GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

November 8, 2012

Insights and Outbursts: Calm resolve after the storms

I struggled to find a topic for this month’s column.

Seeking a Thanksgiving theme, I knew I’d be most thankful that the most expensive and ugliest presidential campaign (yet) would be over.

I shared my feelings with a friend in Canada via e-mail last month and her response was prophetic: “…not much longer and the battle will be over, until the next campaign begins ... I am thinking of you especially as Hurricane Sandy approaches ... I hope that doesn’t give you too much material for your November column!!”

Now, I hardly know where to start.

As “Hurricane Sandy” moved north, I was relieved when it took a turn toward New Jersey and have felt guilty ever since. I didn’t even lose power while family members, friends and colleagues in New York and New Jersey suffered incredible hardships.

My sister Dale lives in the Bronx near the Throggs Neck Bridge, and though she and Camille boarded up first-floor windows and tied deck chairs to a fence, the waters of Long Island Sound rushed through the ground floor, floating a refrigerator across the room. Valerie and her husband Mike on Long Island and other relatives were without power for several days.

We lost touch completely as they coped with the storm, and watching television reports of the damage in New York and New Jersey made me feel like I lived on a different planet. While there was some damage on Cape Ann and power failures throughout the area, most of us survived in good shape.

The storm, however, affected me in other ways. I lived and worked in New York City for more than 40 years and the fires on Breezy Point reminded me of police friends who lived there.

As a child, I lived in Midland Beach, Staten Island, where two children were recently swept from their mother’s arms by flood waters. The devastation also took me back to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, the first time when what I saw on television and what was visible from my window revealed the incredible distance between me and those I knew and loved.

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