More Katrina Letters

More Katrina Letters

A Story by Carol Cashes

Going through my old laptop. Three more letters that were printed in the local paper


To Katrina’s Children:


You have already endured a lifetime’s worth of heartache, fear, and loss.  While no one would wish this on a child for any reason, the fact remains that it has happened and this is what you are because of it:


You are future husbands and wives who understand completely just what the “worse” can be in “for better or worse”.  You will be resourceful, practical, and more importantly, brave.  Without doubt, you will be worth your weight in gold to anyone who is fortunate enough to marry you.


You are future mothers and fathers who will never forget the kindnesses and the unflinching love and generosity from others during this time and will teach your children by your story and by example that it is truly more blessed to give than receive. 


You have become an important chapter in the History of the United States of America, and your children and their children will read about you for generations to come.


You are our future leaders and you have an intimate understanding of what your constituents really need and when and how they need it.  You will bring to our government truth and compassion " two elements that are sorely missing in these days.


You are the future architects of our cities, and will conceive and deliver the new technologies that will save our coastal homes and lives, and yet preserve our particular brand of southern charm and flavor.


You will, no doubt, bore your grandchildren when you tell the tale of Katrina for the gazillionth time at holidays, but they will not forget and will tell their grandchildren in their days.


You have made new friends from all over this great country.  Do not lose touch or contact as these friendships should grow and strengthen.  This country and all of its peoples and their hardships will be blessed for the friendships forged in these days.


You have shown this country’s youth how to ask and accept help with grace and dignity, and have been bright and shining examples of strength and faith. 


You stand on the edge of a new time, a new era for the coastal towns and cities of all the Gulf Coast.  Remember everything, all of it has value even if you don’t see it today. 


To those of you not quite old enough to understand that your life will never be what it was before, please believe that in many ways it will be better, even if it doesn’t feel that way today.  When you see empty lots and piles of debris and you can’t remember what used to be there, don’t worry.  There are photos and memories to spare of your neighborhood before this awful storm and nothing will be forgotten even if you did.  To you little ones who are scared to be alone or to go to sleep, sssshhhh, you’re safe, now, and your world will right itself soon enough, different and missing some of the things you loved, but bringing new things " wonderful things - and new friends that you will cherish all your life.  So, hush…hush li’l babee, don’ choo cry…


God bless you, southern child, for you are His.


Daphne Dykes-Davis and Carol A. Cashes

Biloxi, MS

* * * * * 


As a Southerner, I have endured jokes and a lot of thoughtless, careless cliches about my bloodlines, my speech, my intelligence, my lifestyle, and even my love of grits.   When I was younger,  I,  myself, was guilty of the same attitude and jokes about New Yorkers and empty-headed blondes among others.  I've always felt that us way-down-south Southerners were like country cousins to the rest of the country - we embarrassed you when we showed up for reunions or vacations with our funny ways, and you were relieved when we returned to our cotton fields or swamps or porches - whatever your picture of our life was.   I still believe that - but now, like family when there’s trouble, you, too,  rally and are with us in our hour of need.  From this time on, I will regard the jokes and tired clichés for what they are " terms of endearment.


I am somewhat jaded and cynical when it comes to judging the masses and assume that a criminal or greedy element will always make itself known.  But I must confess that I was moved to tears when only two days after the storm:  no phones, no cell phones, no power, no water, and only a few areas even accessible, there were semis and vans from as far away as Wisconsin, New York, and California, to name a few, already here.  These were mostly faith-based organizations, but there were also many private individuals who arrived with food, ice, water, diapers, and hugs. It has become obvious that our countrymen love and care for us, but our government will take care of us only when all the forms, applications, documents, processing, approvals, denials and appeals; AND that all of this has all been done according to policies, manuals, procedures, outlines of procedures, etc.  Bureaucracy perpetuates itself and the proof of that has never been more evident than the response of the various government agencies to this disaster.


We  appreciate each and every one of you that has come down here to help us in whatever ways you can:  for donating food, clothing, toiletries, etc.;  for encouraging, consoling, and weeping with us, for being our family in the grass-roots way that defines us as Americans and fellow countrymen.  I’m also overwhelmed by the help, donations, and even the love that has poured in from all over the world - all of you who have no such ethical obligations or patriotic duties, just your own personal sense of duty to us as human beings just like yourselves.


I can promise you that Mississippians won't forget who showed up when the barn blew down, and you can damn-betcha-howdy that if you need us and we have the capability - we'll be there - with our funny, drawling accents, bare feet, a  ten-pound sack of grits and some red beans and rice with cornbread - the standard comfort food of Southerners everywhere.


Carol A. Cashes


* * * * *

To The Editor of the Sun Herald:


I must disagree with the lady from Florida who said that Mississippians were not looters:


We looted our closets and garages for camping gear, either for ourselves or others.


We looted our kids' electronic toys for batteries.


We looted garages and sheds for old or forgotten gas containers, tarps, and fans.


We looted our consciences for the sins we may have committed to bring this upon ourselves; as a natural disaster - only God was in control.


We looted our "intestines" for the "fortitude" to get through what we can still only imagine is ahead for us.


And finally, we looted our hearts for compassion and forgiveness - not only for ourselves but for our families, friends, neighbors and others who need patience, caring, and understanding while we all struggle through this life-changing event.


Carol A. Cashes

Woolmarket, MS


Sent 12/20/2005






© 2017 Carol Cashes

Author's Note

Carol Cashes
Went through my old laptop and found these.

My Review

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Phew! There's a lot to chew over!

Posted 11 Months Ago

Amazing share! Brings back memories, but in reality, you're sharing a slice of this collective memory that's been unknown to most of us.
Letter 1: Very creative way to inspire people to use their misfortunes as their strengths. Many people say it in general terms, but most people have no idea how to synthesize that. Here you show people many amazing examples.
Letter 2: Interesting to see an honest assessment from varying viewpoints, especially now with a more current crop of hurricane tragedies still unfolding & being addressed.
Letter 3: I always admire someone who can turn around a nasty slam & make it into something proud to own. Very creative! (((HUGS))) fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Year Ago

In times of hardship. The human spirit shines through.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't slag them, and vice versa. Being British, I'm naturally superior to the rest of the world. But good people are still out there.
They just don't publicise it. They just do it.

Posted 1 Year Ago

A survivor’s testament- So powerful, emotional, honest. A testament to the bravery, fellowship and valor, and good humor, of those that endured the hell of Katrina and all the human and structural re-building afterward. Great style with author’s letters, each one more compassionate, uplifting and indomitable of spirit...Excellent write! Oh yes, shame on you Miz C, you made me cry!:):)

Posted 1 Year Ago

Fascinating, literate and insightful.
An elegant compilation.
Pleasure to experience.

Posted 1 Year Ago

It is often hard to remember. If you weren't there, the images are quickly forgotten. Glad you found these.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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6 Reviews
Added on November 10, 2017
Last Updated on November 11, 2017
Tags: non-fiction


Carol Cashes
Carol Cashes

Biloxi, MS

I'm very cynical, jaded, just this side of bitter and the only reason I haven't crossed that line is a good man loves me. I am extremely empathetic, but seldom sympathetic. I can be a ferociously lo.. more..


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