It’s been almost 3 months since that horrible day in April. And in these past 3 months, a lot of good has been going on down here. People are still coming to The Slab of our church foundation to get meals and supplies, and we will be there until. Many people have used this tragedy to do good things. Perfect strangers still sit at City Cafe and shed tears over what they were doing that day and the days after. I still cry when I drive through town. I guess I will for awhile.
Old memories take over. Memories of those first few days when we lived by curfews, candles and cops. Memories of when National Guard tanks rolling through the streets were a shock and a comfort. Feeding the police (from other states) meals and telling them how much we appreciated their help. What I will never forget and what still haunts me are the faces of the people of my town. I will never forget the things we saw from the back of a trailer loaded with food, water, ice, and diapers. Or the nightly 8pm closing down of the recovery tent because it was curfew time and I needed to get to Mona’s house, thankful she had power when most of the town didn’t. Seeing the lines of power workers driving to a local community college where they were living between shifts. The new “normal” became a way of life so quickly and it’s amazing how we adapt.
But one thing I will absolutely never forget is the next morning, April 28th when Stephen and I went to Kaye’s house….destroyed….to help salvage what was left. We couldn’t find her street. Keep in mind her street leads right to our church. The whole skyline was gone. The streets were covered with debris. We literally had to try to find other landmarks to find the street to get to Kaye. We parked a couple of miles away knowing we wouldn’t be able to actually get to the house. But we were not prepared for the disorientation. We found it. We all worked. For days, we worked and got up the next morning to start all over again. On Stephen’s shift at work, they cut trees in the community since they didn’t have power at the plant. When I went back to school, we worked to keep the kids happy and safe for the last few days of school. We worked through to a new version of “normal”.
As a thank you, Kaye had this for us.
That is a piece of wood from their old home. There is a local artist who is making memory boards and Kaye had one made for those of us who helped move. I’ve had it for about 2 weeks now and I smile each time I see it.
It is a sweet home town we live in. Tuscaloosa is more than just University of Alabama football. We are a typical southern town with people who enjoy the small things.
A growing garden
And we have first hand experience that we must endure the rain to get the rainbow.
We enjoy our jars and our tea while watching the sun set.
And there’s nothing like a good bacon and tomato sandwich.
Bad things happen. We just have to keep working to make things good again.