It's the middle of February here in Tuscaloosa. Time has gone by quickly. That means it's been almost ten full months since our world changed. April 27 changed more things than I can tell you. But I can try to explain.
April 27, 2011
April 28, 2011
That's how it started, but we haven't reached the end yet. Things don't look the same. Where a neighborhood for students once was, there is now just a grassy field. Where hundred-year old trees once stood, there is now empty sky. My family was safe and unaffected, but I can't say the same for others. One of my friends lost her home. Her insurance company isn't helping. They're having to fight the very people who should have been helping them. What was left of their lives was packed up and moved into an apartment as their historic home sits there unchanged from the aftermath of the tornado. The entire city is still jumpy. Recent tornadoes that touched Birmingham and other parts of the state left a lot of us freaked out, and living in fear that day. I think that's the hardest part for me.
I had never lived through something like this - something bad and full of destruction. April 27 changed that for me. It in many ways took away our little bubble that we enjoyed. When sirens sound, I know what can happen now, and it scares me. My mother-in-law made a great point when I was upset and scared about a storm: one day, I'm going to have to hide that fear, or overcome it, so my children don't see my reaction and grow up afraid. That's tough to think about, but I know she's right.
I drive through one of the main areas the tornado hit on my way to Starbucks and work each morning. The skyline - or lack of one - is still jarring. Many things have been cleaned, cleared and some are ready to rebuild. Building codes changed years ago, and since buildings and businesses were destroyed completely, they are no longer grandfathered in to the old codes, which has made things a little harder on the damaged areas.
We learned a lot as a city and state after that day. We have been shown abundant amounts of grace, mercy, generosity and love. It's a beautiful thing to see, and it's not over in the least. That's part of why this blog link-up touches my heart. The heartbreak of more tornadoes touching communities in our state breaks my heart, but the people who have come together, I know we can make a difference. I just wish it hadn't happened again in our state so soon.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts about Tuscaloosa, our recovery and our future. We are rebuilding, and we will be stronger than ever for sure.
So now, take a minute, jot down 400 words on your thoughts (pretty please!) and link-up both here, on my blog, and on the Top Alarm System website, because they will donate $25 to Christian Service Mission to help rebuild Alabama.
Once again - write 400 words and to get the donation made, link HERE. Then, of course, you are welcome to link up here on my blog, so we can read each others stories as well.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you...