Written in the days after  Katrina–this is a page I find I simply can’t take away.

October 14th, 2005

It’s been a while since I updated my site. It’s been a busy, different time for us here in Mississippi. As it has for those in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, also. Katrina came through and changed lives in our little part of the country…and then Rita decided to show up and change even more lives clear over into Texas.  We are blessed because we had minimal damage compared to so many– but for everyone who lives in the paths that Katrina or Rita took, life will never be quite the same.

For those who have lost so very much…our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Our hearts ache for you and we pray for the Lord to comfort you, as only He can, for the losses you’ve suffered. We take strength from you as you go about cleaning mold and gunk from your homes, as you hunt for a new place to live since your home is gone, as you try to get on with life.

There will always be a deep sadness about so much that has been lost forever. And there are many things to get used to…seeing  the difference in the landscape…and having trouble finding familiar landmarks.  Long lines and bad traffic everywhere one goes.

Katrina and Rita have left lasting memories for all of us, aside from all the devastation we see.

There is the bond formed with total strangers when we stood in the lines in Wal-Mart or Wynn-Dixie in those first days and heard their heartbreaking stories. The tears that have been, and continue to be, shed for so many.

Frustration on hearing complaints about help not coming fast enough– when help was there as soon as it could get there. When trees are down all over the interstates, the state highways and city roads, it’s impossible to travel on them. Some things do take time and there have been… and still are… people out there working their hearts out to help clear our streets, to help get our communications going again, to rebuild and improve things for us all.

But through it all there are so many big and little things to be thankful for …

That my husband, who works for the National Weather Service and had to stay behind, was all right. That my family was with me and we were all okay. That our homes were standing and had minimal damage.

Thankful for grandchildren who never complained and who brought  much joy and laughter to the days.

The National Guard who cleared highways and helped with so many things those first few weeks.

For policemen from out of state who patroled our streets when we were under curfew and gave our police some much needed rest. For all of the first responders who were there to help. For the mash unit that set up outside our hospital when it couldn’t be used.

For finally seeing milk in a grocery store…and then another day, eggs.  I can still remember how thrilled I was to get any dairy product at all.  Then for days, there was the rush to stores that only stayed open until three or four in the afternoon, hoping to find meat of any kind. What one was out of, the other had, so it became a hunt and a challenge to find something for any meal at all.

Being able to finally get through to people on cell phones to let them know we were all right.

There were the gas lines and being thankful we’d filled up with gas before coming back in.

The comforting sound of generators running all over the neighborhood late at night or first thing of the morning. The neighbor who  plugged our coffee pot up to his, because his was already running and we hadn’t started ours yet.

Being ever so thankful when the electricity came back on. . .and then the telephone.

The blessing of seeing our church being used as a distribution center and realizing just why we were able to add that large addition on…and see it being put to such wonderful use. It’s also become a place were workers call home for a few days after going out and helping where ever they can. They have come from all over to try to help, to give their time and their hearts. And, they too are different when they leave here.

For those of you who have come here– and are still coming– to help, you are also our in our thoughts and prayers.  You have made an impact on so many by doing the Lord’s work and showing His love. May God bless you all.

Things are not the same here…or anywhere Katrina or Rita passed through. And we know they never will be.  But with God’s help, I pray we will all be stronger and better, more compassionate and caring. And that we may all find contentment in knowing that the Lord will bring us through.