Nostalgia is not something I indulge in much because a) I’m not one to romanticize the past and b) my past was all about getting to the future. Every once in a long while, something will remind me of a good time I enjoyed while a child or college student, but it was mostly an emotional and cross-cultural struggle for the knowledge and independence to get where I am right now. And, unlike native-born Americans my age, I didn’t enjoy a nice lull of history while growing up. It was alright because my mother and father were there.
When I do remember the past, it’s to remind myself of how things worked out and how lucky I am. At this very moment two years ago, I was seated in the trusty grey steed (Honda) with D and what we deemed the most important of our worldly belongings, driving through Mississippi trying to get to Texas. We didn’t reach Houston for another good ten hours. Who knew how long we were to be away from what we then called home? It was alright, because txyankee was there.
I was to be married in September. That didn’t come to pass. D left for Wisconsin for work and to be with his mother who died later that year, right around Thanksgiving. My father’s little brother died the very next day. It was alright (not that I knew it at that wretched time) because Anne was there.
Mardi Gras 2006 marked my return to New Orleans, to an empty home and a strange new way to live in an old and known place. Much of 2006 was a blur, but a good one in which I met George, Alexis and a few truly kindred souls I’d never have met had it not been for this horrible and, sadly, ongoing Thing. On days when life seems positively disgusting in New Orleans, it is alright, because they are there.
Marrying D this year is the best damned decision I’ve ever made. Someone give me a medal or a cookie (or both) for choosing to spend the rest of my life with this man. Everything is A-OK, because he is there.
So many lost their lives, family members, pets, homes, life’s belongings in so painful and undignified a manner and to a system in which they placed all of their trust. I lost nothing but a tree in my backyard that we wanted down anyway, and had to give up my home for six months. It is a lot more than alright, because I am here.
We are the lucky ones. Through the anxiety, depression, anger, bad government, crime, mismanagement, hurricane seasons, parties, parades and aftermaths, we have life and limb, and each other, with which to move forward. We will continue on this journey, because we are here.