The one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy is all over the news. The storm that destroyed the Jersey Shore and continues to impact thousands of people’s lives holds completely different meaning for me.
While the East Coast was bracing for a hurricane last October 29th, I was on the West Coast, bracing for another storm entirely. Many people envision the Ocean City roller coaster submerged in the Atlantic or waves crashing onto the Statue of Liberty. I see my dad. We Skyped with my dad for the last time as he, my mom, and my sister hunkered down in the hospital to weather the storm since he was not well enough to risk the hurricane at home. I see the weariness in his eyes and the toll disease had taken on his body. I see the desire in my mom’s eyes that their grandson would arrive in time to meet him, knowing dad only had days left.
I know many people who were impacted directly by Hurricane Sandy: both family and friends. I have seen, first-hand, the strength and determination of communities to rebuild. I even enjoyed a glass of wine from a bottle found in a sand dune outside my grandmother’s house on Long Beach Island, NJ to celebrate life after Sandy. Houses have been repaired and rebuilt. Entire communities have worked together to cultivate closer bonds.
My family has gone through a similar re-building process. We have learned to live (and enjoy) life without dad. We have laughed, cried, and made new memories. We have healed and we have grown as individuals and as a family. We have watched as family and friends have made hard decisions to refocus their lives. We have experienced sorrow as others have received similarly devastating diagnoses. We have found joy as we have watched Caleb grow into quite the little man and are constantly amazed at how he reminds us of dad.
Just as hurricane survivors miss the days before the devastation, I certainly miss the days when I could call, text, or be with my dad. But life goes on and I am determined to continue healing and rebuilding my heart. And that healing is full of grace in the good days and bad.
This is a song I love. Don’t be afraid to let life get messy in order to heal:
This is a post in the 31 Days of Grace series.