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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist

Monday, July 18, 2005

We'll be fine

As a child my first experience with a hurricane was also my first experience with human tragedy. I suppose that was also the first time I knew real fear. The fear that comes with the knowledge that you are totally alone in a situation that might well be your end and you can’t understand what’s happening at all.

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a train passing outside my bedroom. That is a terrifying sound to hear having full knowledge there are no trains nearby. I ran into my parent’s room and found it empty. I ran through the hall and made my way to our living room. The sound of the train was louder here and I almost turned back with the intent of finding a safe place to hide. I wonder now how that might have affected me today if I had spent the night shuddering alone in fear. I forced my way forward giving in to my desire to understand by setting aside my desire for safety. The scene I found was surrealistic and even now it seems so otherworldly to me. There sat my mother curled up comfortably in her chair sitting quite peacefully as if there was nothing extraordinary at all. She turned when she heard me and must have seen my terror somehow because she smiled and said everything’s ok. I asked, “Where’s Robert?” wondering why my stepfather would be gone at such an odd hour. “He’s trying to stop the water from coming in under the back door”. What? Why was there water there? None of this made any sense at all. “What’s going on?” I almost demanded. “It’s a hurricane” she replied.

My mind began to race through my childish knowledge of these great and terrible storms. I remembered my Dad being so animated describing to others how he stayed on Mon Louis Island during “Betsy” and how he went out in the storm “just to see what it was like”. I remember he would swear never again to be “that stupid” to even stay in a storm, much less go out in one. That’s a phrase I’ve heard repeated many times in my life and one I learned to say for myself. I remember him describe the destruction and devastation and his comparisons of Betsy to other great storms. “This could kill us”, I thought.

“What are we going to do?” were the words out of mouth but my real question went unasked. How could she sit there in all this as if nothing were wrong? “We’re fine. There’s nothing to worry about.” That was enough for me. The fear was completely dispelled. I trusted my mother completely. She would not, could not, could never deceive me in any way and she knew everything. She knew right from wrong, what was good and what was bad, she even knew what I would like and what I would hate. She always prepared me for everything. If she said it was so, then it was so. Now I was free to satisfy my curiosity and learn more about this major event. “Is it hitting us?” “No. It’s going to hit Mississippi.” The fear returned. “You mean it hasn’t hit yet?” I couldn’t believe it would get worse. How much worse could it get and the house stay in place? “No, but this is the worst we’ll get of it.” Once again she proved she knew everything. “Now go to bed it’s late and nothing is going to happen to us”. Terror and the relief from it has a way of exhausting a person, even a little one. I stumbled back to my bed only to find Mom behind me ready to tuck me in safely with the smile and the kiss that closed every day the right way. I listened to the storm for a while and at some point faded back to sleep. I had no idea what the next days, weeks and months would bring. We were fine just as Mom said, but I would soon learn how devastated you can be and still be fine.

On the night of August 17, 1969 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Many of those who refused to believe the forecast and stayed at home to ride out the storm lived to regret it. Some did not live through it. The latest survey reveals l34 deaths; 27 missing; 8,931 injured; 5,662 homes destroyed and 13,915 suffering major losses. The destruction was unprecedented in United States history to that time.



Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

I think I remember that Hurricane. I was scared it was going to hit us in Texas and asked one of the neighbors' mother what she thought. She made sure to tell me that it was going to hit us and we better be ready. I think she took great pleasure in scaring me. After all, her youngest son was the neighborhood spoiled brat and we made sure not to let him get away with anything.

Fortunately for me, no hurricane ever hit Texas while I lived there... now since I've moved...

7/18/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks for the visit and the comment Pastor. I have really enjoyed reading your blog these past days and look forward to more.

This is the first of what I plan will be many entries on my hurricane experiences. I wanted to share them because of the their impact on my life. God has blessed me in so many ways and I would have to say “through” these storms, not in spite of them.

7/18/2005 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Polly said...

Since the good Pastor and I have been married a little over two years ago, we've been hit by so many storms. I thank God for them. It has brought us closer to Him and to each other and we have learned to walk by faith. I always thought that lines like this were hokey before. Turns out, I was the one who was hokey. Refining fire...or rain...is never easy to go through and is often filled with heartache. But the blessings of a closer and dependent relationship with Christ is well worth each tear. And if by some reason, He can use what has happened to us to reach someone for Him, to God be the glory.

7/19/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

It's so true Ms. Polly and I know they help us to be more compassionate when others are in need of support. Thanks to you both for the visit and the comments.

7/20/2005 07:54:00 AM  

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