After the Storm
Today, while I was at the gym thinking about how everything probably taste better than skinny feels, I saw a commercial for a documentary titled, “KATRINA…10 years after the storm”. It took my breath away for an extended moment.
You all remember Hurricane Katrina because it was one of the most destructive storms in the history of the United States. I remember it every single time I introduce myself or write down my name. Now, while I had absolutely nothing to do with this disaster… it should be no surprise that this is why I often go by Kat for short.
I remember the day this storm hit the gulf coast on August 29, 2005. I had just been married to a man I barely knew 6 months before and I was living in San Diego. I had relocated there from Tampa Bay, and I was truly okay with being just a little further away from the coast as I watched the shocking aftermath that followed. Little did I know, the irony I would now find in that moment when I look back at the last decade of my own life.
The storm took the gulf coast into its mouth by the very roots and swallowed it up whole. Thousands were suddenly lost, homeless, dead or injured. Just like that, everything was gone. In the midst of this tragedy, an entire society was left with nothing more than each other. Our government even seemed unprepared and unsure of what to do, which meant as a people, we all felt sudden fear and helplessness. We also felt the need to reach out and help. Several charities were opened, people sent food and supplies, many even volunteered on site. The need for resources was constant. It didn’t take just months or a few years to recover, but nearly a decade and billions of dollars. It seemed impossible.
As most of us have experienced in our own lives at one time or another, storms do not always arrive in the form of weather. Sometimes, the disaster is completely unnatural. Sometimes, it comes from the very world we have built around ourselves and we never even see it coming. We find ourselves lost, swallowed up whole by emotion or the lack thereof. We are unrecognizable, and yes, we feel at times, impossible. However, if we reach out for support through family, love, God, hope or whatever it is your heart tells you to reach for, then everything will eventually fall back into place. No, it may never be the same, and that is not always the worst that can happen.
I am amazed at how much has actually been rebuilt from the storm as of today. Furthermore, I am humbled by the stories from this documentary and the people who stayed when they had every reason to leave. Despite everything, they were determined and successful in rebuilding new cities out of nothing, from nothing.
Mostly, I find myself inspired.