DAVIDSON CO., Tenn., (WKRN) — One year ago, in the hallway of their Donelson home, Jon and Melinda Edlin held their two young children tight as a violent tornado destroyed their neighborhood. Their family was unharmed, but their home was a complete loss.
After the tornado passed, Jon’s cousin picked them up and took the family to his home in Mt. Juliet. Picking up the pieces afterwards was hard, but for the Edlins, the community came together around them.
Jon told News 2, “It’s hard to know what to tell people. Because just like Melinda said, we aren’t in control. And that’s just the reality, and something like this brings that to your attention. It helps you understand your community. Our community came around us, our church, my work so many people that we didn’t even expect.”
People as far away as Kansas City, where Jon and Melinda are from, reached out to help. Melinda recalled feeling a sense of gratefulness that their family was unharmed. “Just so grateful that no one was hurt – just felt like protection,” she continued, “We were just protected in that little hallway. And it was scary. It was really scary. I remember feeling like that moment when you get to the top of the roller coaster, and you really wish you hadn’t decided to ride that roller coaster.”
In the aftermath of the destruction, Melinda, a singer-songwriter, found inspiration, with a little nudging from Jon, who urged her to take a day amid the chaos and write. Melinda’s beautiful voice and the soulful melody are a reminder of not only what happened on March 3rd but also of how the community came together.
Melinda, while initially hesitant, found the words for the song quickly. “I got there and of course, thought what am I gonna write like, it doesn’t. This is silly. But then, you know, sure enough, as soon as I kind of showed up to do the work of it, this song just kind of started forming at the piano and just about the experience and the effect of it and the hope in the future and all of that.”
She hopes this song can help the community and those impacted by the tornadoes. “But for now, just kind of something to say it’s been a year. But this did happen. And a lot of times, I think it gets forgotten because of all the other stuff the whole world has had to deal with, right after the tornado. But for those of us who are still healing, to kind of mark it, and to remember the hope and to remember the heartache too and just to acknowledge it, there’s healing in that.”
See how hope has overcome heartbreak across the area. News 2 brings you special reports Tennessee Stronger: A Year of Recovery all day Wednesday in every newscast and on WKRN.com.