and the floodwalls built by the Corpse of Engineers fucking fell down.
Seventy-five percent of New Orleans was under water.
Today I remember the pain and loss we all felt. I remember those who died then and those who died later from this experience. My heart aches for those who had to leave their beloved city.
I remain in New Orleans. The Flood took so much: Betts, memories. I must remain here because I won’t let the Reaper or idiots win. My passing shall be on my terms and the Lady shall oversee it all.
So on this day I salute all who have worked to rebuild our New Orleans, and who insanely stand for Her as the waters come. We belong to New Orleans, and Her Fate is ours. Without us She doesn’t exist and without Her we can’t be ourselves. Call it a symbiotic relationship.
We are the Faithful. We are New Orleanians.
Today marks nine years since Betty moved from Coral Springs, FL to New Orleans to live with me.
She called me in late July that year and told me to book a train or a bus to get to her to pack her up. Wound up with a bus and 22 hours travel time, but I got there. (Looked like hell) She stepped out of her car and hugged me. Took me to a late dinner and drove me to her house.
Seven days later I had packed the truck with her stuffs. She had just started to work from her home as a salesperson for her company and couldn’t help me. We drove straight through to New Orleans towing her old Buick. (I actually ate at a Cracker Barrel on the trip)
We arrived in a 116 degree heat index and moved everything into my home. It was a labor of love. My “Other half” was with me then. We had Po’Boys from Gene’s that night.
Betty is gone now, as are almost all of the things we had back then. The things were taken by the Federal Flood of ’05 and she died last Christmas… but the house and myself still survive.
Today Betts, I remember the gift you gave me: you believed in me and trusted me. I wish you were still here, but that cannot be. I hold the fort for both of us.
I will continue to fight for, and help folks, just like what you wanted me to do, and I will never cease in my love for you.
I am here and you are in the Summer Country… in time I WILL be with you. ‘Til then I walk the path, do my work and yearn for you.
It is the only thing I can do.
Betty- I love you sweetheart, and I always will. And one day we will be hand-in-hand again. (And World? Look out when that comes to pass.)