As I look at the devastation that hurricane Sandy left in it’s wake I think back to my childhood trying to remember if I felt safer at that time. I remember the drills that we went through in elementary school – hiding under the desk in case there was a nuclear attack. I also remember pleading to God to stop the tornado that was coming straight for our farm house as I ran down the stairs to go to our storm cellar. I recall being scared and praying that I would not have to sit right next to the boy who hatefully stated how “ugly” I was during lunch. Then there was that one movie in which a woman with long red hair put her hand through a window. At the end of that movie I decided I hated red hair. I also watched both of my bedroom windows, praying unceasingly, terrified that her bloody hand would break through. sure that she would kill me.
No, my childhood was not without fear, yet it was devoid of devastation. There was no nuclear war there was only fear of the possibility. God must have heard my prayer regarding the tornado because it turned and hit a neighbor’s barn. The nasty boy who called me ugly never did get assigned to sit by me at lunch and I don’t even remember why I cared what he thought about me. I still don’t like red hair but that scary woman didn’t ever break any window in my childhood home.
The devastation of Sandy though lingers in the fear and sorrow vaults of my memory. The mother who lost her two sons, only 2 and 4 years old will never have their beautiful faces to kiss goodnight. The lady in Staten Island who had her store ravished by flood waters will have a lot of work ahead of her to rebuild her business. The woman on TV who looked so helpless when she said “I want to go home, but I have no home to go to,” lingers in my mind as a very painful memory.
I can’t do anything but pray for these people. I don’t have any extra money to fly out east to lend a hand and I can not contribute to any funds to help them. All I can do is pray. When I think about my childhood that is all I did back then and my fears never manifested into a reality.