The crash came as I talked to my mom about the hurricane. My husband had gone to the front door to take the dog outside since Irene had been raging for twelve hours and it was supposed to be dissipating.
My son had gone upstairs to his bedroom with a window that faced the front yard.
I called my mom to ask her why the winds were picking back up and seemed worse than ever. Suddenly I heard a sound like a bomb, a horrible scraping sound, and then the world seemed to explode.
One of our beautiful, 100- foot oak trees in the middle of our yard had uprooted. It initially hit my son’s window and broke the frame but, amazingly, not the window itself. Sliding down the house it took siding with it, then, I assume because the roots came out of the ground, it jutted forward and came crashing through our dining room window and wall.
My first thought was that my husband, dog and son were injured, or worse. I hung up the phone, leaving my mom in a dark silence since the last thing she heard was “Oh my God!” accompanied by a crash in the background.
We are all safe, with a little comedy thrown in as we tried to cover up the gaping hole with trash bags and packing tape (no, we’re not handy people). The rest of the night we huddled in our television room, the safest room in the house. We listened to more trees fall in the surrounding woods over the next six hours, wondering when we would be hit again.
My family rallied around us, ignoring the damage to their own homes to help us get the window and wall covered. My sister and her husband drove from Pennsylvania to stay one grueling afternoon and then drove back on the same day.
It’s in these moments that we realize how much we need each other. Those trees went down like dominoes. Four of them were lost in my backyard because the first one fell. We are like that, whether we want to admit it or not. We lean on each other, rely on each other, and we can take each other down or hold each other up.
I’ve been running on adrenaline, but today my power is on and I’m working and I want to cry. Just a little. Then I remember — my trees went down, but my family and friends held me up. Do the same for somebody today.