Tuesday, October 04, 2005

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.


Quotidian Grace said...

I didn't realize there were so many escaping from the rising waters either.

We were spared that over here. The Rita stories revolve around either the massive evacuation/traffic snarl or wind damage.

I wonder how people will be affected in later years by the experience of saving themselves from the floods. Will that give them a stronger sense of their own self-reliance? Or a greater sense of God's providential help in the situation? Or make them generally more fearful in their lives? Or something else?

Norma said...

I recently talked to a woman whose family is safe in another city and they lost only their roof (NOLA) but can't return. She's very depressed piecing together a home life in a rented house and trying to sort through the "theological implications" of God's will for her family. She's probably very tired of people telling her how fortunate she is, but reading your stories, I know she is.

mibi52 said...

Blog about what your heart and soul guides you to blog.

I expect that the incidence of PTSD-related illnesses will be high in the coming years in the places where the hurricanes ripped people's lives apart. Thank goodness there are people like you and Jody to help people heal.

Songbird said...

I don't think anyone is tired of hearing these stories, just sad that there are so many people who suffered this trauma.

Cathy said...

St. Casserole,
I don't know anyone who has tired of hearing the stories. It is a gift you are offering to those of us that are praying for you daily and corporately during Sunday services. You offer perspective to those of us who have no idea the magnitude of this storm. We pray for you, laugh with you, cry with you, while you offer us the perspective of one who is walking and experiencing a "marker" that you are experiencing with many.
God bless you,