Five years ago Grant and I were evacuating New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina rolled in. I cannot believe it has been so long ago- and I cannot believe the turns and twists life has taken since. I asked him today what our lives would be like if we had either never left or returned to our "home" before deciding to move to DC. Neither of us could imagine. I would have finished my BSN from Louisiana State University and he would probably have dropped out of the DrPH program at Tulane and working either at an urban clinic or for Oschner Health System.
Would we have had children earlier? Would we even still be married? It really wasn't until the four months of hell after our evacuation that we really became friends and decided that even though we are all wrong for each other, we committed to this and were in it for the long haul.
I will never say that Katrina was a blessing. I am not a good enough Christian to see anything good come from that disaster that could not have happened in a less horrible way. But I will say that in the deepest valley of our life, we found qualities in each other that we might not have found or appreciated otherwise.
Five years ago I loved Grant, but only the idea of him I had in my head. Sitting next to him tonight I know his ugliest bits but could not love him any more. And in the unspoken air between us we both hope for the day we drive back across I-10 into the city we both still call "home" with our bags packed and ready to settle in forever. New Orleans, I miss you every day.