One Year After Hurricane Sandy Struck My Home and Made Me Stronger
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain…..
If that Beatles song doesn’t sum up the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I don’t know what does….
I think back to last year I realize now how stupid and naive I was. The days leading up to the storm I pretty much ignored all the warnings. After all, the storm wasn’t going to affect us. It was all hype – just like the Irene was the year before. I had other things, to focus my mind on, more important things… or so I thought…
As Sunday, October 28th rolled around, I was still in denial, despite the news reports. But we did prepare our house a little, just in case… We didn’t have sand bags but we used construction debris and tarps to secure the sliding doors…
By late afternoon our phone rang… It was a recorded message…. A mandatory evacuation was issued for the barrier islands, as well as many other places in the tri-state area. Still we weren’t worried…
No one was…. Not security… Not our neighbors… No one…
We decided that we were not going to leave the beach. We would stay for the storm. We weren’t the only ones. All of our neighbors felt the same way… It was a party atmosphere. We were all in denial. That is until 7:00 AM on October 29 when they shut our power off. At that moment we knew, without electricity, regardless of the storm’s magnitude we would flood. Our sump pumps have to run constantly…And without electricity…
So we left. And headed for Marc’s brother’s house, as did Marc’s sister’s daughters. We thought we’d be safe there. But there was no escaping Sandy. And if their house flooded the way that it did, I knew we were coming home to a catastrophe, which we did..
The destruction to our home and our community was beyond words. The weeks that followed the storm were by far were the most difficult of my life. We worked day and night, in the cold, dark and wet, carting out our destroyed belongings. We had to rely on the kindness of others. Often we struggled with the bare necessities of survival. Have you ever gone almost ten days without a shower?
But in the end I am thankful for Hurricane Sandy. As I said last year, Sandy made me stronger. She taught me how wonderful and compassionate people can be and she made me realize what is truly important in life….
We are fortunate. Our home has been repaired. The development where we live has been cleaned up and our beach has been restored.
However a year later, so many people still are not back in their homes. And for them, my heart breaks… Because no one know how the continue to struggle just to survive….
Though I remember I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I’ll love you more