It’s a little over a year since Hurricane Sandy hit. I knew the storm was coming but didn’t anticipate it would devastate my life routine the way it did. In fact, I’m still recovering from it. It isn’t something I really want to discuss but the recovery is one of the events that has kept me from the responsibilities of my blog. So I need to address this before it’s a year till my next post.
I stayed with a friend for a few weeks. I lived in a hotel for a few months. Then I rented a room in Brooklyn for a few more months. I eventually moved back to Far Rockaway. It wasn’t easy….and it still isn’t. The storm did many things though. It humbled the shit out of me for one. It provoked that “get up and go” that was necessary to get things done. My apartment wasn’t going to clean itself. But most importantly, it showed me who people really are.
In short, my apartment was flooded out. The night of the storm, I was home and watched the Jamaica Bay enter from my living room and into the rest of the apartment. Because I don’t know how to swim, I was afraid to leave my apartment. It was a long night and an even longer year afterwards. There was water damage and I was not prepared. My biggest loss was my kitchen and my treasured library.
I realized that there are people I take for granted and there are people who take me for granted. I think the way people responded to me was a reflection of how they see me. There were offers from people I hadn’t spoken to in months, even years. Some people I hadn’t even known that well were offering their homes to me. The friend that I ended up staying with had a key for me to come and go as I needed. When I sat with my friend and her sister to discuss my financial obligation for staying there, they both got up and walked away from me. The idea of accepting money from me was considered an insult. There were also people who reached out and extended themselves to me by way of offering items to keep us going – clothes, food, a ride, etc.
I’m saying all of this to say that you never know where and when things might happen and when devastation might hit you and those that are close to you. And with all of that, it helps to know there are people in this world who remain genuine and true to the purpose of humanity.