Picture found Tuesday morning in a northwest Alabama yard
Brilliant, AL. Source: Google Maps
Excerpt from email: 'My Mom's house and everything she owned was destroyed like so many others in the tornado in Louisville, MS. Gone are our memories, our house, our large oak trees that protected us from the sun as we gathered under the tree to share and fellowship...
Afterwards, I turned my heart toward all our memories, not the house, not the furniture, but my pictures, our pictures.'
BRILLIANT, AL (Mississippi News Now)- Tuesday, the day after a major tornado outbreak destroyed neighborhoods and left the town of Louisville, MS, in shambles, Susan O'Mary found a bent faded picture in her dad's yard in Brilliant, Alabama.
Where did it come from?
Susan believed the photograph was blown in by Monday's wind and storms; and that it could be from a community somewhere in eastern Mississippi; possibly Louisville.
But how could she know for sure? Susan decided to share it with WLBT, and see if we could help.
She hoped by posting in on social media she would be able to solve the mystery, find the owner of the picture, and return it back to them.
We put the picture on Facebook and the result was unbelievable.
It was shared hundreds of times and we got a dozens of clues and tips about where the picture came from.
Most people agreed it was from Louisville; a graduation picture from 1983.
Wednesday morning, we received an emotional email.
It seems to solve the mystery, and spells out the tragedy and loss that resulted in the photo being found 120 miles away:
My name is Phyllis Haynes, a 1983 (May 20th) graduate of Louisville High School. I am the girl looking at the camera. My brother took this photo of me just after I sat down from walking across the stage. I have additional pictures taken on the same night. I left my scrapbook, yearbook and other items at my Mom's house for safe keeping. I assumed our family home would be there forever and that my memorabilia :) would be safe for just as long. Monday changed that thought forever. My Mom's house and everything she owned was destroyed like so many others in the tornado in Louisville, MS. Gone are our memories, our house, our large oak trees that protected us from the sun as we gathered under the tree to share and fellowship. I cried... My brother's house was destroyed also. My 83 year old [mother] relayed the story of how she was tossed to and fro by the wind and survived after being pinned down by one of the three oak trees that came crashing in on her.
She survived.. and we were all thankful..
Afterwards, I turned my heart toward all our memories, not the house, not the furniture, but my pictures, our pictures. I often thought of electronic storage, but procrastinated.... So, I asked God to watch over my pictures until I was able to get to them.. I shared my prayer with my nieces..
The RAINBOW after the storm. God answered my prayer in a way that exceeded my expectation. I'm so thankful that Susan took the time to seek out the owner of the picture.. Social media is awesome..
In less than 24 hours, mystery solved...as new memories start to unfold. Thank you so very much. you've not only made my night, but my mother who has lost everything is smiling also in disbelief.
I'd love the photo returned. I'll pay for postage and a copy for Susan. Again, thank you MSNewsNow and a huge thank you to Susan.
Still smiling and grateful.
Phyllis Haynes Adams
Class of 1983 :)
Louisville High School
There will be another chapter to this story.
We are working to help get that picture from Susan to Phyllis... and help make sure that this story has a happy ending.