My Katrina Memory

I was just reminded today, that it has been nine years today since Katrina hit our southern coast. Nine years today when the lives of so many were changed forever. I remember that day. Actually, I remember the day and 2 nights before almost just as well.

On the night of August 20, 2005, after getting all of the things together that we have to take on a seminar trip and packing my suitcases, I readied for bed. Didn't take long and I was asleep, dreaming. That night in my dreams for the first time since her death, my mom appeared to me in a dream. It was as plain as if she were alive and standing my side. She whispered to me, "Don't go--water. Don't go--water. Send Fred. " I told her back in my dream, "I have to go," And then she was gone.

The alarm went off and Wayne loaded the car as I got the drinks and breakfast ready and we began our 14 hour trip to Roanoke, VA. It was a beautiful day and fairly uneventful drive and I didn't even think to say anything to Wayne about my dream until we hit the TN/VA border. Right at that time, it began to rain. My memory of the dream popped into my head as I said, "oh, no" . Wayne asked me what I had remembered and I told him about seeing Mom in a dream and what she had said. I told him that I always have weird dreams, but now it is raining.

We drove on into Roanoke and checked into the Quality Inn Hotel there, unloaded the car and went to bed. We had made it, without difficulty, rain and all.
The next morning, we were up at 6 am as usual for seminar days and readied the meeting room for the seminar that day. Everyone came and the seminar was running smoothly until all of a sudden, rain began coming through the ceiling, barely missing my computer. Taking a break to re-arrange, I went out to the lobby where the tv was running and showing pictures of Katrina hitting Mississippi and New Orleans. Now the vision of my mother was making sense to me.

The seminar finished and Wayne and I drove to Fayetteville, NC to see his Mom and of course, as everywhere else, it was katrina coverage 24/7. I spoke with folks from Monroe who told me to stay where I was because there was nothing left here at home. There was no milk, no water, nothing. Then I heard reports that it would be next to impossible to buy gasoline. So, here we are in NC, our home is in LA,  I phoned an orthotist friend of mine, Ronn Bell and asked him what the situation was in Monroe and he said Monroe was ok, So, we decided we would come home through TN.

I know therapists across the state of NC &TN, so I called them inAsheville, Knoxville,& Nashville to ensure we could get gasoline. We drove the first day as far as Jackson, TN and spent the night with my brother, Harry. I called Memphis, TN to check on gasoline situation and was told by the therapists at Baptist Hospital that they were only selling gasoline to residents of Memphis. I called the mayor of Memphis, who assured me this was not true, so we left for home.

Once home, we found everything ok except there were more people here than when we left, as was true for many communities across the country.
We had an increase in our patient load with refugees and many clung to a shingle or pictures from the life they had to leave.

Katrina led us to have to cancel seminars, which was tough, but nothing compared to what those people in New Orleans and MS had to do or lost. For us, in our business, Katrina was a turning point. Things have never been the same, but isn't that what happens, in life. For some, it was leaving their home forever-their friends, their belongings, never to return. But, for others, it brought a new beginning. Just to listen to the stories of those people who lost all in Katrina, and how they have used this as a spring board to start over, a brand new start, it is an inspiration. My hope is that when I am faced with such a tragedy or storm in life, that I will have the fortitude, the strength and wisdom to do as well as so many of these folks have done. May there never be another Katrina or devastating hurricane. May God bless America.
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