I was going through some old notebooks and found something I had written about Hurricane Katrina. I entitled it The Hurricanes of Life. I was affected in a very small way by Hurricane Katrina, but it had a huge impact on my life.
I am remembering Hurricane Katrina, which hit land on August 29, 2005.
My family and extended family had planned to vacation in Gulf Shores Alabama the year Hurricane Katrina hit. Our arrival date was August 27. We knew about the hurricane before we left for our trip. We knew it was expected to hit somewhere along the coast of the Gulf between Texas and Florida, which was our destination. It had yet to be determined exactly where it would land on the day of our departure, so after much deliberation and conferring with family members who were already vacationing at Gulf Shores, we decided to stay the course and hit the road.
After a 12 hour road trip, on a sunny, hot day, we arrived at the beach where we had booked a week’s stay. The waves were higher than normal for the Gulf, the sea rougher than usual, but other than that all things appeared to be A-Okay, until we heard that the direction of the hurricane had changed and was expected to hit Alabama by morning.
The hurricane was headed our way! We received a phone call from the management of the condominiums where we were staying, informing us of an evacuation. It was a hard decision deciding what to do and where to go. We didn’t want to return home and miss a chance of family fun, but a hurricane!
We decided to leave the next morning, and travel to Panama City Beach, Florida. That proved to be a mistake as far as vacations go. After we arrived safely there were sustained winds at 55 MPH, that kept us pretty much tethered to the inside of our condos.
During our stay there, when we were able to leave the safe haven of our rooms, we met many people who had come to Panama City Beach from the New Orleans area, and the devastation there was great. We talked with people who had lost everything, houses, businesses and places of employment. We offered sympathy and prayed for them and their loved ones who were in shock over the devastation to their lives, their worlds.
It wasn’t the best vacation we had ever experienced, that’s for sure. In fact, as far as vacations go, it pretty much sucked. But that was just one week of our lives. Those people, when they left Panama City Beach, were going back to the remains of what was left of their lives.
I still think of those people often, some eight years after the fact. Our time together was short, minutely so in the grand scheme of things, but what a lasting impact it had on my life.
I don’t often write about such tragedies. I most often focus on the devastation that happens in our marriages and families. Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters gives us time to pause and think about what matters most. It always comes back to relationships. Those are the things that last.
I don’t know what life-altering event you have weathered or are currently facing. Whatever is was or is now, I am sorry. As an ordained minister and a certified life coach (I prefer Hope Coach) I walk with those who need help processing. I especially walk with wives of sex addicts. I would be honored to journey with you. Let me know how I can help you decide your next unique steps.