Life Notes: Woman Delivers Love From Seattle
by Erin Rockett, LPC, LMFT

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita continue to display their heart-breaking aftermath on television screens and in lives of thousands across the nation. One drastically-altered life maintained strong ties to the Ruston community. Angela, a New-Orleans area school teacher, evacuated to Ruston after the storm. From Ruston she moved on to Monroe, and then to Seattle.

A recent cross-country return journey to view her flood-damaged home revealed that tragedy can bring out the very best that the human spirit offers. A Seattle area church raised funds to send Angela back to see her home for the first time post-Katrina. Members volunteered to personally transport her by car, pack up remaining belongings, and return them safely to Seattle. Angela, a woman of great faith and courage, was delighted and amazed to accept the generous offer. She made one additional request: a stop in Ruston to visit the people who helped her through dark days immediately following the storm.

I consider myself privileged and blessed to be one of the individuals Angela visited during her Ruston stop. The visit coincided with my birthday, so Angela, Sonia from Seattle, and I gathered for dinner that evening. Throughout four hours of intense discussion, mingled with laughter, tears, photo opportunities, and hugs, a special bond emerged. Brought together by tragic circumstances, we connected through fellowship of faith and joy. By evening’s end, discussion turned to future Seattle inner-city mission trip ventures with local volunteers.

Angela returned to Seattle from New Orleans, complete with car loads of boxes and a heart renewed by friendships old and new. She decided against returning to New Orleans for now, but will attend college courses in Seattle, and perhaps launch a new career. Ask her if she’s homesick, and you may hear a curious response. “Which home, Ruston or New Orleans?”

Ruston’s spirit of hospitality and hope permanently etched itself in the heart of one New Orleans’ native.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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