I sit and watch the devastation that Texas is facing and am flooded with emotion. Twelve years ago, I was one of those people I see on television. It’s just so hard to watch. I know what is coming. I know what they will face in terms of trying to pick up the pieces.
After Hurricane Katrina, I experienced a wide range of emotions: fear, sadness, anger, love, thankfulness, and gratitude. The best advice I can give is to let go of the sadness and anger and hold tight to thankfulness and gratitude. Katrina changed me as a person and for that I am thankful. I have a different outlook on what is important and learned not to worry about the small stuff. We shouldn’t place value on material possessions as they can be replaced.
No hurricane can touch memories. Hold tight to those memories that give you warm, fuzzy feelings of love and security. Occasionally, I still get angry that Hurricane Katrina took away a place I knew would always be there—a place I would always be able to return to and everything in the world would be right. A place I would be able to feel secure just by walking in that back door. (Yes, the back door.) As time passes, I have learned I can still go to that place because it lives in my heart. I can close my eyes extra tight and there I am—walking through that back door, seeing the man on the moon that always hung by the door, walking down the hallway to the front room with that red carpet. It's all still here.
With Katrina, I learned it's important to make meaningful memories because those memories remain. That is something that nothing can ever take away from you. I truly believe God gives us a path to follow and when Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast, He changed my direction. With that change came a lot of blessings. I now call many people my friend that I would have never met had it not been for the path I took after the storm. A career that has purpose and a place where I feel I'm valued for just being me.
Remembering Katrina will always hurt, some days worse than others. But just as she took away my safe place, she taught me that my place is with memories, with my family, with my friends, and with my calling. Katrina taught me to always make the best of what comes my way and to be thankful in all things, as that’s what molds us into who we are today.
Texas, I am with you. My prayers are for safety and comfort for you and that your path will lead to sunny days filled with memories.
Join the conversation and receive updates of new posts: