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Stolen camera leads to a steal of a deal

  • Written by Claudia Parker

Claudia Mug Shot-ColorDo you believe in miracles?
What if I told you that being robbed produced one of the most miraculous experiences I’ve ever had?
I already feel your skepticism. Understandably, if it hadn’t happen to me, I’d have one eyebrow up too. Nonetheless, keep an open mind. Believing is the only prerequisite for receiving.
My zodiac sign is Libra. Not that I’m into astrology but for visualization, go with me.
Libra represents the scale. If I were balancing the contents of my heart, putting my family on one side, my camera would balance the other side perfectly. I’m a diehard memory keeper. The only thing more important than capturing the moment is experiencing it.
One of my most memorable moment to date occurred in the summer of 2011 while my family and I vacationed in a rented timeshare found online. There were scenic lakeside parks, blue-green grass that felt like a pillow to my feet amid an on-site golf course. The luxurious amenities within our villa left me salivating to become an owner. When the concierge offered free water-park passes to sit through a timeshare presentation my thoughts soared on clouds of possibility. “Can we afford this kind of lifestyle?”
As the presentation closed, I was abruptly brought back to ground-level by my husband’s fist hitting the table saying, “Are ya’ll crazy? Thirty-thousand dollars!?”
That was the end of that.
We returned home and resumed our modest lives.
I reminisced by viewing my pictures. It left a grumbling hunger in my stomach as if I were being starved. I decided to look on the timeshare resale market. My search unveiled multitudes at a fraction of what the developer was asking. I raced this exciting find to my husband with a gasp of having just crossed the finish line!
He didn’t share my enthusiasm.
A reduced price was one factor. There are annual dues, booking fees and maintenance cost associated with owning. “I’m fine with renting,” he said with a firm stance.
Totally disappointed, I sulked.
Being the great guy he is, a compromise was made. I was given the green light on a purchase. Two days into our three-day right of recession, I had a dream that pressed me to cancel the contract. It was still too expensive for our budget. We killed the deal and I was back at square one.
I couldn’t move on. I was fanatical about finding another one.
I started working with a resale agent. I gave her my price range, desired location and budget for annual maintenance and she went to work. Problem is, that husband of mine wanted no part of it. For him, the deal was off the table, indefinitely. To smooth things over, he agreed to treat the family to one last weekend getaway before school started.
In a twist of fate, my resale agent called while we were on that trip. “I’ve found your exact specifications,” she said.
I couldn’t believe it.
We were at the very resort she was speaking of. We loved it.
But, loving it wasn’t enough to move my husband. I was convinced it was Divinity who’d orchestrated us being there during that call.
Tight lipped with an attitude ,I reached for my camera. Browsing my pictures would lighten my mood right?
Wrong!
Matters went from bad to worse as I discovered the camera been stolen at the water park! I did everything short of asking for an Amber Alert to no avail. We left the resort without its recovery.
The possibility of missing a milestone of my girls on camera drove me bananas.
I went to eBay to find the identical model for a replacement. Once located, while trying to bid, I realized I didn’t have my eBay password. After searching through archives I found a conversation I’d had three years earlier with a relative.
He recommended eBay for buying timeshares on the resale market. I had completely forgotten about this dialogue. After placing my bid for the camera, I curiously typed in the resort my resale agent offered us.
Flabbergasted, I found a timeshare for sale at that resort and our specifications listed verbatim, it was a two-bed, two-bath, villa with enough points for a two-week stay during prime season. Opening bid started at $99. It remained open for seven days. I wasn’t near the computer when the bid closed. An e-mail confirmed our win. No one else had even bid. It was ours for $99.
But that’s not the miracle.
I came from a poor family. We were evicted numerous times. Many of which the sheriff, accompanied by his shotgun, would escort us and our belongings to the curb.
In the scramble to escape the humiliation, my mother would only take our basic necessities into our next temporary living space. My childhood photographs are etched in my head. All of our family albums were lost in translation. My camera being stolen sent me into a psychological frenzy. Yet, after winning the timeshare, I celebrated about my camera being stolen. That thief led us to a steal of a deal!
There’s a saying, “All things work together for good.” The miracle is discovering the good in the midst of the bad. New businesses get launched from layoffs. Laws are passed from injustices. Illnesses create foundations that fund research for cures. The miracle is gaining an understanding that, what’s happening to you, may be happening for you!

Claudia Parker is an Evergreen Park mother, author, runner whose columns appear the second and fourth Thursdays for the Reporter.