Venice I don't mean to pry but have noticed several of your post lately have referenced your age and from the way it sounds we should start preparing your rocking chair out back.
Do you by chance have a birthday around the corner causing you to ponder all of these deep age related thoughts? Or are you just trying to contemplate the meaning of life in light of the trauma you have witnessed in recent months. Whats ticking up there? Just wondering, hope you are well.
I am Leo born in 1951...to your question, you may be on target in terms of my introspections having alot to do with what is going on in my beloved New Orleans and how it has impacted everyone's life. No one who resides in the gulf area has escaped the impact of this situation
It's magnified because I have two of my close friends who lost everything staying with me since mid September and I see the daily frustrations of them trying to be positive about rebuilding their lives and watching the incredible roadblocks that they confront every day. Also the local newspaper has started publishing a feature everyday on the front page that brings a face and the story behind the face, of people who died not so much because of the hurricane, but because of the flooding of the leevees and the failure of the government to come to the rescue. These are good people (mostly senior citizens both Black and White) who loved their families, contributed to the community and died a senseless death that no one wants to be held accountable for
I feel lucky, I just lost my job. I also feel blessed because I survived a massive heart attack two years ago and a major back operation last year and I have my home, so I guess God has bigger plans for me yet. I also was overwhelmed to see how many Cruise Mate folks that I will probably never meet, send me e-mails to inquire about my safety during the hurricane...I know from life experiences that you never find out who your true friends are untill something goes really wrong
So yes, in part sometimes I think about stuff and how fragile life really is so I have learned to enjoy life much more then when I was younger and I really love having a grandson in my life that I can look forward to taking on his first cruise in about 2 years (it will take me that long to save for a Disney cruise)...
I believe it will take years for the real story to come out about Katrina..Everyone here has 4 stories that they will tell you..story 1 -pre Katrina (why they did, did not evacuate)..story 2 - the hurricane (monday), where they were, what they were doing..story 3 - the breaking of the leevee's (their escape story or watching relatives and friends on tv)..story 4 - the FEMA/Insurance (Flood/Homeowners battle) ..as you can guess, story number 4 is the one that brings out the anger
It just so happens that I went with both of my friends, that are staying with me,to see their homes in the lower 9th ward and watched them break down and cry when they walked thru their door and saw a 12 foot water line to their roof...It puts an entire different spin on how one views life
I didn't understand the impact untill I was on the Conquest the week of 11/13 and was surprise of the number of people on the ship (not with the smooth jazz group) that were from New Orleans and had made the decision to go on the cruise even thou they had lost everything (but the cruise had been paid for in advance and yes some of them had trip insurance that would had gotten them their money back-but they elected to cruise). They saw the cruise as theraputic. I was afforded the opportunity to take my best friends because I wanted to celebrate our friendship and also to celebrate that we survived Katrina. It was an out of body experience because all of the New Orleans folks sort of gravitated to the Lido deck on Wednesday night and we held an informal intervention healing session at sea, which bonded us in a way that only the sea can do
So every once in a while I share that perspective in a posting on the CM board
Thanks for caring enough to inquire..I'll try to lighten up on my future postings
I hope you don't lighten up to much. I love your wisdom and insight. You have made me think of things that I should have been thinking, but wasn't. You have shown me another side of life. I have said before. I believe that things happen for a reason, and you have come into my life for a reason, and we just have to figure out what is to come.
Venice, thank you for sharing some of your deep insight regarding yourself and New Orleans. We here in New England can never fully know the impact Katrina had on all of you. Sounds to me like FEMA is dragging their heels on resolving things. When I saw 10,000 trailers not being used for temporary housing, I realized things were a mess. One question, Venice, what caused the levees to fail? Was it years of graft on the part of individual parish officials? In any case, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
funny you should ask why the levee's failed...when that question is finally answered you will find out who will be held accountable for over 1000 deaths....if you would like to follow the story on a local level go to www.nola.com/t-p/ and you can follow the local newspaper coverage
It appears everyone has a hand in this mess..The Army Corp of Engineers, the local/state politicians, the federal government and President Bush
the bottom line, the levee's were not re inforced to withstand a category 3 less alone the 4-5 that we were hit with
You also might like to view PBS Frontline Series 'After the Storm" to gain an historical perspective. The failure of FEMA should not have come as a surprise to anyone in this country
This situation is all about politics and race with a whole lot of folks suffering because of it...I believe that it will take a good 5 years to let everything come to light, before anyone can make an objective evaluation of this entire situation
This musn't wait four or five years for certain things to come to light. Living this long I know that any catastrophic tragedy does eventually ebb away; unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. So many displaced and for many more being uprooted will be permanent. I pray they have a new beginning. Over my washer/dryer in the basement is a poster "what seems like the end, could be a new beginning". Venice remember: what doesn't kill you, will make you stronger.
Venice, thanks for responding. I enjoy reading your posts. The tragedy in New Orleans is so sad, I am so thankful that we made it there last January and the kids got to go as well. I have many special memories there. Some of them don't even involve food lol!
On a more serious note, please keep us in the loop with what is going on. Seeing things through your eyes is definitely better than reading about it from a 3rd party or seeing it on TV.
The family that relocated here from NOLA seems to be doing well. Saundra has now got a job at the bank and she seems to like it. She made it back to St. Bernard's parish a month or so ago to see what was left of their home. Absolutely nothing could be salvaged. She said while it was heartbreaking to see all of their possessions and momentos destroyed, she was glad that she went back as it did provide her closure so that she could move forward with her life. I know it is hard on them in so many ways. I feel so bad, everytime I see her she is shivering, the winters here are brutal compared to there and she is having a tough time adjusting to the climate.
They are very strong and resillient and it amazes me where all of you find the strength to get out of bed every morning and face the reality of what has happened and find the will to rise above it. But know that we'll thinking of you and sending our prayers and best wishes your way.
beenie weenie..thanks for your thoughts and the update about your "out of town guest"..human nature being what it is, you find the strength to do what you need to do and move on in life...you have no choice, but I think since 95% of folks who died were elderly, they may have lost the strength it takes to start all over again and just gave up and their hearts gave out
One of the more interesting aspects of this situation is what impact it has on young children who lost everything..My GF has a 9 year old daughter who wants to see the only home that she has ever known, but the feeling is to keep her focused on building her new life in Atlanta.