November 1, 2012

Feeling Guilty

I feel guilty.

My family and I survived Hurricane Sandy completely unscathed. Minus the power being out at our house we had no water or structural damage at all. For that I feel lucky. But I also feel a sense of guilt, like maybe we should have been hit harder so we would completely know what it's like back home.

All I have to go on is pictures I see on the Internet. Pictures of absolute chaos all over the tristate area. I've seen a lot of bad things over the years from working in TV news, including New York City after 9/11. But seeing these images of the widespread destruction so close to where I live hits home much harder.

I didn't know anyone that died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, so for me while the day was tragic I was never left with any of this guilt that I have now. Maybe my home should have taken on sea water like my Best Man at my wedding's house. Maybe our whole neighborhood should be wiped out much like my wife's old stomping grounds on Staten Island were. Maybe we should have stayed in New Jersey and rode out this whole mess like everyone else is?

We decided to leave.

Vacation was planned for later in the week, so we decided to leave early. Leave an area that we know is devastated, for the comfort and safety of Walt Disney World. Maybe that is part of the reason that I feel guilty, I'm here and others are back home picking up the pieces of their torn apart lives, or in the case of my best man - protecting his house from ass hole looters that are going to to door stealing from those who have already lost so much. My kids will never know what it's like back home. All of their friends are struggling to stay warm in powerless houses and here they are getting to go to Legoland and Disney World.

Should we have stayed home and dealt with this there? Part of me actually thinks that we should have, but I do think we made the right decision heading south. We are fortunate that we were able to do so. So many families could not. That's why my wife and I have decided to donate all of our old clothes and toys to families that have lost everything. See my whole "not wanting to get rid of anything" finally paid off.

I just want everyone to know that even though we might be a thousand miles away, our hearts are very much back home with all our friends who riding this out back there.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?



  1. Cyn A.D.D.Music MammaNovember 2, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I live outside of the Dallas/Ft.Worth area (in tornado alley). I have similar feelings when tornados rip things apart here...but on a different's hard to explain. I'd like to think we feel guilty because we're compassionate people & we truly want the best for those around us. Enjoy your trip with the boys! :) Cyn
    A.D.D.Music Mamma

  2. Crazed in the KitchenNovember 2, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    For what it's worth, I think you made the right decision for your family. Your kids are still pretty young, and living through all that could have been traumatic for them. Yes, I know there are kids living through much worse than a power outage right now, and that's horrible. But sparing your own kids that experience is a loving act. They have plenty of time to learn about everything life has to deal need to start too soon.

  3. Feel that same way being up here in MA, yet all my family and friends are in NJ dealing with this. It's not like it's even getting better down there. I'm hearing that long lines for gas and continued power outages are starting to wear thin on people, so hopefully things get back to normal soon before human nature takes a turn for the worse. You made the right call. Just like we've discussed about kids and politics, there is simply no reason their brains should be dealing with stuff like looters and people fighting over gas. You did what's best for your family, will surely do what's best for those in need with your donations, and the rest is up to Bon Jovi and Bruce to rally the troops tonight and have a kick ass benefit concert on NBC.

  4. If I could have I'd make the same decision as you.

  5. I know it's the right call. We will help out when we can.

  6. It's hard to totally comprehend it when you aren't there. I know there are places that we frequented in the last that are totally gone now. We'll visit those places when we get home to give ourselves a better sense of things.

  7. I remember being 17 and we had a huge ice storm that knocked out power for a week. I don't even know what we did to pass the time but I do know my kids are not ready to experience that.

  8. Thanks. I do have a heart afterall. Who knew?

  9. that is very thoughtful of you and your family. I could totally see why you would feel that way but everything is meant to happen and may it was meant to happen this way. And you feeling guilty about the whole situation is just an example to show what a compassionate person you and your family are. At this time, all of us should pray and do our best to help the people in need. What a great idea to donate toys and clothes to in need. stay safe!

  10. The guilt is normal, but you shouldn't feel it. Know that you kept your kids safe, and that you will do what you can because you were not in the situation, and now you can help others. (And so you know, my understanding is that one person's already been killed due to hostility waiting for gas, and the looters are getting really aggressive. Take solace in knowing that your kids are not in the middle of that.)