Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What burglars cannot steal away...

When I flew back to California after spending a wonderful Christmas vacation with my family, I returned to find my apartment had been terribly burglarized.

I was shocked. Most all of my things were gone. The tv my father had sent me as a housewarming gift, the guitars I learned to play the blues on when I was a young girl, the laptop that I considered my first big purchase (filled with photos from my internship and senior year of college), my video camera and memory drives stocked full of videos from high-school, my First Holy Communion rosary, my old car given to me for my 18th birthday... I didn't know what to do.

I had car insurance, but I was surprised to find out that my renter's insurance did not cover my theft. I was at a total loss. I spent a few sleepless nights and stressful days talking non-stop with police, insurance adjusters, my landlords and my parents. I had never imagined that I would have to deal with anything like this. I have experienced losses before through hurricanes, but this was different. This was not a community loss. My theft felt personal. I felt targeted and alone. I had built the last few years in California by myself with my own money from the ground up. Suddenly, everything was gone. I was terrified at the thought of having to rebuild so much from scratch. I was very upset and very angry.

I knew that I wanted to return to work right away. Not only because my Cars 2 start date was approaching, but because I wanted to see my Pixar family again. After a few days of squaring some business away, I came into work. Walking into the atrium that morning was the biggest relief I have felt in a very long time. I honestly feel more at home at work than any apartment I could ever live in here in California. It is because this studio is why I am here in the first place. Pixar is what drove me here, what keeps me here and has been my most steady constant in my post-college life.

My friends welcomed me home with loving arms and sympathy. They offered help, condolences and assistance in dealing with the aftermath of my losses. Soon I discovered that much of my studio family had gathered a fund to help me rebuild. These gifts were given to me in various ways. I was completley blown away by their generous charity, but I was not surprised. My co-workers are the greatest people I could ever hope to work with. I am honored to be included in such a wonderful community and feel blessed walking into work each and every day. I felt like a turtle that had been knocked over on its back. My friends, family, and Pixar helped to push me over and back onto my feet. The last month has been an amazing lesson on loss, responsibility, love, family, charity and self-worth. As I counted my blessings, the anger I had carried with me from the burglary began to fade away away. I realized that even though I was the victim, I am in a much better position in my life than those burglars may ever be. My true treasures are not things than can be stolen by thieves.

I am now living in a new apartment and am loving it! With the help of my friends, I am rebuilding. I have gotten far pretty fast and am proud of myself for bouncing back so quickly. However, I could have never done it without the help of others.

Thank you to everyone who has sent their thoughts, prayers and love. I love you all. :)

-Catherine

14 comments:

fredland said...

"...bound bound bound and rebound..."

Christian Zimmermann said...

hey cat, i have followed the news via twitter and was very sad to hear that. nice to read that your friends and family help you in this difficult time. best wishes from germany.

a pixar-and a cat-fan
christian

alles wird gut! ;)

Siany said...

aw must have been just awful! Often when some thing really terrible happens so does some unexpected good stuff happens too. What a wonderful place you work. However it also reflects on you, that so many people wanted to help and support you. x

Slinky3d said...

I really understand what you've been thought as the house of my Gran father buried completely. But its great to see that sometimes true friends and family are there for you when needed! at least you are ok and now can be secure in your new appart!

I don't know if you've heard of this before, i'm sure that yes but i will do, but after tragedy like that I learnt that precious memories like photos and all is better stored online with services like DropBox.com ... then if something happen to the computer, the time you have asses to internet you go to dropbox.com and all is there. I personally find it more safe ...

Well! Be safe and best wishes from canada - montreal.

A fan of animation as thousands others :)

vinimation said...

"Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed."-Othello

Your friends must value very much, I hope things are better now.

Jeff said...

I am so sorry to hear about this! But what a blessing to be surrounded by such friends. The people at Pixar are amazing! Take care.

J.W.B. said...

Is it lame that this totally made me tear up? Pixar and all of it's people are amazing. I am determined to work at Pixar one day to be apart of that. Thank goodness you're back on your feet.

Kyrstin said...

I can't even begin to tell you how awful that is. I'm so sorry, but I'm glad you've gotten back on your feet with such great friends/co-workers. You seem like such a genuine, hardworking person and it's a shame this happened. :(

Veronica said...

Oh my gosh that's awful! I'm so sorry!

That's so wonderful to have that support system!

Wayne Parker said...

Wow Cat... You didn't deserve that at all. I'm really sorry. I hope you're doing well, every time I spoke with you you were really sweet, I hate for such a thing to happen to you. It'll get better, things you lost are just things. Hopefully some type of justice will come about later. Glad to see you almost back to your self. Take care

Wayne, fellow Ringling-ite

Frank Abney said...

WOW! I'm so sorry that happened (as redundant as that may sound now)! I've had some theft problems as well, pretty much back to back, and I agree 100% about the things that thieves CANNOT take! Over time I've been blessed with way more than what the value was of all the things that were taken, and some! Like you said, you're/we're in a way better position than they may ever be!

Glad you got through it, and have continued to move forward!

Brett Wharton said...

Guess I'm catching the news a little late, but I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm really glad though, that you've put it into perspective and aren't going to let it get you down. So important! And I'm glad you've found not only a fun place to work but a great community within the studio as well. Cheers to you!

Adam said...

It's really inspirational to know that even through your loss of all your stuff, your friends and family were all there to help you through.

Sorry about the loss. Thank God your family was there for you.

Helber Soares said...

I love your work. Congrats and success