It all started with a name.
Carol Ann Skelton was browsing Facebook when she saw a familiar surname that caught her eye.
The name was John DeFoore Jr., a profile that showed up on her Facebook feed, recommending the man as someone Skelton might know.
"DeFoore is an unusual last name,” Skelton said. “When I saw it, I messaged John DeFoore Jr. to see if he was related to the DeFoores that my mother's adopted sister had married."
As she scrolled through his timeline, she saw a picture of someone who was very familiar to her. It was Skelton’s mother, Lillian Morris Crook.
DeFoore said he was looking to identify the woman no one in his family had been able to name.
Skelton reached out to DeFoore to let him know that it was her mother.
He told her that he would see if his brother, Marney DeFoore, still had the picture, and if it he did have it, he promised to mail it to her.
There is no blood relation between Skelton and the DeFoore family.
When Skelton’s mother was younger, the Topp family from Moorhead took her into their home and helped her all the way through her education at Mississippi Delta Community College.
Later, the Topps’ daughter married a DeFoore, and that’s all Skelton knew about the family until recently.
It turns out, his brother did have the picture, and she waited patiently for the delivery of the keepsake.
When it was delivered, she carefully opened it and inside was the same picture of her mother that she had enlarged and framed in her living room.
Upon learning the identity of Skelton's mother, Marney DeFoore included a touching letter, as well as a poem entitled "A Single Photograph" with the picture of Skelton's mother.
The poem is as follows:
"No one to ask
About a single photograph
Found in the middle of some dreams
Surely held before
Left lying in a drawer
Kept closed by years too busy with other things
Careful with the aim
And never mind the blame
For neglecting to have asked in years gone by
Now searching for a start
In recovering the heart
Of beauty in the words that are her name
Daughter, sister, friend
Wife and mother, kin
To everyone in her whole family
Hoping for a clue
Whether old or new
And pray she's never me and never you
And then there comes today
When finally I say
By faith or chance or maybe providence
A patient second look
And prayer is all it took
To learn her name is Lillian Morris Crook"
Skelton said that she looks forward to corresponding more, including sharing this article, with her newfound DeFoore friends.