I have no memory of the 1972 tornado; I was born 19 years later. But the tornado has affected me — I lost a great aunt and two cousins. Luila Clevidence was my young, beautiful and vibrant great aunt. Her children were young and excited about life. Everything looked perfect.
Their family consisted of a mother, father and three young children. The day of the tornado a family was ripped apart, parents lost their daughter and grandchildren. A man lost his wife and two children. A son lost his mother, sister and brother. One sister and three brothers lost their big sister. Cousins lost cousins. Nieces and nephews lost their aunt.
Every so often, I ponder the idea of knowing them. I bet great auntie Lu could make me laugh as hard as her siblings. I think of the two small children and the more family members I would have. I never knew them but I miss them. I wish I could have known them.
Reading the April 1 story “Tales from a twister,” I’m happy that most people’s memory of the storm were as witnesses. When a life is taken, nothing can ever replace that. Generations of my family will be affected by that tornado of 1972. And no one will ever forget.