No matter what lovely corner of the world I find myself in during a three-week business trip, one of my favorite parts of the journey is the moment I put my key back into my front door and walk in. I have heard agreement from my colleagues that after our second week on the road, we are all homesick and can’t wait to sleep in our own beds. But, as I recently experienced, this eagerness for coming home is amplified when a natural disaster strikes.
I was in Greece when Superstorm Sandy decimated many parts of New Jersey, New York, and Staten Island. This is where I live. It was difficult to watch the news coverage of lives lost, homes destroyed, and people suffering with lack of power, heat, food, and gas. It was also humbling to see how quickly our modern lives can be turned upside down. I think many of us learned valuable lessons and realized that we all need to be better prepared to withstand such storms.
Unlike any other of my previous homecomings, I was anxious this time. After all, I was going to find out if I had any damage to my house or whether I would have electricity. The driver who picked me up at the airport told me that his entire town was still in the dark and cold, four days after the storm. It actually broke my heart when we pulled up to my driveway and I was able to turn on my lights after entering.
While things are still far from normal in the hardest hit spots affected by Sandy, life is almost back to normal in my area. With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, I think the meaning behind these holidays will really be cherished and hold more weight than years gone by. I encourage all of us to remember those who have just lost everything. Let’s take a moment to donate clothes, food, or money to help our fellow neighbors and citizens rebuild their homes and lives. I can’t imagine the feeling of having no home to return to.
For those of you who will be venturing out these coming holidays, I wish you all the happiest and safest of travels.
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