|Lighthouse on Biloxi Beach|
One sister-in-laws works for the State of Mississippi and told us how hard it was to locate clients, because everything: road signs, trees, landmarks, not to mention, homes, were totally obliterated. It took weeks, and in some cases, months, to locate many of the missing. My in-laws stayed with me for three weeks. I took them to the local Red Cross to file a claim, where many Katrina refugees found themselves homeless and with no place to go. My in-laws were some of the more fortunate ones, but they didn't get away unscathed. Some lost jobs and had to find new employment. The damage to their homes took months to repair. One sister-in-law lived with her in-laws, with seven adults and seven household pets, in a three-bedroom house, instead of the FEMA trailor they were loaned.
Slowly, the Gulf Coast recovered, but a part of the coast was gone forever. Many of the stately homes that sat on the oceanside, are no more. The casinos now sit on solid ground, no longer on the barges, as before Katrina. The lawmakers made that concession. My husband's family still live there. One brother-in-law died the year after Katrina and I made the trip down for his funeral. He stayed with me the year before and I missed him. I've been back a couple of times since then. A lot has been rebuilt, but there are still construction cranes everywhere you look. But the spirit of the people is amazing. Like my in-laws, they are all survivors, and with amazing grace, they go on.