i usually don't post twice in one day.
but today i'm thinking of new orleans.
as isaac approaches the coast of louisiana,
i'm praying for a city that really needs to be spared from another disaster.
isaac isn't supposed to be nearly as big as katrina was...
but still, on a date that is almost the anniversary of that terrible storm,
the people of New Orleans must feel some sort of fear
of a experiencing another day like august 28, 2005.
i was in new orleans this time six years ago.
it was a trip that changed my life.
i traveled with this group of people.
yes, that's phil behind me and no, we were not in loooove at the time.
soon after. but not then.
we cleaned up a senior citizens home that had been evacuated in the middle of the storm
and for a whole year it remained untouched. a whole year.
we wore masks most of the time. but they didn't help. there was mold, there was rot.
several of us inhaled so much "stuff" that we had nosebleeds in the days after our return to NJ.
everywhere we went, buildings and houses were marked with x's
signifying that they had been checked for people... dead or alive.
they also were marked by the initials of the group that did the search, the date,
and the number of people or pets they found.
this was someone's apartment.
things were left exactly where they landed when the flood waters came down.
the stuff on the walls is mold.
this picture sticks with me because we were told that the flood waters reached the statue's thumb.
can you even fathom?
these images don't even do our experience justice.
at the time i had been graduated from high school just a few months
and being in the middle of chaos unlike anything i had ever imagined possible
gave me the precise perspective i needed to open my eyes and realize
that i was fortunate. i was blessed.
i owe a lot to new orleans.
it changed my life. my life is what it is today because of that trip.
so today i am praying that it and its people be spared and stay safe.