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Celebrating life after Hurricane Sandy

Wow! What a week, not just for me but for everyone. Hurricane Sandy, aka ‘Frankenstorm’ or ‘The Perfect Storm’ took us all by surprise as it grew and grew affecting millions of people in North America. Of course news travels far and wide so it actually impacts all those who see or even hear the news.

I heard an Associated Press reporter answer a question about how people in New York were coping by saying that once over the shock people get on with life, picking up the pieces. But over a longer period of time living without water, electricity or public transport gets really old. It’s no fun eating the same tinned food day after day, or living in a shelter because your house has been destroyed, not to mention the worry of the long term implications of where to live or whether your company will survive.

In my little corner of the world life is getting back to normal and those who lost power have now had it restored. The power company employees will be moving to other areas of the country that still needs help. We see this happen when one area has a big fire and firemen from around the country, even the world, come out to help. We see people helping people on a small scale, neighbors helping neighbors for example, and on a large scale when organizations ask staff to help in affected areas.

The best example I heard was after the ice storm in Canada some years ago. The young woman I was talking to said that her family had no power and her mother had heard that a building company was offering their unsold homes as a temporary shelter until power was restored. And that’s what they did. There was no furniture but the water and electricity was working so the family took a few things and made it home until their own place was livable again. They were charged nothing for the use of the unsold home.

But those are the good stories. Many people lose loved ones, sometimes all their belongings, sometimes everything. What would I do? How would I react when all in front of me seems hopeless? I can remember a time in my life when I felt that there was no reason to get up in the morning though I still had a bed, albeit a borrowed one. As I think back to that time I know what kept me going was my decision to just keep going, just to see what was around the corner, “surely it has to get better,” I kept thinking. I would beg myself to get out of bed, get on with the day. And I had to do that every day, for a while.

Change, being the only constant in life, means that life can’t stay the same. I would say to those who are at their wits end, keep the faith, better will come. Celebrate the little things, a lot. The more you do the more will show up to be celebrated. By doing so you keep your focus on what is working, helpful and hopeful. Before long you will be celebrating life again.

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