Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back from Houston

I just got back from Houston the other day, and am suffering from an adrenaline hangover that started the minute I got off the plane in SF. It's incredible how far away I now feel after being with my family and experiencing their displacement for a few days.

Like I'm sure so many of you have been doing, I've been running on empty for the past week, trying to help out the relief efforts in any way possible. I have placed it at the top of my priorities, and have taken actions and made decisions that I never even thought of in the BK - Before Katrina. And I am as fortunate as anyone I know from New Orleans.

I am fortunate to have a family who I love so dearly, and that I don't think I know any of the 10,000 people who are decomposing in the toxic floodwaters that remain in my hometown.
I am so proud of my mother who never left the bedsides of her patients for six days after the storm, while the National Guard secured the hospital from looters as they went without AC or plumbing for days. Hope you had a good birthday Mom - now get back to work for 5 more days.

I am fortunate to have friends willing to help me under any circumstances and willing to sacrifice so much for people they hardly know. Cameron, Anne, Tito, Ribka, Zach...I can't describe in words how much you did for my family in Houston this weekend. I am so blessed to have great friends like you. You helped me make a difference in the lives of the people who are most important to me, and then you kept trying to give more and more. Anyone would be so lucky to be your friend, and I'm very glad to be in that number.

I am fortunate to have a place to live, an income, clothes to wear, pictures to treasure and food to eat. I know many of you in New Orleans have none of these things, and even more are missing one or two items from that list. While I have not been able to get in touch with some of you since the storm, it doesn't mean I have not tried. Shoot, I still can't call anyone in the 504 area code without hearing "All circuits are busy now; please try your call again later" - I feel like I could recognize that guy if I saw him on the street.

My efforts to bring awareness to this situation will continue and change as the conditions New Orleans change. Right now my focus is to further develop a few ideas that many raise funds for the rebuilding efforts. Despite what much of the country thinks of the leaders of our city and our state, it is the people of this city, the most familial and caring people in our country, who will demonstrate how the gravest of adversities can be overcome. The people in New Orleans have been described as "freakishly strong and passionate" and now it's time for them to show the rest of the country just what New Orleans is all about.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to all that helped with getting my family settled in Houston, sorry I couldn't be there to assist with the effort. You are the best friends my son could ever wish for. We all have to be here for each other now. Thanks again, Keith's Hero.

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