There was no FB. and an entire city was spread out across the nation, with friends and family scrambling to get through overburdened phone lines, hoping that those they loved had remembered to bring their cell phones and chargers when they left.
I was working in the United Way office (this was before Myrie so we stayed there all hours of the night) Organizing supplies, keeping track of where the residents of New Orleans were staying each night, making sure each place that provided shelter also had enough food and blankets and necessary things like soap and towels.
Things formerly taken for granted were now as valuable as diamonds. and in the madness of it all, I searched for the faces of friends I knew and had gone to ULL with, and of their families. I kept hoping, the first place they’d stop would be Lafayette, after all they had lived their during their under grad years.
Days passed, and I saw none of them. These were the days of Myspace, so I searched for signs there. And finally over a week later, found they had all survived, but one of them had been trapped in the city for days, working alongside other men to save lives of the weaker. Tomorrow is his birthday, and on this day 10 years ago, he spent his birthday in the flood waters, saving whomever he could. (Pause on that visual for a moment)
I told him today that to me it feels like he was born twice; his 2nd birth being the man he became after the storm.
Not long after Katrina’s flood waters had receded, Hurricane Rita slammed into Vermillion and Ibera parish. The entire coast of Louisiana lay in a state of disaster. OUR STATE’s current status has VERY LITTLE to do with “money” as that was MISdirected in ways I won’t go into here. The RECOVERY was because of THE PEOPLE. Everything from places to stay, hugs, tissues to wipe tears, rebuilding homes, cleaning up debris… IT WAS THE PEOPLE…
So EVERY YEAR when this day finds its way back to our calendars, WE HONOR THE PEOPLE. Those still here in the physical and those whose spirits have joined the Heavens, yet still left a part of their essence with us.
❤ ❤ ❤