Sunday, August 31, 2008

Counting my Blessings!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you remember where you were 3 years ago when Katrina hit? I do. I was in my comfortable home in Georgia not worrying too much about what was going to happen to me over there. And aside from the gasoline prices skyrocketing and the shortages I was practically benign to what was really going on. Oh sure, I saw the reports of how it had affected the people of New Orleans and the gulf coast. I truly felt sorry for them but I was comfy in my own home and not really having to worry about that. I also knew that Katrina had interrupted the lives of those here in middle to northern MS as well. For example, my in-laws were without power for several days. It was August and hot as all get out. Since electricity was out air conditioning wasn't functioning so you can only imagine how hot it was. Gasoline shortages occurred here too but once again, I didn't have to worry about that.

Well now that I am living in middle MS things are a lot different now. I find my emotions are flying high. Last night as my husband and I were traveling north on I-55 (which is basically a direct route to and from Louisiana) we noticed so many cars going northbound from LA. I could feel the heartache coming on.

This morning as we entered our church parking lot we noticed it was filled with cars from LA. I didn't know it but our church is a Red Cross shelter. People were out and about in the lot looking so sad and full of despair. During the church service we learned it was filled with 150 people and they were having to turn people away. When we were leaving outside sat one young man with some of his personal belongings and his pet in its carrier. The heartache is getting bigger.

We went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries and in their lot the county had set up emergency services for people looking for shelter. We parked beside a car that had LA tags. The backseat of their car was filled and they had their animal carrier with them. The man was standing outside the car and I just wanted to say something but words escaped me. What do you say to someone who is so displaced? Good morning didn't seem quite appropriate and of course "How are you" is out of the question. The heartache is almost at the breaking point.

When we left I was talking to my husband about how sad this is and he said, "Well I didn't want to tell you in church but when I went to the restroom there was a man in there that was bawling like a baby. He was obviously from LA with his cajun accent. He was telling someone when Katrina hit 3 years ago, she hit on his birthday and he had to leave his home. Now here it is 3 years later and he's had to leave again." Well needless to say this just tore me up. I started bawling like a baby and I looked at my husband who was crying as well.

As we headed up I-55 to go back home every other car that passed us had LA plates. Can you imagine having to pack up everything that you can possibly fit into your vehicle and leave your home? And then not knowing if you'll have a home to return to? I can't imagine that!

I'm glad I'm not feeling benign this time. It makes me feel very fortunate and blessed.

Please pray for all the people on the gulf, all the displaced people from Louisiana and all the families in the caribbean that have lost loved ones.


Anonymous said...

Lovely post Susie. I feel very fortunate to be safe & sound in my own home now. I've never experienced something as catascoptic as Katrina or Gustav. These families & individuals will be in my thoughts & prayers.

DP Nguyen said...

This was a lovely post. I am also feeling fortunate not to live too close to the Gulf or Florida, where the hurricanes like to hit. My American grandmother's relatives have come to Nashville from new Orleans. Her cousin is 94 years old and her cousin's husband is 92 or 93. I feel bad for them. They are so old and have to leave their home again. Luckily, Katrina did not hit their home, but no one knows what it will do this time. I feel so bad for everyone who is displaced. The weather is just so sad. Their grandson had to stay behind in New Orleans--he is an ER doctor. It is so noble of him.

I will keep everyone in my prayers as well.

Susie said...

pg & dp-Thanks for your sweet comments. Thank you for your prayers as well.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks for the reminder Susie. In church this morning my son told me his law school roommate's parents are here...again. They are from NO and have evacuated...again. My prayers will be with them as well as all the others. Seems like we are going through a lot of this doesn't it?

Susie said...

Meadowview-Yes, it does seem like lots of bad things have been happening lately. From tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding, and hurricanes. Makes one wonder doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful and caring post. It really made me stop and relfect on how fortunate I am. I have been praying for those people since I heard Gustav was getting bigger and stronger. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to leave your home, not knowing what will be there when you return.

A group from our church went to help with the Katrina clean up, almost a year later. It was still such an awful mess. So much clean up to be done and lives to be rebuilt. Just heartbreaking.

Gail said...


Your essay/post really puts it all into perspective. Here I am sitting in my comfy home reading about families being forced to leave their homes again. My husband says there are Red Cross Shelters up here in Nashville. It looks bad, we are listening to the weather channel right now.

Take care Susie and thank you for writing from your heart.


Susie said...

Eileen and Gail,

It really is heartbreaking! Today just kind of hit me like a ton of lead. I hadn't really planned on doing a post about it but I had all these emotions that just had to come out. It is going to be interesting to see what Gustav does in the next few hours. Thanks for praying for these people.

Becky said...

Hey sis, I'm now bawling like a baby as well. My hearts just breaks for these people. Cortney says there are no hotel rooms in Little Rock either and they have been seeing cars with LA tags all day. Thanks for the wonderful post, it kinda puts things in perspective doesn't it.

flydragon said...

This post was so well written by the time I got to the part where you and your husband were crying, I was too. Praying for everyone in the path of this storm, and thinking "thank you" to the ones who are helping those who had to leave their homes.

Susie said...

Hey Bec, I'm just glad there were places that those poor people could go.

Flydragon-Sorry, didn't mean to make you cry. I was crying as I was trying to write the post. I just finished watching some of the weather report. I think it isn't as bad as it was originally thought even tho Morgan City, LA was getting hammered pretty bad. Also, I'm sure Eve from Gardening on the Gulf was getting pounded too.

marmee said...

you can certainly tell your heart is soooo big! it is tradgic that all these people have to leave their homes. being from florida i have done my share of hurricane watches. all of my family is there and so many affected by them a few years ago. it is ever mindful to be thankful for what we have. we all need to pray in ernest for these people!

Miss Sandy said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment. What a heartfelt post! Yes, I too am truly blessed and my thoughts and prayers are with those displaced and I hope they all return home to homes that are safe and sound. Thanks for sharing your tender heart!

Susie said...

Marmee-Thank you for your kind compliments. I bet that is the one thing you don't miss about living in Florida(hurricane watches)and as beautiful as it is, that is probably the only thing.

Sandy-I'm glad you came by for a blog visit. We really are blessed aren't we? I am really thankful Gustav didn't seem to be quite as bad as Katrina. I just hope everyone goes back and finds their homes intact.

Eve said...

Susie, people are stronger than you think. We had to run from Katrina and heard by the way of the telephone, that our home was gone. But you know what? Our whole family got out safe and through it all we felt blessed just to still be alive. It is amazing how quickly you straighten out what is really important to you.
This time around with Gustuv, it wasn't so bad, but we know if we choose to live here, it can happen and will happen again. There is a price to be paid for living in Paradise.