“The vans are gone!” It has been nearly three decades since my father mouthed those words to my mother and brother and me, but I still can hear them vividly, at times, as I drift off to sleep. I see again his face as it was that day, drained and creased with worry, as he stood before us soaking wet.
I was 12, and our family had arrived during a rainstorm at the flea market where we peddled athletic shoes. My parents parked and ran with us for shelter, but when my dad returned to set up our display, those two old vans and their cargo were gone. The thieves had made off with all our inventory – the family’s life savings – and it was never recovered.
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