LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - For some, evacuating was an easy decision.
For others, like Mona Birdsong, leaving took some convincing.
“They were very, very upset that I was gonna stay and now I’m glad I listened and I mean I got fussed at. Quite a bit”
Birdsong rode out the storm at a relatives house.
When she returned after Laura though, “it’s gone. Everything.”
Her home of 15 years, along with the memories made had been destroyed.
“This is where my trailer sat. The trailer tongue of course. Then it flipped on its side, and there it is.”
Now Birdsong and three of her family members are making a home out of the bare necessities.
“This is where we bathe and use the restroom.”
Record heat and heart issues monitored with a pacemaker won’t keep her from the place she loves.
“Well I’ve died five times. Whenever its time I won’t stay out here no more, but this is my land and that’s my home.”
Despite everything she’s lost, Birdsong says she’s grateful for how Southwest Louisiana is showing up for one another.
“I mean its a horrible thing to happen, don’t get me wrong. But the neighbors come together, everybody. What I don’t have, I give them what they don’t have they bring me.”
And she’s decided to make the best of the situation.
“We’re eating today red beans and rice, salad, and mashed potatoes.”
Having lived through multiple hurricanes and experiencing first hand the devastation natural disasters can bring, Birdsong’s spirit remains hopeful.
“That’s what you do in Louisiana, you start over, you don’t quit. Give up….. you just don’t.”