My heart breaks for the Jersey Shore. Not the show, the people. The real people with real lives and a real disaster to clean up after. My husband’s family went to the Shore for his childhood summers, and it is close to his heart. We have vacationed there a couple of times, and it always delighted me to see how happy he was there in that magical place from his youth.
Although my heart and prayers go out to all the victims of Sandy, I feel a special tug at the loss of the boardwalks along the Jersey Shore. I think it always affects us differently when the disaster hits someplace we know.
Of course, they’ll rebuild. But it will be new. Different. What was there–the history, the nostalgia, the memories–can’t be rebuilt. Even when they build it back, it won’t be the same boardwalk, the same roller coaster, the same pizza parlor.
Sometimes what makes a place so special is the history and the memories. The Jersey Shore is not the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to. Their roller coasters were not the fastest or the most thrilling I’ve ever ridden. Their funnel cake and pizza . . .well, that was actually probably the best I’ve ever had. But the time we spent there was magical, and we have memories.
When you walked those boards, you were walking on the history of so many families. So many traditions. Vacation. Weekends. Summer. Carefree. Waves crashing. Sun shining. Kites flying. Ice cream and french fries and funnel cake . . . for dinner!
One of my favorite pictures of my mother-in-law was taken in much younger, more carefree days at the Shore. It embodies what I felt when I was there. A moment frozen in time that captured happiness, relaxation, fun and family. It was like an escape from reality. A surreal place of games and rides and beach and food. It was kind of like a time-out where you got to just be a kid no matter how old you were.
I truly cannot imagine the pain and devastation of those who lost their homes, their businesses, their family or friends. I am so sorry for your loss, and I pray for your recovery. But I also hurt for those who held the Jersey Shore dear as a link to childhood, to youth, to family, to carefree summers, and the past. The place may be gone, but the memories, pictures in our minds, live on.
P.S. All my photos are copyrighted! If you want a copy, contact me!