Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stories From Dallas

A friend of ours just got back from spending two weeks working the shelters in Dallas where the evacuees from Katrina were being housed. She's a nurse (and our bass player, a good one too - she was missed!). She got up this morning and told a little of what transpired. She was pretty emotional.

When I first asked her how it was in Dallas, she said "crazy, terrible, wonderful, a blessing, and sooo sad." She filled in the details during the service.

She said that, at first the victims were in so much trauma that they were mostly unable to express themselves about what they had been through. They are beginning to open up now. She said many had stayed to protect someone else, like an elderly parent, who would not leave. As we have heard, many, many of them simply did not have the money to leave. They didn't know where they were supposed to go or have any idea that there were busses they could board.

She told a story of one mom with five children. When the waters were swirling about them, and she was trying to save her babies ... she had to let one go in order to save the other four. That's hard to listen to.

She said many of those that were housed in the convention center or the Super Dome did not sleep for days, for fear of being raped or murdered. They didn't go to the rest rooms because they knew they would be raped. "There were babies being raped and killed ..." she heard over and over.

She said many of them were the poor that we had heard of, but most were working folks just like us. They had lives and jobs and kids and dogs and now it's all gone and they have to start over.

The overriding story was, however, from those who wanted out. They wanted a new life, but could not afford to leave New Orleans. For many, pre-Katrina New Orleans was a living nightmare. It was too dangerous to venture outside in the daytime, much less at night. For these folks, New Orleans had apparently become a very evil place. There is no question of them going back. They are quite happy to be in Texas.

For those trapped in a surreal world of drugs, crime, voodoo, and debauchery, Katrina did what the government could or would not: give them new lives. It is these people that Barbara Bush was talking about when she said "they would be better off ..." It sounds like she was right, afterall.

I'm not prepared to say that Katrina, and later Rita's veer to the North, was some kind of judgement (or cleansing depending upon your perspective) by God, but it does make you wonder.

1 Rant In Reply:

Blogger dave bones said...

amazing and terrible story.

They are trying to build an archive here

Thursday, September 29, 2005  

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