Three years ago today, Hurricane Katrina demolished the Gulf Coast. We lost everything we owned, save for three days' worth of clothes, one guitar, a handful of photos, and our lives.
We evacuated ahead of the storm, as we always do and always will.
We had no idea what Katrina had wrought until a few days after she was gone. The video below is of us at Maguire's parents' house, blissfully ignorant of how our lives were changing as we sat in the dark.
While we played with a 13 month old Q, our home was going under water. It was being battered and blown to bits. His toys were being submerged and smashed and dragged out to the Gulf of Mexico. His Christening gown, passed down from his great-grandfather, worn by his grandfather, by Maguire, and then by him, being swept away.
Every photograph and journal I had saved so carefully since elementary school, warping and floating away. The photos from college, where Maguire and I met. Our wedding. Our honeymoon. The photos of me pregnant. The photos and videos of Q's birth. The videos of him learning to walk and talk... all gone. And we had no idea.
What Katrina left us was the gift of charity. The importance of family and friends. The impermanence of the material and the futility of regret.
As I sit here, hurricanes are forming to the south of us. And yet we remain. We will evacuate, but not before protecting all that we have rebuilt. All that we have fought for and struggled to call home again.
But we will evacuate. And with us, we will take our most precious gift from Katrina, our son Goose. Because one other possession Hurricane Katrina took away from me was the illusion of control. Had it not been for her, I would not have released my need to plan every moment. I would not have opened my carefully guarded life to the unexpected gift of the right baby at the wrong time.
Thank you, Katrina, you complete and utter wench.
But Gustav and Hanna?
Stay off of my property because looters will be shot.
And yeah, that's my dad. And, yes, he will shoot you.
Feed readers, if you don't see the video, be sure to click through.
Victor Vito (our Katrina story)
Camille was a Lady, Katrina was a Bitch (on the 2nd anniversary)
Hierarchy of Suffering (why being a victim is a waste of energy)