Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Much has happened in the week since the storm.
There it is... one of the terms that will become part of our vocabulary now... the storm.
There was a Royal Wedding.
There was an American triumph and victory in Osama Bin Laden's death.
...As these new chapters are being written for history books all over the world...
the state of Alabama continues to grieve over it's own history, and is beginning to re-build it's future...



Many people have called and written to check on my family during the past week, which will never be forgotten.
We forget so much that happens in our life time...
but I will NEVER forget who cared enough about us in the days following the storms to take the time and call and say they loved us and were praying for us...

My family. What a broad term if you think about it. I have a large family. I have a family who raised me ... my parents, grandparents, brother, etc.
But then I have another family I grew up with ....my college family in Tuscaloosa.
Another in Memphis.
And another in Louisiana.
Fortunately the family that raised me survived the storms (there is another one of those terms... survived)and was unscathed. Praise God.

My college family wasn't as lucky...
None were among those missing... but so many of them lost everything...
Other members of our college family were not as fortunate.
There it is again...another one of those terms...
not as fortunate...

Alabama football player Carson Tinker was thrown over 50 yards from his home. He survived...there's that word again...but suffered fairly significant injuries that hospitalized him.

His sweet girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, and their 2 dogs were all thrown from the same home... and found 100 yards from the closet they were taking cover in. Ashley and the dogs did not survive.

... This is what remains of the home that once belonged to Wesley and Katie Britt. Wesley is a former Alabama football player, former New England Patriot, and friend. Katie is former Alabama SGA President, Chi Omega, and friend...
... as the storm approached, Wesley shielded his 2 children, wife, 2 of her sisters, and one of their friends with a dresser... placing a mattress over them which he laid on pressing his weight over his family. He said he could feel the tornado pulling him as it hovered over his home. As the storm took his house away piece by piece, the roof began to collapse around them... that is, until Wesley reached up to hold it steady around his family... protecting them from debris and further harm...

... Wesley once was a hero on the football field. Now he's an even a bigger hero. He saved his family...


I could go on for days telling stories of courage, resilience, faith and hope. Stories of tragedy and heartbreak alike. There have been so many heros born in this time of devastation... from college athletes, and former athletes turned pro, to coaches, to ordinary people... from the New York Yankees, to Texas A & M, to Charlie Sheen, to Auburn... people who believe in good... in paying it forward...
It's funny how much things change. The way things were before the storm.

Auburn and Alabama were described earlier in 2011 as being in a "civil war" with one another. After all, football was king in Alabama... and the 2 schools would do whatever it took to wear the state's crown. At least that's what people thought. Especially outsiders. Other SEC schools mocked us, laughed at us, and counted on us taking one another down...

But then something happened.


April 27, 2011.

The state of Alabama showed it's true colors... they were not crimson and white... and they weren't orange and blue...
...they proved who they believed was King... and He doesn't reside on a football field

Before the storms were even out of the state, Auburn had rallied together and formed an AMAZING organization called Toomers For Tuscaloosa to help aid those in need...
Between the 2 schools in this so called "civil war", coaches and players... past and present... in multiple sports... answered Alabama's call for help. They spread out amongst the state and begin helping clean the towns that raised them... they loved on the people who devote their lives to supporting them. They showed America what Alabama was made of...

Don't get me wrong, the nightmare isn't over. Alabama still needs help. LOTS OF HELP. The death toll has not been finalized. Families have not been reunited with their missing pieces. But it has to start somewhere...

And who would have thought that it would have started with Alabama and Auburn... coming together... as a family.
Practicing what they preach, showing everyone that they truly are ALL IN and working towards the most rewarding PROCESS yet...
 
paying it forward, to recover, rebuild, and heal our SWEET HOME ALABAMA...

Keep praying for Alabama...
... contact myself or someone in your community regarding rebuilding efforts across our state...

Praise HIM in this storm... and pay it forward...

2 comments:

Vicki said...

This is so well written and evokes such emotion. My heart has been so heavy thinking of Alabama and the people have certainly remained in my prayers. Broadmoor Methodist Church in Baton Rouge has partnered with First Methodist in Tuscaloosa. We are accepting donations to be passed directly to the people in Alabama. What better place to give a donation than to a faith-based organization where the money gets to the victims quickly and efficiently. God loves all the people across our nation affected by all of these horrific tornadoes and so do I.

Michelle & Kody said...

Thank you so much Vicki!!!