What started out as a regular trip to the Goodwill store for Missouri resident Anita Minks turned into an amazing tale after the discovery of human remains.
On July 31, Minks had visited her local Goodwill, where she purchased a decorative glass globe for $2. The globe had a printed prayer inside, it played the tune of “Amazing Grace” whenever the dial was turned, and also featured a spot to display a photo. When Minks purchased the globe, it already had a photo of a smiling woman but according to The Washington Post, the 65-year-old planned to simply replace the image with one of her deceased son, who had passed away over a decade ago.
However, upon closer inspection of the decorative item, Minks noticed something strange. She discovered the globe held the ashes of a human being and soon realized the ashes must belong to the smiling woman in the photo on the front of the urn-shaped globe.
Minks called her daughter, Jeni Kinney, who then decided to try to find the rightful owners of the item through social media. Kinney snapped a few photos and took to Facebook in hopes of locating the family of the woman in the photo.
“I was like, ‘Let me post on Facebook and see what happens,'” Kinney told The Washington Post.
Kinney added the cation: “My mom bought this little fountain thing at goodwill in farmington this morning..was going to put my brothers picture in. Has a sweet prayer and sings amazing grace. Well she gets home and it has ashes in it. This beautiful ladys picture is in it as well. Please help find her family.”
The post went viral and by the next day, it had garnered a number of shares and comments including one from someone who claimed she knew the woman in the photo.
“Omg that’s momma Tammy!!!!!!!! Thats one of my good friends mom…Seriously…Omg thank you for not throwing it out. This momma was everything to her daughter I mean everything,” the commenter posted.
Through that comment, Kinney was able to contact the daughter of the deceased woman via Facebook. Jasmin Ellis, who said the photo was taken before her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and before the death of her father.
Ellis told the paper that her mother passed away in 2013.
“I went through a lot of emotions real quick. Who would just donate somebody’s stuff like that? When you look at it you can tell it’s a personal item. You can tell it meant something,” Ellis said. “I got angry and then sad and then happy they found it. I was lucky it happened that way.”
Ellis later revealed that her mother, Tammy Ellis, purchased the globe for her best friend and asked the friend to keep some of her ashes inside it when she died. According to Jasmin, her mother wanted her ashes to be distributed among her family and friends.
“My mom was a lovable, lovable person,” Ellis said. “She wanted everybody to have a piece of her.”
Tammy’s friend had carried out her dying wish but while preparing to move she ended up putting her things — including the globe — in temporary storage. Ellis said the unit was robbed and that could have been how the globe with her mother’s ashes ended up at the Goodwill.
Ellis has since picked up her mother’s ashes and says she has found the perfect spot for the globe.
“I set her next to my dad, where she needs to be anyways,” she said.