Saturday, August 29, 2009


And so here we are. Survivors. Four years later, it seems hard to believe that four years ago today our lives were torn apart. Prior to August 29, 2005 when I didn't use words like "the storm" "the new normal" pre-k", I was an idealist that believed the national media told the truth, that our government existed to fight for us when we could not fight for ourselves, and that God was in everything. In the days following Katrina, all of that changed and I had never felt so alone. Abandoned by the people charged with telling America the truth about who we really are and where we live, abandoned by a government that chose to deal with the cost of replacing New Orleans rather than the cost of protecting it, and abandoned by a God that I would pray to every night asking for a better tomorrow. Yet, I would wake to a worse version of the day before. I was so bitter and so angry at everyone and everything. I began to believe that, aside from your closest and most trusted family and friends, no one was going to change your course in life aside from yourself. That no prayer said loud enough was going to rebuild our city and rebuild our broken hearts. That if you wanted something done, you could only rely on you. That our country would without question rebuild the streets, homes, schools, and churches of Iraq for trillions of dollars, but they would question spending just one here on our own soil to do the same. We are people too. We are Americans. Why did no one seem to care?

But the thing is, I think I was so blinded by the anger and resentment that had built in my heart that I did not see all of the caring that was happening around me. That while we cannot rely on our government to rebuild our city, we can rely on the generousity and goodness of the people of this country to do so. Our city could not rebuild alone, and thanks to the kindness of others, we have not had to. I wish it did not take me so long to realize this. We have been truly touched by each and every person who has come to our dear city to help bring it back to life. When we no longer had the strength to fight for ourselves, you came to our rescue and fought for us. You have shown me that the American spirit is alive and well. That in this country, you would be willing to open your arms and your homes to us. You would house us, feed us, clothe us, and you would ask for nothing in return. That in this country, a group of college kids would be willing to spend their spring break building homes for people they may never meet. That in this country four years can go by and you have not forgotten us. There is God in that. Finally being able to see that has brought me a kind of peace I have not know for a long time. Four years in fact.


  1. Thanks be to God...For everything, but especially for Peace.

  2. Well written, Jen!! I'm so sorry you had to go through such a tragedy, but so glad you were able to see all of the goodness that came as a result. xoxo



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