This holiday weekend's theme for me was “it could have been worse.”
On Thanksgiving Day, I went to my mother-in-law’s house. She invited a couple of her friends from the North Shore. They experienced a little wind damage from Hurricane Sandy and had the inconvenience of having their lights and cable out, but it came back soon thereafter.
“Did you get hit?” one of the women said to me.
I told her my abbreviated version because I didn’t want to relive the entire experience. My first floor was gone and my cars were totaled.
“Well it could have been worse…” she said.
“Yes, it could have but it was bad enough,” I said and walked away. I didn’t want to be rude but I had heard this saying way too much during the past three weeks and every time I’d heard it, it had just got me upset.
The next day, I didn’t leave my house. Since the first floor is uninhabitable, the upstairs is a disaster with boxes everywhere. I started to go through the boxes and throw out stuff I really didn’t want to keep. Now that I have no storage and no shelving, I needed to decide what I was keeping and what I was going to discard.
I started with the photo albums. I had about 40 of them from the time I was a teenager through the time my kids went to elementary school. Once they got to middle school, digital cameras became prevalent and I started to store photos on the computer instead.
Out of these 40 albums I decided to toss photos I no longer wanted and keep the rest in small boxes that I could put up high in my closet (so that they wouldn’t get destroyed if another storm hits us).
It was emotional to look at these photos, all randomly placed in no particular order in these photo albums, as if time all happened at once.
That night we had two parties – a 50th birthday party for my sister’s boyfriend and a 60th birthday for a friend. At the first party, my sister’s friends came up to me telling me they were sorry for my loss and explaining how lucky they were during the storm. “Nothing happened to our home and we didn’t lose our cars,” they told me. “Someone was looking over us.”