If not for a disagreement over a party he wanted to attend, Wilborn P. Nobles III might have died with his mother in Hurricane Katrina.

In a personal essay for the Washington Post, the LSU student writes about the last time he saw his mother before she died. After winning the argument about the party, Nobles ultimately ended up going with his father to ride out the storm in Mississippi.

"I spent two weeks away from school, playing with my cousins and eating my grandma’s cooking," Nobles writes. "These distractions ended when my father told me that no one knew where my mother was."

In November 2005, a neighbor found his mother's body inside her flooded home. Over the years, Nobles has grappled with frustration and guilt, finally accepting that it is not his fault that she died. It doesn't help that in the decade since Katrina, he has heard many insensitive comments from others about the cause and significance of the storm.

One friend told Nobles that Katrina was not as bad as the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. "To him, Katrina was not the winner of the tragedy Olympics," Nobles writes.

Read the full essay in the Washinton Post here.

Many national media are covering the Hurricane Katrina anniversary this week. See a roundup of stories, videos, graphics and slideshows here.