This is the last part. It's sort of a tie-up post, if you will.
The next year is mostly about living in Flowood, keeping sane and dealing with insurance issues.
We did have insurance that paid for everything. So, we were lucky in that regard.
We found an apartment in Flowood, MS and I worked at our local office there. Light of my life started kindergarten in late September and pulled off straight A's the whole year.
She attended counseling once a week as did the rest of the Katrina evacuees that put down temporary roots in Flowood. I think we were one of the only families that stayed the whole year. Most headed back as soon as they could, but since we had no where else to live, we stayed. Plus, I wasn't uprooting her during all this heartache. It would have been too much and too confusing.
We met lots and lots of lovely people while evacuated. Everyone welcomed us with open arms, open hearts and open wallets. We were given lots of toys and a fake Christmas tree by the secretary of the school she attended.
My girls over at my Yahoo groups came through the most of all. They were what kept me sane throughout most of this.
They might not know it and I'm not sure how many I thanked, but they were lifesavers and caregivers and humanitarians all rolled into a great group of women. They sent Target gift cards, toys, clothes, books, games, etc....for light of my life and myself.
We received money from the Red Cross to help us get on our feet.
We received some money from FEMA.
We received items to help us set up the apartment by some ladies that lived where we first evacuated to (where we live now) in addition to money and other goodies.
As heartbreaking as all this was, as terrible as the whole situation was...there were some rainbows in the end.
My house got re-done. I finally got to paint the kitchen and bathroom and my bedroom.
We got new appliances.
We fell in love with our neighbors. I always LIKED my neighbors, J & R and their son W, but after the storm, we utterly fell in LOVE with them. They were always there for us and bent over backwards to help us IN addition to dealing with their own mess. R got me some extra jobs to help with the cash flow situation (due to increased insurance, higher gas costs, higher energy bills, etc....). We connected and became much closer friends. To this day, I still count her as one of my best friends.
Light of my life had an EXTRAORDINARY kindergarten year that, to this day, she still talks about.
We discovered the wonderful city of Flowood and all its citizens.
We re-discovered our faith in humanity.
We re-discovered our adopted city of New Orleans as it struggled to recover. We started going places and doing things that we didn't do before Katrina hit.
We made new friends.
To end this post, I'm gonna provide some links to pictures of the damages and of our life in Flowood. Please forgive the horrible quality of the pictures. They were first taken with a throw-away camera and then I photographed the photographs so I could post 'em. They're blurry and horribly shot, but these were mostly taken for insurance purposes and didn't have to be "pretty".
A picture of light of my life 3 days before Katrina hit.
A picture of the temporary office we set up in my uncle's house so I could continue to earn a paycheck.
The park near our house.
First shot of our house.
Barred door and the white cat.
Laundry room exterior.
Laundry room interior.
Washer and dryer.
Junk we pulled out.
Floor under fridge.
Fridge on street.
Guest bedroom walls at my mom's house.
Vase that caught the water.
Walls in my mom's living room.
My aunt's driveway.
My aunt's house.
Neighborhood street near levee break.
Big pile o'crap.
The car packed on the way to the apartment in Flowood.
Light of my life in the hotel room before her first day of Kindergarten.
The apartment with all it's "high end furniture" (insert sarcasm here).
Thank you for reading my story.
Friday, September 5, 2008