Memories of Katrina, part three

When I look back at that time, 17 years ago, when Kyle and I were heading out on our honeymoon, newlyweds with no idea where we would live, all I can think of is community.

We have community now, and we had community then — and during trials, you need your community.

My wedding gift from Kyle — a diamond cross necklace — was underwater in a Metairie mall, so my aunt lent me her diamond pendant to wear. 

My clothes, except for a change of clothes that I brought up the weekend before, were all in the Metairie apartment, so my dear friend Misti loaned me clothes to wear on my honeymoon.

People were allowed back in New Orleans while we were on our honeymoon, so while we were basically on vacation, family and friends traveled down to Metairie to check on Kyle’s car, which had been left down south, and our apartment. Kyle’s car was missing a tire; no doubt someone needed it more than we did. Our apartment was on the second floor of a three-story building. The first floor had flood damage, the third had wind damage, but like Goldilocks, our second-floor apartment was just fine. Kyle’s dad, brother, and other friends retrieved all of our belongings and brought them back up north.

Kyle’s dad allowed us to stay at his house the first month after our marriage until we found an apartment. We knew our short stint in New Orleans was over, at least for a significant amount of time. Who knows? Maybe one day we will end up down there, but I don’t think it’ll be any time soon.

Even on our honeymoon, people were so kind. Kyle had to show his driver’s license a number of places, and when he did, inevitably, always, the question was, “Oh, were you near New Orleans? Did you get hit by the hurricane?” 

Just a bit.

We wouldn’t have made it those first few weeks without our community, without our friends and family. 

We’ve seen in Ruston how our community has rallied around each other — with hurricanes, with a tornado, and even with a global pandemic. We have a community of helpers, of doers, of people who care.

Hurricane season has been fairly calm so far, but no doubt another storm — of some form or fashion — is around the corner. But I know one thing is certain:

We will not face it alone.


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