Cora Jones, 52, lost 10 family members in the tornado that ripped through Alabama on Sunday, and now she’s asking, “Why?”
In recent months, Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost a job, but she says she got through such troubling times with help from friends and family, NBC News reports.
But after returning home from church Sunday, the impacts of last weekend’s tornado suddenly upended her life.
She first discovered her parents — Mary Louise Jones, 83, and Jimmy Lee Jones, 89 — were dead that afternoon. After running to their house to check up on them, Jones witnessed an eerie scene. As she told NBC in an interview: “Everything was gone. I just couldn’t believe it. It looked like someone took a chainsaw and went, ‘swoop.'”
“Just the image — I will never get out of my head,” she said of discovering her father’s body. “They really didn’t want me to see the picture, but I had to identify the body.” (RELATED: Like A ‘Freight Train’: Tornadoes Leave Nearly Two Dozen Dead In Alabama)
Jones also lost eight other immediate and extended family members, including her brother, her cousin, her niece and a second cousin on her mother’s side. A total of 23 people ranging from ages six to 89 have been pronounced dead so far since the tornado, which brought heavy winds of up to 170 mph and mass destruction, according to Chris Darden of the National Weather Service.
“I just got so many questions, but you know, you don’t question the Lord,” Jones said. “Just why, why, you know, why? Why this had to happen like this? To everybody that you know and love? At one time? Why?” (RELATED: Andrew Brunson’s American Pastor Describes Harrowing Turkish Courtroom Experience)
She concluded the interview with some general advice for anyone: “Tell somebody you love them every day. You might not mean it, but just tell them, because you don’t know — you might not even come back.”