Get comfy folks, this one is epically long.
What a rough few weeks … On October 25th, the Krim family tragedy broke the hearts and blew the minds of every New York family with children and caregivers. Having personally known the Krim family from my hometown, through high school and college made this unthinkable tragedy very very real. I have not stopped thinking about it, praying for the Krim family and sending love to the little angels in heaven.
I have the intense need to clutch my children and never let them go … a need that has caused me to change the way that my household is run, the school that the G’s go to and my extracurricular commitments.
And then in the midst of never wanting to let my kids go … Hurricane Sandy hit and just like that my wish was granted.
While we were very lucky through the storm, much of New York, New Jersey, Staten Island were seriously rocked. The strength of New York, it’s boroughs and New Jersey was and still is put to test. Over a week later things are starting to be on the mend. For many of us it seems that things are much much better, but the reality is that there is still much relief needed. It is not time for us to “go back to normal” it is time to continue our giving.
Here are a few places that you can go to give, donate and help.
Text to Donate:
- Red Cross (“REDCROSS” to 90999)
- Salvation Army (“STORM” to 80888)
- United Way of New York City (“RECOVERY” to 52000)
- Humane Society of the United States (“ANIMALS” to 20222)–that are also providing post-storm support to our city and coastlines.
Now because this is a running blog and also because running the New York City Marathon has been 90% of what I talk about, lets touch on the cancellation.
Or as I like to call it, the shot heard around the world.
Somehow once Sandy hit the focus of much conversation was immediately on the New York City Marathon. Appropriate? Absolutely not … but that was the case. Runners wanted to know if it was on and non runners wanted to know if the city was going to be pushing the much needed resources toward the marathon.
What did the city do? They said that the marathon would go on.
Cue Uproar. Cue confusion. Cue Choas. Cue a general misguided anger … because really who can be angry at an intangible thing like Mother Nature. Its was easier to be angry at a marathon.
As a runner of the marathon I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t think that it was appropriate to go forward with the race however I didn’t think that my personal boycott would be of benefit. And so I prepared to run. I gathered supplies and goods to take to Staten Island with me … I focused on the “Race to Recover” but my heart wasn’t into the running. I didn’t like the questions that I received.
“So are you excited for the marathon??” Um, that is a loaded question and I have no idea how I feel, thank you for asking.
I went to the expo on Thursday. I searched the Jacob Javits Center for answers … I didn’t find them.
I woke up on Friday morning and went for a run. I wore my hot pink marathon hat that I bought at the expo … I was yelled at and heckled 3 times in 3 miles. On the Upper East Side. I came home in tears. I wanted nothing more than an out. I had no desire to run. And finally I got it.
Immediately I was relieved. And I went through the emotions of anger, sadness, disappointment, and fear. I sulked for a night and then I hopped back on the running train and did 13 miles Saturday morning, followed by my share of relief efforts. Sunday I did the same. I was proud to be surrounded by my fellow runners who were also busy moving on past the cancellation of the marathon and onto the more important task at hand – helping clean up Sandy’s mess.
Its what we all wanted to do anyway. Its what we all wish would have happened at the beginning … Out of respect to the people who had lost everything only hours before, out of respect to the people who had no power or water for days and out of respect to the runners who really didn’t want to focus on the marathon in a time like this. The proper thing to do would have been to immediately refocus the conversation from Marathon to Recovery.
But respect and manners were invisible and the ugly need to be angry in a time of despair was oh so present.
I know there is tension in times of trial but New York, we are a respected city, we are a classy city … we need not have bad manners. We need to be helpful, not hurtful to one another and we need to remember that negativity will not rebuild lost homes, it will not get food to those in need.
Most of all we need to remember that everyone gives back in their own way. Runners gave back by taking goods to Staten Island, donating clothes, running virtual races to raise money and starting donation sites on line .. non runners in other ways. We may not all understand each other’s efforts but isn’t it better to beleive in the good of people rather than to look for the bad?