JOPLIN, Mo. - For one family, the EF-5 tornado that ripped through the heart of Joplin, Mo. May 22, 2011 not only took their home, it took their livelihood.
A year later, 2NEWS checked in with them as they prepare to open the doors to the business they rebuilt.
"There was a moment, we just started thanking God," said .... "Because to be honest, there was a moment when it was hitting our house, that you think, this is it."
Jim Easton and his family survived the day the tornado hit, but his home and the business he runs with his wife, Cupcakes by Liz, did not.
"There is a spirit of, we're not going to quit. We're not going to give up," said....
After a year of hard work, the Eastons are getting ready to hang the "Open" sign.
So far, more than 400 businesses in Joplin are doing the same.
"You go through a tragedy like this and it's either going to make you bitter or it's going to make you better," said .... "The hellos, the I love yous, the hugs are a lot sweeter now."
During Monday night's commencement for Joplin High School's seniors, President Barack Obama mentioned the hard work it has required for the Eastons to reopen.