On April 27, 2011, a tornado tore through the heart of Tuscaloosa, AL. In its wake, 41 people lost their lives, thousands were injured, and hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed. Tuscaloosa's Krispy Kreme and the iconic KK delivery truck that was parked up front...gone, the building reduced to nothing more than concrete foundation.
Less than a week after the tornado, in the midst of the rubble, a Krispy Kreme banner was displayed, "Yes, Tuscaloosa, we will be BACK!!!" This may seem trivial in the midst of so much pain and loss, but the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop was a Tuscaloosa landmark and knowing it will be rebuilt promises the return of happier times.
And for me, it means more than the return of great Krispy Kreme doughnuts. In 2004, due to the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease, my mother moved from Stockbridge, GA to live with me in Tuscaloosa, AL. Over the next two years, Krispy Kreme played an important role in our lives. Initially it helped my mom adjust to her new home. In a landscape where everything looked different, the Krispy Kreme sign seemed to trigger something in her memory. When she saw the Krispy Kreme sign, she would always say, "There's the Krispy Kremey (as she called them); I want one." If I didn't have time to stop or knew we didn't need to eat a doughnut at that time, I literally had to avoid driving by the KK shop! As the disease progressed, my mother became more agitated. Frequently the only thing that helped was a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Usually I kept a dozen at the house, but often we went for a ride to get a "Hot Now" right from the doughnut shop.
Since my mom died, I cannot drive past a Krsipy Kreme shop or eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut without thinking of her, and more times than not saying, "Thank God for Krispy Kremeys."
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