By JEAN RAMSEY GEORGE
I wanted to write to share with everyone, but for once I didn't know where to start. I guess the best place to start is the beginning. I always loved my older brother very much, when I was little I spent a lot of time at his house. There were eight of us, my brother Fowler was third from the oldest. I was the youngest. I was five years old when my brother got married to the love of his life, Anna Bell, on March 28, 1955.
My brother always lived in DeKalb County, Tenn. A lot of people knew him, he was well liked by everyone. Although my brother led somewhat a rough lifestyle as a teenager and into his early adult years, mom and dad never gave up praying for the son that they loved with all their hearts. What good parents wouldn't stand behind their son and love him unconditionally?
Several years passed, and I guess God decided enough was enough. That was the night my brother lay on the floor, face down, dying in his own vomit. I was somewhere in my 20s. I saw my precious brother lying there, unresponsive; someone was trying to revive him. I remember my mom and dad praying to God for their child. To make a long story short, he lived.
A change came over my brother that night. He realized it was his last chance. He threw the whiskey bottle away. He repented to God Almighty, made a promise to God never to fall back into his old ways. He was baptized, he became a new man. He found him a church, with a good church family. He began to serve God with all his mind and heart. He kept his promise to God, and never returned to the world of drinking. My mother always said, "The worst sinner can make the best saint." The proof was in her own child. Now our mother could rest assured that if anything happened to her beloved son, he would not stand before God with the smell of whiskey on his breath. What a joy she must have felt.
On March 21, 1976, my brother came to my house for a visit. I had something for him. He came inside and stood in my living room. I handed him a beautiful King James Version of the Holy Bible. I autographed it to him, dated it and signed my name along with the inscription "To my big brother with loving thoughts. This Bible to bring you joy and peace in the years to come. I love you, Jeanie." He grabbed me in a big bear hug, the only way a big brother can hug his little sister. The Bible was pressed between us, as we hugged.
You would think my story would end there. But no, it wasn't long before someone brook into my brother's house, stealing a lot of his most treasured possessions. You guessed it, including his Bible. He fretted over that Bible for years wondering whatever happened to it.
My brother, a young energetic, 78 year old man, always on the go, always helping others, active in his church, mowing everybody's yards, always had to be doing something. A shock to us all, my brother Fowler Lee Ramsey, passed away on Nov. 23, 2011. I felt such a loss, I would miss his robust laughter, his pranks he played on folks, his compassion, his loyalty, most of all I would miss his brotherly love. He touched so many lives. He never failed to tell me he loved me.
You think the story ends there. But, no it doesn't. Last week I received a phone call telling me my brothers Bible had been found. It had been missing for 38 years. I was shocked, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The Bible had been located in a rental house that was being refurbished over in Putnam County. Mrs. Ernestine Bennett, mother of the man who owned the house, wanted to return the Bible. It took a lot of detective work on her part, she talked to neighbors, made phone calls, determined to return it. She finally found an aunt of mine in Baxter, Tenn., the only aunt that I have left, from a huge family.
I have the Bible laying right here on my desk as I am typing this. My mind is going back to that day, 38 years ago, when we were both so happy. But, it is alright, I know my sweet brother is resting in the arms of God, without a doubt. It just goes to show, all things make a full circle if just given a little time. In Loving Memory of Fowler Lee Ramsey, March 8, 1933 - Nov. 23, 2011.