Remembering Hurricane Katrina

The country just recognized the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and I thought,as a first-hand survivor, that I’d take some time to remember as well.

I’ll never forget the weeks without electricity and having to sit in distribution lines for hours to get water and food.¬† The hot days were not ideal for washing clothes in tubs and hanging them to dry and it didn’t make the restless nights any easier. I did appreciate having family and friends to ride out the days with.

The most interesting thing throughout this ordeal was how much news had changed. We were all so used to turning on the television and getting information at the drop of the dime and now we only knew what had come via word of mouth. We were literally shut off from the rest of the world.

Being cut off does not mean that we were forgotten however. We knew that people were thinking and praying for us. As the volunteers showed up our hearts swelled with appreciation. Approximately three weeks into our ordeal a U haul truck pulled into my driveway  with some much needed supplies. With everything from diapers and food to hand sanitizer and Tylenol a family from Texas who were friends of my uncle brought us to tears with their generosity.

Those in my house (around 15 people) gladly took what we needed and then loaded up my aunt’s truck and distributed supplies around the neighborhood. The most treasured gift was fuel because our stations had ran out awhile ago. We immediately took several gas cans to my neighbor who’s wife was pregnant and weeks over due. They left for Baton Rouge, LA and she gave birth to a baby girl named Kayleigh!

As I look back, I consider myself so blessed because I walked away with my life and my loved ones. I know many who weren’t as fortunate. I had a great support system and supplies came quickly. Unfortunately, those stuck in the Superdome and the surrounding area were not afforded the same luxury.

Most of my family lost everything they owned and the road to recovery was long and hard but five years later we are all so grateful for where we are today. Hurricane Katrina was not only a natural disaster but a social one and I hope the country never forgets what happened.

Recovery

The first post in this section is going to be a bit of a rant. I’m hoping that future posts will be my profound thoughts on happenings around the globe but for now I am going to pout shamelessly.

I’ve been immobile for almost seven weeks now and it’s been perhaps the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to go through physically. The reason for my current state is due to surgery on four of the toes on my left foot. The initial recovery consisted of six weeks in a cast and two weeks of walking in a boot. I’m happy to say that I’m done with the first six weeks, however my doctor has ordered an additional three weeks of not walking. After that I’ll be able to walk in the boot for three more weeks before being done completely.

I am very proud of myself for how far I’ve come and how I’ve handled myself but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m extremely bummed at my current circumstances. I’m a very independent person and not being able to go where I want when I want is proving to be very frustrating.

I spent the majority of the past three months in New York City where I spent my days walking for hours through different neighborhoods. Every day was an adventure filled with new people and places. Fast forward to now and I’m back in Atlanta and literally cannot get out of my front door without help. Going from one extreme to another has had quite a toll on me.

While I hate being so dependent on others I am so grateful to my friends and family who have came to visit and gotten me out of the house. Without them I don’t think I’d be handling this nearly as well.

Another thing that keeps me going is reminding myself that there is always someone in a worse situation. I may be having trouble during my recovery but at least I have all of my limbs. Not everyone is as fortunate. This is just another chapter in my life and will one day be a bad memory.

With roughly five more weeks of recovery ahead I just remind myself that this is a temporary setback in life. I have so much to look forward to and can take this time to plan all of great trips I want take in the future.

I’ll have to reread this article in a couple of months when I’m recovering from the surgery I have to have on my right foot and hopefully I’ll be much more equipped to deal with the frustrations.

My advice to those reading is to not take simple things such as walking to your mailbox and driving to the supermarket for granted. You never know when things can change and you’re begging people to come pick you up for a drive around the block.