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A home but homeless

"A home but homeless" Continued...

“My mom and my sister—Cameron is their life,” said Jim, who is the interim pastor at Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Seaside Park.

On Friday, Natalie carefully packed up Cameron’s stuffed animals, books, and his Halloween costume from last year. It was the first time she looked really sad. She said she was glad Halloween was canceled this year because of the storm. “I want all holidays to be canceled until I get him back,” she said. She hoped his wheelchairs and bikes, all worth thousands of dollars, would be salvageable.

Dave described his girlfriend Natalie as “tough,” and that characteristic comes out in her unfailing optimism. As we were leaving the island we drove past a new landfill, many stories tall, of Sandy wreckage. If the islands get a lot of snow this winter, “it’d be a great sledding hill,” she said.

As Natalie left the island, she switched to what she calls “hospital mode.” She has to drive north to go check on her mother in the ICU. When word came that the hospital might have to transfer her, even farther away, Natalie said something that might sound pat but isn’t coming from someone who has suffered: “I might have been more upset about losing stuff if I hadn’t had such a crazy summer. I’ve learned that God’s plan is better than mine.” 

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD Magazine from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emlybelz.


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