Sheri is one of the incredible people I have met while spending time in the Rockaways these past few weeks. Her building is about a dozen blocks down the boardwalk from where I used to live during my Rock Park days a few years back. On this particular day, my friend Robert and I just hung out and enjoyed Sheri's company. This was the first time we had been to her home since power was restored. We did not need headlamps, she was not lugging water up the stairs, we weren't worrying if she had enough blankets to stay warm, she wasn't conserving flashlight battery time... we were just visiting a lovely lady and her three dogs. Although outside the ruins were clear, this was a special moment we got to spend with Sheri in her home, with her feeling more at home than she had in weeks. She even opened the blinds to show us her spectacular view of the ocean.
And then she told us what it was like to stand there during the storm. Sheri wanted to share her story from Sandy, but decided to take time to write it first. I went back and recorded her reading her story today. She shares what it was like during the hurricane and what she has endured/battled in the weeks since Sandy. Sheri was one of two or three people still living on her floor in the dark in those first 20 days after the storm. I remember a moment on election day when Sheri was using one of our cell phones to call her insurance company. "Where is my car? Well, it was in the parking lot but it floated into the building next door." Sheri is laughing at the absurdity, so as not to cry. When I see her the following Saturday she holds her fist in the air and says, "our guy won the election, we did it!" Somehow, she is focusing on things beyond this moment. What a lady!