It’s crazy what this superstorm called Sandy has done to the Northeast. Millions without power, thousands stranded, and the entire Jersey shore demolished. It’s hard to realize the impact of this storm here in Richmond, especially when miraculously Sandy decided to skip over us and only drop a typical and harmless windy rainstorm on us. But it is also harder to realize that such a storm could span a thousand miles….bring the biggest storm surges in history…. combine a deadly windstorm with a blizzard….completely restructure a shoreline… and knockout one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the country…. IN OCTOBER.

The pictures are unreal, the videos leave you speechless.

Fortunately, we did have a heads up and somewhat ample time to evacuate and prepare for the worst. But, honestly, can you ever be fully prepared for something like this? Something like this that analysts are saying only happen once in a lifetime, if not longer?

The road to recovery seems long, as well as cold, but what is most amazing is how positive New Jersey, New York, and the rest of the Northeast are staying. Today I received an e-mail from the CEO, whose company and headquarters in the West Village of NYC have been effected by Sandy. His e-mail was filled with resilience for getting things back to normal and moving forward. But what struck me the most was the quote he ended the letter with: “Even in tough times, it helps to smile. We’re all designed to – more than ever.”

What the northeast is going through is not easy. But a city can’t rebuild when all we do is dwell on the pictures and all the destruction that has happened. By keeping spirits up, rolling with the punches and looking forward, and focusing on the important things – like the people we love – we can get through this.

A disaster like this sucks. A disaster like this is cruel and makes us question, “Why us?” But what a disaster like this also does is brings us closer together. It unites a neighborhood, town, city, and country to come together and make things better again. And it all starts with a smile.

So smile everyone, as Jason Goldberg and the family says, “we’re designed to.”

(All my thoughts go out to my friends in NY, NJ, and RI. Keep your heads up and stay dry up there!)