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Rising from Ruin is an on-going MSNBC.com special report chronicling two coastal Mississippi towns, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, as they rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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This project is evolving. Our daily dispatches coverage has been retired. Click here to see what happened in the area between mid October and January 1, 2006.

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I was just reading some of the Citizen Diaries and the one from the lady about her autistic child really got me. So many of us have lost everything. I guess you could say that I was lucky, because my house was not washed away, leaving only a slab.

But my house has shifted off the pillars and is sitting with its rear end on the ground, causing the pillars to poke through the floor. All the floor joists are cracked and splintered, and I have just come to the realization that my house will probably have to be demolished. That is a hard thing to realize and deal with. I am 56 years old and have lived in that house for 51 years. Now what do I do? I have a mortgage on the house that will be demolished in the next several weeks. I am a single working female, and do not have the ability to rebuild my own house.

So today is a very emotional day, because I will probably go to sign up with the Corps of Engineers for demolition. I did have the opportunity to get most of my belongings out of the house. I lost my stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer, computer, beds, sofa, chairs, and lots more because I had at least 24 inches of water. So, times here are not as easy as everyone thinks.

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I feel your pain as do most of Hancock and Harrison Counties. You sound like someone who has always had a home to live in, 51 years in the same place, that's a pretty lucky woman. Seems to me you would be trying to figure out how to focus on the positive, like being blessed enough to have had a home, there are lots of folks not so lucky. You have a job, a good one in fact, think of those who do not have a home, nor a job, or the prospect of one. Perhaps you will understand what it is like to start over on a daily basis now. Wallowing in self pity will not help. Prayers, positive thinking, and the good old american way of hard work will get you back on your feet.

I feel your pain. I didn't own my home in Bayside Park, but it was still my home. I am due with twins come March 15,2006, and have a 4 yr old and a 18 mo. old. I have relocated to Texas, and the lord has blessed me in many ways. I will not return home to Bay St. Louis, but it will always be in my heart for my family is still there. Take one day at a time and the lord will bless you too! Keep your faith, and God Bless you.

it is not for any of us to criticize, nor tell anyone how to deal with their pain and sorrow. we must all understand that we all deal with our situations and losses differently. to each their own.

I am sorry for your loss. It must be terrible, you didn't lose your home like many others, but you did lose your home just the same. Pay no attention to those who would criticize you for your pain. They are hurting and feel they need to point it out to others. God Bless You and Keep You!

I couldn't agree more with what A. Williamsburg wrote. Odile, you need to let this person talk about her loss and if she wants to wallow in self pity LET HER. Telling someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when all they want to do is give voice to their fear and frustration completely misses the point. Figure that out!

I find Odile's comments offensive. I, also, lost everything, but did leave before the hurricane because I had family to go to in GA. You have a right to grieve for all of the things you lost which only meant something to you. It is like a death. Good luck to Mary and everyone else going through this. I got no help from the Red Cross, but FEMA has helped.

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