Aftermath of a Superstorm

Connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island, this bridge is sometimes called New York City’s necklace.

How alluring the ocean is again.  How hard to believe it could be so cruel.  The sunlight reflects off the moving surface and glitters on the horizon as it moves in lulling motion beyond the land.

My cousin died during Sandy’s wrath.  He lived in South Beach, Staten Island, a low lying area near the mouth of New York Harbor.  My mother’s family lived in the area for almost a century.  I never heard of it flooding before, but the direct hit of this storm combined with the effects of the full moon were a recipe for rolling surges of salt water covering nearly half a mile. It pushed its way into my cousin’s basement and he went down into it to salvage what he could.  Just then, another surge rushed in filling the basement entirely and shoving its way up to the first floor.  He couldn’t get out.  He drowned.

We went to his wake, crossing over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on a sunny, windless day.  I thought I could never love an ocean view again, but that is not the case.  The beauty of it is still beauty.  Only now, I am filled with heartbreak as well as wonder.

 

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