pursuing this with the nursing home Ombudsman. Yesterday I asked the nursing home what is being done and if I need to contact the Ombudsman. I was ignored once more. Why are they protecting this girl?
Time to write my complaint letter to the Ombudsman and the Department of Health and Human Services. It is disgusting to allow someone to steal from people in their own home! Don't nursing homes have a responsibility to keep residents and their property safe?
My wish is for the thief to be caught and prosecuted. I don't care if it was only 20 or 40 bucks, I was robbed during one of the most difficult times of my life. The thief needs to be punished and pay for their crime. Larceny is a crime!