On an average year, Aug. 29 is a difficult day for New Orleans native Bernard McGraw.
On that date seven years ago, the Crescent City-transplant who now lives in San Antonio, lost everything and wondered for weeks whether his wife and six children were even alive.
“It was so dark, and this was a horrible time,” McGraw said Tuesday, with tears running down his face. “We showed up in San Antonio, literally, with just the clothes on our backs.”
Now the owner of Bernard’s Creole Cuisine, located on the South side campus of Baptist University of the Americas, McGraw has carved out a new life for himself and his family.
Still, his hometown is never far from his mind.
And with Hurricane Isaac set to bear down on the city, this anniversary is especially difficult for him.
“It makes (memories of Katrina) so real that we just relive it,” McGraw said. “There is a level of panic and concern. What will happen? Are all the things that were in place, will they work? Will the levees hold up?"
McGraw usually marks the anniversary of the 2005 storm by returning to New Orleans and reuniting with family and friends. This year, in light of the approaching hurricane, he is staying put in San Antonio, but still sending out prayers.
“We've been basically glued to the television. It's bringing back a lot of memories," he said.
What McGraw hopes will not return are the pain and suffering people in the Big Easy experienced as a result of the last disaster.