Sunday, November 4, 2012

in the aftermath

Those of us who live in the Northeast held our breath for a couple of days last week while Hurricane Sandy swept over, under, around and through the region. While we were fortunate enough to have enjoyed a deep sigh of relief when it was over, thousands of people were not so lucky.

Our trees are still standing, meaning that our house is still standing…meaning that we have everything to be grateful for.
I tried to imagine what it must have been like last week to have been cold, wet, and hungry for days on end…what it felt like for mothers and fathers who couldn’t feed or comfort or reassure their children in the dark. What it felt like to lose a loved one in a heartbeat. To lose everything. Forever.
I couldn’t fathom the loss, the heartbreak, the helplessness reflected in the faces I saw on the news.
Stories were born this week…stories that will be passed on the old-fashioned way for a while—person to person, neighbor to neighbor, and friend to friend. Stories that will be shared for generations around the dinner table, in churches, temples, and synagogues, on visits to the beach, and on other stormy nights in front of the fireplace. Stories that will eventually appear in journals and letters and pictures.

The question is: how will people put their stories into words? Into words the rest of us can understand? And…how will their stories end?

My heart aches for victims of the hurricane this week. If I had been able to reach into the TV set and draw people out of the storm and into my own living room...I'd have done it. I'd have offered food, clothing, a good hot shower, and a soft, warm bed to anyone who needed it. I would have wrapped my arms around them and welcomed them. But what would I have said to them? The truth is that I felt totally helpless.
If you, too, feel helpless as the news continues to unfold, you may want to donate to any of a number of disaster relief agencies. Among many others are:

So...even if you aren't able to donate at this time, you can still help because...

To all the people who are still struggling...and will continue to stuggle for a long time to come...I wish you faith, hope, and solace.

"It has been said, 'time heals all things.'
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them over with scar tissue
and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone."
--Rose Kennedy--
With this, I totally agree. She should know...


  1. You have beautifully expressed the helplessness we all felt when we saw the devastation Sandy wrought...and the hope we all hold dear.

  2. I think we all would have reached through the television. We have several businesses in our area who are stuffing buses (literally) with anything and everything. They leave for NY on Thursday.

    We will be donating food, clothes, etc. It's an impostant reminder for us all.

  3. Our school is organizing some relief efforts. Teenagers can be so generous, they always impress me when they do things like this.

  4. Beautifully expressed. So many people from many countries in the path of the storm were affected. It can take years (and sometimes never) to come to terms with such devastation. Pulling together, and reaching out to those suffering is what seems to work.

  5. Thanks, Delores.

    Juli--I think its a shame that we need to be reminded, at someone else's expense, how quickly and completely things can change for us.

    Susan--It's a good thing for teens to reach out like that. Their energy is infectious (in a good way!).

    Sue--We never know when it will be our turn to depend on the kindness and generosity of others.

  6. I really glad that you-all were left fairly unscathed by Sandy, and I hope the current nor'easter is behaving.