The Day My Life Changed

By Ginny W., Age 16

Not long ago I was a carefree high school freshmen, worrying if I would be ok in high school. The day before Katrina seemed like any other, except my mom had such sadness I won't ever forget it. It had started like any other hurricane prep day. We put the large plywood board over the window, and headed to my aunt's house in Baton Rouge. We threw a few changes of clothes and some flashlights and water in the car. The usual 1 hour drive took 6.

Later in the day, my aunt Martha arrived with her family. The Big one came, the winds blew down my aunt's tree which fell on the neighbor's house, but no one was hurt. Then the worst news came, the levee, less than a mile from our house, broke. My mother and I did not leave the TV for 4 days. As we watched the water rise, we started to grieve for all we had lost. We saw aerial shots of our house and all we could see was a little piece of roof not covered in water.

My mother turned into an old woman in front of my eyes. My aunts kept saying at least you are safe, but that wasn't enough. I felt so bad. It was like even stupid little things were now so important; I wish I had brought my stuff. I had no idea that the next three weeks my home was going to stay filled with water. All of my pictures gone, all of my clothes gone, all of my notes, mementos forever gone. And my family forever changed. You see, the house had been my great grandmother's passed down to my mom, so that when my dad died we would always have a place to live. Only now there is no place, just a moldy shell. You see the insurance didn't cover much, F.E.M.A. keeps telling my mom to wait. I have no future, only a shell of what my life once was. Despair, fear, disgust are all I have now. This will certify the above work is completely original.