Grieving mom draws strength from community after tornado - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Grieving mom draws strength from community after tornado

Laila Jackson and her family (Source: Laila Jackson) Laila Jackson and her family (Source: Laila Jackson)
Laila Jackson (Source: WALB) Laila Jackson (Source: WALB)
Jackson said she draws strength from the community. (Source: WALB) Jackson said she draws strength from the community. (Source: WALB)
Jackson's home was destroyed by the Jan. 22 home. (Source: WALB) Jackson's home was destroyed by the Jan. 22 home. (Source: WALB)
The roof and the wall were blown away. (Source: WALB) The roof and the wall were blown away. (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Two losses in one month. That's the reality for one Dougherty County storm victim.

"I remember getting phone calls from everybody, the alarm company called, then I received the photos that my house was gone," Laila Jackson said.

On Jan. 22, an EF-3 tornado destroyed her Bettys Drive home. The roof over half of the house, along with the wall, was blown away, leaving a closet and bedroom exposed. 

The sight of the destruction is enough to drive this mother to tears, but she's staying strong and optimistic.

"I see this and I smile because I know it could have been worse," Jackson said.

But Jackson is also dealing with a permanent loss.

Just two weeks before the tornado, her son Malik Jordan was killed in a crash on I-75. He was driving to Atlanta when he lost control of his car after hitting a patch of ice. He was only 20 years old.

"I think I get my strength because he never liked to see me cry," she said. And though at times it's hard for this grieving mother to hold back the tears, she holds no grudges.

"I know that God doesn't make any mistakes and he needed my baby more than I did."

She just holds on to faith that no burden will be too hard to bear.

"It's not going to be easy, but I do know the sun is going to come out again," Jackson said. "And whatever his plan is, I just pray for strength."

Strength that she draws from her faith and from her community.

"But by the grace of God and the community, family and friends, even strangers, we will be okay," she said.

Jackson is hosting a community BBQ on Saturday at her home in 2400 block of Bettys Drive from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Toiletries, non-perishable foods and baby items will be available. The BBQ is open to anyone.

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