Friday, November 23, 2012

The Writer Reflects... Post-Sandy

Hurricane Sandy hit my family home and neighborhood desperately hard. Personally, we lost a lot - the replaceable (cars, home damage) to the irreplaceable (all of our home movies with my late father in them).

In the days following the clean-up, my sister and my uncle both made an effort to salvage some things very dear to me: my baby album with countless photos and my journals.

Yesterday, after a beautiful and truly heartfelt Thanksgiving meal together, I took home some of the journals. The pages are corroded and stink of ocean and mildew, but are still legible. One journal details the year before my father's accident, when I was a fairly carefree college student "partying it up with friends in the city" (by which I mean, debating philosophy in Starbucks and going to lit readings). Another detailed the Year of Terror, when my father was struck down by a speeding car and paralyzed. Page after page reveals conversations we had with him and each other, fights with the negligent nursing staff, and utter turmoil - a family torn apart. Each new entry begins with a dated hospital visitor sticker from the days and nights we spent, without sleep or comfort, by his side.

Also recovered was a journal exclusively full of poetry I had written since 2007. Another item that would have been devastating to lose. In it, I chronicled all of the major upheaval in my life, the joys and the triumphs. I spent the morning typing them all up to save them and discard of the ruined treasure.

Thankful for what we have not lost, and will never lose, I turn to the blank page... and write.

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