Sandy is gone. Bluster and brute force that she was, she has moved on to kill greener pastures. In her wake (an eerie word to choose) she has redrawn the map of the east coast and left a swath of devastation. I don't think we use the word swath enough so we have that to be thankful for. But while I like to think globally I really can't get past the local angle.
In case you are wondering, and even if you're not, I am writing this on my phone as I sit in my brother's house. You see, I am still out of power and heat. I used to look at people who were later to receive utilities and think, "wow, how rustic." Now I'm one of them and I'm just annoyed. But every time I get ready to complain about it someone posts something on Facebook or in an email reminding me of how many people have it worse than I and how appreciative I should be that I am alive and all that.
Sure, I am glad that my house isn't under water. I am glad that I had the foresight to fill the cars with gas and assemble flashlights, batteries and candles. I am glad that no tree or powerline fell on me or anyone or thing that I love. But come on. Isn't enough already? Must I continue to be so appreciative or can I finally shout "well, having no power or heat is pretty bad too, you know!"
I don't want to sound selfish. I know I have so much to be thankful for (including good friends and wonderful family all of whom have opened their houses to us) but there comes a time when I want to stop being reminded how bad off someone else is and be allowed to acknowledge that my situation is pretty stinky as well. I'm not wallowing or looking for pity. I just want permission not to feel guilty when I consider my own problems and ignore, at least for a time, anyone else's. I want to look out for my own family's lack of shoes and not have anyone tsk tsk me for not recognizing that some people don't have feet.