7 Years- A Different Type of Anniversary

August 29, 2005 saw this

become this


as Hurricane Katrina made landfall over Pass Christian, MS as a Category 4 (some say 3) storm leaving a path of destruction stretching across the entire MS Gulf Coast (not to mention LA and AL).  For me, this storm was as personal as it could get.  You see, in the first picture, the house on the far right is/was ours.  It wasn’t a vacation house- it was home.   It was built in the 1920’s and had withstood many storms not the least of which was Hurricane Camille.  Turns out Camille was a thunderstorm compared to Katrina.

     Finding pieces of your life and home scattered across many blocks (and even in the Gulf) is a surreal experience.  To say I was in shock those first few days would be an understatement.  I grew up with hurricanes (NOLA and MS Gulf Coast), but there hadn’t ever been anything like Katrina.  We were woefully unprepared and took far too few of the personal items we still miss (wedding video, signed engagement picture, honeymoon pictures).  But I don’t want to focus on the negatives, because in MS, there were FAR more positives. 

Community.  Togetherness.  Selflessness.  Hope.

Katrina hit on a Monday, by Wednesday morning, the volunteers, relief workers and military (there are 3 bases on the MS Coast) were flooding the area with assistance.  We established a relief/aid center at our church and the donations literally poured in.


The next several months were hard.  Emotionally, physically and mentally.  We had to show ID to an armed guard to get access to our “lot” after the first day- not something I ever dreamed I would have to do.  You may think I’d like to turn back the clock and avoid losing everything to a hurricane, but you’d be wrong.  I GAINED so much more than I lost.  I’ve never felt more loved and cared for than in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina- and it wasn’t just by my friends and family.  The outpouring of volunteers from all over the country still amazes me to this day.  It reminds me what amazing things can be accomplished when people come together for a common good/goal.

I lost everything materially to Hurricane Katrina, but I gained everything that truly matters.  Infinitely blessed- forever thankful.


About fashionablemiles

30-something runner, triathlete and wannabe fashionista
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9 Responses to 7 Years- A Different Type of Anniversary

  1. Terzah says:

    Wow, what a grateful post, Holly! I didn’t realize you guys were among the victims. It’s a nice perspective right now, that’s for sure. Praying for everyone down there!

  2. Libby says:

    Your response is so typical of folks from Mississippi. I live in Louisiana, and yes, so many of our residents were grateful for the help and assistance they received. However, the spirit of community and gratitude of you Mississippi folks was such an inspiration. I’m afraid our state will be remembered for a much different response, and that is sad. Thank you for this testimony of God’s goodness and the goodness of your fellow man.

    • I think I mentioned this, but I’m from NOLA and was heartbroken over the flooding there (which ironically is happening again today), but yes, I was definitely proud to be in MS during Katrina. So much helping and hope! It’s good to see NOLA getting back on track now- hopefully Isaac won’t set y’all back too far!

  3. essentjewels says:

    Wow, you are a jewel for handling the way you did, I do not think I could have turned into a positive as you did, God bless you and continue to bless you!

    • Thank you- there were definitely super hard days and it still breaks my heart to drive down there and remember how it used to be, but God is good and his ways are always better than our ways.

  4. Laura says:

    I just cannot imagine what that was like. I love your perspective now- so glad that time is behind you!

  5. Corey says:

    Wow, Holly. I got choked up reading this. You have such a positive attitude, but this makes me so sad for you guys. I can’t even imagine what that was like. Thanks for sharing this post…

    • Thx, Corey. I feel like that was definitely something most people don’t know about me- that we went through that. Definitely gives you a new/different perspective on lots of things. Hope you enjoyed Germany!

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