"I was the eldest of 14 children. This picture was taken when I was 33 years of age. I was so beautiful...I felt beautiful in my heart." She continued saying, "This is to be given to Ginger Ranae Ticer upon and after my death."
I was only three at the time when she decided this picture would go to me. Our bond was special from the moment I was born.
My grandmother, Edith Rose Brumley, was only sixty-nine when the Lord called her home. I only had her in my life for a short nineteen years. When I received word she had passed away, I dropped to my knees and felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I've never known sorrow like I did at that very minute. My heart was shattered and I didn't know if it would ever be whole again. She was my inspiration, my best friend and the most amazing woman I had ever known.
In the days and weeks following her death, the photo with the inscription was pulled from the frame to revel the message nobody knew existed. At the bottom of the photo, there was a letter written on April 26, 1989 at 8 a.m. (Dates were very important to her!) As I read the letter, tears flowed from my eyes. It read:
"To my grand daughter Gin-Gin "Ginger" Ranae Ticer, whom I love so very much. I have and do love her with the love that is a beautiful love between two people as any grandmother could ever share with a beautiful and talented grand daughter. She is beautiful in so many ways. Most of the time. (*her witty side came through even when she was being serious) She has brought joy to me these sixteen and a half years and helpful when we were together. I am proud of her and I know the Father holds much joy for her if she lets God guide her." Love for ever to you Ginger, from the one whom loves you deeply.
My grandmother was not wealthy by any means. She was the oldest of fourteen children and worked her fingers to the bone all of her life. She was a God-fearing woman who could recite the Bible by heart. She sang proudly (and a little off key) during church services and she loved as fully and deeply as a person can.
Her earthly possessions were few, but each one had sentimental value to one of her daughters or grandchildren. The old, worn and faded photograph in a dime-store frame that once hung on a wall in her home now belonged to me. An earthly possession which held immeasurable value. I smiled when I thought about her sitting at her kitchen table writing the letter to me and I smile today when I realize the depths of her love for me.
I vividly remember the last time I saw my grandmother. I had moved thirty miles away and had driven to Childress to go shopping. I bumped into her at the store and we stood in the aisle for a while visiting. Before leaving, I gave her a huge hug, kissed her on the cheek and told her I loved her. I then said, "When we come back to Childress tomorrow, we will come over and spend the afternoon with you." The next morning, she was gone.
Today, my grandmother would have been ninety-two years old. I can picture her celebrating her birthday in heaven, singing "On the Old Rugged Cross" and smiling down at the beautiful woman in the photo. In my mind, that's exactly what she looks like now. One day we will meet again. Oh happy day!