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It has been 10 years since Katrina ripped away the only life Eddie Lacy and his family knew, and some wounds still haven't healed for him.
Approached during a training camp practice to look back a decade later, the uneasy look on his face said it all — he'd rather not.
"I never really talk about it. Ever," the Green Bay Packers running back said. "I just don't like to. Why would I?" Asked to keep it forward-looking, Lacy reconsidered.
"Oh, you want to talk about the positive stuff?" he asked.
There is a good ending, after all.
Lacy, 25, has done his best to tuck away his teenage memories about that Sunday night in 2005 when wind, rain, terror and fear ripped through the family's Gretna, La., house and left it for naught.
The house's foundation cracked. Furniture was ruined. Mold made its way up the walls. Water took down everything in its wake. The few valuables that were inside and not packed in a pinch, including Lacy's change-filled piggybank, were taken by looters.
The people who could afford the least had suffered the most.
"Having your life taken from you in a matter of hours, everything gets left behind …" he said, his voice trailing off. "I hate reliving it."
Lacy's family did what it could to survive, and though the family moved dozens of times to wherever it could safely stay for a while – going as far as Texas to have a temporary roof over its heads – it never permanently left the area. The family was not going to let a storm push it away from the place it knew was home.
"I don't know exactly what made them to decide to stay [near Gretna], but it was pretty much our only option because we didn't have money to just go where they wanted," Lacy said. "They had to bounce around in the area for a long time, live with people they knew. Just people looking out for one another."
When Lacy signed his $3.39 million rookie deal with the Packers, he knew what one of his first big purchases would be: a new home for his parents. One that would last. One he'd spent time living in during the offseason. One that other people could come and stay whenever they needed shelter from any kind of storm, meteorological or metaphysical, that might be blowing through.
"They wanted open doors there," Lacy said of his parents' new home, "and that's what they have."
Has everything returned to the way it used to be 10 years ago? No, Lacy said, but the most important change is one he made sure he'd personally see to with their year-old home, completed last August.
"I love seeing my parents happy," he said. "That's what matters most to me."
By Eric Edholm | sports.yahoo.com | August 26, 2015