Hurricane Ike's Aftermath

When a disaster like Hurricane Ike hits a town, there is a need for kindness and compassion.

Hurricane Ike slammed Galveston on the morning of September 13. Galveston is my home. I have lived there for three years. I will live nowhere else.

The biggest employer in Galveston County is The University of Texas Medical Branch. The campus is three blocks from the drug store I work at two days a week. UTMB will not be back for months. The neighborhood around the medical/teaching center is the historical district. It is a mix of long time residents whose homes may be well weathered and "gentrified" houses that doctors and faculty members and researchers own. It is very nice with big oak trees hanging over the streets.

My own home is a townhouse on 75th Street one block from Galveston's famous seawall. The seawall saved my modern, built to hurricane code, home. We did get 5 feet of water on the lowest level (Think 23 feet without the seawall). It is the garage level. We lost a car.

I stopped at the drug store after we returned from our "evacuation home" to check the hours and my schedule. People were buying snacks, bread, milk, ice and batteries. The technician pointed out a elderly woman sitting in the waiting area. She was hastily dressed. She had been there all day. She had been rocking in the chair and moaning, "I ain't got nowhere to go."

When a disaster like Hurricane Ike hits a town, there is a need for kindness and compassion. I watched as middle-aged woman sat down beside the homeless woman. This woman was well-dressed, but I knew that her jeans and pullover were "cleaning up" clothes". They knew each other. It turned out that they had been neighbors. The older woman's modest home had been destroyed. The other woman was a doctor. Her home had survived. The doctor took the elderly woman in her arms and held her. Then she said, "Come on, Gladys. You're going home with me."

That's the woman whom I want to be my doctor.