A year ago, the world changed...again. This wasn't a global concern like 9/11, but it was tragic, and changed, and in some cases took, the lives of so many. She's been referred to as a Hurricane, a Super Storm and a host of other names both weather-geek related and otherwise.
The landscapes she touched were places that I walked, talked, danced, loved, sang, partied, and mourned - but maybe never so much as that day one year ago. So many people, some of whom I've know for many years of my life, had their worlds turned upside down, their homes ripped apart and their lives disrupted in ways that most could never understand.
They gave her such an innocent and peaceful name, Sandy. Even her name has scarred the world I knew when life was far simpler. As a young boy, I remember a candy store up on Avenue U, run by a gentle soul named Sandy. Years after the candy store closed, Sandy ran a small exterminating business and my parents were one of his customers - he would come by the house every month and while he was doing his work, we'd reminisce about those days in the candy store.
Sandy was a pivotal character in the movie Grease, played by one of my biggest crushes in the 70's, Olivia Newton-John. What could be sweeter than the innocence of a boyhood crush?
Now, the first thing that comes to mind on the utterance of the name Sandy is a storm that shook us all on that day one year ago. Nearly seven months after Sandy struck, I had the opportunity to visit two of the sites where she wreaked havoc. I walked into strangers homes and I saw the water lines, I saw the destruction, I saw the empty plots of land where buildings once stood, I saw the piles and piles of rubbish that once were people homes, I heard the sound in the voices of the people most affected.
So much has been done to move forward, but so much has yet to be done and I know that as the world moves on, it's sometimes hard to remember, especially the further you are away.
I remember that day and I understand on this day what it all still means and how it all still feels because I choose to stay in touch with those were were right there.
Today, my thoughts are with all of you.