My mother died and left me her house, with a final wish of no renovations to be done on it. I understand why now
I’m sorry, I’m not sure where else to post this but I have to tell someone.
My name is Elliott Grece. One year ago, my mother died after a long battle with cancer. It devastated our family as she had gone into remission twice before. But after the second time, it spread like a wildfire in her body. After she learned the cancer had come back, she was dead within four and a half months.
In her will, she left the house to my brother named Jacob and I, with a small note on the bottom.
It simply stated “Absolutely no renovations. Please”, with the please being underlined. Our mother had always been quite a sentimental and spiritual person so this came as no surprise to either my brother and I. For a year, we fulfilled her wishes and just kept up basic maintenance on the house.
Her funeral was simple and small, like she would have wanted. A small wooden casket, buried in front of her favorite oak tree, in her favorite emerald green dress. Our father died several years before when Jacob and I were in our early teens, from a massive heart attack. He never was good about taking care of himself, but he loved us and mom more than anything.
She was laid to rest beside him.
The months came and went, and we began to find some problems with the house. The shingles on the roof needed replacing, the floor boards had rot, and on one particular spot on the wall, we heard beating and scratching. We believed a family of possums had made our home theirs.
More and more problems began to surface til eventually we had to go against her wishes and redo parts of the house. Her lawyer assured us that the wish for no renovations was not legally binding, so we were free to do as we wished.
We began as soon as we could, replacing tiles, shingles, boards and everything we possibly could. Then it came time to remove the possums. After a fairly quick, honestly not professional inspection, we determined the wall they took residence in was not a load bearing wall. Oddly enough, that entire section of wall seemed unnecessary, as it seemed to be built right in front of another wall. As we aimed the large sledge hammers, I still swear that drumming sound got a bit louder and a bit faster.
We swung them, connecting with the wall over and over again. Pieces of wood and old dust sprayed out. So much dust we eventually had to let it settle. When it cleared, we noticed something rather odd. Behind the first wall stood the 2nd, and on that wall was very solid, very old oak door. We checked on the other side of the wall in the other room, but saw no practical reason for it to be there.
I attempted to open it, but the handle would only jiggle. We figured it had been added some years before when it was built in the 1800’s and simply covered up.
Attached to the front of the door was a small golden bowl, the inside lined with dozens of tiny bumps. Jacob being the idiot he is mumbled something about “We don’t have time for this”, and swung the sledge hammer at the door. But when it connected, there wasn’t even a resounding bang. There was absolutely no noise at all. Despite my objections, he hit it a couple more times, only to have the same effect. Nothing.
I got a bit closer to it, tracing my finger on the inside of the bowl feeling the bumps. Suddenly I felt something sharp jab my finger as I recoiled back. A small drop of blood hit the bowl, but soaked into it like water on paper.
Like we slid a key into the lock, we heard the sudden turn of a deadbolt on the door.
With a quiet creak, the door slowly opened. I still can’t believe what I saw, so please don’t think I’m crazy when I tell you. Through the door stood the room we were standing in, but different. The boards we replaced were there, but there was no rot. White lace curtains hung over the windows, the room filled with natural light.
Our mother’s furniture was there, without the wear. It looked almost brand new.
And finally we saw a woman go by, wearing a familiar green dress. I heard Jacob say breathlessly, “Mom…?” he took a step through the door and I followed.
She was cleaning and looked healthy. Her red hair was straightened, instead of being brittle and thin. Her skin had a healthy glow, instead of the paper thin ghastly white she had in her last days.
When she saw us, she burst into a smile. “Jacob! Elliott! I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were here!” and gave us quick hugs. “Your father will be here in a couple hours. He’ll be thrilled to see you. Oh goodness, he loves his job but the man works crazy hours”. She smiled brilliantly at us and dashed off to the kitchen saying, “Dinner will be ready in an hour! You know the drill, wash your hands!”
I turned to Jacob, his eyes locked onto the kitchen door.
“Jacob…Jacob!” He turned to me, tears in his eyes. “Elliott, this can’t be real. This…”
And then we found ourselves laying on the floor of the old house. The light was gone, dust still lightly hanging in the air and back in front of us was the old oak door.
We left the house that night but we’re returning soon. I’m not sure what to make of this. Jacob refuses to talk about it, and part of me is convinced I dreamed all of it. I’ll keep you guys posted.