Christmas story


Christmas story is a special genre. I love a good Christmas story – warm, inspiring, sincere, with a touch of magic an a happy ending. Not exactly the story I want to share.

It was the end of 2000. We had got a beautiful white Christmas and the snow kept falling. My daughter and I just left a meeting and headed home –  a short walk in a quiet street between a rich neighbourhood and old city cemetery.  Walking arm in arm we didn’t hurry: no one was waiting for us at home. The evening was magic, and when I noticed two silhouettes in the end of the street moving towards us, I immediately knew they were a danger. My daughter felt the same way; we grew silent and kept walking because there were nowhere else to go.

It all happened suddenly and lasted just a few seconds. They pushed us hard and we fell into the pile of snow, One of them grabbed my purse and they run. You probably know that some people get killed for just a handful of change. I felt humiliated and lucky at the same time. At that moment I knew that there were a pair of glasses in that purse, nothing else. When we came home I realised that there was also my ID. We had to call the Police. Beautiful, quiet evening turned into a nightmare.

Every day we had to come to the Police station to be asked more questions. In the notorious picture album we spotted our guy, and were told that our episode is #6, and some people got kicked and beaten. We were lucky indeed.

They got caught after 3-4 days. One of the victims run behind them and called the Police on the run.  I got my ID back.

Then we had to go to the court. One of the guys, the one who was beating the victims,  got a year in jail as a juvenile,  and a 6 months probation.

Some days later we met his mother in the market.  We came over and told her that we were sorry she had to go through all of that. She cried. We became friends. Soon she joined the church; it gave her strength and helped to fight her loneliness. After a year her son came home, they both visited us and he said he was sorry. He joined the Church following his mother’s example. After 6 months of probation, he was involved in a robbery and was sentenced for three years, this time in an adult jail.

To be utterly honest, I don’t know if I would feel compassion towards him and his mother if he hurt my daughter. I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. I am not a saint.

I remember this story every Christmas – the only Christmas story  I have been a part of.

I would love to be more compassionate and forgiving. God gave us the best gift – His beloved Son. This gift means that He loves us as imperfect as we are, and He will never give up on us. I guess, He expects us to never give up on our fellow beings too.

inesemjphotographyHave a happy weekend!


  1. This is a better Christmas story than all the other ‘fantasy’ ones of everything always working out for the best and where all squabbles are overcome because of a date.

    This is real, your daughter is real, it was real danger, some human attempt at redemption was tried but humans sometimes fail.

    Wow, great story!

    1. Thank you! He was so close to escaping this circle, but the drugs took over. It was such a shock to me that he went robbing people again… So surreal…

    1. Sorry I have been so busy lately , but on the weekend I will read it all! 🙂

      You are right. To “forgive” you have to judge first, and we are not supposed to judge. I’d rather say- I ignore, I let go – something like that. We didn’t forgive him because we didn’t judge him. If he hurt my daughter, I think I wouldn’t approach his mother, because I wouldn’t be sorry. I am not a saint, as I said, but at least I wouldn’t go and punch them back. 🙂

  2. It’s easy to forgive but hard to forget some things. It’s a sad story, and I was feeling the same hawklike protection over your daughter as I read your words. It’s a good message and a testament to humankind, to never give up. What a story.

  3. Sad story my dear inese.
    A traumatic experience indeed…
    But you know what… I truly believe that this kind of rough stuff make you stronger at the end… There is always something good even among the worst things.
    I am sending you hugs and all my best wishes ⭐
    Aquileana 🙂

    1. Thank you my friend! 🙂 We were happy being unharmed, and we would never have gone to police if the ID were not involved… Which is wrong to say, because people must report and prevent more crimes.
      My best wishes!:)

  4. Inese, thanks so much for sharing this event. It makes me think of the goddess of Nemesis now, whether retribution and justice do go together when they have to, or is retribution by itself a fruitless act. This the dilemma with capital punishment also. Is retribution just, when it involves killing to “get even”. Even “punishment” altogether, where does one draw the line?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Maria. I think the line is so uncertain… Incarceration it is rather an isolation. Somebody is a danger to others, so he or she have to be isolated… and kept on the account of the taxpayers. Like – you don’t want this person to endanger you? Ok, than pay for his/hers stay in jail. Ah, there is no justice in the world, we all know that 😦

      1. Well, there is Karma, and that is a kind of justice, although it’s usually more of a fate, it’s just experienced individually so one can’t really “see” that kind of “justice”. One has to deal more with the behaviors, unfortunately.

  5. You are to be commended for reaching out to the mother. You may know that in Canada, just before November 11, a soldier was shot while on guard duty at our National War Memorial. The shooter was a self-styled terrorist. An acquaintance wrote the following blog post to the shooter’s mother: I’m glad that neither you nor your daughter were hurt and that time has healed most wounds.

    1. Thank you for your comment! It is wrong to blame the mother. Everyone makes their own choices, at least after the age of 8. I know some devastated parents who have one of their children heading the wrong way. My heart goes out to them. Thank you for sharing the link. All is true.

  6. What a tremendous story, although I’m sorry that you had the trauma at the time.
    Many years ago after I became too old to go my friend’s church youth group that had dreadful trouble with “yobs” who insisted on running on the church roof whilst there was service going on.

    Somehow the folk inside resisted the temptation to get angry and managed to befriend the ringleader. He too started attending church, became a Christian, and went on to become a minister!

    I hope you were able to keep the friendship going with the lad’s Mum from your story.
    I’m reminded of the verse

    All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    Isaiah 53:6

    Happy CHRISTmas

    1. Thank you for your story! Love happy endings:) No, I lost all the contacts. I moved away, and I was happy I did because our relationships took too much energy from me. I neglected my own life. I found out about him being in jail from another friend. I wrote him, he never answered. He was happy in Church, I don’t know what happened and why he returned to his crimes. He never stopped doing drugs though.
      I still feel that I gave up on them. May be there was something I could do.
      Happy Christmas to you too!

  7. Very sorry to hear this story, Inese. It clearly was a harrowing experience for you and your daughter. These things are so traumatic and leave a lasting impression, the stuff of nightmares that is only too real. As a mugging victim myself I know exactly how it feels. It was a lot of strength on your part to forgive him. I would have the guy beaten up or worse. We just have to be careful and always keep our wits around us when out travelling, and to leave valuables at home.
    Hope that you’ve made a full recovery from that incident. My heart goes out to you and your daughter.


    1. Thank you Vijay! It happened 13 years ago, and my only regret is that I was not able to help the young man stop taking drugs and robbing people. I don’t know how he is doing now, and I am afraid that I don’t want to know since I can not help him anyway.

  8. What a frightening experience. I’m always very nervous about walking in the streets after dark. One of my friends was mugged for her handbag in London and got hit on the head. She woke up in the gutter and the police never caught the culprit. I’m glad that neither you nor your daughter got hurt and that you felt able to show such compassion.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Sarah! That guy used drugs, so he really couldn’t control his aggressiveness. We were lucky indeed. I am not sure I would feel any compassion if he hurt my daughter. I am no that saint-like…

  9. Beautiful story and reflection. I think you did great in trusting him and be friends with his mother..that’s all Christmas about 🙂 and yes, not giving up with our fellow human..

    BTW – the picture you took is amazing!

    1. Thank you Indah! The snow in the picture is fake: It was a magician show in the city square, and he “made” this snow, it lasted for a couple of minutes. We were all so excited! 🙂

  10. I’m truly sorry, Inese, you and your daughter had to experience this and to go through all that followed and of course the memory now returns every Christmas.
    Luckily, both of you came out of the whole thing unscathed except for the terrible memories.
    Some good here in the reconciliation with the attacker but then..perhaps he wasn’t redeemable.
    Take the best care, you are in my thoughts.
    Big hugs

    1. Thank you for your kind words, John. The bad feelings went away quickly after all the ordeal with the Police and the Court was over, but the feeling that I gave up on the family still bothers me. They were so demanding, or I felt they were, so I just gradually let the relations go. And it probably wasn’t a right thing to do…

  11. I can relate to this: I was stolen twice this year! At least I can say I was never before and I am well. The first time they took my camera. I cried, specially when I got home. The police didn’t do much. I have 3 different photos for my ID during this year!!! Sometimes I wonder if this means something… I have learned: I was too trusty!!! The worst part for me was not the money, the ID, even The camera! it was the feeling of vulnerability afterward.
    I can’t wait for Xmas! Time to see my family!
    Have a great weekend Inese

    1. Thank you, Montserrat! Oh I know what you mean… Doesn’t matter what is taken – the feeling of vulnerability is an eye-opener, and also the feeling of being reduced to the dirt. Then the next feeling comes : they didn’t hurt us, we are safe! There is always a reason to be grateful for :).
      Have a wonderful time with your family! Do something good to make them feel happy and special.
      Love, Inese

  12. I’m glad you and your daughter were not harmed beyond being pushed down. It can be difficult to let go of such things but I hope that time finds you letting this have less of a presnce and that you find a new (and happier) Christmas story.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! There was a lot more for that story. I was in close contact with the family for a good few months, but eventually gave up. It was all about the drugs, and the drugs took over. I too hope for a better story, but in this story I feel like a failure. Oh well..

    1. Thank you Cindy! This story bothers me for years because it never had a good ending. The guy was doing drugs since his early teens, and all his crimes were drug-related. I am afraid to think what his life looks like now.

    1. Thank you John. I doubt I am that forgiving – no one was hurt, easy to forgive. I wrote him once when he was in jail after the robbery, but I eventually gave up on the family altogether, and I have no idea how they are doing now. I have been in different situations throughout my life, but this story stuck in my mind and doesn’t go, for some reason. Sure I didn’t meet the expectations God had for me:)

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