I haven't really posted much about my thoughts on Hurricaine Katrina simply because my thoughts have been totally overwhelmed about it. The devestation and loss of life that happened didn't even seem like something that would be possible here in the United States. It just felt like something that should have been in some other country rather than right here in our own "back yard".
But throughout all of it, my thoughts have gone to one of my closest friends. Her name is Jen. Jen is one of the sweetest most caring people I have ever known in my life. She has never had an "easy" life, but she is one of the strongest people I have ever known. Jen lives on the Gulf coast of Mississippi, well, she used to anyway. She called me just after it was announced that Hurricaine Katrina was heading towards her. She said she planned on going inland a little ways to her moms house. I told her I loved her and to just please stay safe. Then the storm hit. I watched the news intently looking for info about her town in Mississippi. But as we all know, the main news was focused on New Orleans, so I never really did see anything about Jen's town.
Finally, about 3 days after Katrina hit, the phone rang and it was my Jen!!! She was safe and had totally evacuated and was in Tennesse. I was never so glad in my life to hear someone's voice. Just to know that she was safe was a huge relief! But I also knew that that was very minor to what she was eventually going to have to face, as did Jen. We talked a little bit, we cried a little bit and I let her know how much I loved her and that if there was anything I could do to please let me know.
Since then, we've had a few phone calls here and there. For the first couple of weeks, it was almost impossible for me to get through to her, but she'd manage to sneak in a call to me here and there. In one of the calls she said that she had went home to her mom's house. Her mom was safe and sound and fortunately didn't suffer much damage to her home. Little by little, Jen would hear things about where she lived. The school was gone, the entire community was pretty much wiped out. She'd cry about this. This was where she grew up and all she knew. You could feel the hurt and pain in every breath she took. I just wanted to reach through the phone and put my arms around her and make everything right.
You see, Jen has always been my "picker upper"....LOL. Whenever I was down or sad, she was one of the people that would always lend a shoulder and let me vent, then turn around and say or do something that would make me laugh to the point of almost peeing my pants! But now, the tables were reversed. My Jen had lost her happiness in all that was washed away with the water from Katrina.
Eventually Jen made it "home". I can only imagine after seeing the pictures what she felt. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes just writing this, I can't even really imagine how she felt knowing that her home would never be "home" again. But Jen also realizes that "home" isn't necessarily a building so much as it is a state of mind. It's in your heart. But sometimes, it takes a little time for that to actually happen.
Jen, know that I love you hunny! You mean the world to me and always will! You are such a special person and I am so thankful that God seen fit to bring you into my life! We've been through so much together and I hope we have alot more to go through also. One of these days we WILL meet face to face and I will truly get to reach out and put my arms around you and let you feel how much you mean to me! Until that day, you do what you have to do to take care of JEN! You are the only you that you have and unless you take care of you, nothing else will matter along the way. I want to hear that smile in your voice again. I want to know that you are as happy as you possibly can be. But above ALL I want you to know that YOU ARE LOVED!!!! LUV YA POO PIE!!!!
Here is a pic that Jen emailed me of her home. It's just a tiny glimpse into her world, but a heartbreaking one!