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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mother's Purse with Letter Inside Found by First Responder After Age 8 Daughter Dies in Tornado

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The tornado that ravaged Beauregard, Alabama, on March 3 took 23 lives. Families have been left to mourn their loved ones and rebuild their lives, but it will take time.

“It’s just a wonder that more people weren’t killed,” Gov. Kay Ivey said, according to the Ledger-Inquirer. “There’s nothing left standing, everything’s in shreds and that means the hopes and aspirations of people at this point are in shreds.”

“There’s nothing but splinters left, toothpick size,” she continued. “This is horrendous devastation.”

One mother lost her daughter, 8-year-old Mykhayla Waldon, to the disaster.

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“The Tornado that hit Alabama has done more than has disintegrated GENERATIONS,” a GoFundMe set up for the family reads. “Mykhayla Waldon IS IN HEAVEN, AT PEACE, WITH GOD BACK HOME, But her mother, father (Michael Waldon) and siblings will need support.”

“Siblings are still hospitalized. She was only 8, but within those 8 years she accomplished and put forth NOTHING SHORT OF PURE INNOCENT LOVE.”

“Imagine for one second. The memory of dolling up our daughters for an event, the twirl that all GIRLS do with their dress, the skip in their oh so cute step. The mom daughter hair arguments. The feeling of beauty they radiate with their headband on and lace frilly socks lol. As parents we all connect with that deep empathetic special sense OF LOVE, THE LOVE FOR OUR BABIES.

“Mykhayla Waldon lived 8 years. 8 years of joy not sorrow, health not pain, love never hate….help perpetuate and energize what Mykhayla Waldon was all about…help her spirit spread the goodness that all children give to us adults.”

One crucial item that brought the girl’s mother comfort was a letter her daughter had written. It was dear to her and she carried it around with her, tucked into her wallet, at all times. During the disaster, her purse with the wallet was lost, and not only did she end up losing her child, but she also lost a handwritten tether to her daughter’s memory.

Elizabeth White with WRBL heard about the mother’s plight and posted on Facebook in an attempt to locate the missing purse and its precious contents.

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“Mykhayla wrote the letter to her mom and her mom kept the letter with her always in her wallet,” White wrote on Facebook. “The letter was lost in the storm and the family desperately wants to find it. The wallet is inside of a black book-bag style purse. A picture is attached. Please share this post and if you find the letter, please message me so we can get this precious memory back to a deeply grieving mother.”

According to WIAT, someone with East Alabama Fire recognized the purse and it was able to find its way back to the grieving mother. Mykhayla’s aunt wrote to White to tell her how much they appreciated her efforts.

“(Mykhayla’s mother) received the letter, and it meant everything to her. Our cousin Shamel drove it to her. It worked out perfectly because Shamel was going to see her mom, who is still in the hospital there too from being injured in the storm,” her aunt wrote in the message to White.

“Please thank everyone on your page that shared for us. I know many even prayed that it would be found and given to her. We appreciate this so much. Blessings to you and your family.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking