Eddie Lacy, the Green Bay Packers’ second-round draft choice, has a bigger burden than making the team.

In an interview with Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lacy revealed that he has been haunted ever since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina came through Gretna, Louisiana, and rendered him homeless. National championships at Alabama, being drafted by one of the NFL’s premier teams—as Dunne puts it, for Lacy these triumphs are “Advil fixes to an illness with no cure.”

I sent the J-S link to my BFF, Pam. She moved from Wisconsin to Louisiana some forty years ago, and like Lacy, she survived Katrina. I thought she’d like to know they had something in common besides her being a Packer fan and his being a Packer.

Pam’s heart went out to Lacy.“You can’t describe how it was and is,” she e-mailed back. “We lost nine acres of trees and only two scraped our house. All we had to do was add a roof. God bless him, because I can only feel blessed because it could have been so much worse for us. His family lost it all.”

Pam said she’d love to sit down with Lacy and just let him talk about his experience. I told her that when we make our annual trip to Green Bay, I’ll keep an eye out for a signing or other event where they might meet. After that, it’s up to him. She can’t be the first to make that offer, not even the first he will meet in Wisconsin. And he told Dunne he doesn’t know how to vent. That’s part of the reason he hasn’t gotten over his loss.

“Get over it?” Pam wrote. “New Yorkers know how it feels after Sandy. They no longer say, ‘get over it.’ You see it every day. It will be eight years on August 29. What is left of the woods is coming back but the park-like atmosphere is gone. Trees are still down in the woods, ditches are not re-dug, some structures still falling apart, etc.”

Pam was driven from her home for a month by Katrina. She returned just in time to pack for our yearly trip. Enough hurricane victims had found their way to Wisconsin that stores and restaurants along our route were offering Katrina discounts. Everywhere we went, Pam asked for her coupon. I made fun of her because she hadn’t lost her home or job, she was a well-off tourist rather than a displaced person, and here she was, asking for charity.

Pammy, forgive me. I did you an injustice.  I didn’t realize that you actually had a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Or that you might still be suffering from it, although not to the same degree as Eddie Lacy.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve never experienced a natural disaster like Katrina or Sandy. We had a “dry hurricane” here in Cincinnati back in 2008, when the remnants of Hurricane Ike came through and brought gale-force winds.  Some people lost electricity for a week, but ours was out for only thirty hours.  I had to throw out some perishables, but once everyone got their power restored, things were pretty much back to normal.

I hope I never know what it is to lose everything–or even nine acres of trees. And I hope my friend and my new Packer hero find peace.

To read the original Tyler Dunne piece on Eddie Lacy, click here.



Linking up with the challenge grid on yeahwrite #118. Click on the badge and read some of the best blogs of the week.


9 thoughts on “GET OVER IT?

  1. I’m in Houston, and although I suffered no permanent property damage from Ike (other than no power for over 2 weeks), there is definite psychological damage. I will never forget the sound of the wind and trees scraping the windows as the hurricane passed over us and being afraid for my life and the lives of my family. My heart goes out to those who lost everything.

  2. Thanks, Cynking Feeling and Mamarific, for your comments. Mama, I was able to make my friend Pam laugh with one of my stories about Ike … driving home from a sports bar that had lost its electric power and hearing the radio announcer warn motorists about flying Porta-Potties tumbling along the interstate. Luckily, that wasn’t my route.

  3. You know, I didn’t even know the extent of it until I read a memoir about it years later, and I felt so ashamed of my ignorance. I can only imagine what it must have been like.

  4. Yeah, it’s not something you just “get over.” I live in Japan and I was here for the March 11th earthquake/tsunami, I was far from the center and didn’t lose anything, but even so I will never forget the days and weeks afterwards, all the sorrow and fear and uncertainty. Famous or not, disasters are nature’s great equalizer.

  5. I never had an understanding of what people go through in such instances either until Sandy hit. We were fortunate in that there was minimal outdoor damage to our property but my husband is an architect/builder working on projects at the shore and the stories his clients tell him are heartbreaking. Such a thought provoking heartfelt piece.

  6. Thanks to all who have commented! Cutter, that’s a fun coincidence about your grandfather’s name. Of course I hope Eddie Lacy will do well both because of what he’s been through and because I love my Packers! Janelle and Elleroy, I’m glad your disaster damage wasn’t worse. I’m beginning to understand how it feels to live through an experience like that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>