An orphan learns about his father’s unfinished home from his granny and asks to be taken there — what he found changed their lives forever.
Ten years old Charley Bart lived with his grandmother, Emily. The woman was a 68-year-old woman who had unfortunately outlived all the three kids she gave birth to when she was younger.
Charley’s mother, her daughter, was the only child who gave her a grandchild before passing on, and so Emily took great care of the boy even though she did not have much.
Emily’s daughter, Catherine, and her husband, Tom, had been headed towards her the day they both got in an accident that took their lives but spared their son’s.
At the time, the boy was only a couple of months old. She had been preparing a meal they would eat upon arrival when she received a call from the police telling her they had been found dead.
Catherine was her third child, but she had been the only surviving one she had, so when Emily heard the news, her world crashed around her.
“Only their son was spared but he had minor wounds so he’s at a hospital now.”
Those were the only words that gave Emily strength and desire to take more breaths. She asked for the hospital name then abandoned her cooking to get him.
From that day, she assumed the role of father and mother in his life, but she kept memories of his parents alive by telling him stories about them.
By the time he clocked ten, it seemed like the boy actually had memories of them, and he missed them fiercely. Emily baked him a cake with candles on top on his birthday. “Blow on them and make a wish,” she said.
“I wish that I can one day live by the ocean,” he said before blowing out the candles. His words saddened Emily because it was the same thing her daughter had said when she left to build a family with her husband.
Later that day, she called the boy and told him how his parents had the same dream he had. “They did?” He asked, astonished.
“Yes they did,” Emily said. “Your mom loved the idea so much that your father decided he would make it happen.”
“Did he really do that?” Charley asked in awe.
“Yes, he did. In fact, they had started building a beautiful home near the sea but they never finished it.”
Charley couldn’t believe it. He wanted to see the place. “Please take me there granny,” he begged. “I promise I’ll be good.”
Emily could not refuse him, and she felt he was old enough to know, so she agreed to take him the following day.
The journey took only 50 minutes — Charley’s parents had not planned to live so far away from Emily. When they arrived, Charley beheld the awesome view. The house was situated at the top side of a small hill, and at its foot was the unforgiving ocean.
While Emily sat down and enjoyed the sound of lapping waves and gulls, Charley wandered around the house, entering the unfinished rooms and exploring the grounds around the building.
The house, abandoned suddenly as it was, still contained a lot of building materials and old tools. Most of the floor was covered with a building film, but he felt something snag under his foot as he explored.
After removing the film, he saw a hatch secured with a rusty padlock which he used a stone to break. The noise attracted his granny, who came to see what was causing the ruckus.
“Granny there’s something here,” Charley said.
“What do you mean?” Emily asked him, feeling concerned.
After gaining entry into the hatch, the two found themselves in a small room that could only have been the basement. “It’s like in a pirate movie and we are about to find treasures,” Charley said excitedly.
It was cleaner and more organized than the empty rooms above, and it was apparent someone had been sleeping there. “Your dad most likely spent some nights here,” Emily told him.
The room had little furniture, but they found many of his father’s things, including a bag. Inside it, they found some of his father’s reports on the building materials that he purchased and to their surprise, money.
“Grams, it’s money!” Charley gasped.
“What?” said Emily, who had been focused on the small room while Charley looked in the bag.
She moved closer to him and peered into the bag. The old lady’s eyes went as wide as saucers after landing on the money and she quickly urged Charley to join her in dragging it to the surface.
Once there, they got to counting the bills and it amounted to 65 thousand dollars.
“Do you think it belonged to dad?” Charley asked her.
“Yes Charley, he most likely was spending it to build the house,” Emily answered.
It was a life-changing find, and the two put the money to good use. A huge part of it went to paying for Charley’s studies at the University. He studied hard and grew up to become an architect.
Later in the future, Charley returned to the house and completed its construction. Then he took his grandmother, who had grown weaker with age, to live with him there.
One evening, he took a bottle of wine, left the house, and made his way to the bottom of the hill where the ocean lapped against the sand.
Looking at the ocean’s horizon, he saw only two stars shining in the sky, and for some reason, he felt comforted. He smiled and whispered, “Mom, Dad, we built it together… You would definitely like it.”
What did we gain from this story?
Anyone can become something if given a chance. The money Charley and his granny found was able to secure his tuition fees in college, where he studied architecture. They would have had a harder time paying the fees otherwise, and perhaps he would have had a different life entirely.
Don’t forget who was there for you. After he graduated and became an architect, Charley did not abandon the grandmother who raised him after his parents died. On the contrary, he moved her closer to where he could take better care of her, showing just how grateful he was.
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