Posted by: Kathy | October 30, 2012

At This Time…

When my mom first died, I would often think “at this time” (3 weeks ago, 6 months ago, etc) my mom was still with us. Or we would be celebrating a special occasion like Christmas and I would think about how last year my mom was celebrating with us. Even today I sometimes think about how 4 years ago we were all together as a family.

Tonight as I was standing in my bedroom, a similar thought came to mind. I thought about how last night at this time I was standing here in complete darkness, so scared, as I listened to the high winds whistle through the cracks around the windows and our house creaking with the stronger gusts.

Up until last night, I believed that the most scared I had ever been was the last night of my mom’s life. I felt helpless. I knew my mom was suffering. I knew she was close to death, and there was nothing I could do to stop it no matter how much I wanted to change things. Last night I felt the same way.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in NJ about 90 miles south of where we live. The winds were awful and just kept getting worse. Usually weather doesn’t bother me, but last night I was really scared and I was in a situation I couldn’t escape. I kept wondering how much worse it would get before it would finally end.

We lost power around 4:10, and at first it was just a nuisance. Around 5:30 the winds really started picking up, and that is when my son noticed that one of the pine trees had fallen through our fence, lifted right out of the ground at its roots.

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The first tree to fall

We are fortunate to have a small generator and my husband powered it up once it was dark outside. We plugged in one light, the refrigerator, and the router, cable box, and TV. But unfortunately the cable had also gone out. So the kids watched a movie as I made dinner by candlelight and checked the storm’s progress on my cell phone.

At first, it didn’t seem too bad. But as the eye of the hurricane hit land, the winds grew increasingly stronger and the total darkness that encompassed everywhere but the one room we were in became frightening.

Around 8:45 we heard a crash outside. My husband and I looked out our sliding glass door only to find that another tree, probably about 20 feet tall, had been ripped from the ground and with it our deck.

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Monday night – view from the back door

This is when I started to panic. If the tree had been blown down the other way it would have hit the house and most likely the room were all in. I knew the worst of the storm for us was still to come and I feared what the rest of the night would bring. After speaking with my dad on the phone, I went up to the bedroom to calm down. I started crying in fear, praying for God to keep us safe and asking my mom to come to me. Around me the house shook and creaked. I had never heard wind so loud before. I was terrified but didn’t want my kids to know. I wanted to be strong for them, so I stayed upstairs until I had calmed down as much as I could.

I am happy to say that nothing else happened. The winds started to lessen around 11 pm, and I saw from the forecast that the worst was over for us. I prayed that we would be all right for the rest of the night. At that point all I wanted to do was sleep. I knew the light of the next day would show the real damage that had occurred.

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A new look for our deck

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The tree that caused most of the damage

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Huge root base on the tree lifted the deck

Our power is back on, although the cable and Internet are still out. Last night was bad. It was scary for me and the kids (at least my daughter). Our backyard is a disaster area. I have no idea when the trees will be removed or when our deck and fence will be fixed. But I am grateful that no one was hurt. My family is safe and that is what really matters.

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Trees, trees everywhere

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Responses

  1. Oh my gosh!! How frightening! So glad you all are okay.

    • Thank you. Slowly things are getting back to normal here. Take care.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    I didn’t realize you lived so close to me. I’m so sorry to hear that the devastation reached you, but I’m glad you are safe.

    It truly is amazing how thoughts and memories come whooshing back at all the most unexpected times…

    Best,

    Sunny

    • Thanks Sunny. I’m glad we’re all ok. I believe there are certain thoughts and memories, especially of times we were scared, that stay with us and can be triggered. Take care.

  3. I can’t imagine. I’m so glad that you are all safe and sound. Big, big hugs.

    • Thanks Loni. Material things can be replaced. Our backyard will eventually be better than it was before the storm. I am thankful that my family is safe and that we were all together during the storm.

  4. Gosh! I am so grateful that you are all safe. This must have been terrifying

    • It was very scary. For me the scariest part was not knowing what was going to happen next. I’m grateful we are all safe. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Glad to hear you are safe. I was home alone for a bad hurricane once. When I told my family, one daughter asked why I didn’t just go to sleep. She didn’t understand that the storm and sund of falling trees kept me awake. It is an experience you will remember the rest of your life. I am glad your family came through safely.

    • Thanks. I’ve never been through a storm like the one we just had and hope to never be again. Looking at pictures of the devastation caused by this hurricane, I know we were lucky.


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