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Faith comforts mother grieving loss of son, brother and boyfriend in tornado outbreak

WAVERLY, Va. – One year after a deadly tornado outbreak in Virginia that spawned seven twisters, the woman whose two-year-old son, brother and boyfriend were killed in Waverly, Virginia, said her faith is helping her move forward after the tragedy.

As the town rebuilds from the devastating storm, Lorenzo Turner and other townsfolk remember the fateful day.

“All of a sudden it got kind of dark and I saw the tops of trees just blowing down,” Turner recalled. “And I said, ‘Something`s going on here.’”

A tarp covers a tornado-damaged roof in Waverly, Virginia.

A tarp covers a tornado-damaged roof in Waverly, Virginia.

But for Trenika Stringfield, the events of Feb. 24, 2016 are forever etched in her heart. She lost her two-year-old son, Ian Lewis, her boyfriend, 50-year-old Larry Turner, and her brother, 26-year-old Devine Stringfield.

“It doesn`t get old for me,” Stringfield said. “The fact that I lost my son -- I lost three people, but my son, the most. It touches me every day.”

Stringfield said her family has been holding onto their faith as the months slowly pass.

“We really believe in God, so that`s what helped us through most of the hurt,” she said.

Larry Turner, 50, Ian Lewis, 2, and Devine Stringfield, 26

Larry Turner, 50, Ian Lewis, 2, and Devine Stringfield, 26

And with the help of the community and volunteers from the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church Disaster Recovery Ministry, Stringfield and her two girls, Yani and Nina, are making a new home for themselves.

Renovation work on a home they purchased is slated to be completed soon as they strive for a sense of normalcy as Stringfield works while pursuing a nursing degree.

Trenika Stringfield and WTVR CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown outside Stringfield's new home.

Trenika Stringfield and WTVR CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown outside Stringfield's new home.

While the family will never forget the devastating loss, Stringfield said a positive attitude is crucial.

"They talk about our family members in a good light, always remembering the good things,” Stringfield said. “So we really try to stay positive for [the children.] I guess after a while you tell yourself that, because if not, you`ll probably just be miserable and stressed and depressed your whole life.”

Stringfield said she and her family are focusing on the positive to move forward.