A grandfather with silver hair and a golden heart (part 1)
“OK, I will see you later” I told Hallie as she was leaving.
I was outside in our garden tending to the flowers. I was always very interested in gardening. It was like a stress reliever for me.
While I was digging I found something buried under the dirt. I quickly got a shovel and started digging more and found that there was a big wooden box. I pulled it out with great difficulty and took it inside.
“Wow” that was my reaction when I looked at the box on my table.
The box was beautifully carved and looked like the ones made in the 60s. I was just about to open the box when the doorbell rang.
“Hi Amelia, how are you? I was wondering if you would be interested in joining the ladies’ club” said a very excited Marcy, our next door neighbor.
“Hi Marcy, I’m kind of in the middle of something. Can I get back to you on that?” I said on the spur of the moment.
“But wait, you know we should get together soon, the guys and the kids should also spend some time together” she said
“Yes sure, we will plan something soon. I’m sorry I really have to go. I will talk to you and plan something for all of us” I said
“Ok, see you soon” she said and I closed the door quickly and tried to open the box.
It had a 3 – letter combination lock. Now what do I do, I thought. I tried a few combinations, first 3 letters of my name, my husband’s name and Hallie’s name, none of them worked. Then it struck me, my grandfather’s name, George Thomas Banks. That is, ‘GTB’. I put in the combination and voila… it worked!
I finally opened the box to see that it had some blueprints. I took them out of the box and noticed that it had all the rooms. Very excitedly I started pinpointing all the rooms, but strangely there was one room which I did not know was there. figured if it is there, it will be right next to Josh’s room, my 10 month old son. I went up to his room, he was sleeping in his crib, I walked in quietly so as not to wake my little bundle of joy. I inspected the room but couldn’t find anything. If there was a room next to this room it’s not there anymore. I went downstairs a little disappointed and went about my work for the day.
A little while later I heard my crying on the baby monitor. I went upstairs to see that he had climbed out of his crib and on the ground scratching something.
“Son, what are you doing?” I asked him and he just looked up at me with his innocent eyes.
I put him in his crib again and gave him his favorite toy, grumpy the bear, to play with. Meanwhile I noticed that he had scratched a piece of the wallpaper from the west side of the wall of the room. There was a joint in the wall, I took off more wallpaper to see what it was and it was as big as a door. I tried to push it in and it opened, there was actually a room right next to my son’s room, like it said in the blueprint. It was hidden in – between the walls and what lied ahead was a total mystery I couldn’t wait to discover.
I quickly got a torch and picked up my son from his crib and with a deep breath went inside.
Both of us coughed at the same time. “It’s ok baby. We are going to be alright” I said to my son softly.
I located the light switch and turned it on. “Wow!!” I exclaimed.
There was a whole room hidden in these walls and no one knew about it. But the big question was – what was so precious in this room that it had to be hidden and kept safe from everyone for so many years?
It was a study, with a proper table, table lamp, a couch coffee table and chairs, book shelf as big as the wall. Like someone had actually used it earlier. But who? Granddad? And why would he hide it?
My son coughed again. I took him outside and closed the door to the hidden room. I put him in his crib and let him sleep.
“Jim it’s true, there is a room next to our son’s room” I told my husband at bedtime.
“Come with me tomorrow, I will show you” I said
“Ok, but why would anybody hide it? Doesn’t make sense” he added.
“I know, but we will have to find out”
The next day I showed my husband the hidden room and he was also shocked to see it the way I was. Both of us couldn’t make out what was so special in the room, so we closed it for a while till we could figure out what to do with it.
A few days later, while I was cleaning out my closet I found some old letters my family members had written to me. I had saved each and every one of them.
We were old fashioned in that way, when we were young my parents used to encourage us to write letters to each other, to them, my siblings and grandparents. That way we could express what we felt about each other and whatever we wanted to convey to each other was written in those letters. It was a very good way to express our feelings and not keep them built up inside us.
to be continued…