Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Displaced

I've never been one to focus on material, tangible things. As a mother, I've come to appreciate pictures a little more, but not much. I've always felt that as long as I carried people in my heart, I would never really feel the sting of loss. Nothing prepared me for this. Nothing prepared me for the fact that in a matter of hours, I would be without everything. Nothing prepared me for the fact that a ghetto trick named Katrina would run through three states like she caught somebody with her man and her money.

This wouldn't be the first time I've rebuilt my life. It wouldn't be the second. Actually, it would be the fourth time. I don't know if the difference is that all of those other times, I was still able to rebuild in my hometown, among my family and friends; or if it's because each of those times, I walked away with the distinct knowledge that I would have to rebuild, but something inside of me broke this time. To watch every single one of my memories be buried was overwhelming. My home is gone. My father's home is gone. Our home where we grew up is gone. My grandmother's home is gone. The hospitals where I had my children are damaged. My entire city is in ruins. Everytime I watched the news I cried. Then cried even more when I would turn it off.

The thing is, NOBODY took this seriously. Last year we were threated with Hurricane Ivan, so we packed up everything but the kitchen sink and evacuated. The city didn't even lose power. This time, since we were threatened with such a powerful storm, we thought that it would be unwise not to evacuate, but didn't see the need in packing nearly as much stuff. I packed a few clothes, some family pictures, vital documents and that was it. I don't think I would have minded losing the things as much if I could start over at home. As much as I complain about New Orleans, it's my home. It's like the dysfunctional family member. You know he's going to screw you over, but good times are had in between that, so you've gotta love him. Now I don't know when I can go home...or if I ever will in that way again.

I told my son last night about what the storm meant and how our home was affected, and though he was upset, he took it in stride. Of course, once he got the preliminary stuff out of the way, he asked the all important question: "So are we gonna go to Toys R Us?" All I could do was laugh and explain to him that it would be a while before any of that is going down. He just shrugged his shoulders and went back to terrorize the rest of my family. That night he got in the bed with me and said, "Tonight, I'm gonna sleep next to you, okay mom? That way, you won't be scared and I won't be scared." I'm thankful for my family. All of the immediate members are accounted for.

When I talked to my dad this morning, I thought of the man who was about the same age as him who was on the news because he had literally lost his wife. The waters split his home and he could not hold on to her. She told him that he had to let go to take care of the children and the grandchildren. Everytime I replay that in my mind, I get a chill. It breaks my heart because this man really lost everything that really mattered: his family. Eventually, I'm going to find a new home and my family and I will build new memories. I'm thankful to God that we can still build them.

Today is a good day because I haven't cried as much. Sometimes I cry for my home. Sometimes I cry because I know, if it weren't for my children, I probably wouldn't have evacuated. Sometimes I cry because out of all the things that I've lost, there are people that have lost WAY more and it makes me feel a little selfish and superficial. But since yesterday, I've cried most because there are so many people who are willing to help ME and my children. Not just the general cause, but to have so many people who feel that I have touched their lives in some way, or allowed God to move their heart in some way, that my family and I were first on their minds is overwhelming.

It's beautiful and it's humbling and to anyone sending anything, prayers, kind words, money or even clothing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

10 comments:

Cynthia said...

I'm glad you and your family are safe...

Da Original 1 said...

I will pray for you sista...Stay strong...This is a hard time for all...Glad everyone is safe...

Chele said...

I can't sit up here and pretend I know what it's like to have everything snatched away from me and not be able to get back to it in any form or fashion.....simply because it's vanished.

I am very happy that you and the kids are safe. That's a silver lining in the cloud.

Partygirl said...

my heart and prayers go out to you. my mom is frantically looking for my auntie who just relocated to NO a year ago, to no avail. but i am glad to see that you and yours are okay. stay strong, that which doesn's kill us makes us stronger. be blessed.....

Partygirl said...

ps where are you, now? and if i can help any please let me know. dorice_b@hotmail.com.

POPS said...

my mind can't wrap it is like to be in your shoes, but just wnated to extend my thought and prayers.

Ever Increasing...Tammy said...

Hello Mel

i jsut am praising God that you are safe. Even before I heard about the e-mail from Michelle, i knew that you lived there in NO. Even when I was down there I remembred. I am so sorry for your loss. But I am happy that you are safe and that your family is safe too.

Even in the advestity in our lives, we should praise GOD. He is our refuge and our strengh. and I know that our GOD is going to give you more than you could ever imagine. You just need to trust in him.

Take the strengh of your kids and make that your strengh. They are so resilient that it is mind baffling. Learn from that am let that be your foundation.

I will be sending you some things by next week. Just know that we are all praying for you.

Take Care Mel

Tammara Beach

Danja said...

how the hell you got on a computer! lollll dont you know your niggerish cousins are stealing TVs and such? but yo ass is on the computer?? shouldnt be down there trying to get me a plasma TV for christmas or something? LOL

you know I love you and know whats up and how I feel; i need not profess it in a blog comment. your brother and I have your back

we have a cause biznatches!!!

Give Melanie Free!!!

NORA said...

keep you head up...GOD is still in control, and HE see's all..and knows all...

Good to hear that you and the kids are safe.

You are in my prayers...I'll do whatever I can. I also took some of Danja's post and added to my site..the more people see it..the better...

Sista K said...

Melanie,

Man are seriously praying for you. We are also endeavoring to do something physically tangible as well. Trust God. He will help you rebuild your life better than before.

Karen