Friday, May 13, 2011

Rebuilding Alabama...The Heart of Dixie

I wrote a poem about April 27, 2011, the day tornadoes
roared through Alabama killing well over 200 people. 
I don't know what to call this entry...a honor of...
So I'll just share what's on my heart.

The Voice in the Storm

The Heart of Sweet Dixie, fragmented and torn,
Where worry and grief on souls are now worn,
On the heels of the storms lie heartache and sorrows,
But Faith gives assurance for recovered tomorrows.
Though bruised and in pieces, together we’re one,
Hand in hand in the darkness, while we wait for the sun.
Shambles and ruin can’t take away hope
When compassion reaches out to help others cope.

Who is the Voice that hushes the wind,
And Who, with His word, starts hearts to mend?
His hand never leaves us in storms such as these,
He calms the wind to a mere gentle breeze.
In the darkest moment dawn opens its eye,
A new hope awakens a fresh power supply.
With the brink of the day new strength appears,
As the hand of the Son dries up the tears.

Last weekend, Ole Boy and I visited Hackleburg and Phil Campbell, two cities that sustained overwhelming damage in the tornadoes of April 27.   No photos I took can properly depict the true devastation.

Notice the limbs, leaves or bark.   Both sides of the street for miles was totally wiped out.   I didn't want to be disrespectful and snap pictures of people without their knowledge or permission.  Therefore, some things I saw I did not photograph, though I almost wish now that I did.  Not the people living in tents, but the people helping each other, just pitching in and getting a hard job done. 

So much destruction.

But here's the good news.    This picture was taken by Rick Phillips,
who was kind enough to allow me to post it here.

This was the last thing I saw before leaving Phil Campbell.
Yes...It is in God that we trust.


  1. Love it,, I was there in an Ambulance that Wednesday night, and every other Ambulance in the Country seemed like, and words or pictures can never explain what we witnessed that night.. and even then, we really had no idea of the scope of the destruction.. And since then, Ive spent almost every day, either in Phil Campbell or Hackleburg.. Such devestation, such strong people.. Such sorrow, such love.. From friends, neighbors, and total strangers.. All of it has been amazing to witness. Ive seen so much love, respect, honor, and dignity. Such stregnth, independence, and such humble quiet amazement that people came from far and near to help them. I have seen the true spirit of America, and I am so proud.. so very proud. Thanks Margaret, this is a beautiful tribute.. Love you! Melanie Pigg

  2. Melanie, your words are so heartfelt, you've moved me to tears!

  3. loved your poem; I am so glad you did this tribute; that message on the house, faith indeed! This tribute of yours needs to be somewhere where more can see it,so beautifully and tastefully done. Seeing the devastation on that street for miles, I can't imagine seeing it in person; eerie, surreal, unbelievable but yet so very real. It is in times like this that the love of God is displayed in his people as they go out and help others the best they can.

    thank you indeed for sharing this!


  4. Oh, so much destruction! A beautiful documentation and statement of faith. Inspiring. Deb

  5. Beautiful tribute. Some of my coworkers at ECM went to Phil Campbell last week to help. Over 800 volunteers were there according to the TD. One the things they talked about is that there is no shade to rest in. Everything is gone. One thing he said they could use is tractors with a front end loaders. He said they were pulling the wagons or using 4 wheelers to drag them. One of the nursing floors have a group going to Moulton today.

  6. "Mama Your Alive" and the Hackleburg Tornado

    I can and do thank you for your message and your respect...Hackleburg Alabama is my home and had been for 3 weeks when the tornados of April 27th, destroyed beyond recognition, one of the most beautiful little towns in the state.

    This wonderful little town I will continue to call "Home"... remains beautiful because the elements of Love, Hope and Faith remained intact after winds silenced the trees the "view" changed.

    My life will never be as it was before the events of that day and all I have witnessed since.

    I live on Old Hackleburg Road with my love, my soulmate and my best friend, Kelly Taylor.

    Kelly, with a big nervous and puzzled grin on his face, greets his "very much alive" 80 yr old mother, Willa Grace Mann at 1065 Old Hackleburg RD with, "Mama Your Alive" as he hugged her dearly.

    The recent loss of her husband, Ed Mann has taken a toll on this sweet lady, then this.

    Her comment to her son Kelly was, "I'm sure glad Ed didn't have go through this. He would have hated what the tornado did to the trees."

    We are truly blessed with life and a viable structure, Mrs Manns house sustained minimal damage compared to the loss of lives and property.

    I saw the first TV and news about this horrific
    and shocking time I "live" in...sometimes the tears won't stop. But, things will be okay.

    I chose to stay out of Hackleburg tonight, my heart needs a break. A break from the pain and the blessings given and acknowledged yet, not understood by myself. It is hard and to be a
    survivor. I feel so blessed and torn apart.

    But, not literally torn limb from limb as so
    many were. I myself found the arm bone of a child and the skull bone of whom...? And the rib bone of...Then you see buzzards here and there, knowing they are just doing what they do, right?

    I will say this and I will tell all who will listen. I know without a doubt there is hope for us, I witnessed with my eyes, heart and sense what a human being is and how we should treat one another.

    And, I THANK YOU, every one of you that said a tiny prayer or gave a peice of your time or a dollar to help us not just survive but to live, again.

    It is the most amazing SHOW of love and organized compassion from people that are now family. I may not know your name and thats okay, but I know your heart and I will never forget what has happened to me.

    I'm not quite sure my purpose yet or why and thats okay...I know that knowledge is coming and I will act upon it when the time comes. Somehow, someway I can make a difference and I can save a life or share a cup of water and give my last dollar.

    "From my heart", as I try to rest this weary vessel that carries my soul...

    "God Bless You" as you have shown your hearts to us and continue to give from yours.

    Robin Childers Blackburn, proud to call Hackleburg Alabama my "Home"

  7. I understand Courtland is also in bad shape. We can never understand these things, but that anyone lived through such devastation is proof that God was there that day.

  8. Hi there! It's been awhile since my last visit! my kids are nearly done with school so that means that I am nearly done with school! ha ha Yahoo - summer time! I'll have my evenings back again for a 3 months!

    These pictures are just heart wrenching to see, I just can't imagine. Thanks for sharing them with us.


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