WAVERLY, TN (WSMV) - The mother of 15-year-old Lilly Anne Bryant is speaking out for the first time since her daughter passed away in the Waverly flood. This comes after an art park in town paid tribute to Lilly Anne and others who lost their lives. In the park full of 80 paintable surfaces, a handful are standing out for who is on them: victims of the Waverly flood. The most recent one painted is Lilly Anne. “It’s not natural,” Tiffany Bryant said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
More than three months have passed since Tiffany lost her daughter, Lilly Anne. “It will never be the same,” Tiffany said. “It just won’t ever be the same again.” Lilly Anne was one of more than 20 lives lost in the Waverly flood. She is the youngest of Tiffany and Shane Bryant’s four daughters. “It is not the holidays,” Tiffany said. “It is not Christmas. Not without her.”
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Tiffany said she missed Lilly Anne’s smile and sense of humor, but there is something in Waverly that helps Tiffany feel closer to her. Lilly Anne’s mural shines bright in the Walls Art Park in Waverly. It was done by Nashville-based artist Terri Misch. The mural is now one of six by different artists in the park dedicated to Waverly flood victims. Others depicted include 7-month old twins Ryan and Rileigh who were swept from their father’s arms and Mary Luten, who helped many others get to safety before losing her own life.
“The community loves the park in general because it is a place for them to walk around and see art,” park owner Kansas Klein said. “As the memorials were coming out, more and more people see them. A lot of people left flowers at the base. There are teddy bears for the twins. People have left solar lights so they can be seen at night.”
Tiffany said she always keeps her daughter in her heart. “This is her print with her birthstone,” Tiffany said while describing her necklace. “On the other side, it says ‘Mom’s Lillybug’. It holds ashes as well.”
Tiffany said the park brings her comfort. “There are times we have parked right in front and spent hours here,” Tiffany said.
Nonetheless, Tiffany still misses Lilly Anne. “I would do and give everything if I could, but… I can’t.”
The park has been around since 2018 and is a place where artists from all over can come to paint legally. The murals are temporary, and other artists come and paint over existing art. However, the owner said he expects the current murals to stay up until their next event in March.