Just time for a few words before I head to the service. I am in South Carolina to remember and honor a wonderful woman, my aunt Gladys Owensby, whom we called Aunt Odell for my entire life. She lived to be 86 years old, and all those years were filled with love. She will be missed by so many people, but she is now in such joy that we cannot even imagine it.
I think it's fitting to honor and remember her on April 27. Because this is a date that will always represent the fine line between life and death, joy and tragedy, building and destruction. For one year ago today, an unprecedented number of tornados ripped through the South - and one hit very close to home. Thankfully, it basely missed the house and dorm where my nieces lived while attending the University of Alabama. But for hundreds of others, it didn't miss. and that community will never be the same. Yes, out of our scars come growth, so I think that it will be a better place than it was before. But the healing continues.
Part of that healing is a huge memorial service today in Coleman Coliseum. So on the same day, I will be in SC remembering my aunt. And I also remember the victims of April 27, 2011. In both cases, we can see the awesome hand of God as he moves to heal, restore, and love those who are hurting.