Hello Everyone,

I write to you in sorrow over the shocking catastrophe that has struck the Eastern states of the US, in the face of what is now called the greatest natural disaster in US History. It has taken me some days to catch my breath and even know what to say. We are all so horrified, and grief stricken for the people who lost homes, belongings, all their worldly possessions, or worse, loved ones. Natural disasters are more terrifying than anything man can create. Fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, anyone who has experienced them has a profound respect for the force of nature.

We have all seen the stories on the news, the closing of NYU Hospital in NY, and rescue of their patients, as nurses carried babies from the Newborn ICU down many flights of stairs, operating manually operated respirators, streets and neighborhoods disappearing, the boardwalk and roller coaster in Atlantic City vanishing into the ocean, cars swept down flooded streets, houses disappearing, people being rescued. It has brought the entire Eastern seaboard to a halt, with the whole lower part of Manhattan under water and without power, who knows for how long.

It has come very close to home for us, as I have two daughters who live in New York. Both were evacuated, and have homes they love. My daughter who is the most dedicated to her home, and truly loved it, with collections of treasured objects she has spent ten years collecting and cherished, and takes great pride in the home she loved so much, lost everything in the storm. Both of them live in downtown New York, and the one hardest hit lives across from the Hudson River, where 32 foot waves engulfed the lower part of the city (right across from her home), and 15 feet of floodwater rushed at her building and others and down the streets, and she lost everything she owns, and is heartbroken over it, as we are for her, and for everyone who suffered damage in the hurricane. I am immensely grateful that neither of my daughters were physically harmed, both are alive, and were able to save their dogs, although one daughter is without a home now. But it is a terrifying experience they will long remember, and it isn’t over yet. The whole lower part of Manhattan has no power, water, electricity. The one daughter’s apartment is still filled with mud, sea water, and water from the sewers. It is unthinkable in a city that seems as solid as New York. And my heart aches for everyone’s losses. Possessions can be replaced, but treasured sentimental objects are sad losses, and the homes where we all like to believe we are safe. It is terrifying to realize that we are not safe in the face of natural disasters.

Trapped in Paris, with all the airports closed around New York, I have watched in horror, and listened to my children’s sobs when I could reach them on the phone. I was able to get a flight for tomorrow, and will fly in to help them. But I think we all feel helpless in the face of this disaster.

My heart goes out to you who suffered damage and losses, injuries, or lost loved ones. As my youngest daughter said when I told her of her sister losing everything she owned and her apartment, “I have no words.” I have no words either. You have my love and my prayers, and my deep compassion. Let us hope that another disaster like this doesn’t happen again, and let us hope that the wounds, both emotional and material, heal as quickly as possible.

I send you all my love,


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11 Comments so far
  1. Jan November 1, 2012 6:19 pm

    Prayers go out to everyone dealing with this overwhelming situation.

  2. Susie November 1, 2012 6:37 pm

    I am so sorry for your daughters losses and for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. You are so right when you say that possessions can be replaced. Your daughters are so fortunate they are okay and were able to get their pets out too. They and everyone are in my prayers. Both of them are very lucky you are flying in to help them!!

  3. Lesley Harris November 1, 2012 7:04 pm

    As we sat in our homes in Canada and watched the terrible destruction Mother Nature caused, it is unthinkable to realize that everyone was so helpless. I pray that your family is able to move on and hold close the memories they lost while making new ones as they start a new chapter in their lives. Our hearts and prayers go out to all our neighbours during this difficult time.

  4. jean November 2, 2012 8:01 am

    after reading your blog-I felt even more sorrow for those in this terrible disaster. It just made it seem closer somehow. So glad to know your girls are OK. What a blessing to have a there ‘mom’ on the way.

  5. Jeanne Teef November 2, 2012 4:06 pm

    I am here in NY, on the South Shore of Long Island and while I have. I electric or heat and had a flooded basement, I have not suffered the grave losses you speak of. My heart breaks and my prayers are strong for all New Yorkers at this time. Bringing me through is the ability to read your beautiful book A Gift Of Hope” on my iPhone. As soon as possible I will follow your lead to help those less fortunate. You are a gift to this world.

  6. Jeanne Teef November 2, 2012 4:14 pm

    I meant I have no electric or heat…

  7. Mary November 2, 2012 6:50 pm

    I am on the east coast and that storm seem to last forever,at one point in the storm branches were flying sideways by the window. I am surprised you could get a flight in because even the airports were under water.The power is being restored in some areas and the fallen trees are slowly being removed but for those who lost everything we can all help by donations. This storm was massive not just in NY city and the affect will be felt for a long time for so many people. I was lucky the trees missed the house but so many trees were down on to other homes and power/phone/cable lines and it is cold out!The coast suffered the most water damage and some lost everything to fires that could not be fought in the high winds and flooded streets. In land we have mostly the wind damage. To my fellow east coasters I wish you all a speedy recovery to lessen the stress this has caused us all.Please help each other and be on the look out for the strayed pets, I already found a lost cat who was very cold and scared from its experience.Danielle let us know how your daughters are doing,take a day at a time,sometimes a simple hug from someone gives us the strength to recover and I am sure you gave them a Big Hug!

  8. Lorraine November 2, 2012 7:49 pm

    Dear Danielle,

    I am very sorry about the disaster your girls had to endure. If I remember correctly, you were concerned about these 2 daughters during
    Hurricane Irene, and I believe I remember your telling us about being in a NY hotel during this. I hope they both recover quickly from the psychological trauma of this event.
    Love, Lorraine

  9. Joy November 5, 2012 10:49 pm

    Prayers go out to your daughters, and all those facing this tragic situation.



  10. Aneta November 8, 2012 11:43 pm

    Tak mi przykro że takie kataklizmy zsyła nam Pan Bóg,całe szczęście że w obliczu tej klęski ofiary w ludziach nie były większe.Jestem fanką twoich książek czytam wszystkie i kupuję kolejne jak tylko mam pieniądze.Sercem jestem z wami Aneta z Polski.

  11. Joann Mackewich November 27, 2012 12:33 pm

    We live on the southern coast of Connecticut and last year when Irene hit we only lost a branch from a tree in front of our house. This year we had to evacuate and went inland to my daughter’s house. My son had just gone to his car to get his air mattress and bedding and was playing video games with my grandson when my son in law said he heard a huge crash. When we went to the door to look there was a huge tree on my son car. It cracked the front windshield, smashed in the sunroof window and shattered the rear window. I am so thankful that that tree waited until he was out of the way before it fell. When we got home after the storm, we found a lot of branches and tree limbs in our backyard. A tree was uprooted, but was leaning and still standing. We didn’t lose our power but we didn’t have any cable. A few days later, after our cable came back on we were able to see the devastation in New York and New Jersey. A neighbor had their daughter living in New Jersey and she had to come back home to CT because they had no heat or electricity. Their two son’s got sick living in their home with no heat until they were able to come here to CT.
    Now I look back on all the events of that week and my son lost his car, we lost a tree and we are thankful that that is all we lost.