I have hesitated to update until today because I was afraid if I wrote something last night about being grateful for such minor damage (as compared to the predicted possibilities) that I’d awake to find something horrific as many did after Katrina. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to write this today knowing that my city is not under water.
It has been an indescribably rough few days. There are a lot of people who understand the emotional roller coaster of this past weekend, and thankfully a lot more who don’t. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as profoundly helpless as I did watching the news and seeing that big swirl of wind, rain and tornadoes heading towards my home. To know that there wasn’t a single thing I could do to slow it down, stop it or otherwise make it better was intensely difficult. To be so out of control in a situation that could’ve impacted so many lives was a kind of frustration beyond any words I can find to describe it. The whole weekend I would go from blissfully distracted one moment, to teary-eyed and desolate the next. I took a 2 hour bath on Saturday night just because I couldn’t compose myself enough to talk with my friends or even go to bed.
I was afraid that if the storm passed and did not leave the destruction we’d worried about that I’d feel like an idiot for being so emotional, but I think if anything what I’ve really learned this weekend is how important home is. I was not born in New Orleans, but for now at least, it is my home. It is where I got engaged, where I got my first real full time job, it is where my friends live, it where some of my favorite memories are. And while I have family elsewhere, I would be devastated if anything happened to New Orleans regardless of how my house itself faired. It’s just so much bigger than that.
That said, as far as we know, our home is okay. We had a rather gargantuan tree in our front yard and a hammock outside our bedroom window, so we’d love to know if they’re still in their original places, but as the story of this week has been, there’s just nothing we can do about it right now. Our schools faired well and we’ll return on Monday to work and school as usual.
Our parish (which is Louisianian for county, by the way) is not letting anyone return until Thursday at the earliest, so we’re still in Nashville playing things by ear. Our home is going on about 30 hours without power, which is not a huge deal except for the stuff in my fridge/freezer which is surely melted and smelly right now. I won’t bother listing everything, but let me just say that not throwing out the shrimp and ice cream was probably a horrifically bad plan.
What has gotten me through this weekend has been you. The internet, the visitors, the messages, the comments, twitter and all things related. There is a song I heard last week about how after Katrina “grace fell down like rain” to help rebuild the city and I can’t help but think of y’all everytime that song comes into my head. You were grace in my life and I thank you for being here, for reading, for commenting, for praying and for caring. I know I would’ve survived this weekend without you, but I’m so glad I didn’t have to.
Thank you for being my grace.