My favorite part of column-writing at The Times-Picayune was the memorable people who entrusted me with their stories. None inspired me more than Amanda Hill.
The greatest lesson of Katrina, she said, was, “No matter what comes your way, you just have to keep going, and you can get over it.”
The day we met, the senior at Chalmette High was living in a FEMA trailer with her grandmother, in front of their flooded home in Violet. When Amanda was in fifth grade, she lost her young mom to an incurable cancer, which put the storm in perspective.
– Sheila Stroup
Amanda wanted to go far enough in life to help her grandmother the way her grandmother had helped her.
She aspired to be a nurse, and with determination, a variety of jobs and her grandmother’s encouragement, she graduated from LSU School of Nursing in 2012 and went on to become a nurse practitioner.
By far, the hardest thing that came her way in her young life was watching her beloved grandmother lose her fight with breast cancer. Amanda called it “an honor, not a burden” to be with her, every step of the way.
She said taking care of her grandmother shaped the way she treats her patients.
“We were a team, and it was love that held us together,” she told me.
Now, as I make my own rugged journey with my dear husband, Stroup, I hold her words close to my heart.