The Power of Hope

As I sit here with Matt in his mother's house (because our house is going on day 6 with no power), I can't help but feel grateful for everything in my life at this moment. There are so many people who have lost everything they own...and then some. 

While Sandy barreled through our state (and the ones neighboring us), the NJ I grew up in has forever changed. The piers at Seaside are gone, a place where I spent much time with my family, friends, current and past loves. I can't even go back to those special spots...they're scattered all up and down the coastline.

On Thursday, when Matt & I had ventured out to check on Matt's mother in Point Pleasant, we were greeted by the sight of National Guard trucks standing guard at Bayhead (and patrolling parts of Point Pleasant), people emptying their lives into garbage bags at the curb, and the feeling of hopelessness. Homes were destroyed, entire towns washed away, the geography of our "backyard" changed within a matter of hours. We even went to Point Pleasant Beach, where I saw the Tiki Bar, a source of most of our summer fun, missing the entire back half that is now strewn all along the coast. Needless to say, my heart truly broke in those moments.

We've all tried to stay strong...and yet we reach our breaking points. I've seen many break down and cry (myself included). It's a war zone, in a community that used to bring nothing but joy and fill up summers and summers worth of childhood memories. 

Yet despite all of it, I'm going to smile. I smile for the sense of community I see as we help one another. I smile for every hug I have been able to give and receive. I smile for every person I have been able to encounter. I smile for appreciating the simple things, like light, heat, a comfy bed, hot coffee. I smile knowing that I've been in touch with several of my friends and loved ones, putting them (and myself) at ease just with a simple text, tweet, FB update, phone call. I smile, because being angry, sad, and depressed just can't be anymore. We can't be hurting one another, lashing out at each other, trying to see who has it worse. We've all suffered, we're all hurting, we're all human, and we should all be grateful when we hear the positive things. Those little positives are what have helped me get through days with at least a smile or two.

I've cried (and probably will continue to), but I'm stronger. We're stronger than this. We will rebuild. We will bounce back in time. We will learn from this and return with a vengeance! Everything is replaceable. It may not be the same as we remember, but we can come close. And why? 

Because as East Coasters, we're superheroes. 

~ Jenny Rockstar

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