WYNNE, Ark. – With many families in Arkansas continuing to pick up the pieces after tornadoes ripped through the state on March 31st.
One family found a precious item they thought they would never see again, but it wasn’t too far away.
On March 3rd, during an interview with our station Michelle McGill found a picture in the root of her tree after it was uprooted by an EF-3 tornado.
McGill says soon after she put the picture on Facebook and within an hour, she got a response from Karen Cristaldi.
Cristaldi says the picture is of her, then, 5-year-old granddaughter.
“She is such a great child.” Cristaldi goes on to say, “she’s special.”
Cristaldi thought the picture was lost when the tornado left her home and others around it in ruins.
“This was going to be my forever house.” But looking around at the state of her home now and the others around it, she said, “It looks like a war zone.”
She says the tornado ripped off an entire wall of her home, scattering items everywhere including the picture everywhere. Cristaldi said her daughter lives in Florida and having that picture means the world to her.
“It would be a hard one to replace,” Cristaldi said.
Thankfully, Cristaldi said she will not have to replace it. After, McGill found it wedged in the root of her tree.
“You were there that day that I found it and I pulled it out of the tree,” McGill goes on to say, “for us to be standing there at that exact time and found it what were the chances of that.”
After posting the picture on Facebook and connecting with Cristaldi, McGill says she had no idea they lived right around the corner from each other since they never spoke before exchanging the photo. McGill says despite the tragedy of everything around them she’s glad she could bring a smile to her neighbor’s face.
“Anything you can get after a tragedy like this is always going to be a plus and it warms my heart to know she got her treasure back,” said McGill.
Cristaldi says the photo of her grandfather holds a special memory.
“She’s the only one (grandchild) my husband actually saw before he passed away. She’s always in my heart,” Cristaldi said.