"We Almost Lost Our Marriage to Hurricane Katrina"

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Her Turn, continued

"I grew up in Baltimore, an only child of blue-collar parents who worked hard to give me a good life. I put myself through college by doing any job I could find. My parents both died before I graduated, so I had nothing to keep me in Baltimore. I went to a library, opened a U.S. atlas and put my finger on a map. It landed on Atlanta, so I moved there, found a job and eventually married my next-door neighbor. Kristy was born a year later, but the marriage ended two years later. My divorce became final the week before Christmas. Kristy was with her father on Christmas Day, so in a totally out-of-character move, I logged on to Match.com.

"Bob had never tried online dating before, either. But someone was looking out for us because we 'met' that very day. He asked for my phone number and we talked for six hours that night and every night for a week. On New Year's Eve he drove 10 hours from New Orleans to take me to dinner. We've been together ever since.

"My husband is a wonderful, generous man. But since his sales territory stretches as far south as Tennessee, he sometimes drives to New Orleans to help others instead of coming home. I feel selfish complaining about that, but I need him here. He has no idea how hard it is for me with him gone all the time. I have to get us acclimated to a new community, apply for loans, and battle every Tom, Dick, and Harry at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the money we deserve. I'm running as fast as I can to stay on top of everything yet I seem to accomplish nothing. I feel as though my husband is no longer my spouse, just someone I live with, some of the time.

"The other day we were at a diner when the old Louis Armstrong song 'Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?' came on. Bob broke down in sobs. I began to cry, too, and then the girls started. We're all so frazzled -- out of place, out of time, out of everything."

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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