03 September 2005

eleven years

we were newlyweds. we started each day blissfully and sleepy-headed in the tiny lush courtyards of the place d'arms hotel. I am remembering those dream-like mornings, the thickness of the air, the distinct fragrance, the sound of the water in the mossy fountains, the quiet. I am remembering our breakfasts, the sensation of tearing delicate chunks from my croissant while we talked about the possibilities the day held. I am remembering what it felt like to be a new bride. we were on our honeymoon in new orleans.

and now here it is, eleven years later, and I find myself consumed with the television footage. I have been paralyzed by this, unsure what to do with all my emotions, my outrage, my fear, my sadness. over and over in my mind, with all these questions... what are they going to do? why haven't the people been helped? what is taking so long? what are they going to do with all that water? how will they rebuild? what can I do? WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO? I had the desperate and overwhelming urge to drive the short six hours down there to nurse those dehydrated babies myself (because how can those mothers breastfeed if they haven't had any water?). I hit my breaking point with it friday night and turned the tv off. I sat in the dark for a moment, stared at the blank screen. decided to check my email. a last-minute opportunity to get involved in the relief efforts presented itself and while it felt like the tiniest drop in a bucket of immeasurable tragedy, it was action, it was SOMETHING. a small anniversary gift to a city that my husband and I share such love and passion for.

today, we have been married for eleven years. in all honesty, I was really looking forward to writing about the trip we made to new orleans almost exactly one year ago today, a trip we made with the kids to celebrate a decade of marriage. I couldn't wait to share the photographs and the stories. and I will share them eventually, I think, if only to honor the spirit and history of the city. as I pray for all the people, for the rescuers, the volunteers, for healing and for peace, I will also be saying a little prayer for rebirth-- that we will have a new orleans to return to on our twentieth wedding anniversary.


  1. wow andrea! that was written so eloquently.

    i'm trying to blink my tears away - the idea of nursing those babies is so sweet amongst such a tragedy. a true mother's response.

    i really hope the suffering ends soon and all those babies will be thriving! it's been very sad indeed and confusing for us to see such a rich country like the u.s. to be in this situation.

    happy anniversary to you guys.

  2. happy anniversary.... i love the idea of returning for your 20th!

    you have expressed what so many of us have felt so well.....

  3. Here I was logging on to wish you and Ward a happy Anniversary ... and I was greeted with a little reality check.
    I know you guys love that place. I've thought of you two alot when I've been watching the horrific footage. I wondered if you recognized places. I wondered if your memories were watered ... muddied ... dirtied with the unpleasantness ... mired with the politics ...
    But I know you. I know Ward. I knew that your reaction would be a little more compassionate. I knew your reaction would be filled with tears and determination.
    Happy Anniversary to you, Andrea. I was there with you that day. I watched your eyes. I watched his. I knew your love was real. I knew that nothing would stand in the way of it.
    Now I remember that day ... I remember the two of you ... I remember that you spent many a special moment in New Orleans. I've seen the pictures. I've seen the smiles.
    I love you guys.
    I believe that finally the nation is stepping in the way they should have days ago.
    Nothing can stand in the way of your anniversary being a special day. Nothing can ever take away those memories ... those moments ... those snapshots in your mind.
    Happy Anniversary, Andrea.

  4. Beautifully put...sounds like an oxymoron when it concerns such a tragedy--but you know what I mean.

    I think a lot of things regarding this event are going to result in positive changes(from the coverage, blogs, and so on I read I think 99.9% of americans all feel the same way, and would do the same things if they could--didn't every woman want to help the moms and babies that seemed to be everywhere on TV, wandering helplessly in that heat, with no WATER?)...but that's of no comfort to people dead, or who've lost their loved ones and their homes, jobs, etc. etc.

  5. very well written. I have to glean from experiences like yours since I always "meant to" visit, but never did. Happy anniversary. I am sorry a place you loved so much- you have to watch suffer so much. I didn't love NO and it is so hard for ME to watch. I know it would hurt to see where jeff and I went (st. johns) taken by a hurricane.

    It does kill to see those babes. Or hear of mom's being seperated from their little ones. Heart wrenching.

  6. i feel you entirely....god is good though! all the time. My mom gave me a scripture last week, that has been with me all week. "He will keep in perfect peace, those who mind is stayed on Him." Is. 26:3