Pulling into the development, I could see no real change. I half expected to find that Hurricane Sandy’s toll wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be. But as we drove deeper into the lagoon community, reality settled in. House after house shadowed by the piles of ruined possessions. People outside, some visibly overwhelmed and frozen by it all, some busy hauling or scrubbing. A certain sadness began to overtake me. My parents home, once belonging to my great grandparents, was lost. The house still stood but a big piece of its soul had spilled when the water rushed through. I realized it could never be the same.
As if sensing the emotion, Pandora radio played Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the ukulele version by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. It was the perfect soundtrack with its broken tone still holding onto a hope that there is a place to move on to from here. I sank into the moment. I let it hold me, let it flood me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops . . . A neighbor unknowingly intruded upon my thoughts, “Great song!”
I came back to the present and looked around. She was pulling wrecked toys from her ground-level garage. Her main home was okay; it was raised. Only what she had in her basement and garage was trashed. A significant loss no doubt, but not a devastating one. My parents were standing on their steps. They looked exhausted and fragile. The notice on the door declared the house condemned. Perhaps at another stage in life it could have been seen as temporary. But this storm hit at a point where starting over by these waters would take more than they could give.