In 1995, Jane and I had one of the roughest years since we married in 1978. This time it had nothing to do with my weight. On May 8th of 1995, our neighborhood received over 24+ inches of rain. We had heavy rainfall that lasted almost 18 hours and the weather system never moved. We lived in our home on North Atlanta for almost 12 years and never had any water problems. We were located in Metairie, LA between 2 drainage canals; the David Drive canal and the West Metairie canal behind Archbishop Chappell High School. The water had no where to go but to rise. By the time the rain had stopped, we lost everything we owned including 2 cars and all outdoor equipment. Our home had over 4 feet of water and all our belongings were totally destroyed. It was an absolute disaster to say the least. Several days later, the water started to drain. We now had the task of inventorying everything. Luckily for us, I had always been insurance poor. We had Home Owners Insurance as well as Flood Insurance. We were with State Farm Insurance Company and they handled everything for us in a timely manner. Our biggest problems started when we made the decision to live with Jane’s Mom while our home was being repaired. The home was nice, but extremely small. Her mom was older and always started to turn lights and TV’s off before 8:00 PM at night. We were both grateful for her allowing us to stay in her home, but it put a damper on our marriage. I started eating again out of mere stress of the entire situation. I went back to the old habits of having to run errands before or after dinner to get a food fix. Jane and I were drifting further and further apart while I seemed to lean on my friend Rhett, whom lived over a 1,000 miles away in Charlotte, NC. She had a sympathetic ear to our problems. During all this time, Rhett was leaning on me as she was having marital problems and was getting ready to leave her husband. So we became extremely close friends. At times, we were talking at least once per day. Rhett would travel with her boss Joe to New Orleans about every 2-3 months. Our friendship just grew as well. I was under so much stress living with Jane’s mom. Over time, I finally realizing we lost everything I had ever worked for in my life. The stress mounted even more. I still had the job of trying to run the Bakeries, while my home was being repaired. The entire situation had become extremely overwhelming.
Jane and I did hire a friend of ours, Carl, whom was a member of the Westgate Country Club. He was a building contractor and he promised to be fair with us in rebuilding our home. After State Farm finished with the total assessment of our damage, the only thing in our home that was saved was the attic, chimney and roof. Everything else had to be replaced including kitchen & bathrooms. The project took nearly 4 – 5 months to complete. During this time, Jane and I were starting to distance ourselves more and more. We did pick out carpet, ceramic tile, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, all new furniture, new cars, just about everything. We received several checks from State Farm. Due to having replacement value on everything, we actually made money from this storm, almost $30,000 to the good. Instead of us being happy about getting all new stuff, I believe Jane and I just went thru the motions. It was a trying time for our entire family. Our neighborhood looked like a war zone with everyone’s carpet and worldly possessions in the streets. Some of our neighbors never had flood insurance, so it was even more devastating for them. It seemed like years before things got back to normal again. As for me, I had started really putting on the pounds again. I was just miserable at Jane’s mom’s home as well as the entire situation. All I thought about was food. It had become a good friend of mine. The weight started to come back just as fast as I took it off 3 years ago. Not only was I eating, but I started drinking and gambling. I had OCD extremely bad. Whatever I decided to do, I did it with both feet.
Will to Live – Gluttony, Anger, Greed & Lust – Part 29