Joshua Hornsby still coping with loss of daughter Ja'Nae 6 months after Moore tornado hit her school

MOORE, Okla. - After the tornado hit all you could see was devastation. All you heard was silence.

Today, you see signs of progress. The debris has been picked up. The rubble has been removed. All you hear is now hammering and heavy trucks as crews rebuild homes.

But for some, moving on means moving away, at least that was the case for Joshua Hornsby.

"I just needed a change of scenery. It would be too hard to still be there, knowing after everything that happened," he said.

After the tornado, Joshua moved about 25 miles to the northeast to Oklahoma City.

We met Joshua six months ago in one of the hardest hit areas of Moore -- right outside of Plaza Towers Elementary school.

READ: Massive tornado hits Moore elementary school (http://bit.ly/Mooretornado)

At the time, it didn't matter to Joshua that his home had just been leveled. He was on a mission to find his nine-year-old daughter, Ja'Nae, a third-grader at the school.

"That's my love, that's my first love," Hornsby told us.

But Ja'Nae didn't return home that day. She, along with six other children, died at the school. It's been 182 days since then.

RELATED STORY: Father confirms daughter among the dead, one of the first victims to be identified (http://bit.ly/JaNaeMoore)

"None of the days are easy at all, even if it's a good day, it's not an easy day because eventually sometime you're going to reflect back on what happened," said Joshua.

It's the everyday stuff he misses the most.

"We come home, as soon as we get home, I'll be cooking and she'll be doing her homework, and we'll sit down and watch TV. That's the biggest difference, not having her to cook for I guess you could say," he said.

Joshua was raising Ja'Nae by himself. Ja'Nae's mother died two years earlier. The six-month anniversary will make it a day of mourning, on what would've been a day of celebration.

"It's strange to me, yeah, 'cause like when it happened, I was like, it's the 20th, and the first thing I thought about was her birthday," said Hornsby.

Ja'Nae would've turned 10 years old Wednesday, the day of the sixth month anniversary of the Moore tornado.

Joshua says he knows in his heart Ja'Nae is with him everyday.

A woman from Missouri painted a picture of Ja'Nae after she died. Joshua put it above his fireplace. He looks at it every morning before he leaves and every evening when he returns home.

As the crews continue to build and hammer away, so does Joshua.

"I don't take any day for granted. I try to be a better person each day 'cause you never know what the next day is going to bring," said Hornsby.

Joshua and his family had a balloon release at Ja'Nae's grave for her birthday on Wednesday.

 

For more including before and after interactive features, videos and satellite imagery go to www.kjrh.com/tornado .

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