Gone to Feed the Roses

The home I share with Christopher Cerf, on Gerard Drive in Springs, was not spared Hurricane Sandy. We were residing in our main residence in New York City when the water rose over the spindly mile-and-a-half-long cape bounded by Gardiners Bay and Accabonac Harbor. Police cars blocked the entrance to Gerard, we read in the Times. It was not safe to enter.

Aerial views made the spit of land look like the Loch Ness Monster surfacing—humps of spine, the creature mostly submerged. A friend reported that our yard and patio were ravaged, but our house was unharmed. After a spell came the news that my eighty-seven-year-old father had collapsed in Northern California. A day later, for the first time I entered my childhood home without him greeting me with a blessing and kiss. Content with his history books, his painting and gardening, he was a homebody; I sensed the vacancy as a prelude to loss. At Eden Hospital, he cried out my name when he saw me, the daughter from far away.

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