Gov. Christie Says The Jersey Shore Is A Memory Now

Hi guys. My Internet access has been going in and out all day due to Hurricane Sandy. I can report that all Coppa family members are safe and I owe uncle Bri a huge thank you for all he did for JD and me. From filling the kitchen with non-perishable foods to his quick thinking about freezing water in Tupperwear containers as a means to save our food if the power went out. And it did. It was scary. The winds shook our condo. I felt safe with uncle Bri here and I know JD did too.

If you’ve been following my blog all along, you know I have a soft spot for the Jersey shore and that both uncle Carlo and my mom live in Bradley Beach, NJ—a family orientated beach town next to popular, Belmar.

Tonight, as JD played Legos on the carpet and I admittedly sipped wine, a tear slipped from my eye as I listened to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie via NBC Nightly News. He described the iconic places on the Jersey Shore that have been wiped out after Sandy, such the boardwalk in Belmar (where JD and I would walk Max the dog every summer weekend). Christie confirmed what we all now know: All that remains is water, sand and debris. The ocean met the bay in some places. He is committed to rebuilding with the help of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, but like he said, for people my age and his … it will never be the same again. We will rebuild. We’re Jersey Strong. 

When I was a young girl, my parents rented summer homes for weeks at a time in the Ortley Beach area. I have fond memories of sand between my toes, the backdoor policy my parents issued to my friends, inviting them all down, the rides at Seaside. We would dine at a place called Gabriella’s and play video games at Barnacle Bill’s. Every night my parents would take us to the Seaside Boardwalk, now gone, to ride the rides, play games; eat Kohr’s ice cream.

See, growing up in Jersey, Snooki and Pauly D didn’t make the MTV version of the Jersey Shore exciting or alluring to me. My friends and I were fist pumping at Temptations and drinking fish bowls at Bamboo when those guys were in diapers. Good for them for making millions off my shore (no sarcasm)—if someone followed my friends and me around we’d be just as famous, no joking, here. The Jersey Shore to me is a million things in one pristine sea shell.

It’s home to a vault of secrets only my best friends know. It’s Three Brother’s Pizza at 2 am with George, Carlo and Co. It’s first love, lost love, new love. It’s Krista in the rain, mascara down her face (secrets). It’s walks on the beach with my dad—greatest conversations of my life. It’s flying kites with Carlo and Bri. It’s lazy days with my mom, feeding baby ducks, at a bay house we rented one year—I was just 17. It’s the summer of 2004 where life was just … unimaginable … insane, but a cute Argentine reminded me how to live and … love again. It was a place of solace when I was pregnant and … single. Sand. Sun. Rush of water.

And it is unfortunately where my first bikini at 13 led to the most devastating moment of my life: My Spinal Fusion.

I begged for a bikini. My mom and dad were both against it, but I won. And I wore that orange and pink number to the beach and while it wasn’t super skimpy, it did give my mom, dad and second cousins a view of my body they were not privy to see. It was a hot day in July of 1995 when my second cousin, Ro, said to my mom, “Chrissy’s hips are crooked.” My mom told me to stand up straight. I fled. Thirteen. Bikini. Body. Puh-lease. But they were right.

I was sick. So sick only a 9 hour operation could fix me and I have the battle wound, scar from neck to hips to prove it. That moment on the beach—to the moment in the hospital when a single tear fell from my eye to my lips and I tasted the salt is a moment in time I will never forget. Talk about backbone. Bad day? I go there. To the beach and to the operating room. Backbone sustains me. Always will. I guess, I could say, the Jersey shore saved my life. Doctor Roye said my spinal curve was so aggressive, so rare that it could collapse my lung and without sign.

Summer is over and here’s why I’m thrilled

Moms still go dancing at the Jersey Shore. Well, this mom does!

Not fun things about the beach when you’re a mom

But, listen, guys, I didn’t set out to tell a sob story about my scar. I really wanted to tell you all what the Jersey Shore has meant to me since becoming a mommy. Because my family has residence there, JD has gotten to grow up there. What a joy to watch him go from a curious baby with sand between his fingers, to one who feared the ocean; now loves it. A child who can dig for hours for “treasures,” sand crabs and more—and fish with his godfather. We’ve made so many new friends at the beach. Here’s a look at the past five years of JD at the Jersey Shore.

Godspeed to you, pretty sea. The tide, you pull in and out and are a constant in my life. Something I always counted on. My sincere prayers to all harmed and changed by the storm. I have many friends in trouble. I ache for them. 

I wrote this beach-themed blog for in 2009. Reading it now, made me cry. I hope you like it, too.

  • Bradley Beach, NJ 1 of 18
    Bradley Beach, NJ
    Here's a gorgeous view of where JD and I spend our summers.
  • JD’s First Day At The Beach 2 of 18
    JD's First Day At The Beach
    Here we are on the boardwalk at Bradley Beach, NJ in the summer of 2008.
  • Sand Writing 3 of 18
    Sand Writing
    I remember writing JD's name in the sand for the first time like it was ... yesterday. This image is framed on the wall in my condo.
  • Got Sand? 4 of 18
    Got Sand?
    JD takes his time to examine the sand for the first time.
  • Sand Toy Time 5 of 18
    Sand Toy Time
    JD had a blast playing with sand toys in 2009.
  • Sand Castle Fun 6 of 18
    Sand Castle Fun
    JD was determined to build this lumpy castle. Atta boy!
  • Beach Day With Uncle Bri 7 of 18
    Beach Day With Uncle Bri
    Uncle Bri, JD and me on the Bradley Beach Boardwalk in 2010. It was a fun, sunny day!
  • Mother’s Day 2011 8 of 18
    Mother's Day 2011
    We spent Mother's Day on Bradley Beach with our fam. It was special, warm and a day I'll always remember.
  • Point Pleasant Boardwalk 9 of 18
    Point Pleasant Boardwalk
    Uncle Carlo is a sport! Mommy has a weak tummy, but Carlo will always ride with his godson.
  • JD Turns 5 On Bradley Beach 10 of 18
    JD Turns 5 On Bradley Beach
    We came to the beach with 5 balloons. A seagull snatched 1. "Whoa mommy!"
  • JD & Mema Chilling On The Beach 11 of 18
    JD & Mema Chilling On The Beach
    My mom and JD under the umbrella on Bradley Beach this past summer.
  • Bradley Beach Mini Golf 12 of 18
    Bradley Beach Mini Golf
    Uncle Carlo lives one block from this old school mini golf course. He loved taking his godson golfing after dinner.
  • Rip Mini Golf 13 of 18
    Rip Mini Golf
    No more mini golf. Gone.
  • Bradley Beach Boardwalk 14 of 18
    Bradley Beach Boardwalk
    Uncle Carlo and JD walk off for an ice cream.
  • Rip Boardwalk 15 of 18
    Rip Boardwalk
    The Bradley Beach boardwalk is gone.
  • New Friends 16 of 18
    New Friends
    JD and Liv enjoying ice cream on the Bradley Beach Boardwalk this summer (I work with her mommy, Jacqui).
  • Family Fun! 17 of 18
    Family Fun!
    Here's JD with Poppy and Karen after a walk for seashells.
  • Max The Dog 18 of 18
    Max The Dog
    JD loves the beach. His fave part? Hanging with Max the dog.

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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