Chris (chrisjournal) wrote,

Family update

Someone emailed asking about the New Orleans family and Katrina, and I know I just stopped posting about things there. Mostly, I don't want to talk about it any more, though it may pop up from time to time as I get frustrated or angry. In the final tally, we lost one person entirely (one of the cousins), but we believe he's probably out there somewhere. The man was a bit of an unreliable bum, and it's relatively likely that he's wandered off somewhere and may resurface. The Parkinsons victim and the Alzheimer's patient have both been located, in separate nursing homes in TX and LA. The hurricane has caused rapid degeneration in their conditions, and the separation certainly hasn't helped. There is a lot of complex activity in trying to get them reunited and helped. It's truly frightening. Their other son is with a friend in MS, spiraling downwards into his alcoholism. No one quite knows what to do about him, in truth. All four of these relatives lost everything. Nothing was salvageable. The only one of them in any position to try to take advantage of FEMA's assistance in rebuilding is the one in MS. It's a terribly disheartening situation all around. I mourn the grapefruit trees and childhood days spent with red beans, beer, football, and not knowing how good we had it. Uncle Al is the only one of my side of the family who's escaped relatively unscathed. Now he wouldn't agree with that assessment, given that his ultra beloved and valuable vinyl collection has been seriously affected, but he's still got his health, his home, and most of his possessions. That works out with him ahead of the game by my reckoning. He continues to travel from friends' home to friends' home on a grand tour while he waits out the recovery of his hometown.

On my husband's side of the family, Uncle Rick is back uptown at his house and helping to clean up the neighborhood his house is located in. Tulane has had to let a lot of folks go (they're one of the two or three largest (possibly the largest) employers in New Orleans, and he was an assc. prof at the University College there), so he's got lots of time to devote. GaGa is still in VA with hub's parents, but she's really itching to go home. We're not sure how much longer we can get her to wait -- management of her apt. complex seems as if it will get Park Esplanade up and running again in a few more weeks, and once they're open, she's bound to go back. The rest of the J. cousins, aunts, and uncles are doing well, with some of them returned to the city and the rest settling into Baton Rouge for an indefinite period of time.

Apologies for leaving some of you hanging about the state of things here -- the devastation Katrina wrought is crushing when I think too hard about it. Much easier to let it sit under the surface. Husband is planning to make a trip to the city on his way to a convention in Houston (for work), and I'm involved with a group who's trying to help the student media organizations in New Orleans resurrect themselves in town. The universities have to put a higher priority on things other than student organizations for the time being, so alumni and other university groups are banding together to assist in the on-site resurrection. We had the honor of dinner with a Tulane BOA member and have been able to talk to Cowen a few times about the university and how the reconstruction is going -- I am in awe of the man who replaced Eamon Kelly at this point. It makes me redouble my wish that someday a Writercon will take place in New Orleans and to get back there some day.

I'm getting rambly, so it's time to end this...

  • Anniversary

    I've had Katrina on my mind a lot lately -- I can't believe it's been a whole year, and there is still so very, very much to do. I know that I ought…

  • Nevermind...

    Okay, folks, I'm *not* going to Vox. Not now, not ever. But at least one person on my flist has decided to move content that I'm especially

  • Holy cow!

    Mercury really *is* out of retrograde! We just got an offer on the house!!!!! Not great, not terrible. But it's been empty since January, and…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.