Gratitude and the long haul

We live in New Jersey. Close to the ocean, closer to the bay. We have lived here our whole lives. Grew up here. Spent our summers at the beaches and boardwalks of the Jersey shore.

We watched the weather channel the entire week leading up to October 29, 2012. We prepared the best we could. We watched the trees bend and break all day long. We slept in our basements and prayed everyone we knew would be ok. The next morning we awoke to scenes we could not imagine. The word devastation does not cover it. The bay neighborhoods 2 miles from our house looked like something out of an apocalyptic movie. The shore area was unrecognizable to natives of our area.

We hunkered down, waited on gas lines, helped our neighbors, cut down trees, and listened as the reports came in throughout the region. We were the lucky ones. The reports were overwhelming. The pictures sad. The trips to the effected areas heart- wrenching. Families with no heat, food, water and in the end no homes.

Little by little the help started pouring in.  Local organizations put up tents, brought in food, and sent volunteers out into the streets. Power started to return due to the hundreds of out of state utility workers.  Little by little some “normalcy” came back.

But this is a long haul operation. Schools, houses and businesses have to be rebuilt. Families have to find other places to live, eat and work. They all are looking for a shred of  dignity and “normalcy”in this crazy aftermath.

When we sit down today at our Thanksgiving tables full of food in a heated cozy houses, please remember to give thanks for all that you and yours have been given this holiday. For those who are not as fortunate, please do something/anything in the next months to help ease their burden. We are all in this together…for the long haul.


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