Friday, November 2, 2012

Discovery During the Aftermath

This photo is heartbreaking for me.

Eleven years ago, Mr. Man and I moved to the Jersey Shore.  We moved away from the big city I love and adore in order to give Lil Diva a better childhood.  Not that our childhood was difficult.  We were both raised in very loving, strict, value and moral driven homes.We couldn't have asked for a better upbringing.  But when you grown up in the city, you do need to "grow up" a little quicker than those in the suburbs.  It means being a little wiser and obtaining street smarts in order to survive and get ahead in the big city.  These are all things that are essential for survival come adulthood, but we wanted to make sure our children held on to that innocence a little longer.  One silly example: I knew my parents were "Santa" when I was 5.  Lil Diva?  She discovered the truth at 10. Conserving childhood as long as we can is important....we are adults a lot longer than we are a child.

One of the benefits of living on the Jersey Shore are the summers spent on the boardwalk.  It quickly became a tradition for us to purchase the 2 for 1 ticket booklets Easter weekend, and spend at least one day a week at the beach. (Never on a weekend....that is asking for hours looking for parking and an overwhelming amount of weekenders crowding the boardwalk). It is safe to say, Lil Diva and Lil Man are shore kids. These beaches are a mere 10 minutes from their homes.  It's home to them.

This past weekend Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on our shores.  What she left behind was utter shocking destruction.  Our family was safe, and as I type this, still without power.  Our power went out 3pm Monday, in the heart of the storm.  By 9pm, those fortunate enough to have power for the past 6 hours, lost theirs too plunging our town into complete darkness.  We were very fortunate our only loss was power.  But so many Shore residents lost so much more.  Trees landed on roofs, homes completely flooded, or worse, completely destroyed.  Driving down the the highway to my inlaws, who had power restored 24 hours, two days later was devastating.  The lines for gas, the empty shelves at the supermarket, the families walking in the street with pillows and blankets.  I couldn't help but cry.  Once my FIL internet and cable came back on and I started to see the videos of what Sandy truly did magnified the situation.

It seems those who lost power last in my town during the storm lost it mainly due to winds and not damage to their power lines because they thankfully had power restored within 24 hours. Mine unfortunately may have sustained severe damage because we are entering day 5 without power.  I wish mine were back up that quickly.  Not because it displaces us temporarily, but because I'd like to help out so bad.  Hot meals, a place to come and charge a phone, coffee, entertainment, a hot shower.  Anything to help out.  I was so proud of some of my friends who did just that.  What saddened me were the small number of individuals who I would've thought for sure would have been out there helping out. Instead they have quietly stepped back into the shadows.  I know it is a person's choice to lend a hand to the community, but I can't help to think if it were these same individuals who, if the tables were turned, and they were in need of a helping hand, would be deeply offended if the community didn't offer to help.  They say it is during a tragedy that you learn what people are truly made of.

Today happens to be my birthday....My wish?  I wish that power is restored to not only myself, but to others thousands of others in my community who are starting off day 5 without it.  The temperatures are dropping, homes are getting colder, children are starting to get sick.... a lot of these people want to get warm so they can get out there and start helping. 

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. 
 And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them".
 - Dalai Lama