It was a dark and stormy night....
Perfect opening for a Halloween tale, but this was no tale--this horror story was very real. And unfortunately many of the characters are my friends and members of my family. I had originally planned on posting another article for today, but the events of the past week have left me feeling so unsettled, so not right with the world.
When the Wicked Witch, better known as Hurricane Sandy, bore down on the East Coast, she left a trail of destruction in her path that was insurmountable. Places my family and I had vacationed--Atlantic City, the Jersey Shore--decimated. My beloved home town of New York City--powerless, windblown, and flooded beyond belief. Towns in the outer boroughs, like Breezy Point in Queens, left broken and ablaze.
What’s to become of those places? Will they ever recover? Time will tell, but it will take lots and lots of time..and money, and blood, sweat, and no doubt, tears.
In years past, when many other disasters struck the East Coast, other hurricanes, 9/11, severe snowstorms, my husband, boys, and I were living in California. We were far away from our families and the distance, while not diminishing the intensity of any of the tragedies, did make it difficult for us to physically pitch in and help. We were here in spirit to lend our support across the miles. But at times, that support seemed hollow to us--we wanted to be here, but that was not possible.
And now we are here, and even though the distance between Boston and New Jersey is a lot less than California and New Jersey, it still feels as though we are too far away to help. Six feet of water poured into my brother-in-law’s house, destroying two floors, and pretty much the rest of the house as well. My niece’s weekend home was also flooded, with the water reaching as high as the bottoms of her little girls clothes that were hanging in the closet. Boats were untethered and lost, the rest of the family lost power, and had roofing problems. Major damage to property, psyches, and spirits.
As strong and wise as we all think we are, at times like this, it becomes painfully obvious who rules the roost in this world--Mother Nature--and every once in a while when she feels we are perhaps getting too cocky, she unleashes her strength to underscore her power. Who are we to question? We can only pick up the pieces, as many as we can recover, and go on. A little bit whipped...a lot whipped, a little bit put back in our place. Things like elections and sniping, and negativity seem very trivial at times like this.
So perhaps this weekend we’ll take the dog, and pack up the car with food and water, and tools and strong shoulders, and drive down there to help with whatever we can. We can do that now--we’re here. And next month, the Thanksgiving celebration we’d been planning on having will still go on (location still to be determined). We’ll all be together, because this time we’re here.
Oh, and the subject of the piece that I was originally going to post today: my fear of the water...guess I’ll save that for another time.