While driving to Lake Charles, I pointed out a storm to Gemma that we would be traveling through. After a few seconds, she asked, “And is it going to flood us in our car?”
The recent 500-year flood in Louisiana has left her worried that any storm could flood us. It has left me worried that any storm could flood us even though not a single drop of flood water came into our house. I can’t begin to imagine how the flood victims feel.
I was home alone that weekend with my girls – three non-swimming little girls. My husband had to drive through the storm and attend a work meeting in New Orleans. I went to bed Friday night exhausted and feeling sorry for myself. I woke up early Saturday morning dismayed after seeing the amount of water outside. I tried to think of what I would do if the water did enter our house. After thinking and thinking and not finding a solution, I began praying – praying that the water wouldn’t get any higher and that my husband would make it home safely.
Luckily, we were spared from any flood damage. Somehow, most of our city was spared while neighboring cities were not. We have family and friends spread throughout Louisiana and amazingly, they were all spared.
Maybe it was because Vivienne blessed me five times before going to sleep or maybe it was simply because we were lucky. Either way, part of me feels guilty. We had it so easy while so many others lost everything.
My heart aches so much for all of the flood victims. I often find myself deeply immersed in reading articles, watching videos and looking at pictures related to the flood so I can put myself in their shoes. Just 10 years ago I lived in Baton Rouge. It could have easily been me.
Weeks ago I wished that my walls weren’t so bare and today, I’m extremely thankful that I have those walls, along with everything in those walls, along with my life and family’s lives.
The flood has been a geography lesson, a science lesson and lesson in compassion for Gemma. She’s ready and willing to give away so many of her gently-used toys and clothes as soon as we can find another little girl that has lost all of her’s.
Because of the flood, Gemma will soon have lessons in cajun – lessons in crawfish, Mardi Gras, zydeco and lastly, southern hospitality. This state doesn’t make the top of many lists (test scores, cleanliness, best state to have a baby). There’s been many times that I haven’t been proud to be a Louisiana native and there’s been many times that I wanted to move out of Louisiana. However, because of this flood and because of how so many Louisianians treated other Louisianians during and after this flood, there is no other state I would rather live in.
There is no other state I want to call home.
“Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” -Colossians 3:11