I flip interestedly through the Rebuilding Our Tuscaloosa magazine. I study the pictures intensely and glance at a few of the articles of the local’s personal experiences with the tornado that ripped through their town of Tuscaloosa.
Not lingering for very long on any particular article, I continue turning the pages.
Until I come to this.
We remember the 43 people who died in Tuscaloosa county from the April 27 tornado
I pause and read the lengthy list below this bold heading – my heart flip flops.
It’s not any of the names that get me.
It’s the ages.
I pick out the youngest…
Second to youngest…
(heart lunges into throat)
Those words ring in my head.
Can you imagine only having your baby for sixty days and then having them ripped away from you by a tornado?
Which causes me to wonder…
What are they feeling this very moment? How is their life continuing?
Is their life continuing?... with hope?
Because I can’t fathom pinking up the shattered pieces of life after that. Praise God for His Promise in Luke 1:37. For nothing is impossible with God.
My prayers are with them.
My prayers are with them.
(The rest of the list for Tuscaloosa...)
Minnie Acklin, 73, Tuscaloosa
Jeffrey Artis, 51, Tuscaloosa
Scott Atterton, 23, UA student from Bryant
Jennifer V. Bayode, 35, Tuscaloosa
Caiden Blair, 2 months
Michael Bowers, 3, Tuscaloosa
Loryn Alexandria Brown, 21, died Tuscaloosa, from Wetumpka
Mary Bryant, 43, Tuscaloosa
Hugh Graham Davie, 55, Tuscaloosa
Ta' Christianna Dixon, 8 months, Tuscaloosa
Danielle Downs, 24, Tuscaloosa
Arielle Edwards, 22, Tuscaloosa
Makayla S. Edwards, 5, Tuscaloosa
Melgium Farley, 58, Tuscaloosa
Cedria Harris, 8, Tuscaloosa
Keshun Harris, 5, Tuscaloosa
Ashley Harrison, 22 UA student from Dallas, Texas
Shena Hutchins, 26, Tuscaloosa/Rosedale
Carolyn Ann Jackson, 50, Tuscaloosa
Jacqueline Jefferson, 45, Tuscaloosa
Thelma May Bennett Krallman, 89, Tuscaloosa
Tennie Mozelle Lancaster, 95, Tuscaloosa
Davis Lynn Gordo Lathem, 57, Tuscaloosa
Velma T. Leroy, 64, Tuscaloosa
Dorothy Lewis, 61, Tuscaloosa
Thomas D. Lewis, 66, Tuscaloosa
Yvonne Mayes, 30s, Tuscaloosa
Christian A. McNeil, 15 months, Tuscaloosa
William Robert McPherson, 85, Forrest Lake
Zyquria McShan, 2, Tuscaloosa
Melanie Nicole Mixon, 21, UA student from Mulga
Perry Blake Peek, 24, Tuscaloosa
Lola Pitts, 85, Tuscaloosa
Terrilyn Plump, 37, Tuscaloosa
Kevin Rice, 36, Tuscaloosa
Annie Lois Humphries Sayer, 88, Tuscaloosa
Judy Darlene Rheams Sherrill, 62, Brookwood
Morgan Marlene Sigler, 23, UA student from Bryant
Marcus J. Smith, 21, Tuscaloosa
William Chance Stevens, 22, Tuscaloosa
Justin Leeric Thomas, 15, Tuscaloosa
Patricia Hodo Turner, 55, Tuscaloosa
Willie Lee (Trey) Turner III, 21, Tuscaloosa
For those of you who are not from around here, the town of Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama (UA).