Well, I just wanted to get this out here so maybe it will stop bothering me as much as it has. I really do not think that it will for a while but this is worth a try. For those of you who do not know I am from Monroe County, Mississippi with over half of my family living in Smithville. The day that the tornado came and destroyed the area I truly believe that God did not want me to see or know what was going on at that second. (I say second because it did not take very long to take so many lives). The power went off at my house, my parents house, my brothers house, basically everyone's house that I tried... the power was out. Of course I wanted answers because I wanted to know what was going on but no one had any at that time. But then I called my mom who was crying as she picked up the phone. The only words that came out of her mouth were, "You're grandmothers house has been hit by the tornado let me call you back." Like I mentioned before, I had no television, no internet, no radio (because who keeps 8 C batteries just sitting around?)and no way of getting in touch with my family because by this time all of their phone lines were tied up.
After I say that no one answered the phone to tell me what was going on I forgot to mention that Stephanie and Rick let me know that I was going to be okay. Thank goodness California still had power!! :)
My grandmother lives in the small town of Smithville, Mississippi where I can remember spending many of my summer days and nights. We, the neighborhood children and I, would walk up and down he street because there was rarely a vehicle that came through. Everyone was everybodys friend and your family did not have to worry about where you were because they always knew that so and so were outside and they had their eye on you. This was also a place where you got a whooping by your neighbor because they were either family or close friends who knew your mom or dad would disapprove of how you were acting. Overall, this was the place that you wanted to call home. For the most part, I called myself living just ten minutes down the road but Smithville will always be a second home to me.
I knew my dad had gone to Wren (a community about 25 minutes West of Smithville) to help people who had recently been hit by the same tornado that was taking it's toll on Smithville so I decided to call him to see if I could find out any information. There was no answer. Since my dad owns a wrecker service this is very rare for him and really got me worried. I knew where my dad was but had he made it okay and were the storms over whenever he decided to go. Finally my phone rang and it was my mother. I asked her where my grandmother was and she said that she was at my brothers house. WHEW!!! HUGE RELIEF! I asked if she wanted me and Shannon to come help them at my grandmothers house. My mother being the calm person that she is, with worry in her voice asked me to please stay where I was she did not want anybody else getting hurt. Little did I know that my mother was standing in Smithville helping find people who were taken from their homes after the storm had hit.
Later we find out that my grandmothers house is only missing some of the roof and the doors were blown in. They had built a shed and it was gone but for the most part my grandmothers house was very lucky. I heard a lady tell my grandmother that she was very lucky and to that my grandmother replied, "I do not have any neighbors all of their homes are gone and destroyed, I am not lucky." My grandmother has lived in this home since my mother and uncle were born and all of her neighbors have been there as well. I do believe that we are all lucky that my grandmother had decided to come back down to the campground (which is her second home) instead of being in Smithville.
I will post some pictures that I have gotten from facebook but I honestly cannot look at most of them anymore. None of these pictures were taken by me and it has been almost six days since I retrieved them so forgive me if these are your pictures. It will take a long time to rebuild the great community that we once had but we can do it!
This picture was taken in the Wren community off of HWY 45. The tornado looks like it is on its way to Smithville but at this time it had not yet made it. From the picture it looks like it is just going through the norhtern part of Wren.
This picture actually looks fake but after you look at it a while it just looks like it has been zoomed in. The surrounding area looks like the picture was taken right as you are coming into Smithville before you get to the Lock and Dam. If anyone else knows more about this picture or who took it let me know.
This is the church beside my grandmothers house which is completely destroyed. I have kept the pictures in the order in which the tornado traveled so if you look at the previous pictures it looks like the torando is growing. Which now we know was the case.
These are AFTER pictures
This is the Piggly Wiggly which I remember my grandmother giving me my first driving lesson to. This is also where she sent her 13 year old grand-daughter to pick her up some milk. Sorry I broke the law when I was 13!
The Dollar General is fairly new. My grandfathers wife started working there when it opened but she was not there this day.
Here is a sky view that I found on facebook. There were multiple pictures but this one showed the corner of my grandmothers house so I just had to pick this one. The other pictures showed the actual line of the storm with the ground having a path. You can kind of see it on this picture but maybe not as well.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29
I am thankful for all of my friends who called to check on me and my family. Stephanie who has not known me long at all, Anna who had power and was letting us all know what was going on, Kristen who was out of the state on a business trip who texted to check on us all, Ashley who of course had to check on my grandmother! I do have great friends old and new and I thank the Lord for you every day.