This morning, as I was driving around trying to find a gas station that was both open and didn't have a three-hour long line, I started thinking about Hurricane Sandy and the devastation left in her wake. Normally, I only see natural disasters on the news, but this time, I had to look no further than outside the window of my home to witness Sandy's impact first-hand.
It all started Monday afternoon. I was lying down watching TV when I heard a strange noise, one I had never heard before. My wife came running down the stairs and asked "What was that?!" I had no answer, but I didn't get up to look because the storm had just begun, and based on the weather forecast, I knew there was going to be some damage around us. Besides, I was too focused on the power I our house. I knew that if we lost power, the sump pump and the basement and all its contents would flood.
Five minutes later, everything changed. Daniel, my 9 year-old son, looked out the window and saw the blaring lights of two police cars parked across the street and screamed, "Dad, come look! There is a huge tree that fell on Dorothy's car!" I got up, grabbed my coat and raced out the door.
Dorothy is a single mother who recently went through a divorce and lost her mother — her last serving family member — a few months ago. As I ran out the door to check on Dorothy, I saw that she was safe and breathed a sigh of relief. But just then, I looked up and saw that the huge tree took out more than just Dorothy's car ... it took a good portion of the roof of Dorothy's house with it. The whole scene was something right out of a movie, but it was real and I was standing right in the middle of it.
This morning, as I drove around searching for gas, I thought about Dorothy. She has had some major shit thrown at her in the last 12 months. Yet, she has displayed incredible strength and a positive attitude.
Normally, I don't follow the news on television, but because Hurricane Sandy hit so close to home and destroyed much of my home state, including the playground of my youth, the Jersey Shore, I have been glued to the TV for the last several days. What I have found most amazing is the reactions of those who have been affected by the hurricane. Some express how grateful they are to be alive ... people who, despite losing everything, are grateful that their lives were spared. Their ability to adapt and deal with the situation that is right in front of them is simply amazing.
Conversely, some people who were much less affected by the hurricane act like their problems are insurmountable. On the news, there were reports of some of these people starting fist-fights because someone cut in front of them while they were waiting for gas.
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