Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit, my brother, who is part of FEMA, was sent out to New Orleans to help with the Rescue and Recovery mission. Upon his arrival, my brother mentioned that the aftermath of Katrina was worse than what he witnessed on 9/11. (Please click on photo* to view my bro in action in NYC -- he's on the right).
Worse than 9/11?
Initially, the FEMA team was isolated and under protection of the National Guard due to the hostile environment. This, of course, made me wary and fearful for my brother's safety.
But was all the outrage/hostility magnified by the media?
I don't know. But according to my brother and his comrads, who helped rescue over 100 people on their first day, the rescuees have been nothing but kind, grateful, peaceful souls. The details of what my brother has witnessed, though, are too, too gruesome to share here. Let me just say that these are thoughts that will haunt me for a lifetime.
So there you have it folks. Hurricane Katrina has been the underlying thought throughout my weekend. Of course, I smiled and laughed when little Kaden, a friend's babe, blew out the candles on his first birthday. And my heart smiled when Kate cooed and babbled to her sister. I also laughed out loud at Henry's new comedy routine. These are happy times, yes. But a bit of me can't help but wonder, what if this had been me? What if my family were stranded on our rooftop without a bit of food?
When my mind wanders like this, I realize I find that I hug my family a wee bit tighter and I give them that extra little kiss atop their foreheads. Afterall, they're all I have. And most importantly, they're all I need.
*Photo courtesy of West Metro Fire
P.S. Hank will pull winners tonight!