This week, Hurricane Sandy crippled a huge part of the East Coast. People wondered if the weather people were hyping it up, but--unfortunately--they weren't. The past several days, we've heard stories of death. Stories of people stranded. Stories of power outages and elderly being carried down dark stair wells.
But in the parts of the country Sandy didn't devastate, life went on. When Jamie and I lost our daughter, Abby, I remember my anger at life going on in the face of tragedy. As we drove home from the funeral home where we'd made the decision to cremate our baby, I grew angry at people waiting in line at the McDonald's drive-thru. At the businessman on his cell phone. At the Walmart parking lot full of people buying bandaids and sponges and light bulbs.
Watching these stories from Sandy, I'm reminded of how isolated I felt in my pain and loss. I re-indexed myself for any annoyance at delays caused by Sandy. In checking myself, I came to the following comparisons:
Me: Something I expected to be delivered yesterday showed up today.
The driver: I couldn't show up for my job as a delivery man because I still don't have power, my kids are home from school, and our local grocery store is out of water.
Me: We were stuck at home Monday and Tuesday and lost productivity on those two days.
Waiter in downtown Manhatten: I couldn't go to work all week because of the storm, so I lost a week's worth of income.
Me: I had a sewage backup that caused a drip in my basement.
New Jersey Shore resident: I'm sitting on the second floor of my house because my first floor is flooded with sand. I have no power or clean water.
Me: The howling winds kept me up most of the night on Monday and the craziness in trying to catch up later in the week wiped me out.
Latest report: 109 people died in the United States from Sandy. More souls were lost in the Caribbean.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I am acutely aware this year of all I've been blessed with. Beautiful, healthy children. A wonderful husband with a secure job he loves. Friends who have my back and help me grow as a person. My health. My home. My life.