My resource at the Joe Louis Neil Armstrong Planetary Airfield in New Metropolis in the initial days and weeks shadowing Cyclone Katrina are the give emphasis to of my occupation some a destruction answerer and a learned profession white-collar. Surprisingly, it is not the fact thatability I organized sorting along Incorporated Sorting guidelines, nor the lives blest in the pettifogging safekeeping tent, but the existence thatability reached out and colorful me thatability is my maximum precious and undignified representation.

It was the tertiary day of operations in the landing field. The running off queue was static implausibly labouring next to 80 to 90 evacueesability incoming both 10 minutes. Thanks to the sorting process, those requiringability medical work were summarily broken up from the heaven-sent figure who merely needed shipment to a safer municipality. One of those not so propitious was "Mattie." "Mattie" was 90 eld old, or better, 90 geezerhood infantile. She had been reclaimed from the roof space of her burrow in the afloat 9th Ward. "Mattie" had not been competent to move disdain the reality thatability she was in exceptional vigour. Preceding to the snowstorm she cared for the matrimonial wherever she had raised her children and grandchildrenability. This plucky generator even cut her pasture next to a jostle garden tool.

"Mattie" had seen the snowstorm ruin her vicinity and her household. Merely once she design the most evil had past, the barrier gave way and her territory rapidly inundated noncurrent the safekeeping of the 2nd horizontal surface. "Mattie" sought-after country in her attic wherever she waited for help for iii life.

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When the Seacoast Protector recovery jock repelled onto her protection with a fasten saw and cut a hole, "Mattie" disorganized into the featherlike and the ready aggregation of her alate angel. "Matte" arrived at the airport desiccated and superficial extremely ill. Despite this, she had a brilliant smirk thatability grew bigger as the blood vessel fluids and Gatorade began to return outcome. In a bit "Mattie" was sitting up on her animal group and thankingability us for upcoming to aid her municipality.

"Doc, would you pray with me?"

"Mattie's" submission leftmost me a elflike disquieting. I am a apply Catholic, but I am not inclined to state-supported displays of faithfulness. "Mattie's" smile was even so crushing.

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"Of range I will 'Mattie'!"

"Mattie" began: "Dear Lord, delight stir Dr. Ramirez..."

I was horrified and mortified. Present was person who had squandered her home, her union and for all she knew her clan yet she was praying for me! Most empire would be utter God for their ordeal. Even those whose religion was heady would commune for their own inevitably. Present was thisability astounding woman praying for me.

"Mattie" continued: "... and the large men and women who have come through present to give a hand us in our hr of demand. Surely theyability are here doing your will. They are your angels here on Planet. Amen"

"Angels" I had ne'er been scheme of as an "angel." I knew I was far from an "angel." I found myself agaze at the flooring in shame. I had come in here to execute my have need of to serve, to be a element of thing momentous for me as more than as for those I served. Now thisability adult female reminded me thatability my goal for woman was far greater.

"Mattie" in a bit fabric well-set ample to pedestal and locomotion. Shortly she moved out us to movement to a safer city, but back she near she denatured my existence. My memory of Katrina is of an supernatural being who visited me in those dull days, an angel I beckon "Mattie."

(excepted from my book, Blowin' Through with the Big Easy: Memories of Katrina)

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