Discovering Destruction - 2005/2006

6 months after the storm I finally got to see what was left of my family’s house on the Mississippi gulf coast in a tiny town called Pass Christian. I knew things were bad and I had seen pictures but I still wanted to see everything for myself. When we got there I walked through the big driveway to the back of the house like I had so many times before but in a car. Usually we pass Mrs. Belle’s, a neighbor’s, house but it was a slab with a pile of debris next to it. I walked up to where my house was and all that was there was a slab. That’s it. I walked like I was walking through the big glass sliding doors into our big kitchen den room and I was in shock. Here was a house that I had spent every summer weekend at and it was a slab. Next I walked through the kitchen and walked into our big den where my dad would play the drums, my uncle would play the guitar and I would play the flute to songs like “Heard it in a love song” by the Marshall Tucker Band. I couldn’t believe it. I felt a tear stream down my face and I was still in just pure shock. I later walked into what was left of my parent’s bedroom that we called the “surf hut” because of the surf posters that my dad put up there. It used to have a bright red carpet but all that was there was the gray cement that must have been underneath it. I could also see the brick porch that had a big swing, a hammock and a big train bench where my family and I would hang out. I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As I was standing out on the porch I could see what was left of the oh so familiar walk from our house to our pool. I recognized the thinned out trees that used to be so full and green before. When I got to the pool, the water was black and disgusting and there was a giant tree branch in it. The diving board was still there but the slide was gone. When I first saw it I just stood there thinking about the thousands of memories that I had created during the past 16 years and reliving them while I was looking at the pool. I remembered that I had gotten a stick and scratched my initials and the date in the wall of the shallow end and I wondered if it was still there. It would be cool if it was but I doubt it. I took one last walk back to the house and 2 things happened that encouraged me. I saw two plastic wheels from a toy shopping cart that had been passed down through me, my sister and my two younger cousins. I was excited to see them and I took them home to keep and show my sister and cousins. Finding those two wheels showed that all was not gone and that things will get better. The second thing that happened was my dad found one of the blankets that my great grandmother knitted in the 60’s and surprisingly it was all in one piece. It just needed to be washed. That was an important find and it again showed me that not all is lost and that things won’t stay like this. They will move and who knows? My dad thinks that by the summer of 07 we can be back in a newly built house ready to relive some of the old memories and create new ones. Well, the way I think about it, things will get back to some sort of normalcy over there and here in New Orleans too. We will rebuild and we will be back. Seeing everything gone is really hard but the only place to go is up and I know that in the next 5-10 years things will be going up.