A few days ago the anniversary of the hundreds of tornadoes reeking havoc on Alabama passed. I don’t think that I’ll ever forget that day. Thankfully, we only had one tree go down. That pales in comparison to so many other people. I remember waking up at 4:30am and noticing that it was really windy. I walked out to my living room and within a few minutes I was joined by my other 2 roommates. We watched the weather and about a minute later it felt like the wind was going to blow through the house, and then it was silent. Our house was on the outskirts of that tornado, it was only an F-2 or F-3. A few houses were lost during that storm and there was a lot of damage, but it was nothing compared to the destruction that was to happen only a short while later. I remember that I was off that day. The day felt wierd. All day I heard warnings from weather men saying that our state was a powder keg. Schools were dismissed early, businesses closed early. I kept in touch with my family that day more than usual. We all wanted to know where each other was. That night I decided to go to a friends house. She had a basement and my house was very old and probably not the sturdiest. My friends and I spent that night watching total devestation. Tornado after tornado formed. It resulted in chaos and destruction. I remember asking God to make the tornadoes stop after the third one struck Culman. But, then the giant tornado went through the Tuscaloosa. Due to modern technology we watched the tornado live. All of our jaws dropped, tears filled eyes and our goose bumps had goose bumps. I had never seen anything like it. That tornado moved throughout the state living a path of destruction and death. The stories were horrifying. The days following almost everyone donated time, water, tarps etc. We all heard heartbreaking stories of families that lost a mom, dad or child. We heard stories from so many people that lost all material possessions. Even now, a year later, there is still progress to be made on my street alone, not to mention Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove, Concord, Cullman and the many other areas affected.

This is Pleasant Grove. The path of the tornado can clearly be seen.

A few days ago I was looking through pictures online of that day. This was a favorite.

This example of faith brings tears to my eyes.

A grandmother comforting her grandchildren after they lost everything.

We were meant for community. We were made to be together. I think that’s why I am drawn to pictures showing people comforting other people. The storms were tragic, but it brought people together in a deeper and more beautiful way. God was glorified in those storms.