Lessons from the Storm

The past 10 days have been more than eventful here at BadAssMama Central. While there is devastation all around us, both in our surrounding neighborhoods and the tri-state area in general, we are truly blessed that the storm did little more than knock out our power and rattle our nerves. And as yet another Noreaster approaches our area later this afternoon, I must admit that I am feeling more that a little bit anxious, battle weary and shell-shocked.

While I can’t say that I have completely recovered from or truly absorbed the magnitude of what’s happened here in the Northeast, I can say that I have learned a great deal in the aftermath of the storm. In no particular order, here are The BadAssMama’s lessons from the storm:

Things are just things. I do not say this to belittle the overwhelming loss that so many have experienced in the wake of this storm. I say it because when the wind is howling, the trees are swaying and your home is creaking so loud that you fear it will be ripped from its foundation, you realize that what’s most important are not the things in your home – it’s the people. You ache to protect your children, cling to your husband, to tell your loved ones just how much you love them just one last time. Things can be replaced (eventually). Relationships are all that matter.

Simplify. In the powerless days and nights after the storm, we found a peculiar comfort in the simplicity of life without the constant humming, buzzing and chirping of electronic devices. We read by flashlight, played board games or hide-and-seek with the kids. Rose with the sun and went to bed shortly after dark. After the fear of storm damage passed, we slept long and deep each night – cold, but warmed by the fact that we were together as a family.

Be kind. While it was pleasant to spend so much uninterrupted time with our family, I would be a big fat liar if I didn’t say that SO MUCH family time did begin to wear on the nerves after about 4 days. The kids were tearing down the walls with cabin fever, The Hubs and I began to bicker more than usual. So many lost so much – why weren’t we just overjoyed to be together, safe in our own home? Because we are HUMAN. And humans are imperfect and work each other’s nerves after extended periods of time together. We had to learn to be kind to each other, and to ourselves in the days following the storm.

Help each other. We will be forever grateful to the neighbor who let us run a power cord from his generator to keep our refrigerator going – both to feed our family and to keep Victor’s daily medication cold. We went door-to-door to our closest neighbors asking if they needed to refrigerate any essential items (one had a critical medication that required refrigeration as well). Countless friends sent out pleas for supplies and organized volunteers on Facebook. Our church opened its doors for anyone from the community to get warm, charge phones, have a hot bowl of soup or cup of coffee. In the middle of a nightmare, we came together to help in any way that we could.

The election may have taken over as the big news of the day, but the need in the Northeast remains great. Hundreds of thousands are still without power, many have lost everything and are mourning the loss of loved ones. While we struggle to recover, another storm – bringing snow, high winds and coastal flooding is headed to our area as we speak. Please help where you can….