I'm sure we have all seen the 2 dimensional visions of shore erosion, trees resting comfortably on homes, proud families standing on line to get warm, fed, housed or just to receive news of what is going to be done to help them.
These wonderful although tragic Americans were not professional parasites of society not "womb to the tomb" leeches . They are you and me. If not for the grace of God. We endured no power, no gas and no stores open . They have to endure no home to even go back to. I can't imagine living in a homeless shelter with no choice of meals, privacy, quiet family moments, watching TV together and NO thought of when will things go back to normal and simply, what will happen next.
They are the tangibles.
I took a trip to Seaside yesterday. The first observation (maybe a 6th sense) which I felt along Rt 37 going through Tom's River was hurt and sadness. I did not sense healing. Maybe things registered in my inner mind that just weren't as obvious as "out of business" signs and very little traffic on the highway.
At the (Toms' River side) foot of The Pelican Island bridge, there were three cops sunning themselves on the median, alongside a line of red cones which were used for apparently EMT type vehicles. Maybe after all the hurt they've seen, they were entitled to hang out for a while. As I drove over Pelican Island, the homes which would normally be closed at this time of year, didn't show as much trauma as I might have thought. But entering Seaside, I got the same feeling that a person would have - getting that 4 AM phone call from a hospital...The town did take a turn for the worse.
Wiggling toes in the warm sand is one thing, but slipping on inch deep sand five blocks inland from the beach is another story. Passing closed after closed after Out of Business, For Rent, Post No Bills signs on every street leading up to JR's brought me to literal tears. At the corner of JR's, a State Police car and beyond the restaurant -nothing. No boardwalk, no swivel back chair where I had sat over a period of 60 years either watching boats and bathers or reversed it to people watch as they walked the now gone forever boardwalk. There was a Police car on literally every corner from Seaside Park to Lavellete. I did see the ferris wheel and maybe the merry go-round might be still there (everythng is boarded up) but the pain and suffering the residents went through still haunts me.
Not much of a romantic, and I do not believe in their cause, but I felt like residents of Atlanta when Sherman left.
This is the time for hurt and tears...Hopefully, there will be a time when rebuilding reigns.
Thank God only a relatively small amount of Sandy victims were actually killed.