I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that August 28, 2005 happened for a reason. During the entire storm when we were trapped inside of our hotel, I kept telling myself that our house was still going to be there. I never thought I would drive back to where my house had once been and nothing would be there. Walking over piles and piles of rubble to get to a house that is not even there anymore is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It is so hard to put into words how it feels to have to go through that.
Walking over rooftops and refrigerators, I still did not believe my house was gone. It did not hit me until I saw a pair of my pants I had not even taken the tags off of lying on the ground covered in mud. It was at that point that I knew that my life was forever to be changed. I kept walking, tears filling my eyes, until I finally reached where my house and my car used to be. It was at that point that it hit me; everything I had ever owned or cherished was gone. I broke down into tears. I do not think I have ever cried as much as I did that day. It was not tears of sadness for losing everything I had once cherished, they were tears of fear. Where were we going to live? Where would I go to school? Were all of my friends alright? How do you bounce back from something as tragic as this? I will be the first one to tell you that I was scared. For weeks after the storm, it almost seemed surreal. I cried a lot in the weeks to follow because I was scared. I knew I had my family and friends but for once in my life, I really was homeless. I had no place to call my own.
Slowly, everything fell into place. I ran out of tears. We stayed with my older sister, whose house was not damaged, for a long time after the storm, until we finally found a house to rent thanks to one of my mom’s friends. I missed seven weeks of my senior year of high school because of Katrina, and when we went back, my school was in trailers. After the storm, our entire senior class became closer. No matter where you went, everyone was there for each other, and for that I am forever grateful.
I believe that August 28, 2005 happened for a reason. That reason was to make me stronger and to help me appreciate what is important in life. Life is not all about material possessions; it is about friends and family. Without all of them, I am not sure where I would have been after the storm. Sitting here almost two years later, I am still a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.
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