The recent tornado that ransacked Springfield, Mass. tore apart more than buildings. Among the front page stories of tragedy, lesser known tales are now being told. This just in from Vermont photographer Emily McManamy. Her soon-to-be father-in-law and mother-in-law’s home was destroyed in the storm… just weeks before they were to be wed.
The unfortunate reality sunk in during the following weeks as Terry and Kathy collected their belongings, moved to alternate housing, rented cars, notified their employers and lived in suitcases between two states. Everyone was safe, we were lucky for that, and as Kathy put it the things were just things. This tornado was a huge disruption in their lives but a big day was nearing and they had to set their sights on that – their wedding day.
Kathy put so much thought into their big day. She wanted it to be a joining of families and a celebration of her children and grandchildren. We had all tried to lend a hand from the beginning but it wasn’t until their unfortunate situation unfolded that Kathy could release the reigns. My sisters, Sara and Erin, and I began planning.
My task: flowers. The day after the tornado I put a plea on our local message board, Front Porch Forum, to see if anyone had an abundance of flowers they’d like to share from their gardens. Two towns and seven people responded. I visited their gardens and walked the grounds to get an idea of what I could cut. Coordinating all of these wonderful people was tricky but extremely satisfying. I met “neighbors” tucked into mountain hillsides and down long, seemingly endless country roads. I met farmers, families and garden enthusiasts. Each person played a part in this wedding and we were all so touched to have them be a part of the big day. They wanted to know the story and a bit about the bride and groom and they, too, were happy to become a part.
Read the full post… a beautiful story of a family rising above hard times to celebrate a new marriage.