Life After "Sandy"

If you're like so many who have experienced superstorm "Sandy", you may or may not have electricity back. If someone had told me four weeks ago that "Sandy" would cause such massive devastation to so many people, I would not haven taken them seriously until it happened.

It would be Monday evening as the winds were gaining strength that we lost power and until we decided to escape and be with my parents in Queens, I didn't think that it would be a problem. As we backed out of our driveway and tried to make a left onto the road, we were quite shocked that we couldn't due to a huge tree that fell from across our neighbor's house. We tried to go the opposite way, but another fallen tree prevented us from going forward. So we decided to remain at our house until the next day, hoping that we would be able to leave and be with my parents.

By the next day, one of the fallen trees had been cut into pieces and placed off to the side of the road. We were able to get to my parents but driving there was challenging since traffic lights were not working. Thankfully, my parents never lost power and that was crucial, especially since my Dad was on oxygen and would have needed to be brought to a hospital if they lost power. Staying with my parents as an adult was quite different from living with them as a child and young adult.

Staying with them in a two-bedroom apartment was an adventure, especially since the guest bedroom was quite cold. We opted to all sleep in the living room, my daughter on one of he couches and my husband and I slept on an air mattress. In addition, my cousin and her family were also staying with us so it was quite a packed house. By the third night, my cousin and her family stayed at another cousin's home, closer to where they live, so we were the only ones who stayed at my parents' home. We passed the time by watching news about Sandy and the aftermath, keeping my parents company and eating Asian food throughout our stay. While staying with my parents was quite an adjustment, we felt so blessed that our family was safe from the storm.

By the time power came back for us after nine days, I was ready to come back and quite ready to get back into some kind of normalcy. We were very lucky that our home was spared from downed trees and fires, unlike so many homes in other parts of Long Island, Manhattan, Queens and New Jersey. I can't even imagine the circumstances of so many families that have lost their homes, their livelihood, their lives from this storm.

Even though it's been four weeks since the storm, I still get nervous when the forecast calls for rain. It may not make sense to think that something like Sandy could happen again, but it's something that's hard to ignore. With so many lives affected and trying to get back to some kind of normalcy, it's amazing to see strength of the human spirit and the lengths to what people will do to help those who are still suffering. Sandy was not Katrina nor Irene, but it made its mark and it won't be easy for so many people to move forward. That's my take on this, what's yours?


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