Today I stood on somebody's porch with them, and watched giant construction diggers crush and haul away the insides of their home.
For empathy's sake: Think about the last time you lost a $20 bill, and that sick feeling of remorse and frustration that comes with a little loss like that. Now imagine everything you've accumulated and worked for in your life time, destroyed within a week by two hurricanes, drug out of your house, crushed into pieces, and hauled away in a dump truck.
How many hours did this police officer have to work, and how many years, to make a nice home for him and his wife. What must it have been like to see all of that literally washed away? To stand in a home torn down to the studs while construction workers haul away your ruined life's work?
Or to be 50, 60, 90 years old and have to start all over? I gutted Charlie Valteau's house last week. He's 87 years old and allergic to the mold that's covering his house. He and his wife have lived in their home for 50 years, and raised all their children there. They have nothing left, but are determined to rebuild.
There are thousands of stories like these in New Orleans alone, not to mention all the hundreds of other towns along the Gulf that are still lying in ruins.
I wish everyone could see this, hear these stories, cry on the porch with Floyd Jackson. I wish the money could skip over the politicians, and flow with people's compassion. I wish everyone who had a generous idea, would make it happen.
There is nothing this place doesn't need.