As Babygirl mentioned in another post, yesterday was the 6 year anniverasy of Katrina. The family and I talked about it briefly yesterday, but that was about it. I noticed there was very little coverage of it in the news yesterday.
I wrote a little bit about it on my website yesterday, thinking that maybe this was our call to move on, move past. I write about Katrina every year, and I think this was the first year that I thought aobut the ways that Katrina blessed me. Like a lot of people who experienced the Hurricane, I now mark my life in terms of pre-Katrina and post. It is a demarcation point in my life. Katrina really set my life on the path that it is now.
I met FI through his mother...I was interning in a summer program she was a part of, and she told me I needed to come meet her sons, one of them, she didn't care which one. I'd been out to the house a few times before the storm hit. At that point, I was really all alone in Mississippi. I'd been coming to USM through their Summer Program in Grauate Education since 2001, and I moved here full-time in 2004 to work on my doctorate. I had some friends in my program, but no one that I would call close friends.
The Saturday before Katrina hit, FI's mom called and asked me what I was doing for the Hurricane. I told her that I just planned to stay at my house. No one thought it was going to be that bad in Hattiesburg. She said that I couldn't do that, I needed to come spend the night with them. She told me to pack a bag, bring some butter (so we could make some cookies), and head her way Sunday afternoon. By the time I was ready to leave, contraflow was in effect on Highway 49, and I had to call Beth to ask her how to get to her house when I couldn't use 49. She very patiently told me how to get there via the backroads, which was a bit of a trial because even though I'd lived in Hattiesburg for a year at that point, I wasn't really familiar with other parts of the town.
Those two weeks without power or running water (minus the one terrifying night I spent at my house alone because I didn't want to impose on their hospitality and didn't know that I wasn't an imposition) forged bonds that are the cornerstones of my life now. FI says that for him, it started during those two weeks, although we didn't begin to actually date until 3 years later. Katrina gave me a family I didn't know I was missing and a sense of home that I had never felt before.
So it was a blessing...despite the hardship...and I'm thankful.