Hurricane Laura affected us all – from Lake Charles to Lafayette, all towns between, around, and above. It shattered glass, flattened buildings, flooded our grounds.
It shook us, it scared us, it scarred us.
But even more than those things, I hope that it somehow unites us. I hope that it brings out the heroes in us. I hope those who help shine in new light, and I hope that those in need never forget the ones who stand up – ready and willing to mend what we can for neighbors.
Our own hero? Some call him Earl, some call him Phil – first cousin to my husband. He stayed up all night, bailing rainwater with 5 gallon buckets, he strained falling leaves and petals with a noodle strainer to make sure the pumps didn’t clog up, he didn’t sleep, he got his family to safety – and then made sure he saved a house that’s not his own.
Ashlynn, Earl’s / Phil’s wife and a mom herself, left her husband in the path of the storm. She stepped up and stepped in as the main protector of their babies, and let her husband choose to stay behind. Even when she was afraid. Even if she didn’t want to be apart – she allowed it, and I will forever be grateful that she did.
Another hero of ours – John Able. A friend of mine from high school that’s a major part of the Cajun Navy. He checked on my husband, even though they’ve never met in person. He got the contact information and address of my husband’s grandfather that stayed behind in Jennings. John was ready to get to him at soon as it was safe. Apart from us and our family, I’m sure John helped, saved, and calmed many more.
And my favorite hero?
He prepped, planned, fought, bought, and never complained about staying behind. At one point, the water was 1/8th of an inch from getting into our house, so he pushed harder. He didn’t let it happen and he made sure that the babies and I were going to come home to our dry, untouched home. He’s a hero to our babies daily, but Hurricane Laura added new skills to his resumé.
If you found your hero during Hurricane Laura, tell us about them! Share the good, and if most importantly – tell them. Let them know that they saved you, made a difference, earned being called a hero.
If you didn’t need a hero, please be one. Donate water, clothing, tarps, your time, or a listening ear.
Please do all that you can. It doesn’t take a grand act to make a difference in this aftermath – and from Lafayette to Lake Charles, all the towns between, around, and above…we need heroes.
We’re Louisianians, and we come together better than the rest.
Let us put the spotlight on so many of our Lafayette/Lake Charles/Louisiana heroes, that the entire nation sees our light.
Love thy neighbor, Lafayette.