Sheila's grandmother lived in a nursing home for a short time before passing away. After a couple of years, the family could no longer afford to keep the house for summer retreats. The upkeep and maintenance was beginning to become too much for them to handle financially. Gram shared a very special relationship with Sheila. When it came time to clear out the house, she volunteered to take care of it. Giving Sheila the keys, her mother told her, " Now that you're out of high school we feel we can trust you to act accordingly. However, your Father and I will be down on Sunday to see if you need any help finishing up."
" Translation, no wild parties." Sheila teased." No parties period," her father responded.
" You're not to have any visitors, do you understand? "Sheila nodded her head in agreement.
"I know Daddy, I was just teasing you." She knew this was not the time for partying. A lot of work lay ahead of
her and having anyone else along would just slow her down.
Driving out to Gram's, Sheila felt a sense of wonderment building within her. This was this the first time she would be there alone, and her first visit since last fall. She was filled with excitement and apprehension. Once she arrived at the house and opened up the windows to air it out, she decided to take a walk along the
Beach. It was just what she needed after the long drive. The sky began to grow dark after awhile and the waves began growing with intensity. She had spent enough time along the shore in the past to know that a storm was brewing out at sea and that she had better turn back. Still she continued her walk, it was as if something was beckoning to her to continue, as though the sea itself was calling to her. While her common sense told her to return to the house, she felt compelled to wait. In only a moment or two, the dark clouds rolled by and the sun began to shine once again. Soon the sky was filled with seagulls crying out to her as they circled about. The shadow of a pelican flying overhead seemed to follow her as she continued to walk. Stopping to rest for a minute , she noticed an old lighthouse in the distance. Immediately, she headed for the abandoned building. When she got closer, she could see that it was in desperate need of repair. Searching her memory, she couldn't recall anything about it. She never saw it before, but then she never ventured off that far from the house either.
Noticing that the sun was going down, she turned and headed back. "I'll come back tomorrow." she said out loud although no one was there to hear.
Later sitting in front of the fireplace going through a box of photographs, Sheila felt a sudden chill. As she unfolded her grandmother's favorite afghan and placed it around her shoulders, she could still smell the faint aroma of Gram's perfume. Pressing her face into it, she took a deep breath and sighed, " Oh Gram, I miss you so much! "
After a few minutes Sheila went back to looking through the box again. When she came across an old photograph of the lighthouse she had seen earlier that day, she noticed a beautiful young girl standing on the observation deck.