STATEN ISLAND, New York (PIX11) — “It’s hard I can’t grieve him yet. I’m still grieving my daughter. I can’t past the fact of my daughter being gone.”
The grief of losing her young daughter and her husband in the storm is still so fresh for Patricia Dresch of Tottenville, six months later.
This week was especially hard since Angela would have turned 14 years old.
“The worst thing I had to do was go to my daughter’s grave to wish her a happy birthday,” cried Dresch.
The book details that terrifying night. “The water was 30 feet high and debris was everywhere.”
That fateful night six months ago, as the storm raged louder and louder outside of their beachfront home Patricia, her husband George and daughter Angela, huddled into the bathroom on the second floor.
Patricia had her arms wrapped around her when suddenly the roof ripped off.
“We got hit in the head. And I jerked my arms up to get the roof off of me that’s when I lost her. I lost her. And I felt I killed her. She floated away, I knew she was gone instantly,” said Dresch, clutching a tissue as tears streamed down her face.
Patricia says she was trapped floating in debris for hours before a fireman rescued her that night. She spent days in the hospital recovering from her injuries.
Emergency responders first found the body of 13-year-old Angela. Two days later, they found George’s body, her husband of 30 years.
“I wasn’t able to ID the bodies because I was in the hospital and I’m so glad I didn’t have to,” said Dresch.
A typical tween, young Angela loved Instagram. She took a final picture of herself on the beach, (a “selfie” as its called) just hours before the tidal surge would wash away her house. Unknowingly, she documented her last words in a hashtag, #SANDYCOMEATME.
That is how the book got it’s title.
“It’s a great tribute,” said Dresch.
For author Marlene Paulin, the Dresch family story is personal. Patricia is her sister-in-law and her own daughters have been close cousins with Angela since birth.
“They’re changed forever. They will talk about something they did with Angela and start laughing and then their smile runs away from their face,” said Paulin choking back tears.
Patricia is grateful for the book. “I’m happy that it’s out there so people can know firsthand what its like.”
But the book doesn’t make her life any less lonely, waking up each day without her husband or her daughter.
“I relive that last half hour I had with my family. I still have dreams. Last night I had a dream I was in water. It’s still there. Memories are still fresh,” said Dresch.
Like most Sandy victims, Dresch has not recieved much government money. She says FEMA gave her around $6,000 to pay for the funerals of her daughter and husband.
Her homeowners insurance Oswego, denied her coverage since she didn’t have flood insurance.
But a piece of good news came from Congressman Michael Grimm, who she says, practically promised her that she would be the first one to get in on the government buyout program.
“I just hope its soon so I can move on with my life,” she said.
Meanwhile, the proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the Dresch Family Fund to help her.
If you want to buy the book, click here.