Thursday, August 31, 2006

Katrina Survivors

In the most random place possible, I met a family of Katrina Survivors who were out on their summer vacation.  We were at the top of Sandia Peak, checking out the views, when a man asked me where I was from.  I told him we were from Albuquerque, and he told me he was from New Orleans.  He corrected himself and said "used to be from New Orleans, anyway". 

He was the sweetest kindest man - so humble and seemingly grateful for every breath he took.  He told me that when the levees broke it moved his mother's house - ripped it right off the foundation - about 100 feet from where it stood.  The water was moving so fast it just swept it away.

Yes, there had been warnings as there had been warnings before.  Earlier they'd had a warning and evacuation order and came home to find some branches in their front yard and some puddles on the street.  They had no way of knowing this would be any different than the last time.  This man's boss told him that if he followed the evacuation order and didn't report to work, he'd be fired.

What many people don't understand is that these people had no funds to leave.  Many didn't have cars.  Many didn't have $5 to their name to get a bus ticket.  Most didn't have credit cards to use.  They were stuck.  They could not leave without help.

This man, with his family, waited at the Convention Center and/or Superdome for four days before they were bussed out.  They lost everything.  He decided to stay here once they were shipped here, along with about 500 other people who were welcomed after they ran out of places to go.

This man was so sweet and forgiving and gracious and kind.  I'm so glad he stopped to share his family's story with me.  Reminded me what spoiled brats we all tend to be, and that we truly need to be grateful for everything we have. 

Savor the day.

Monday, August 14, 2006

8/7/06-8/13/06

On August 9, my dear friend and mentor Colleen Regan passed away after failing to recover from a near-drowning accident on April 8.  Her partner has written up a wonderful description of Colleen, definately worth reading, here:  Colleen.  You can also read of her heroism in saving her drowning friend here.  

This woman helped me more than words can describe when I was struggling spiritually. She helped to guide me at a time when I was so incredibly lost.  I would never be as grounded and as successful today if I hadn't known her, and I feel blessed to be able to consider her one of my dearest friends.  I am going to miss her so much.

On August 11, my uncle passed away suddenly at 53 years old, after suffering a major heart attack.  Its crazy how you have these memories of people you grew up with and loved, and you take for granted that they'll just always be there.  I hadn't seen my uncle since they moved back to Texas over ten years ago.  He was way too young to die.

Another reminder to savor each and every breath you take, be thankful for each moment, and do your best not to take anything for granted.

 

 

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

2006 Albuquerque AIDS Walk!!

As most of you know, every year we do the Albuquerque AIDS walk in memory of Alberto, a precious soul who lost his 10+ year long battle with AIDS in 2002.  Its a great way to honor his memory, and raise awareness and funding for research, education and prevention of this horrific disease.

Here's our website, where you can make secure donations.  There is NO MINIMUM - even $1 will help.  Our goal is $500 this year - we'll get there!

TEAM ROMERO 2006

As always, anyone in the area is welcome to come and walk with us.  For $25 you can officially register and get an official t-shirt, or you can just show up for free and support the cause.

Thanks again for your support!