Dedication to my dad

July 1, 2008
By Brittany Coleman, New Orleans, LA

My name is Brittany and I’ve been living in the lower ninth ward my entire life.
Since I was small I’ve heard stories about how bad my neighborhood was and I grew up
believing that I lived in the "hood". However, when I looked out of my window I did not see a
hood, I saw a community filled with people who cared for each other and a community that life
long friends could be made in. When Hurricane Katrina hit my pleasant community was ripped
away from me. Like most people when I packed for the storm I did not pack a lot. I was only
fifteen years old and was kind of excited to be getting a break from school so early, I saw this as a
mini vacation. I did not know that the worst days of my life were approaching.

My family and I moved from location to location, and in the mist of all that moving there
came a time when everyone broke down. I did not realize what was going on until recently. This
was the time when everyone realized that our family was homeless. We had nothing to do, little
money to spend, food was running out, and most of all nowhere to go. We were blessed to be able
to live in the back of my cousin’s nursing office in Plaquemine, La. This was not our home but
was still a place for us to stay, even though we had to take baths in a bucket, that was the least of
our concerns. We stayed in Plaquemine for almost two months when we learned that my brother’s
house in Kenner had little damage. We packed up our bags and headed for Kenner, my brother
had a two bedroom house and my family included seven people. Times were hard but we were
home and did not have to take bucket baths anymore! Things could not get any better!
Unfortunately, they did not. When the city allowed us to visit our house we learned that it was
otally destroyed.

All of the memories of Sunday dinners, graduation pictures, and family and friends sleep
overs, were buried under mud left from flood waters. My house, the house that I grew up in, the
walls that helped raised me, the floor that help keep me stable was gone. So many holidays and
birthdays was shared in this house; my house held history, but all that history was washed away
with the flood waters. My family and I stayed in Kenner for almost a year until FEMA put a
trailer on our property. I was happy to have the trailer because a sense of normalcy was coming

As of today I am still living in the trailer. Even though I am grateful to have it sometimes
it still hurts. I graduated from Xavier Prep on May 24th and I am on my way to Dillard
University. As I reflect over my teenage years it hurts because I never had a time that I could
have sleepovers, barbeques, or even just family and friends togethers. Even though those are not
the most important things in life it is something in which almost every other normal teenager
have. However, that is not the hardest part in my life. The hardest part is having to see my sixty
one year old father work on our house all by himself. My father is a carpenter and spends from
seven o’ clock to four thirty in the hot sun working on buildings, then he has to come home and
continue to work in the hot sun building our own home. We can not afford the help of contractors
or other carpenters. Since our home was completely destroyed, my father made it his
responsibility to knock down the old house, which was made out of concrete, and rebuild a new
one. It is almost time for me to leave for college and our home still is not done.

I did not only write this essay in order to make others feel bad for me, but I wrote this
essay hoping that I can show others how much of a good man that my father really is. Through
this essay I want to show him and other people not only in Louisiana but around the world how
much of a good man I have as a father. I do not want to see him work in the hot sun any longer, if
we could get the money I would be very appreciative. My father has been working without an
award for way to long and I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to reward him for
everything that he has done for me. Thanks for giving this opportunity, my family and I are very

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!