A storybook ending: Photos still being returned to tornado victims in Western Kentucky

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 05, 2023

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — As rebuilding efforts continue in several communities, many people are still getting acclimated to pieces of a new life.

There's fear that pieces of the past have been left behind, but kindness proves otherwise. It turns out old memories have a place in new homes.

Edith Carner has lived in Western Kentucky pretty much her whole life.

"We found some things, but we lost a lot," she says, reflecting back on the tornado in 2021.

The things can get lost, but the memories don't go away — sometimes the physical photo helps bring those memories back.

"That was when I realized how many of my photos were gone," Carner said. "That really bothered me because my children won't have these memories."

"There's really no describing it," said Karen Solise, who also lives in Western Kentucky.

Maybe Solise can't find the words to explain, but she knows what matters.

"I want any pictures we can get, of my boys," she said.

Solise and Carner couldn't exactly remember which photos were gone, but once they saw them on Facebook, they immediately remembered.

"We knew the devastation was around us, but we simply continued to talk about the good that we were seeing," Solise said.

"Saw a little piece of paper on the ground," said Teri King.

Teri and her daughter, Hannah, know old memories still have a place in this year's heart. That's why they held onto photos they found a year ago in Meade County, knowing one day the owner would want them returned. About 53 weeks after blowing away, photos were claimed thanks to the kindness of others.

"Few weeks after the tornado, you pick everything up," Hannah said.

"I just feel like some day, someone will see them and want them," Teri said.

Someone — like Edith and Karen.

Both photos were returned, which doesn't just bring back memories, but reminds them of the kindness.

"Through all of this, I have found out how kind people are and how generous they are and how much they want to help," Carner said.

"It just reminds me of hope and hope that there's still goodness in the world," Solise said.