Hurricane Andrew destroyed South Florida 16 years ago today…

… relevant to this blog only because it destroyed our home and I learned a new meaning of "starting over". Actually, many families had it much worse that ours did. Some literally had their homes blown to pieces. Ours was simply unlivable for several months. Our neighborhood was flooded, our pets were displaced (some were never to be seen again; others turned up traumatized) and furniture that we had just purchased the week before had been carried by the storm to other parts of the house, now muddied. A water line that was waist high – indicating where water had just sat and hung out during the storm’s flooding – lined the inside walls of our house. Quite a lot for a high schooler – or anyone, for that matter – to deal with.

But, as I said, I did learn about starting over, a lesson I suppose most of us are faced with at some point in our lives… starting over after heartbreak, following the painful end to a relationship, or the loss of a family member, friend or beloved pet. Many endings are painful, but if we are fortunate or look for the silver lining, I suppose many endings are also beginnings of good things. Regardless, reflecting on loss is – I think – a good reminder to reflect, too, on what we have and who in our lives we are grateful for: the partner who is there for us when times are tough, our sex drives that pull us closer to that person we can’t get enough us, the children who may climb into your bed in the morning to wake you up bright and early, or the parent who nags you because they love you dearly.

Gratitude, gratitue, gratitude.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at