Thursday, October 25, 2007


Every morning I remember.

I remember the house that used to stand on our lot, with blonde brick and large picture windows decorated with our Precious Daughter's art work. I remember the houses that used to stand to the left and to the right, three houses in a long line of suburban homes that filled Vista Park, our three properties now vacant and covered in wild greenery that has taken over the void.

I remember the houses that used to stand across the street on land now leveled and vacant. The Marine family who I still think of as neighbors even though they bought a house 850 miles from here and will not return to New Orleans. The retired dentist and his wife who have both since passed away and who I count as victims of the flood.

As I walk to my car, a glinting catches my eye and I focus on tiny shards of mirror mixed with sand and road grit in the street gutter. Although our house and the houses around it were crushed and carted away many months ago, tiny souvenirs still occasionally present themselves. A cap from a bottle of nail polish. A flattened fork. And today, these glittering pebbles of a shattered mirror.

So much was destroyed here, and in the past two years, a flood of effort to clean it up has followed. Houses throughout the neighborhood have been or are being repaired, rebuilt, or replaced with new homes. But the residue of Hurricane Katrina lingers. How long will it be before it is completely washed away? The stop sign at the corner, still tilting at an improper angle, bears the stain of the waterline that drowned this neighborhood two years ago, broke and scattered the people who made their homes here.

The smashed pieces are a constant reminder--as if I need their help. I won't forget what this place used to be and what happened to the houses, the gardens, and of course, the people shattered by what happened here.

Every morning I remember.


judyb said...

I don't think any of us will ever forget what was there before the storm. It's as if it was in another life.

Laurie said...

You still move me.

Sophmom said...

Oh, Tim, I'm so sorry. I was so sorry then, and I'm still so sorry now. You would think that it would get less sad, but somehow it doesn't. In some ways, it just keeps getting sadder.

I will say, for those of us not in "that part of the world", thank you for taking your stand there, for doing what you're doing every day. Most especially, thank you for sharing it so beautifully with us.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tim, I was at the Rising Tide Conference and heard you speak. I appreciated your honesty and the effort you put forth to inform us.

I am a native New Orleanian, but I've lived in Thibodaux for many years. However, New Orleans is still the home of my heart, and I'm still grieving.

Your poignant post captures well the scene in New Orlenas more than two years after Katrina and the flood.

Marco said...

Try to keep on putting it all back together by staying together. Peace

Anonymous said...

I love you, Tim, you know I do.
Jane, still your, your DH and DD's neighbor in my heart

Julie G said...

I was at Tiding Tide and heard you speak. You touched me then. You touch me now. Please don't lose hope.