It’s around August 30th or 31st, although I have no idea of which—we’re at my sister’s house in Atlanta and we have no earthly clue of what’s going on in Bay St. Louis, other than the aerial shots taken by news crews flying over the area, which leave us fearing the worst. Kenny has made it to Bay St. Louis and has made contact with his mother, stepfather, and grandmother. He’s made it to Mom and Nick’s neighborhood and calls us from the direct connect feature on our phones (miraculously, that walkie-talkie function worked, even when 500 miles separated us and all of the cell phone towers were down). He’s at the end of their street—he can see down the road but can’t walk or drive there, as the mud is knee-deep. He says that Mom and Nick’s house is still standing, but that he thinks the roof may be gone. My mother hears this and her knees buckle as she begins to wail. My sister and I hold her up. To this day, I still don’t know with certainty whether her cries were from relief that the house was still standing or in despair over what it would mean (to the rest of the house and to all of their belongings) if the roof was gone. I imagine it was both.
*Sorry--the approaching five-year anniversary, combined with the never-ending oil spill, makes me a bit maudlin at times.