“I grew up in Patterson, Louisiana. My parents were punished severely in school for speaking French so they didn’t teach it to their children. Anytime they spoke French in school they would get slapped on the hand with a ruler. Now many here are learning French to keep it alive and connect with our roots. I can understand a conversation, but I can’t speak it. The people, food, and music in Acadiana feed the soul. I can’t live without the humidity. I lived in Tasmania, Australia for two years to be with my husband. It was too cold and I came back. He had a bad heart with an aneurysm on his widowmaker and couldn’t get the health care he needed. It would have cost us too much and we didn’t have health insurance. He is from Australia and they take care of their people. The doctors are trying everything they can without opening him up. He has been there for three years. He is getting better but can’t come back here. He overstayed his visa and we had to make the decision that if he goes back he can’t come here for another ten years. We have been apart for a year, but at least he is still alive. We have been married for 18 years and have a long-distance marriage by Facetime right now.
It is horrible watching the fires in Australia. When you open the door, there is smoke everywhere. My husband has to mostly stay indoors. I know what to do in hurricanes and floods, but what do you do in fires like that? It is terrifying. My heart goes out to the animals.
There is a lot of bad things in the world that I can’t do anything about. You can’t let things tear you down. It is a long drop to the bottom. I have been there and don’t want to go back. I get up with an attitude of gratitude every day. It is going to be a great day. If you think hard enough, you can find something good about this day. Live for today because tomorrow is not promised.”