admittedly, i've always been a little bit obsessed with natural disasters and extreme weather. when i was a kid, i would read all kinds of books and watch all kinds of TV specials about tornadoes and earthquakes, always completely riveted by the drama unfolding, and the humbling power of nature over man. no matter how sophisticated we get technologically, it's still no match for the destructive power of Mother Nature.
when Katrina first started blowing in, i was pretty excited, i have to say. i kept my ear to the radio and my eyes on the TV, watching literally hours of footage. i watched live as the storm was passing over New Orleans and the roof was being ripped of the Super Bowl, with thousands of people inside. my heart raced like I was watching the latest Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer thriller, only this was real, and unfolding immediately before me, no one sure of what the outcome would be.
for a day or so, it seemed the disaster wouldn't be so bad, and then the levees in New Orleans broke, it came to light that Biloxi, and Mobile, and multiple smaller towns were completely wiped out, leaving hundreds and thousands of people homeless, displaced and with nothing.
now, watching the apocalyptic level of choas, violence and misery that is unfolding in New Orleans is beyond terrifying. it's a level of horror on par with some of the most cynical science fiction, and it's all real. my feeling of fascination and excitement has been replaced with dread and overwhelming sadness. i cried a little this morning watching Good Morning America as reports of looting, violence and rape were carried over the wires. helicopters rescuing people from the diseased and oil-soaked water were being shot at, as were officers trying to help people. people have been savagely murdered and the suffering there is completely unfathomable. it's heartbreaking. there's no other more eloquent or poetic way to put it.
my friend megan, with whom i've been friends since high school, only this past summer moved from Biloxi to Memphis for a new job. i've been thinking about her non-stop this week, and how thankful I am that she is no longer there. but mandy told me this morning that megan hasn't heard from any of her friends or colleagues there, and she's terrified that they all stayed at the news station (megan is a news producer) to cover the storm. that hadn't occurred to me. but i'm really thinking about you megan, and praying that everyone's okay.
i've been thinking so much about loss lately. it seems that several people in my life have suffered an extraordinary amount of it this summer, from the breakup of relationships, to the deaths of friends, sometimes multiple ones in a short span of time. it's incredible to me how people just keep moving on, and no matter what happens or who you are, tragedy is always going to touch your life, and there's absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. the people i know and love are all so strong and so inspiring, and hearing what some of them are dealing with right now makes me feel almost ashamed at my little heartbreaks. i have been incredibly blessed and i'm so grateful for all of it.