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Breaking Point

Despite my family telling me over and over “Do not come here, there is nothing you can do”, Jason and I took a trip out to Staten Island over the weekend. I am almost five months pregnant (there I said it) and my mom didn’t want me anywhere near the situation. I’ve had a horrible cold or something for over a week and migraines that have been beyond, but I just couldn’t watch the news anymore and talk to my parents over the phone, I needed to see them, hug them, be there for them. Jason dropped our car off to them since they were without earlier this week so we needed to figure a way out there. Luckily my good friend Tori lent us her car to get out there and see them! Cannot “Thank” her enough. And another dear friend Julie watched the kids for us. We are truly blessed to have such amazing friends.

Let me first start off my saying in some areas its like something you’ve never seen before in your entire life. Like out of a movie, a true war zone. Driving up to my parents neighborhood was just devastating, like they live in a poverty stricken third world country. Both of my parents worked their entire lives to deserve this? But on a brighter note they still have a house over their heads and are lucky to not need donations or a shelter to stay in. My sister Amanda lost everything she owned. Her apartment was attached to my parents house and that is what suffered the most damage. All she had left was the clothes she went to work in on the day of the storm. She was mandated from Con Ed to work around the clock for the duration of the storm. It just horrible to see everything of hers destroyed by the amount of water that came into her apartment. She finally went shopping yesterday for some new clothes and is continuing to keep her head high.

Restaurant on our corner

We drove around Staten Island looking at the wreckage the storm left and its unbelievable. The pictures aren’t doing it justice to what we saw. There were stations set up with everything from clothing, food, baby supplies, and much more. Most of the drop offs aren’t accepting clothing anymore because there have been that many. Every five minutes on my parents block someone comes down and offers them food, water, supplies, and every single one of them say “Go down further, we are fine here”. Not one taking a donation from anyone, although some of them can use but they are holding their heads up high and too proud. It’s amazing to all see everyone lending a hand and looking out for one another. A gas truck pulled up along the beach yesterday and some neighbors waited three hours in line for gas, something they were proud of considering the horrendous and scary gas shortage.

Apartment and Family room all outside in backyard

It was great to see my family and have a little bit of a normal lunch/dinner with them. Even though I wasn’t much help to my parents because now it’s in a contractors hands, it was nice to be connected with them again. Leaving them last night was painful, as I am left them with no power or heat, to go home to my apartment completely untouched. I begged my parents to come back but they really need to stay there as you never know who may show up next. My mother keeps saying “We are fine”. Although really, everyone is just walking around like zombies at this point. No one knows what to do first! Their insurance guy came yesterday and made an “appointment” to come back and assess but said this hurricane was way worse than Katrina. He said the amount of people it affected is just beyond! I would really like to know about the air quality down there as well. Has anyone checked? My chest was heavy from breathing in god knows what. And for my parents, sister and brother to still be in the house breathing in this smell that I can’t describe, worries me to death.

But I know they and we all will pull through this with a little patience, faith, and prayers. Just got to keep telling ourselves..It could’ve been worse!

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13 thoughts on “Breaking Point”

  1. I’m so sad to read this personal account of how your family has been directly affected by the storm. It is all so so devastating. Despite the fact that we spent the weekend volunteering our time and purchasing/gathering donations…it never feels like enough. Although my heart breaks for you and your family, I appreciate that you took the time to share you personal story in this space – in hopes that it will inspire others to get involved in some sort of relief efforts. Even if acts of service may feel small, they all make a difference. Keeping you and your loved ones in my very present thoughts and prayers.

  2. I’m sorry for everything your family is going through. I know how difficult it is to watch your loved ones suffer, especially since you’re in a compromised position. Official congrats btw. Hopefully with all the awareness and attention, power will be restored soon and rebuilding can begin. If we can do anything, I know you’ll let us know. Take care.

  3. Brianne, this post makes me so so sad. I am so sorry to hear about all of this that your family is going through. I am sure that it must be so so hard. It hurts to loose everything you own, even if you’re still grateful for you health and your life. And it’s okay to feel sad and angry and upset by what’s lost. Sending you a huge hug (and a congratulations, by the way) and praying for restoration to that community!

  4. I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through Brianne. This whole situation is utterly surreal. My parents house in Connecticut was also destroyed last week and is now uninhabitable. I am so with you. Thank you for sharing your story. Want you to know it’s heartwarming to hear your wonderful news at this dark time. Congrats! Keep shining your light lady.

  5. danielle mancuso

    Beautifully written. I feel terrible for ur family and wish I could offer them the help and generosity they hav always offered me. They are amazingly kind and wonderful people. My heart aches for them and all the others in our situation. In time we will all heal. Thank god we have one another. Thank u again for ur support and generosity. Xoxox

  6. I can’t believe your parents and sister live on Staten Island. What an ordeal for you and more so for them. Please try not to feel guilty – you will be their support, their source of energy in the upcoming days. I pray that they are warm tonight.

  7. Brianne,

    I’m so sorry for everything you’re are going through right now. What a mess. The only thing I can confirm is that it will bring you closer together as a family. Hang in there! My office is putting together some relief efforts for Staten Is as I have several co-workers who live there. Let me know if you need anything!!

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