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Why Those Who Stayed Stayed and Why They Might Now Want to Leave


Why Those Who Stayed Stayed and Why They Might Now Want to Leave

Jarvis DeBerry

Sunday morning August 28, 2005, a tiny fraction of the members of Christian Unity Baptist Church showed up for an early morning service. To my memory, there was no sermon preached. We who were there stood in a circle and said whether we were leaving or staying. Then we held hands, prayed and said our goodbyes.

Elizabeth Tillman, a 24-year-old mother of two, was there that morning. She lived in Harvey and had caught a bus to report to work as a housekeeper at the Ritz Carlton on Canal Street.


After living more than 20 years in apartments my husband and I bought a house in 2003; we lived there until it burned down thanks to the ineptitude of a furnace tech that was servicing our 18-month-old furnace. We chose to build our new house on the foundation of the old one b/c it would be a brand-new house for us to live out our senior years in. Having a place to 'belong' is important and I think that is why so many New Orleanians chose to stay, just as we chose to continue living in 'Hamiltonia'.
Strength to Elizabeth Tillman and her children so that she will ultimately find that sense of belonging wherever she goes.


It's also very important for children to have a stable home base. And look at all the refugee children in so many lands hit by floods, financial implosion, or war? It totally breaks one's heart. And no remedy is in sight so long as huge sums of $ go to a few who use it to do harm. The global paradigm is totally out of balance and causing far more pain than ought to be the case.


Very thoughtful comment, and absolutely true in its entirety Siouxrose! Yes, "the global paradigm" truly is out of whack, and it's causing so much pain b/c "huge sums of $' go to the few who really do use it to cause harm; i.e: the narcissistic hoarding dregs.


I so empathize with you. My father lost the only place I knew as home to a fire - in the suburbs of a major city. He had no insurance and sold the 60% totaled house for pennies on the dollar. He moved to be in the small town where my mother has been living. I eventually moved away from my home city and to this little town to be near both of my parents. I have been struggling to get out ever since. Having a place to call home and a sense of belonging is crucial to one's well being and their family.
I feel for those who were displaced by Katrina, and refugees everywhere.
Thank you for sharing your story, and to Sioux, too, for your input.


Losing a home is such a hard thing to deal with under the best of circumstances, but when you lose it later in life it can be truly devastating -- give your dad a hug for me! We had our home insured for replacement value after we fenced in the backyard, so when it came to rebuilding we used our insurance and they abrogated the cost to the furnace company. The only thing we have been dealing with is the ptsd left over from watching the first house burn down. fearful And you are so right about needing a sense of belonging to feel whole. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming and couldn't wait to move away -- we moved to Scottsbluff, and then to Omaha and have lived here for more than 30 years; I tell my husband Scottsbluff is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there! I like cities b/c neighbors mind their own business, and I am still enough of a wild child to not want everyone knowing everything I do! sunglasses

This world would be a better place if we concentrated on making life better not only for ourselves, but for our fellow earth inhabitants, sadly, I really don't see that anymore. Thank you for your comment!


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I think Blacks should remove from New Orleans, from any red state for that matter. Things can be bad for them here in the blue states, but not dreadful as it is elsewhere.
That said, it will leave New Orleans white and sea levels are rising, rapidly . . . .