Photo courtesy Michele Fry
On the Eve of and In Commemoration of the 3rd Anniversary of Hurricane KatrinaThursday, August 28, 2008, 7 PM - 8 PM
To be held at the LABYRINTH located behind the Baton Rouge Gallery at City Park
Coordinated by Prayer Care
Facilitated by the Baton Rouge Labyrinth Project (BRLP)
For more info: 225-715-3870, firstname.lastname@example.org
The general public is invited to this simple gathering in remembrance of all affected by Hurricane Katrina, and we will give thanks to God for all Blessings and ask for continued protection from storms. Participants will quietly pray and reflect as they walk on the beautiful Baton Rouge Labyrinth, which provides a common ground for all walks of faith. We want as many people who can benefit from this to be aware and possibly come to this. The Labyrinth can even accommodate individuals using wheelchairs. If desired, participants may make donations at the event for hurricane victims affected this season - this will given to the Baton Rouge Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC); special thanks to Victor Howell, CEO, ARC, for his assistance with this endeavor. And special thanks to Maida Owens, Margaret Saizan, and Daria Woodside, BRLP Founders. - Keith John Paul Horcasitas, LCSW, MHA, Prayer Care
Coping and Caregiving with Displacement
As we are approaching the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, a vast assortment of emotions, thoughts and soul-wrenching feelings are being experienced by most of us. All of us have been
touched in one way or another by that devastating storm.
On a personal basis, both of my parents, who were displaced from New Orleans on the Saturday before Katrina and never made it back there, died in 2006; Mom on June 1 and Dad on October 20. As a professional social worker with an emphasis in gerontology (study of aging), I certainly was blessed to truly learn the reality of caregiving for loved ones during that time - something I'd long preached to my own patients and clients.
And I was able to experience, in a direct and dramatic way, coping with caregiving per my involvement with my parents' home care, hospice and nursing home placement for my dad, funeral arrangements
for them and after care. Thanks especially to the extended care and support of family, friends and especially the hospice staff, we have had someone to be there for us.
Howard, one of my best friends who is back in New Orleans now and was with Saul - his widowed father - is also a professional social worker who has been a great support to us. He's had a unique caregiving
diplacement experience with actually 4 storms.
After Katrina, when Howard and Saul's Metairie home was damaged, they were displaced for a while to Iowa, Louisiana - near Lake Charles. Not long after that in late September, they were displaced by Rita to Miami, Florida. Well, lo and behold, they were displaced again not much later in late October by Wilma to Pensacola for awhile, where his other family had been displaced the year before by Ivan!
Unfortunately, Mr. Saul died recently. As a humble Conservative Jewish Congregational member, Howard has simply noted Job's famous quote: "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the
Name of the Lord!" (Job 1: 20 - 21).
Following my father's death, I was able to work with people who have been displaced by Katrina and who are trying to make it back to New Orleans. Everyone's story is significant and needs to be told and
heard. Sometimes, the main thing that FEMA nor any recovery agency can provide that we all need is for someone to listen to us and for us to know that someone cares. While we try to do our best per the
limited, bureaucratic means that our programs may offer, may we always strive to "Reach out and touch somebody's hand, make this world a better place If you can," as Diana Ross has noted.
We're all wounded and displaced in one way or another and need each other and God to help cope and find hope. For people of all walks of faith, please join me and others in an quiet interfaith prayer walk
and reflection on Thursday, August 28, 7 PM - 8 PM, on the eve of and in commemoration of the 3rd Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, at the City Park Labyrinth, located next to the Baton Rouge Gallery.
and God bless.
Keith John Paul Horcasitas, LCSW, MHA, email@example.com, August