Remembering the storm by turning rubble into art

MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) - Nearly six months after an EF-4 tornado tore through Arkansas, one Mayflower woman continues to pick up the pieces, and it is what she is doing with those pieces that is sending a powerful message.

From Vilonia to Saltillo to Mayflower, this woman has collected debris, and each piece, means something to Chrystel Naylor.

"As I went on to different areas and stuff I started getting attached to things," said Naylor.

From a door knob to a spoon to a piece of wood from a fence, Naylor knows where each piece came from.

"It was a ceiling fan come off of Fortner Road that a spoon was thrown completely through," said Naylor. "As I stopped to help, I collected."

But some pieces mean more to her than others. Naylor's cousin died on Dam Road during the tornado, and she thinks this license plate belonged to him.

"This one is very meaningful," said Naylor.

Naylor has lived in Mayflower her whole life. She says on April 27th, she packed into her parent's storm cellar with 25 other people.

"It did not really dawn on me until the next day in the daylight," said Naylor.

During the days that followed, as Naylor sifted through the debris, she says she wanted to do something positive in remembrance.

"One night out of the blue, something came to me, and I got up went out to the shop and made my first cross," said Naylor.

She fastened pieces of debris together.

Naylor added, "This cross was made from bits and pieces collected in remembrance of that Sunday."

She says she has given out 15 crosses already and wants to give even more back to who they belong to.

"There are a lot of people I want to place in their hands," said Naylor.

With the pieces, she crafts them into a cross, in hopes they will hang as a powerful reminder.

"Everything can be wiped away as long as you are good and happy and your children and your health then that is most important," said Naylor.

Two crosses are in Illinois and one is in Texas. If you are interested in a cross, you can get them from the Schaefers and Collins Pumpkin Patch in Mayflower for a $10 donation. The pumpkin patch is located at 864 Lollie Road, and you can contact them at 501-470-3127 or 501-470-0014.


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