Theft on Severance Road

To the person who stole almost $30 in cash and siphoned a full tank of gas out of our car in our driveway at 24 Severance Road, I have a few things to say to you. I really hope you needed it more than we do.

After just finishing cancer treatment, and after almost four years of fighting a debilitating autoimmune disease, our income is half and our medical debt is astronomical. You don’t even want to know what prescription medications cost each month. And I’m still not out of the woods with cancer. I hope you needed it more.

What I really want you to know is that if you had knocked on my door, I would have given you everything I have to give, and if I don’t have what you need, I would have figured out how to get it for you.

For ten years, I kept an extra car, a registered and inspected Mazda 323, that I loaned to people who needed a step up. It was loaned out more than it was home. For 15 years, I provided daycare for 30% to 50% less than everyone else was charging as a community service and gave an additional fire, police, armed forces, and twin discount. Listen here, you didn’t have to steal from me. You never know, maybe someone has a gas card to offer, or whatever else you may need; people are generally giving and kind, especially in Andover.

You are officially invited to come eat with our family every single night; bring your whole family. I’m a pretty good cook, and I’m good at making a dollar stretch. Maybe I can teach you what I know.

My husband drives to Manchester to work every day, and you can carpool with him. He’ll drop you off wherever you need to go, and you don’t have to pay him any gas money.

What help do you need? We want to help you. You don’t have to keep stealing.

If taking cash from me is OK with you, then you should know that over the years my children and I have done a few fundraisers for the Town of Andover’s welfare fund, so perhaps you could just apply there. If you qualify, they do have a limited amount of money available for those who are facing tough times, and only the one person who guides you through that process will know.

And there is the Andover Food Pantry in the basement of the Town Hall, if my food money wasn’t enough. Thirty dollars probably didn’t go very far. All you have to do is go down and take what you need … no questions asked.

Something you may not have thought about is that you changed some things around here. We are an open, loving, and giving community, with next to no crime. We enjoyed not worrying about locking up all the doors. I’m most sad that you’ve taken that from us.

But even still, I want you to know that I forgive you for stealing from me. I think we all have at some point done or said or thought something that we’re not proud of. We are each a work in progress – you, and me, and everyone else.

But what you should think on a bit is that all the things you do and say and think are not a reflection of who you are, but create who you are. So if you can decide to steal, you can decide to stop. I hope you do stop.

I mean it that you can come to dinner, I really do. We usually eat late, around 6:30 or 7. I look forward to meeting you, welcoming you into my home, teaching you a new way, learning from you, and showing you how much better love poured out feels on the soul.

All my best,

Aundrea Lansdown-Powers