Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hurricane Mercy and Meanness

This is submitted by Larry Lehnerz of The Source:

More than forty members of Carol Marshall’s family lived in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina devastated their homes.  They are now scattered across neighboring states.  Marshall, who lives in Mount Lake Terrace has remained in communication with the family and reports all are thankfully safe.

Though the family is doing well, they have experienced moments of amazing mercy and inexplicable meanness.

“As the waters started rising in New Orleans, my father who is 85 years old, five of my eight sisters, together with their children fled to Georgia and out of harms way,” says Marshall.  

“My brother who is a truck driver and on the road most of the time allowed seven family members to dwell in his house until they find work and reestablish themselves,” she says.

Members of the family received small vouchers from the Red Cross.

“My sister was shopping for shoes when she burst into tears,” says Marshall of one poignant moment.  “She realized, I have nothing.  I’m literally starting from the ground up.”

At a Wall Mart, while some family members shopped for necessities, others found a bench at the front of the store.  A woman in a wheel chair approached and asked if they were by any chance from New Orleans.  When they said yes, the woman told them that she didn’t have much, but she wanted to help.  She then handed Marshall’s sister $200 and offered a blessing, telling her that more good would come their way.

A few moments later, the cell phone call brought news that another family member had been found safe.

“We considered it a spiritual moment,” says Marshall.  “Instead of being sad about everyone losing their homes, we all felt elated.”

But it hasn’t been all good news for Marshall’s kin.  

“There are some who are insensitive to the drama my family and all the survivors are going through,” says Marshall.

The following eviction noticed received in the past few days by Marshall’s brother speaks for itself.

“Since you feel that you need to provide shelter for your friends from New Orleans then you must move to a new location.  Please use the rest of this month to relocate.  If you are thinking about a thirty day notice - that only applies when you are not violating the lease.  Please feel free to use me as a reference.  Thank you.”  It was signed by the landlord.

Though stunned by the insensitivity, Marshall considers this just another bump in the road for her family.

“We’ve been blessed,” says Marshall.  “Thank the Lord we all survived.”


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