Whatever You Want It To Be

Carole Pollinger has a deep connection to the ocean, it is her source of calm, meditation, and wonder. She has lived in the Rockaways for thirty years. She stayed in her apartment in a waterfront high rise during the storm, in part, because of her love of the ocean and the strong spiritual and physical sense of place she feels in Rockaway. Some of what Carole has endured since the storm has been unimaginable, but she has kept her humor and her humanity strong throughout. She is a survivor. Carole shared a story with me today. When her daughter Michelle was quite ill, the two of them were sitting beside one another on a bench along the boardwalk in Rockaway Beach. Carole pointed out the sky and the water to her 32 year old daughter. Then she pointed to the space between and asked, "What do you think is in the middle over there?". Her daughter, replied, "Mom, whatever you want it it be." Michelle passed away a few months later. I fancy myself a merchild so I am touched and grateful to Carole for sharing this moment and her daughter's wisdom...on my way home this evening, I stopped at the ocean and Michelle's sage words resonated. There is something awfully special about Rockaway. And about Carole Pollinger.