All Things Are Possible

This has been a remarkable, unforgettable, historical time for all of Americans and especially for those on the Eastern Seaboard.

First of all: Congratulations to the President on being elected for a second term in Office. Unfortunately, it seems as if his re-election has been overshadowed, especially in the Tri State Area by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and then only a week later, a major Nor’Easter.

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Talk about rubbing salt into the wound or adding insult to injury. Besides billions of dollars that it will take to rebuild and regroup, many had to deal with over six inches of snow. Buildings and trees that had been spared miraculously during Hurricane Sandy could not withstand the double whammy and succumbed to the effects of the heavy winds and over laden branches.

To quote one little boy on the news: “It is so unfair!”  This was his reaction to the fact that they had just got back power from the blackout caused by Hurricane Sandy only to lose it again because of the snow and heavy winds from the Nor’Easter. A great reminder that no matter how scientifically advanced mankind has become, we have no answers when it comes to “Mother Nature.”

How do you dig out from these dire situations and what gives you the impetus to do so? As all of us who have ever had to deal with tragedy know, the living has to go on living, and the human spirit is so resilient that we find a way. To the world we may look as if we are moving along quite nicely, whereas inside we may be dead and void of emotions. Whatever the case, we will survive and we have to believe that all things are possible.

With survival as our motivation, we may now be able to turn our attention once again to routine, day to day activities and issues. I hope we never take our minds off of the

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Immigration plight of so many of our fellow human beings. Remember if those of us who were US citizens suffered during these natural disasters, how much more would an immigrant struggle? When we cannot work, we will file for unemployment and our medial needs will be taken care of as well. What does an undocumented Immigrant do? It is unimaginable who some people have to endure!!

Let us hope that the positive trend that was started by the present administration: Allowing young people ages 16 to 33 who are in school or have a GED to be granted work permits, driver’s licenses and some basic legal rights (Albeit for two years) will continue and bring lots of relief.

Please understand no one is advocating that it is OK to break the law, but at times even the Gods were willing to “Temper Justice with Mercy!”

What I learned from Hurricane Sandy

As New York and the whole Eastern United States recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, those of us who are still around should be grateful and extremely humbled by nature.

The damage is unprecedented in the History of New York and besides many lives and limbs being lost, there are so many who are now homeless, without power and many are cold and hungry. With all of this misery and devastation it is heartwarming to see the outpouring of love and generosity among human beings.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

It is sad that it takes these kinds of disasters to bring out the innate goodness that we as human beings possess, but it is also reassuring. In times of need, we reach out to perfect strangers to lend a helping hand and offer a warm meal or even a bottle of water.

New Yorkers should be highly complimented in the way they are buckling down and trying to pick up the pieces and move on and in so doing being there for those who have lost so much. In such dire circumstances, they have not resorted to looting and rioting in the streets in large numbers.

Instead many neighborhood agencies and church bodies have been rallying to reach out and provide hot meals and some amount of clothing while waiting on the major relief organizations, like Red Cross and FEMA to get to those in need. It is a very daunting task and unlike the “bum rap” that New Yorkers get, we have been extremely patient.

Amidst all the chaos and frustration, can you imagine being an immigrant without a green card? You may be moving from weekend to weekend from one relative to another while working during the week at a live-in job or far away from home. How do your relatives from your home country get information about you? Who do they contact to get word as to whether you are still alive?

During times of crisis and natural disasters, we all suffer tremendously and I can honestly say that if someone is an immigrant without legal rights, their plights are multiplied many times over.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you or a loved one has been affected by Hurricane Sandy, my prayers are with you and may you continue to be strong and brave to deal with whatever lies ahead in the recovery process.

Never give up if you want to Survive and Succeed.

WE never know what we are capable of until we are put to the test. I never thought I could survive without my kids, but SURVIVE, I did!  Never give up when the going gets tough … you have to make sacrifices if you want to accomplish anything in life –   when you are faced with hardships in life, you need to dig deep down within and find the resources to propel you forward. It is remarkable that we do not know what we are capable of until we are put to the test.

There will be many times when you feel like you have nothing left and there is no purpose in going on, DO NOT LOSE FOCUS. If you children are the light at the end of your tunnel, then use that as your guiding force. Let that thought and that purpose occupy your mind and your soul – let them be the reason for waking up every day!!

And when they finally join you and you hear one of them say,

“I will not let my mother’s sacrifice be in vain,”

It will all be worth it a million times over. The most rewarding part about all of this is to be able to look back and say, I did this and I survived!!