Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. To some, Sandy seemed like it happened just moments ago. To others, it seems like forever.
One year ago, I sat in my boyfriend's apartment with a few friends as we "made the most" of the storm (and he tried distracting himself from the thought of his second home in Long Beach Island being destroyed). We were lucky. The apartment was untouched. My parent's home lost power for a few days. My boyfriend's house, though, did not look so good. Later, he returned to the place he calls "home" to see memories, now soaking wet.
In the chill of November, he and his family (and myself when I could) worked to restore his home. For more than 30 consecutive weekends, his parents drove down to the house to put in the grueling manuel labor.
But the labor didn't stop there. Millions of others were affected by this storm. Homes underwater, furniture drenched, boats permanently wedged on docks, roller coasters sunk. What was a once relaxing, beautiful shore town was now a town struck with disaster.
One year later, homes are still being fixed. Shore areas may never look how they did 365 days ago. It's hard to say "Wow! It looks great!" because the families know it doesn't.
But, rebuild they did. For the million of people who dealt with destruction, another million offered a helping hand. Charity programs began, and still continue to this day. Adversity struck and people responded.
If I could hug every family member who struggled through this time, I would. If I could shake everyone's hand who lent one, I would. If I could applaud the construction workers who work day in and day out, I would. So, here is my small "thank you" to all of the strong, hard working Americans who work to restore the shore. These people saw passed the mess and imagined a life after it. Thank you for your positivity. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your contribution. Thank you.