ROWLETT -- The day after Christmas is usually spent returning unwanted gifts and buying the things you didn't get on your list, but for some local Texans, it's a reminder of what they lost in one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in North Texas history.
Two years ago, 12 tornadoes ripped through North Texas, claiming homes, belongings, and 13 lives.
"My dad was saying just take the house, but don't take us. You can take the house just don't take us. So, we prayed our way through," tornado survivor, Eudora Barnes said.
Areas like Rowlett and Garland were hit the hardest raking in a little over $1 billion in damage. Two years later, most of the area has been rebuilt, but some people never recovered from the devastation.
At the time of the tornadoes, Mandy and Mark Steinbruegge decided to say goodbye to their longtime home, "You know, this is something you see on TV and it usually doesn't happen to you. Time to close this one chapter and get ready to start a new chapter. So we're trying to look at the positive side of it but it's hard."
The City of Rowlett is commemorating the community's strength with a sculpture of a phoenix, to symbolize rising above the tornado.
"This is something we don't want to be known by," sculpture creator Troy Connatser said. "So let's just move on, look at what we have, come here and reflect."
A community forever shaken, but healing everyday.