Leaving the Storm Behind

With the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaching, I’ve made a decision.  This will be the last year I mark this anniversary.  I’m willing to tell the story one last time, as a final catharsis to anyone who still wants to hear it.  Then I’m going to declare it in the past.

The first responder marking says: 1 Dead in Attic. Photo credit: Eliot Kamenitz/The Times-Picayune

The first responder marking says: 1 Dead in Attic. Photo credit: Eliot Kamenitz/The Times-Picayune

Katrina is still in our daily vocabulary.  We use her as a reference in time.  We refer to her as an experience that reshaped our lives and our communities.  We blame her for our losses.  We thank her for our renewal.

Putting it in the past is going to be a hard thing to do, for every day I drive past vacant lots where families once lived, and empty houses with broken windows and spray-painted first-responder code still on the front.  But I also drive past gleaming new schools, manicured parks, and thriving communities.  Those who haven’t moved forward with rebuilding have obviously made their decision.

This memorial is across the street from the Convention Center. The inscription to the right reads: Honoring the people and remembering the events that occurred August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Photo credit: community.devexpress.com

I’m going to be part of the “new” New Orleans.

I’m going to reflect one last time on this event that changed my life.  I’m going to recall a few details, commit the lessons to my memory, and thank those you saved me when I most needed saving.

One last time.


9 thoughts on “Leaving the Storm Behind

  1. Pingback: Becoming brave | The Lucky Mom

  2. Louise

    Hi! I was fortunate enough to visit New Orleans 3 weeks before Katrina hit your beautiful city.

    You have such a positive outlook in life. I think it is wonderful to just look at the new “New Orleans”.


    1. The Lucky Mom Post author

      I know. (Not a stalker. You wrote a post about it.)

      That’s how I found your blog. You wrote about New Orleans and Quebec. (I was an exchange student in Quebec about 30 years ago…) It popped up on my tag filter. The rest is history. 🙂

  3. Eugenia

    When I was home in July we went past my late sister’s house. Though her husband and his new wife ( SEVEN years after she passed) is re-doing the house on Gen. Haig. He added a second floor and raised it. I peered through the windows and the walls are still studs and need the sheet rock. A staircase is now where was just a front entery. Though it dosen’t look the same and had already been done once by them from a little starter house it is looking good, but the old front door is still there with the search code on it. It is fading and I guess once they are ready to move in they will finally put the finishing touch of a new front door. I just wish it could happen a little faster as he is approaching retirement age and I want them to be able to enjoy it. The entire neighborhood of Lakeview looks different every time I go. Once that is finished I feel I will be able to not have to go pass the house when I visit unless to visit with them and that will be another experience going in for the first time.

    1. The Lucky Mom Post author

      That area does change weekly. Now with the Road Home lots being sold, people are actually building again. Let’s hope we can get some property taxes rolling in!

  4. Barry

    GOOD article, Lucky Mom – and an EXTREMELY good point. I guess I had stopped paying attention to the anniversary but at some point we do have to stop living in the past and look ONLY forward. I’ve learned that very well recently and it’s been nothing but terrific since.

    Your use of the “One Dead in Attic” photo (if you haven’t already, read Chris Rose’s book by the same name, but let THAT be the final Katrina-related thing you do) was fitting; the house was torn down a few years ago – and it’s symbolic of just moving forward. Good points all around.

    1. The Lucky Mom Post author

      Thanks for the kind words. I have read the book (in fact, my autographed copy is upstairs). Mr. Coleman lived on the street Mr. Wonderful’s grandmother lived on when he was a child, so I actually knew the house.

      I think one of the reasons I’ll be able to handle hurricanes and evacuations without having my PTSD flashbacks is that Mr. W. has retired from the National Guard, so I’ll no longer be doing it solo. But I’ve warned him: If we have to pack up, I don’t want his advice on how to do it. I’ve been doing it by myself for 20 years, and doing it quite well!


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