Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Remembering Katrina

Today my mind has been on Lynelle a lot because it is the anniversary of Katrina. I remember all the ups and downs and many many tears we shared last year. Lynelle does not have cable so we stayed up most of the night watching the weather channel and talking on our cell phones until they died and we switched to the home phones. I remember how we thought her family was in the clear and the hurricane was going to miss New Orleans only to hear the next day of the levees breaking and the flood beginning - (I have tears now just remembering) - we started worrying again and trying to get in touch with her family members. She heard from Mom and sister, Shelly, who had made their way up to Shreveport before the levees broke. The next few days were heart-wrenching as we waited and called and text messaged and searched online forums and red cross lists for hours at a time searching for any sign that her dad was okay. Every day started the same, "Have you heard anything?" "No," then tears and tears and more tears. I wish I could remember just how many days we waited before we finally heard the news that he had been rescued from a roof top and was walking his way to Baton Rouge - he is in his 60's! I felt so helpless but at the same time so impressed with his resolve to stay and put his life back together in the only place he had ever called home.

Lynelle's mom and sister came here after leaving Shreveport. Her mom is in real estate and she was able to close on a deal that was otherwise falling through, and bought herself a house in an area that hadn't suffered any damage. Her house was on Lake Pontchatrain (?) and was pretty much a total loss. Her mom bought a new car here and made her way back to New Orleans after a few weeks. Sister Shelley stayed here and, though I think she misses her homeland, I believe she really likes it here. She says it is safer and things move a lot slower. It is giving her a chance to spend time with her young daughters. I am sure there are lots of memories being re-lived all over the US tonight. I am glad I can say that even though Lynelle and her families lives were greatly changed by Katrina that at least they are alive and starting over. My thoughts are still with them.

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