Thursday, June 1st, 2006
Calm is the theme for Weekly Anamnesis, Week #25:
There is a false sense of calm today here in the southern states; June 1 - the start of hurricane season. The storms won't start in earnest until later in the summer, we all know that; yet death and devastation are still too fresh on everyone's minds.
It was less than a year ago that Hurricane Katrina made her way along our beloved coast, destroying so much in her wake. A mere hour away from our home people were struggling to survive, trapped in flooding homes and scrambling for higher ground.
Being without electricity, we didn't know the full extent of it at the time. We knew only that New Orleans was "in trouble" - the desperate voices of people calling in to local stations crackling through on our battery-operated radio chilled us to the bone. They prayed and asked for help. The winds had stilled and the rain had stopped, but still the nightmare was just beginning.
Though the storm had passed, it would be some months before anyone in lower Louisiana or Mississippi could feel calm again. There was the rising death toll, the constant whir of rescue helicopters overhead, the horrible and heart-rending stories flowing in from New Orleans, Biloxi and the surrounding areas, the anxious fear that gripped us all every time a new storm began forming in the warm ocean waters.
And now, as June 1 dawns and hurricane season begins anew, the old fears return - the uneasiness, the hope that it won't happen again along with the knowledge that something similar will. I daresay, calm isn't something any of us will feel again until hurricane season has ended on a distant November day.
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Sunday, March 26th, 2006
Congratulations is the theme for Weekly Anamnesis, Week #14:
It was a quiet Sunday and we were relaxing at home when the phone rang. It was my little brother, J.D. I could tell immediately from his voice that something was amiss.
"Hey, Shan, so...um. What 'cha doing?"
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
He laughed nervously. "What makes you think something's wrong?"
"I know you, J.D. What's going on?"
By now, I'm nervous. It would have to be a pretty big issue for my brother - of all people - to call me up to talk; he's not one for sharing what's on his mind.
But nothing could've prepared me for his next words: "How do you feel about being an aunt?"
My mind couldn't grasp what he'd just said, and I honestly thought - at first and in my shock - that he was telling me their cat was pregnant with kittens. But as he continued to talk, in rapid-fire speech, what my mind had been trying to deny was slowly sinking in: his girlfriend was pregnant.
There was this scared and pleading sound in my little brother's voice; he was terrified. I was his oldest sister, and he respected my opinion; it was obvious that he needed my reassurance and acceptance.
A million things ran through my head: But you hate kids! You're both still in college! You're both too young! You both only work part-time! You're terrible with responsibility! You've never had a full-time job in your life, how can you support a family?! What about all of your hopes and dreams of traveling and teaching in Germany?! I know you don't want this and aren't ready for this!! All of your plans...your whole life is forever changed now!
But in the end, all I said was, "Congratulations."
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