This past week has been extremely emotional and tough for me. My grandfather passed away last Friday right before Hurricane Sandy ravaged the state I love so much. Between the aftermath of Sandy, gas shortages, impending Nor’easter and proximity to Thanksgiving, my family and I decided it was best that I not travel to New Jersey for the funeral. I am regretting that decision as I sit here now instead of at the church with my family. I feel that I should be there paying my last respects to my grandfather and supporting my dad. I should have ventured into New York City to check on my elderly grandparents who were without power, water, or food for days in their Lower Manhattan apartment. I hate that I live too far to come home for an emergency or on a whim for a home-cooked meal from my mom. I miss taking all 5 dogs to the puppy park on weekends with my dad and eating delicious cuisine with my foodie sister.
When I was younger and moved to Alabama for college I was all about starting a new life and finding my own identity. While I still feel that way and embrace my adventures, as I grow older I have also learned the importance of appreciating my roots and revisiting them often. They made me who I am today.
I’ve been hearing from a lot of New Jerseyians living elsewhere that they miss being home this week too. There’s a feeling of guilt as we continue comfortably with our everyday lives as our friends and families sit without power, or worse.
It’s been over a year since Zack and I have been to Jersey, and we are counting the hours until we go home for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to see family and friends, help rebuild my state, and celebrate my grandfather’s life. And eat more NY pizza than you can imagine.
This song has been speaking to me this week.