As the early morning sun caressed the foothills of the Appalachian mountains that Thursday, it revealed utter devastation as far as I could see. The trees that once casted shadows lay piled in a heap, roots jutted into the air. Instead of birds and critters stirring in the full green boughs, there was only shards of metal and rooftop timber, and remains of homes lying in heaps of rubble among the few remaining bare treetops. Power lines draped the fallen trees and the air smelled of splintered wood.
Part of me was glad that night was over; the other part resented what daylight revealed.
That night held so much change in such a short amount of time.
That night brought so much disaster and terror. Before the roar it was calm. A slight breeze swayed the treetops, gently sailing clouds in the sky. Then the blue cloak became black.
I can still replay everything that took place, every detail that won’t stop playing in my mind. All I could remember at first was the noise and pain.
As our house was shaking, the sound of glass shattering, ears popping and children screaming, all I could cry in my heart was “Lord you are sovereign, whatever happens I will still call you my Lord.” But there was still the lingering and devastating feeling that we were going to die. My heart was coming out of my chest as my parents wrapped their arms around me and my baby brother as everyone was crying out prayers.
Then the door was opened after it calmed. My father’s words were ” Prepare yourself for this.”
My home was gone. My grandparent’s home was gone. Everything on the farm was gone. In thirty seconds beauty was stripped bare.
I used to call Shoal Creek Valley home. My family of eleven was in the tornado that day April 27th. Twelve lives were lost in only six miles of the valley. In our basement were four families. Crammed in two rooms were 37 people. 27 were children. They were all our friends and family in Christ. The basement was the only thing left standing.