I really planned on starting up my Flashback Friday again today, but this morning I woke up with a really heavy heart and could not understand why. Then I looked at the calendar...August 29. 3 years ago today Katrina tore apart our city, tore apart families, tore apart our homes and memories. Changed our lives forever.
We evacuated Saturday morning. Mandatory military orders. We went to Memphis, TN. Stayed in a hotel and BEGGED my parents to come. My dad wanted to cut his grass first. They finally came on Sunday night. Katrina made landfall directly over thier city. Praise God. We stayed glued to CNN with tears in our eyes as we watched our city go under water. We watched the people of New Orleans beg and plead for help. The hardest part though, was not knowing where my great grandmother was. She has dementia and was in the Superdome b/c she wanted to stay behind with her son who was on dialysis and could not leave the city at that time. Her son called my mom and told her that they were spearated and my great grandma was put on a bus but they didn't know where to. WE prayed and prayed and thank God we stayed glued to CNN b/c a clipped played and sure enough, we saw Grandma Pearl! My mom called CNN and told them that she saw a clip with her missing grandma. The kind people at CNN went through the clips and studied the background and were able to tell us exactly where she was. Praise God! We stayed in a hotel for 4 long weeks before getting the okay to go to the city and check our homes. Here's what we found...
We had 2 feet of water in the house so it caused the walls and everything in the house to mold. Then we went upstairs...
As soon as we pulled up to our house, our neighbor was standing outside and burst into tears. We knew things would never be the same and I had to tell her that we wouldn't be moving back in b/c my husband had to start working again immediately and that couldn't be done in New Orleans. We went into the house and grabbed whatever it was we could salvage (and fit in our suv b/c moving trucks were nonexistent). Most of what we tried to save had to be thrown away later b/c of mold. So we left behind our home and all of our memories from our first year of marriage. It was tough.
Now 3 yrs later, the gulf coast is being threatened once again by a hurricane that may very well do just as much damage as Katrina did to our city. It seems cruel that the residents who did decide to move back to the city and rebuild, were given 3 yrs to rebuild and for the city's population to rise again and return to normal (as normal as a devestated city can be)only to be threatened to lose everything once again. My church home was completed ruined in Katrina and was just reopened not even 6 months ago. Now they are biting their nails and praying that this storm does not wash all of the hard work away once again (ok now I'm crying!). It just seems unfair. But I am a firm believer that our God put's us in certain situations for a reason. When we lost everything to Katrina and were basically homeless for 2.5 months, I could not understand what God's message or plan was through all of this. But now we own our first home and we have our son! Both of which would not have happened had we still been in La. I'm sure thousands of people who survived Katrina also have testimonies to share. God had a plan for everyone. So there's no reason why I don't believe He's got this situation under control. The thought of our city going under water again is sickening, but I can certainly say that everyone is taking action to leave the city this time around so I know there will be less lives loss this time, hopefully none. Life is precious and definitely cannot be replaced.
So to everyone on the gulf coast an in the path of Gustav, I'm praying for you and just know that God is your pilot!
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