August 30, 2005

Don't Forget Mississippi

It’s easy to forget them. We keep talking about New Orleans. The horror that is still building there… in that town everyone in the world knows of… the water coming in. The worst case scenarios actually occurring, much to our gut wrenching dismay. We thought it was over, hoped it was over and thought the days after they could look to assessing and rebuilding, but instead we’re watching as the water keeps coming… and they continue evacuations. The 20 foot waters are a reality as the city continues to sink into despair.

But beyond the terrible picture of New Orleans, a picture that I assure you, the media cannot possibly show grim enough, there is Mississippi.

I have a dear friend of mine. She comes from an old Mississippi family, Pascagoula, a Gulf Coast town. They came to the United States in the 1600s… her family has sent men to fight in every war for this country. Their home was filled with antiques, some dating before the civil war. Old family heirlooms, pictures, coins, furniture…

… all… gone. Her Mom had evacuated as had her sisters and brother. All living in different homesteads but near one another. They came back and there is nothing.

Not a paperclip, not a leg of furniture, not a shred of fabric… it is all gone… as if it never existed.

Her Mom has the clothes that were on her back, a nightgown, underwear, a robe and a pillow.

And she is lucky… she has more than most.

So my friend is loading up a trailer with a generator for the place her Mom is staying, food, clothing, batteries, and lanterns… and is making the trip this week. Her Mom is elderly, nearly 90.

I have offered to help, but she insists she needs none. I asked her to let me load her trailer; she said she had it under control. I asked her to let me buy things for her family… she said she had no more room. And in a last ditch effort I said, “Find an address. Let me know if mail starts trickling through. Make a list of things you need. I will mail anything I can. Batteries, more lanterns, food, underwear or wipes. Let me help. I NEED to help your family.” And she sent me a note that only said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’ I think she may take me up on it. I pray she does.

I am sick for her as I cannot even comprehend the vast devastation she is going to see in her home town. The news cannot do it justice. The news can report it as they see it, but the entire scene is so damn tragic, it is being underplayed compared to how grim it really is. The news, doing an excellent job, can only do so much.

You cannot hear the anguish when you read. You cannot smell the awful stench of rot that permeates after a hurricane on TV. You cannot be in it 360 degrees. You cannot have the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare.

This is what she is driving into. I am sick for her. I am sick for her family. I am sick for the people of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Don’t forget… it extends beyond the ongoing horrors of New Orleans. This nightmare is the entire Gulf Coast.

Posted by Boudicca at August 30, 2005 09:02 PM | TrackBack

I will add them to my thoughts list. It is bad down there, still waiting to hear about someone near Mobile.

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at August 30, 2005 09:52 PM


Posted by: vw bug at August 31, 2005 06:59 AM

I am just sick when I see the destruction. So much history and heirlooms- just gone. We were in New Orleans and southern Mississippi a couple of years ago. It is heartbreaking to see it now.

Our prayers are with your friend.

Posted by: Jody Halsted at August 31, 2005 09:35 AM

What were the last figures? 1.5 million displaced and/or homeless?

My sister-in-law and her family, including a 7 mo old and 2 year old had a beautiful home in Ocean Springs. Nothing remains.

They have one another, the clothes on their backs, and two vehicles. Much more than many. She is headed to Texas with her sons. Lord only knows for how long.

Posted by: Christina at August 31, 2005 09:50 AM

The pictures from Gulfport are heartbreaking. I spent a wonderful morning there a few years back, it was one of the highlights of my cross country trip.

Posted by: Ith at August 31, 2005 06:41 PM

Christina... I haven't seen the figures, but I would say at least. And now the death count... holy crap. It's just awful.

Posted by: Bou at August 31, 2005 10:48 PM