Five years ago today I was four days out of the hospital with a c-section and the Little Buddy was 9 days old. We were sitting on the couch watching the weather. I started to freak out and called my dad to tell him that the hurricane was coming and we needed to "get out". We needed to evacuate to North Carolina. He was on the golf course at the time. He hadn't seen an update since the day before and he said that it wasn't a big deal. Then he told us to check into a hotel. I flipped. I think that was the first and only time that I didn't fully accept my dad's advice as law. An hour later he called us back and told us to come on. By the time we got there it was the middle of the night and I gave W formula so I could drink wine. I was exhausted and still recovering from surgery. On Monday after the storm when we realized that we wouldn't be going home we decided to christen W in the Mountain Chapel. Grown men and women were crying for this baby. (and I am crying now). We still see people when we visit to this day who remember W as the Katrina baby.
W wouldn't sleep in his crib for 2 1/2 months. I will never forget the first time he and I came back to our house. He took a nap in his crib and slept like he had never slept before and that was when I knew I was ready to come home.
Hurricane Katrina seems so surreal. It seems like it was 20 years ago that I was living in Baton Rouge, post par tum depressed, with another couple who would turn out to be some of our best friends.
W will never grasp the full extent of what happened to him his first two months of his life. Fortunately he won't remember the mom that I was-crying all of the time but all the while loving him so fiercely.
I was and am lucky to have J as my husband. Patient and thoughtful of not only me and W but of what he needed to do to take care of our family.
We were lucky to have my parents put us up for 4 weeks while J and the firm got settled in BR. I realized this past weekend at the company's anniversary party just how special the firm is. I knew we were lucky to be a part of it but they really have some amazing people who responded in a way that many other companies never did, quickly, efficiently and always thinking of their employees and the future of the company.
Everyone has their story. and so I know that ours could have been much worse but the descriptions of our looted home still play in my mind. I can never remember if I really saw these things or if it's just what J described to me in detail. His whole closet scattered all over our bedroom. Our bed totally torn apart. A cocktail glass on the hallway floor with a bottle of vodka that the looters had left behind. My jewelry box left out open and empty of my grandmother's jewelry. More sentimental than valuable. The busted up back door swinging wildly open.
I remember the first time J brought W and I back to NOLA to visit. It was an inexplicably beautiful fall day. It was cool and sunny. I remember the way the sun shone through the trees.
I do. I remember driving down Magazine Street and eating on paper plates at Theo's pizza. It was the most delicious and happy meal that I had eaten in a long time.
Sighhhhhh! Fiver years later we are looking back and thanking God for bringing us home. Like I said, everyone has their story and I don't think any of us will ever tire of telling our own because it was like the strangest dream you have ever had.
Today W is five years old, starting Pre-K and loving every minute of it. Five years ago I never had time to imagine what this day would be like for him. For a few months we lost our dreams for our children. But now we can start dreaming again.