We’re Still Recovering :: Life after Ida

It’s been 5 months since Ida made landfall.

It’s been 5 months and it still feels like 3 days for our family and so many others.  Life after suffering extreme damage to your home when so many others are back to “normal” feels so frustrating.  Hurricane Ida damaged about 70% of our home so we have been navigating insurance, adjusters, contractors, and have lived outside of our home since September.  In the early weeks, things were tough but everyone around us was navigating some sort of Hurricane struggle.  It was probably about mid-October when the loneliness started settling in.  It was when most people around us really started returning to normal and we were still living another reality.  My family was still not home and our home still looked like it did on August 29th and the feeling of frustration began to build even more.

Navigating holidays when you are in temporary housing and you can’t bring your normal traditions to life is heartbreaking. Especially after two years of life being controlled by COVID, it was devastating to not celebrate the holidays with our family in our own home.  We continue to try and find positive moments but when your kids are writing letters to Santa asking for their home to be repaired it is hard to fight back the tears. How is this our reality and why does it feel like time is standing still?

I sometimes feel like a spoiled brat as I “stomp my feet” and yell “this isn’t fair, I just want to go home!”  It’s so hard to continuously say, “no, we still aren’t home,” by well-meaning family and friends checking in on us.  It’s exhausting to continue to make multiple calls and meet with contractors while I try to maintain my workday and pick up the pieces of my personal life.  There is no paid time off to put your life together after a natural disaster; you just keep navigating obstacles and try not to fall to pieces as you hit another bump along the road. There is no handbook, no book about how to navigate the loss of your home, no one prepares you for this yet the insurance company acts as if you should already have all the answers.

As we enter month 5 we slowly see the light but supply chain delays and busy contractors still keep us from returning to normal.  This experience has been eye-opening and as much as we have always loved our home we are sure to enjoy every inch of it when we get back.  So if you are out there still recovering from Ida just know that I see you and I hope you are able to move forward soon.

Seleigh is a New Orleans native currently residing in Waggaman with her husband and two daughters. She stayed local and received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans and Master’s from the University of New Orleans. She currently works at a New Orleans charter school as a School Operations Leader. As a life long civil servant she has found her passion dedicating her days to NOLA’s youngest residents! Seleigh spends her weekends running between extra curricular activities for her girls, festival hopping and enjoying dinner at her favorite restaurants.


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