TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - It was Sunday. Monica Ballinger said she was scrolling through her digital camera, looking at photographs from the day before. Then she came across one photo, one face, in particular--a face she hasn't seen in nearly a decade.
"I cried," she said.
Monica said she was spending time with family, Saturday afternoon at her grandparents' home in Tyler. Her grandmother's legal name was Cleopatra McLendon Cadell, but all the grand kids called her, TayTay. She died shortly after New Year's Day 2002. TayTay was 80 years old.
Monica--the eldest granddaughter--posed for a picture with her eldest male cousin.
"We were laughing and joking, and I had my sister taking pictures," she said. "They always say I take too many pictures on holidays," she said, laughing.
But this photo was different.
Monica said she looked above her head and saw what looks to be the image of her grandmother's face.
"In the shadow, she has, like a smile on her face--telling us that she's okay," said Monica. "I just miss her all the time."
Monica said she's emailed the photo to nearly a dozen family members. Her co-workers are also convinced that Cleopatra McLendon Cadell is the face in the photograph.
"My birthday gift and my Christmas gift...to see her image and know that she's with the Lord," said Monica, whose birthday is December 20th.
"I know my granny is an angel looking down on me."