As a resident of south Freeport, I was able to witness the destruction first hand. I also experienced the fear and uncertainty that accompanies natural disasters of this magnitude.
Thankfully, we made it through unharmed.
My wife’s car was not so lucky and was lost. The car was completely submerged under water for the duration of the storm.
At first, we were upset and beating ourselves up for not being more proactive in protecting our property. Then, we realized how lucky we were to lose just that car.
It also prompted me to think about our relationship to our property.
What our Property Means to us
Over the course of our lives, we acquire things. Some things become permanent fixtures in our daily lives while other things make temporary appearances.
That property which maintains a permanent place in our lives becomes a part of us. We develop emotional attachment to our homes, cars, jewelry, furniture and even our clothes. All of these things have an emotional and financial value making their loss that much more difficult.
Strong emotional attachments to our things can be disastrous, especially in times like these.
Our homes become more than shelter. Our cars become more than a way of getting from point A to point B. Our household goods and clothing start to define us.
Many times it is this emotional attachment to property that leads to the financial ruin I see in my bankruptcy practice.
Post Sandy, I realize how unhealthy this can be.
Recovering and Reevaluating
I am not trying to minimize the loss of property suffered by so many. So many families have been completely uprooted and displaced from their homes. I understand what it means to work hard for something and cherish it.
I feel for everyone who lost everything.
For me personally, I see an opportunity to recover, rebuild and reevaluate that which is and should be important.
More than the home itself, I will value the memories made there with my family. More than the car itself, I will value the freedom of transport it provides me. All of my personal effects will be reevaluated and I will appreciate the warmth, comfort and standard of living they help provide.
As Long Island begins to rebuild physically and emotionally, there is an opportunity for everyone to rebuild personally and reevaluate the relationship we have with our property.