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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
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Monday, July 25, 2005

The Aftermath

“Where is he?” I heard my stepfather ask my mother. “He was at the fraternity house” she replied. It seems my older brother had gone missing just before Camille hit and since the phones were down for days no one knew for sure if he was safe through the storm. We found out years later that he and some friends had gone surfing at Dauphin Island as the storm approached. “He’s coming home now and he’ll try to take me” my mother added. My stepfather had been cooking all day again preparing food to carry to Mississippi. Emergency response for such a catastrophic event was pretty much unheard of at that time. Some of the injured wandered for days before anyone was able to help them. The stench of death filled the air for weeks. There was no cleanup effort for months in some areas.

My mother worked at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi. She planned to go there the day after the storm to try to help those she knew that lived there and those she could. They made several attempts to reach Biloxi and after a week were finally able to get through. We had all been hearing the horror stories and they had seen more of the devastation with each trip but when they finally were able to get through to those areas hardest hit whatever it was they saw left my mother talking in whispers whenever I was around. I would ask, but “it was horrible, just horrible. We’ll never risk getting caught in something like that” is the only reply she ever gave me. It’s hard for me to recall everything, but for months the storm was all anyone could talk about. I suppose there are many who find it difficult even now to keep their thoughts from straying back to the night of that storm and the months that followed. It was six months before I was allowed to visit the area and view what remained. Even then it looked like a war zone. At the time it was estimated that the Mississippi Gulf Coast would need twenty years to recover. I know there are those who never did.

This was my first encounter with a hurricane. As a child I could not imagine straying to far from the love and care of my mother nor could I perceive the sheer power and force that was able, not only, to rearrange the land, but also the lives of the people who lived on it. As an adult I cannot comprehend living outside of the love of God that comforts and cares for me in all the storms of life.

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7 Comments:

Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

Excellent piece. You're a good writer, keep it up.

7/26/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi is where my little brothers and sister were born. That area is where I grew up...

7/27/2005 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Pastor but I don't have any aspirations other than to try and better share my experiences. ;-)

Adam I knew you were special to me for some reason! You need to plan a trip back this way soon. ;-)

7/27/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I actually grew up in Gulfport, MS. It is very close to Biloxi though. I would love to go back there, the beach is my home. If you cannot tell, I have one of those surfer boy personalities, STUCK IN EAST TEXAS!!! But I have visitited it a couple times and was very depressingly dissatisfied. My old home of beautiful sea shore and shrimp boats as far as the eyes can see have been replaced by hideous monstrosities of pagan filth and debauchery (Gambling boats) LOL! (I was working on my use of adjectives!) It saddens me...leave it alone, leave the beauty alone...go read a book or something!

7/28/2005 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I know what you mean about being dissatisfied, but you know? Gulfport still looks a lot the same. Now you know the real reason I suggested the visit. BTW I wanted to thank you for your input in the comments on that blog we crossed paths on. Even though you don’t interpret the scripture properly all the time (big grin) you sure proved your integrity and honesty again and my trust in you has grown once more. (Just a personal note I wanted to state publicly)

7/28/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

hey kc, nice piece. thank you for checking out my blog, i've read some of yours through matt's site as well. i like your thoughts.

7/28/2005 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jody, thank you so much for the visit and the kind words. I am very impressed with what you’ve been up to “in reference to a sinking ship” and I am looking forward to being one of your devoted readers.

7/29/2005 10:25:00 AM  

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