I was a full-service blogger before Katrina. Now I blog about the Storm. Big Hurricanes are marker events for those who live through them or with the aftermath causing the world/life to be divided between before and after. Marker events are the big moments of one's life where life shifts into a new reality after a change like marriage, birth of children, injury, illness, death of a loved one, new job, etc.
For me, the marker events are typical: graduations, marriage, arrival of children, illness, miscarriages, death of parents, job changes. Marker events, in retropsect, pushed me into deeper maturity as a Believer. Sounds pious, doesn't it? Taking St. Paul's idea that whatever befalls a believer (and he used himself as the example) one hangs on to God and comes through with God's grace.
Katrina is a marker event and not just for me.
Believe me when I tell you that I am stunned at the number of people who went through hours of pitch black darkness with little children, old people and pets who held onto this life by sitting in a Boston Whaler they swam to in rising water then held onto the gutters of a neighbor's two storey home to wait out the storm. Jean, my young bankteller, swam out the second floor window of her apartment with her seven year old son. She broke the window and swam with her child to the safety of the roof. She climbed out the window into cold rising water with her child to try to stay alive. Rachel got into her attic with her two young children, husband, mother and dog to try to stay alive. People I know and strangers I meet did dramatic things to stay alive in all the water. We don't even live in a flood area. The water came up so high that Catfish let out his lines on his shrimp boat in the Back Bay 40 feet by swimming to the lines in the hurricane winds to save his boat. Strangers tell me remarkable stories of swimming to a neighbor's home for safety. I am stunned. These aren't young athletic kids. These are regular people who wanted to stay alive in a situation no one could predict. It is extraordinary that more people didn't drown.