A year ago I sat glued to the tv for a week trying to get a glimpse of my hometown Rockaway Park, Queens on the news. I couldn't move from the tv, I was inwardly distraught trying so hard not to burst into tears. All the same, growing more and more frustrated due to the many reports on the Jersey shore and nothing on my hometown. Its not like I didn't feel for Jersey of course I did but I needed so desperately to see my hometown and for it to be reported on by anyone. Sadly a horrific fire devastated a part of the Rockaways, Breezy Point did we finally start to see some parts of Rockaway on the news.
Days I spent scrambling to find something--anything even on Youtube. I did find videos of people stranded but then I didn't know what I was looking at. My frame of reference had gone. The homes I knew on the corner on the left had been washed away, the boardwalk I use to sneak out of my home as a teenager late at night and just sit there and smell the salty air and listen to the waves was gone, the Veterinarian office that I took my doggie to was gone. It blow my mind--the boardwalk was gone. How could it be whole parts of the boardwalk are now in the middle of the street blocks away from the beach. I was stunned. What is amazing through all of this are all the memories that I had forgotten started to flash in my mind--I began remembering the most inane events, high school, friends, hanging at the beach it was a surprise respite for my brain. I'm sure it was some kind of coping mechanism-and Im happy it popped up in my mind it allowed me to regroup. To know the place I grew up has been literally washed away is a feeling so hard to describe. I was left wondering if any of the landmarks where left--(paddleball courts were I kicked tremendous ass, or the place where I walked my favorite dog of all time, or my high school (Go Beach Channel) would still be standing. As I sat safe and sound in my home in Brooklyn my mind and heart was in Rockaway.
Friends were lost and no way in the world to reach them, people reporting deaths of loved ones only for them--thank God to make it to another location weeks later and post on Facebook and emails they're still alive but their homes are gone. I didn't know a storm could break my heart--but Sandy did. It devastated everything I held dear and loved beyond my comprehension. You know the saying, "you never miss the water till the well runs dry." I took my hometown for granted thinking it would always be there just as I left it so many years ago.
My home was gone--so I did the only thing I could do--I cried like a baby
I am a ROCKAWAY gurl. My world for almost 20 years of my life revolved around a little town in Queens way off the grid of NYC. You know when you hear parents say I want my to give my children what I never had-well I always wanted to give my kids exactly what I had--growing up in Rockaway. This sleepy beach community some would say was boring--(Ok Ive said it--lol) was actually one the best places to grow up. It was the safest area in the city, it was clean and it was by the beach with a view of Manhattan. (Ok a very far, far away view of Manhattan but you still could see it lol.)
It isn't until something traumatic happens that anyone pays attention. We Rockaway folks have lived with neglect from our city government for the shiner more glamorous Coney Island for decades but we are some seriously tough--ass people who will not let a storm knock us out. A forgotten town even to this day by our city. I love Rockaway will always and I know deep in my heart that my little town will regroup and come back--we always have we always will.
Please give and help allll of the storm victims(everywhere)--they are in need of all us to get back on their feet.
From one ROCKAWAY GURL--THANKS FOR READING