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Sandy Takes A Life

A Widow Reflects
By Linda Gold

October 29th, 2012 was the day that changed my life forever. My husband drove me to Brooklyn but refused to evacuate himself. He insisted that he was the captain of the ship and needed to be home. My husband Richard Gold, known to many people as their postal letter carrier, perished in the storm. Like so many other Rockaway residents, my husband was confident that our home of 33 years would be safe. We had never experienced even having water in the basement prior to this storm.

While I was evacuated in December, a plumbing and hot water heater problem caused new, extensive flooding. At this point of my life I was sure I would never move back. Shortly thereafter there were so many people from my husband’s mail route that called or sent letters and cards. The stories and the messages were both informative, endearing and sometimes even humorous. They moved me and my family more than anyone who wrote them could have imagined. My husband became a postal worker at age fifty. Although this was not his first career choice he took it seriously and enjoyed every moment he was on the job.

Ricky would often come home and talk about different people on his route. He was very fond of many of the families on his route. It was interesting to hear some of the same stories come back to me from the people reaching out to me. My family was truly touched by the outpouring of affection and stories that they shared with us about him.

I know that everyone here was suffering in their own way. No one was left unscathed from the storm. Even though he was of age to retire, all of the wonderful people he saw on a daily basis gave him his inspiration to continue working.

Throughout the years he developed a good rapport with many people on his route. There were times when he was off and he would go visit them to say hello. On many occasions I would accompany him with our grandson Lucas. He liked to visit the elderly or those who might be ill. It’s what made him special.

Subsequently, since the storm, I now have another grandchild named Benjamin Richard, who we regret he will never get to know. Anyone who knew Ricky knows how fond he was of children. He genuinely enjoyed how excited the children were to see him coming with the mail.

I would like to thank my friends and neighbors for their love and support. They have made me feel welcome and glad to be home. Some of my neighbors even emptied my garage while we were sitting Shiva, which was no easy feat. Their words of kindness however superseded any physical help they provided. In addition I would like to thank the Graybeards for their generosity. My family and I are grateful to all the organizations that assisted us in numerous ways. While the National Guard was disposing our garbage they admired our many flags. Rick would have been so proud of that because he took pride in being a veteran. They were very helpful.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a year since the storm. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Rick at least a dozen times. I am happy to finally be in my house because I believe that’s what Rick would have wanted. I hope that time will ease the pain for everyone affected by the storm. I would also urge all residents to heed storm warnings in the future.

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