News and Tribune

March 2012 tornado coverage

March 3, 2013

We Survived: A hopeful spirit after the storm

HENRYVILLE — Every day, lessons on how we can improve our lives and be better people are laid before us. Some listen intently and truly make the effort, while others simply tune out. 

After a disaster like the deadly March 2, 2012, tornado that swept through Northern Clark County and other parts of Southern Indiana, people listened and they asked how they could help. Many in our community are still working to help those who are still in need. Homes and lives are being rebuilt. On the outside, life seems to be returning to something akin to normal for most of those who survived the devastation. 


  The Gilles family has moved into its new home, replaced the furniture, and appear well into the healing process. The family hit a milestone in its recovery as it recently burned two huge piles of wood, dirt, tree trunks, limbs and everything that made up the first home. As the huge fire burned, Darrell and Trish Gilles, along with 12-year-old son Caleb, stood mesmerized by the flames. 

Trish couldn’t help but to let her mind wander back to the family’s first home — picturing each room and trying to recall everything inside. She looked toward her husband and son and asked, “What could be burning in that fire … we know it is filled with our furniture — including my favorite ottoman, the beautiful trees that surrounded our home and Mia’s newly decorated bedroom ... but what else?” 

Caleb put his arms around his parents and said, “It doesn’t matter what was in there … what is right here is all that matters.” 

As the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado neared, Trish Gilles worked with community leaders to organize a celebration — a celebration of recovery, a celebration of the community coming together. Henryville wanted to thank those who stepped in to help — the first responders (police, fire, EMS), the medical teams, the donors and those who helped neighbors clean up and rebuild Henryville.  “Henryville is a small town with a big heart and that became evident as neighbors helped one another and as people outside of our community came to give aid and comfort,” Trish said.

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