The last two weeks have been unlike any other I have ever experienced. Hurricane Sandy hit New York and in the course of a day, many lives were destroyed. Homes were swept up, lifetime belongings were ruined, memories were deleted, and lives were changed. For nine days, my family lived without power. At first, we were like campers, scrambling for a hot drink, gathering by the fire, playing games and taking one day at a time as the weather worsened. In the back of my mind the whole time was the people who’s lives were impacted far worse than me and it made me stronger. I knew that at the end of everything, my family would still have a roof over our head and we would rebound. But many others would not. We were unable to watch TV and read all the reports on our short use of the Internet, so it was hard to grasp the depth of the disaster, but we understood. We knew how lucky we are.
Social media was all-important for me in getting through the nine days. It kept me in touch with my friends and family, but it also kept me up to date on how the people in NYC, NJ, Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Rockaways. The tweets were coming in real time, sending me to links to read extensive coverage of the devastation and telling me which bloggers were impacted and to what degree. It was a place for me to vent (I tried not to complain) about the fact that we felt kind of abandoned by our local government and electric company. Unfortunately, my tweets to Con Edison went unnoticed until the very last day and any phone calls that were made to us by the town about our situation went right to voice mail.
What amazed me over and over was the crazy kindness that outpoured from the social media community. People I both know and hardly know, as well as some that I have never met, tweeted and Facebook’ed me to ask if they could help us in any possible. Many invited my family over to stay. Check out some of these messages – every time I received one, my heart swelled.
Tomorrow I’ll write about today’s visit to the Rockways, which was not as uplifting, so I’ll end here.