Why does it always take a tragedy or near tragedy to GET IT. To get it that everyday is a gift and that we need tobe grateful for what we have and not worry about what we don’t have? Well, as Chance and I along with the rest of the New Yorkers waited out the storm my mind went to my Dad who hates NYC because its so congested, noisy and fast. He loves living in the country aka New Jersey. So, as I sit in my high rise apartment on the Upper Westside, listening to the wind howl past my floor to ceiling windows; my mind goes to my Dad sitting in his living room of his 2 bedroom home in New Jersey.
I play it cool and call my Dad on Sunday to check in on him to see that he’s ok and he’s cool as a cucumber as he tells me the power just went out and he’s playing solitaire by candlelight. I laugh it off and tell him to charge his phone in the car if his battery gets low and that I will call him tomorrow. I went to bed that night snuggled up with Chance and said a little prayer to keep my loves – my dog and my Dad safe.
Chance and I awake the next day to find his favorite pee tree uprooted and some minor wind damage along our morning walk route Monday morning. So, to report on “city living” I call my Dad. No answer. I leave a message and tell myself to call later. Later comes around and I still no answer. Well, this continues for 2 days and I still can’t reach my Dad. I begin to panic and the round the clock news does not help my nerves with reports coming in of the damage and devastation across New Jersey. I’ve never felt so helpless before in my life. My chest became so heavy and I started to cry. What to do? So, I reach out to my NJ cousins who say they will try to get out there to see how he’s doing. That answer did not help nor assuage my concerns.
For sure I wasn’t going to sit around one more day. So, I rented a zipcar and was prepared to make the trek into New Jersey to check in on my daddy tomorrow morning. I know the Mayor put in car restrictions but I was willing to take my chances. I was going to New Jersey to check in on my one and only daddy. There was one more hail Mary up my sleeve. I called the Plainfield police department and asked them to do a wellness check on my Dad. I got the normal response of “we are overwhelmed and can’t check on everyone but we will ask a cruiser to stop by.” I said thank you and waited for the call as I packed my make shift McGyver backpack for my impending 6:30 am trip into the belly of the beast. Flashlight? Check. Rope? Check (not sure why I had it but thought it could come in handy). Duct tape? Check. Water? Check. Canned goods? Check. Matches? Check. Candles? Check. The McGyver backpack is now all set sitting by the front door ready to go. 2 hours after the call made to the police department I get a call back letting me know that my Dad was ok. And I cried like a baby before the cop could finish telling me that there is no power, or phone lines. It’s pretty bad out there but my Dad was OK. I said thank you and hung up.
It was at this point that I dropped to my knees and said “yes, wow and thank you.” Every memory of times spent with my dad came rushing back like it was just yesterday that we were racing around the race track in go carts, apple picking or going on a road trip to some part of Hoboken to find the best pastrami sandwich. The only words that I could come up with is”Yes, wow and thank you.” And then I thought to myself, the pause is all one needs to say a prayer as simple yes, wow and thank you. It covers it all. It’s condensed but reminds me that yes, I am blessed. Wow, I am really blessed and thank you God for all that you’ve done, will do and continue to do to keep me in the bosom of your comfort and grace.
So, let Sandy help remind you to begin and end your days with “yes, wow and thank you” because I know for sure – I will.