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!