One of the Millions of Hurricane Katrina StoriesI survived Hurricane Katrina, but it transformed me. I am a different person. I feel more loved than I did a week ago, and I very much appreciate all of the friends and family and even strangers who both helped me directly and who contacted me to say they were concerned and thinking about me and my family. The world clearly has plenty of empathy and compassion left. I saw people slide down ropes out of helicopters to rescue people from rooftops. I saw my neighbors break into grocery stores, fill up their boats with supplies, and row through neighborhoods distributing food and water to those in need. And as I drove 1000 miles north to escape the carnage, I saw convoy after convoy of people and supplies heading south to help. They are their brother's keeper, and I am so thankful for their support. Maybe there is hope for the world after all. Much of the heroism affected me directly. Strangers actually risked their lives to save mine, and friends and family did so much to help. Two gentlemen from the Westbank in an airboat transported me and my dogs from the flood waters to dry ground. Firefighters from Phoenix helped a large group of us begin the process of leaving the city. Therese's friends the LaCinas and Kents in Purvis Mississippi hosted her and my children for several days as they rode out the storm. My father-in-law John flew to Jackson Mississippi to help Therese and the kids make it Omaha, Nebraska, where they'll be living and attending school until at least January most likely. My mom went on local and national TV asking for help. Hundreds of friends, even people I haven't spoken to in 25 years, have contacted me to voice their support. Thank you so much, you've touched my heart. But I also learned that catastrophes such as…

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tidal wave hit Japan. Hawaii was on tsunami alert. We anxiously waited for the unknown. Every thing changes and every thing ages. One moment is superseded by a myriad of moments in the ceaseless time and the undisappearing space. One month later, Auntie Laura died. She entrusted Donna Joan to do every thing for her. The best laid plans went for naught, for Donna did nothing. It holds true that "one may have a smiling face in the morning, but by the end of the day, may be nothing more than white ashes . . . that disappear into the midnight smoke, . . .how pitifully sad."I recall how the whole series of events regarding Auntie Laura transpired. Mommy and I were just about stepping out the door to go to lunch. The phone rang. Mrs. Morita excitedly told me that Laura was taken to Queen's emergency. She was trying to contact Donna Joan, but there was no answer. She was relieved that I, at least, followed up on telephone messages. I said that I would go immediately. I foolishly thought that Auntie Laura would be conscious when I would be able to see her.  She was unconscious with all the medical tubes and devices attached to her. Things were bad because two doctors came to speak to me when I was at her bedside. They thought that she must have hit her head. She had severe bleeding in her brain. There was no head wound, but bleeding in the brain could be due to a stroke. It was awful to see her on the hospital bed with her arms thrashing about every now and then. She was having a hard time breathing. For some reason, I had a copy of her legal papers which she wanted me to hold  for safekeeping. But she had not indicated what she wanted done should…