On October 29, 2012, a huge, unprecedented storm barreled toward the NJ/NY area. Superstorm Sandy had the Jersey coast in its’ sights and even though the residents had a week beforehand to prepare, there was nothing that could prepare us all for the tremendous devastation the following morning when it finally got light again.
In the days after Superstorm Sandy, the people of the tri-state area cried together, and mourned the loss of places they had loved for their whole lives, family homes passed down for generations were torn from their foundations and tossed around like toys in the angry tidal surge. Boats wound up in houses, in streets, on buildings, ripped from their mourings or their dry dock slips. People lost everything they owned and in some cases, even worse, their lives.
I have lived in NJ almost my whole life and I have never experienced a more frightening storm than Sandy. I hope to never again feel the 95 mph winds rippling the siding and buckling the windows of my home. I have never prayed quite so desperately and never in such fear for my own life, and for the millions of lives I knew would be forever changed in the wake of this “perfect storm”.
When the wind stopped blowing and the dawn broke over the tri-state area, the shock on everyone’s faces said it all. The unthinkable had happened, it looked like the show on the Weather Channel – It Could Happen Tomorrow.
So many had no power, but once they saw and heard of the utter and complete devastation to so many locations was surreal. The photos were more surreal. Almost 4 weeks later and I still cry at the stories of survival.
Every childhood memory I have involves places where Sandy’s worst toll was taken….my beloved Jersey Shore, Coney Island, Staten Island, NYC, Connecticut too.
It is almost impossible to wrap your brain around the homes splintered into pieces and the contents of people’s lifetimes strewn everywhere….
….their livelihood gone in so many cases.
The people of NJ and NY know the meaning of adversity, but in the weeks following this horrific storm it became clear that we also know the word resilience.
I have seen and heard of so many who lost everything helping out others who lost everything, that my soul has been touched like never before.
Everyone always says that people from Jersey are rude and New Yorkers are aloof and rude. I have never seen an outpouring of giving as I have since Sandy threw everyone’s lives into utter turmoil.
There have been random acts of kindness like never before, people giving of themselves like never before. The stories of loss are overwhelming, but the stories of someone giving up the last generator to a couple with a baby on line at Home Depot, or the story in Union Beach, NJ, there is a woman who is having a 24/7 yard sale but the sign reads – ALL IS FREE – TAKE WHAT YOU NEED, and they had more than half their homes destroyed by the fury of the bay on their shore!
Or the couple who gave the motor home to a family of 4 who lost their home and everything they owned. And the couple who was supposed to get married at one of the many shore area’s famous wedding venues, it was also a victim of Sandy. Since they knew of all the loss, they gave away all the food to the hungry and donated their time to help others clean up from the storm!
The stories of kindness has restored my faith in mankind. Just amazing tales of humanity at its’ very best. People who talk trash about NJ and NY are just wrong! I have seen the proof every day since October 29, 2012 with my own eyes.
Yes, we have been dealt a tremendous blow here in NJ and NY, but we will make it through this, with the help of our neighbors.