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remembering

I’ve not been looking forward to this week at all. It’s completely out of character for me, I know. I’m not very sentimental (that’s my husband’s role in our relationship) and I don’t attach memories to specific places or items the way I think most people do. I would say I’m a very internal person (though most people who know me are laughing reading this since being internal normally corresponds with being quiet.) I prefer to react to situations in private, regardless of if they’re happy or sad. For example, that classic movie scene where someone is too scared to open the letter to see if they got accepted into the college of their choice so they make their mom/sister/boyfriend do it for them would NEVER happen in my life. I’d take the letter upstairs, read it, react for at least 5 minutes by myself, and then come down to share the news.

And yet, I’m having a difficult time this week preparing for the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. I mentioned it to a few different people over the weekend and the reaction has been pretty consistently “oh yeah, that is this week isn’t it?”. I’ve been dreading the anniversary for months and I think it’s out of shame for how unprepared I was. All day today I keep thinking of what I was doing this time one year ago tomorrow  and it was so inanely normal that I’m a little freaked out. I slept in late, I celebrated finding out that school was cancelled already for the next two days, my mom and I took our dog to the beach to see the waves. Then my best friend and I went back to the beach to touch the water, ignoring the evacuation recordings going off all over town. We ordered pizza and drank champagne while we played cranium until the power went out. And then we just drank champagne in the dark. We stood outside and watched the sky explode in shots of green as transmitters around the neighborhood lost power. We laughed as it took 4 people to shut the door in the wind. And the whole time, people’s houses were flooding. My parents house was flooding…more than half of my baby photo’s are gone. So are all my pictures from junior and senior prom (when I was dating my now husband). And still other people lost more. Cars, boats, entire floors of their homes…all gone and since the power was out we had no idea. So we laughed, and drank wine and ate pizza by candlelight and truly had a great night with great friends.

Which is really what I’m going to try to focus on tomorrow. We made the best of a bad situation last year and we’ve been doing it every day since. Some towns, if you drive through them today, look almost perfect. Boardwalks have been rebuilt. So have homes and businesses. New cars and boats and furniture have been purchased. People run on the boardwalk, and take their dogs to the beach, and shop the small businesses and it all looks the same as it did one year ago. That’s the jersey strong we see on the TV commercials, and hear on the radio. But let’s just make sure tomorrow we remember it’s not all the same. For all those businesses that are back up and looking perfect, there are just as many that never reopened. There are empty lots, and shells of houses, all over our coast. And it’s true that pictures and items don’t hold on our memories, we’ll always have a hold on them in our minds. But we also have those memories of Sandy, too. And tomorrow might just be a great day to remember they’re there.

[Sandy related posts from last year here and here and click here for an absolutely amazingly accurate forecast by jonathon carr exactly one year ago today. He’s now the only person I listen to when it comes to weather forecasting and I wish I knew about him pre-sandy]

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