August 31

A year ago on this date, I was all emotional, too. A year ago today, a dear friend of mine who I met online (and never met in real life) died after a battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

Donna was one of those people whose online voice was so kind, so inspiring, so playful. She was the master of the pun, and she made me laugh all the time. She was also an incredibly talented artist, and she inspired scrapbookers all over the world with her phenomenal gifts, as well as her willingness to share.

She found out she had pancreatic cancer in June, shortly before her daughter graduated from high school. She was hospitalized in July and August, and lost her battle on the 31st.

I remember that her memorial service was on September 3, at 1pm. So all of us online scrapbookers were going to light a candle in he memory at 1pm in our timezone. September 3 is my birthday. I lit a candle. Alice was napping, but Helen was still awake. She sang “Happy Birthday” to me and didn’t understand why I was crying.

Today, I cry not only for Donna but also for the thousands of people unmet who have been struck by Katrina’s violent swath through the southeast.

Princess Diana died on August 31 in 1997. I remember that day, too. Why is it that some days just tend to have tragedy connected to them, year after year? I realize that Katrina hit two days ago, but it seems that only today has the news been able to say more than “Oh, my God, this is horrible.”

And yes, I’ve turned the TV off.

I’ll go light a candle for Donna. I’ll go light a candle for the people of the Gulf Coast. And maybe Helen will sing to me again.

Donate. Do what you can.

$5. $10. Whatever you can. Just imagine what we could do if EVERYone donated to help people who have been affected by Katrina. Even just a few dollars. Every little bit will help.

I went to Episcopal Relief and Development and donated there by credit card because I couldn’t get through to donate on the Red Cross site. ERD gave me the option of donating one time, or donating monthly. I chose “one time,” but may change that. I just ache for these people.

From Rexann

I got this off of Stacy’s site (link is to the right)… But this is a first-hand account written by Rexann, a fellow scrapbooker in Louisiana. I met her in 2001, though she probably doesn’t remember me as much as I remember her. She’s a hoot!

This morning we were listening to WWL…a New Orleans radio and TV station (the only one left able to broadcast! and they are on a skeleton crew of three reporters, a producer and a camera guy!). They are PLEADING for help! My dh is certified in search and rescue and he HAD to go…he just felt like he needed to do something. He got a boat, got a patrol car to pull it with and off he went.

Guys, if you have been watching TV, you are only getting part of the story! In less than four hours, my dh and several other volunteers pulled over 200 people off of roof tops and out of attics. They literally launch their boats off of the interstate exit ramps, ride into an area, turn off their engines and call out, listening for people beating on their attics from the inside. They then go to the house (he said EVERY house had water at least to the eaves!!!) and they literally hack a hole in the roof to get to the people inside. Worse yet…most of those he rescued today were elderly folks…dehydrated, hungry, and exhausted from yelling for help!!!

I still can’t hold back the tears as I think of these people. Can you even imagine having to climb into your attic as the only alternative to allowing yourself to drown?! And then realizing you’re trapped there unless someone can hear you scream?!! This is reality….this is happening all over the city and around it.

As for New Orleans and the surrounding areas, there will not be any power for over a month…not only are the lines down, the power stations are destroyed…it’s like starting from stratch! There are fires everywhere and no way for them to be put out. There is crime happening and in many places the only way for the police to get to these places is by boat.

And, as much as I hate to pass this on, it is true, there are dead bodies floating around! My dh said there is no place to put them yet, they barely have place for the living! There is NO food, NO water and really NO shelter. WORSE…no communications!!! No land lines, no cell towers….


Pray for the workers and police (there have been several officers hurt and shot today!)

and pray for the people – no homes, no jobs, with the athorities saying schools won’t start againg for months, power won’t be available for weeks and because of the water, they have no clue where to put people! (FEMA usually sets up tent cities but with this situation, there is no place to do this!)

Hug your family tonight, thank God you aren’t in an attic listening for a boat, send money to the Red Cross or Operation Blessing and PRAY!