As I sit at work today, eating my weekly Deli on 5Th Cuban sandwich and Brownie, I break into tears every time ABC news breaks into programming with another death toll update. Yesterday was an emotional day. This picture is of the tornado that ripped through my hometown, taken by Gia Kennedy, someone I don't know, but have been following on Facebook because she lives near the tornado's path and was able to get pictures of it and its aftermath. It came through just south of downtown Enterprise, walking distance from the Elementary and High schools I went to, a mile from my parents house. Thank God they weren't affected. Thank God they weren't home.
I've lived in the south all my life. I've spent many many nights in the family storm shelter praying to God to save our house and our community. For the first time in my 30 years on this earth, I know someone whose home was destroyed. I've seen it on TV so many times that I was immune to it yesterday when we were on the air for almost 7 hours. But when I learned that my friend LaWanda lost everything while I was sitting here yesterday evening wondering what I was gonna have for dinner, I became humbled and eternally grateful that my family was spared once more. LaWanda and her daughter are fine. They escaped the storm without harm. They are grateful to God for their lives.
While LaWanda and Kaitlin are safe, others are not. I've heard horror stories all day today. It's days like today I wish I didn't work in TV. I hear the things we can't broadcast, details no one wants to know. 5 people died in Clarke County yesterday. I didn't know them, but I learned today they are related to friends of mine. It's truly heartbreaking to realize how destructive nature can be, wake up in your own bed after an uneasy nights' sleep and remember that others didn't have a bed to sleep in.
Please remember the Southern states in your prayers. Search and rescue operations are still ongoing in Alabama and other more devastated areas. This event will take a long time to recover from. Many will not recover. We will definitely never forget it.