Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
by Antonio Prokup
A Wish Granted
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Dec. 21, 2012 11:25 a.m.

     The house moaned and creaked from years of loneliness, and the sadness emitted

from every cracked window.  This old Victorian house built in the early 1800's had been

vacant for over twenty years when a newly married couple fell in love with its originality

and desired to restore it to its original beauty.  After hours and hours of negotiations with

the owners of the house, the Adams'  became the new owners of this beloved house

known to all the residents of Springvale as the O'kelly  Mansion.


     The O'kelly mansion was one of the oldest houses in Springvale.  The O'kelly's were

immigrants from Ireland who had made their fortune in the shoe business.  They

designed and repaired shoes for many wealthy families.  And as luck would have it, their

business grew to support three generations.  Each generation became wealthy beyond

their wildest dreams, and each moved on to bigger cities and continued the family

business in different locations leaving the ?rst two O'kellys, Patrick and Mary, alone in

their beautiful home.

     Long ago Patrick and Mary left this world, and their descendants refused to either

maintain the house or to sell it.  Until the Adams' approached them with an offer too

good to refuse, the house had sat empty and abandoned.  No one could understand the

neglect.  The O'kelly descendants had more than enough money to ?x it up but chose to

do nothing.       And so when Nancy and Ben Adams climbed the steps of the O'kelly mansion, with

the original skeleton key in hand, not only pride, but an unbelievable happiness was

glowing from them with every step.  They were soon inside and cleaning the bare

necessities to be able to live in the house immediately.  After cleaning the bedroom and

making some minor repairs, the newlyweds spent their ?rst night in their dream house.

     Tucked comfortably in bed for the night, Ben turned off the light, and he and Nancy

fell into a deep sleep.  After what seemed like only a few minutes of sleep, they both

were awakened by a very soft and beautiful sound.  Getting up, with a little uneasiness,

they went to their bedroom door.  The sound appeared to be the angelic voice of a child.  

Unafraid they followed the heavenly singing to the attic.  When Nancy and Ben entered

the attic doorway the angelic singing stopped.  Nancy, bravely continued walking up the

stairs, however Ben, uninterested went back to sleep.  Nancy somehow was drawn

further and further in to the mysterious attic.  Somehow her presence in this attic felt

eerily familiar to her.

     Nancy had always loved to play in the attic of her own home as a child.  She often

found herself playing dress up for hours until her mother called for her.  Nancy had

grown up in a small town not far from Springvale.  She was the only child of Doug and

Katherine Helmond.  When she played and dreamed in the attic of her childhood, she

had always felt a sense of belonging that she rarely felt anywhere else.  However, as

she grew older, she must have outgrown the attic and the serene feeling she had

always felt.      At least that is what Nancy had thought until on this very night, standing in the

O'kelly mansion attic, ?oods of memories ?lled her head.  Why was Nancy so

comfortable in this attic? And why did the singing of a child wake them?  Suddenly she

spotted a photograph of a young girl.  The young, beautiful child in the picture was

dressed in clothes of a different time, but Nancy did not recognize the style.  Nancy

lifted the ?ashlight she had brought with her and examined the picture more closely.

And what she saw was unbelievable!

     There in the picture staring back at Nancy, was the most beautiful little girl Nancy

had ever seen.  The face of the little girl was breathtaking and her eyes of blue seemed

somewhat familiar to Nancy.  The eyes revealed not only beauty but a bit of longing that

caused Nancy to feel somewhat saddened.  She slowly placed the picture down in its

spot and walked calmly back to the bedroom.  Not knowing why, she didn't say a word

to Ben and went back to sleep.

     The next day, Ben did not remember the experience at all, however Nancy was

consumed with questions.  Still, she never mentioned a word to Ben.  For days, months

and even years, every night Nancy made nightly visits to the attic to be in the presence

of the picture, while Ben was totally unaware. Nancy dreamed of ?nding out who the

little girl was and why she was drawn to her.  However, answers were hard to come by,

especially since Nancy was not willing to talk about the photograph to anyone.

     After ?ve years of marriage, the O'kelly mansion was ?nally fully restored.  Using old

photographs Ben and Nancy were able to replicate each and every room down to the

last detail.  They restored each room perfectly, even the pink room.  The pink room, as they called it, was a little girl's room in the mansion that was unfortunately never

occupied.  The O'kellys had three boys and no girls.  Mary O'kelly ached for a daughter

so much that she insisted that Patrick design and furnish the pink room just in case.  It

was never meant to be and sat empty throughout their lives.

     Not only was it silly for the O'kellys to have the pink room, the Adams', like the

O'kellys had only two boys and no girls.  Like Mary O'kelly, Nancy had prayed for a little

girl, however it was not meant to be.  So the pink room again sat vacant.

     While Nancy and Ben continued their life in the O'kelly mansion, Nancy felt and

heard the presence of the little girl in the photograph.  Nancy would feel her presence

on the stairs, running playfully up and down them and even on occasion she caught a

glimpse of the little girl walking aimlessly outside as if she were looking for something.

One day at sunrise, Nancy saw the little girl with a box.  She was crying, reading the

contents of the box.

     Nancy knew she had to ?nd that box, and immediately went to the attic to search.  As

she climbed the stairs, the singing started. Nancy hadn't heard the singing since their

very ?rst night in the house many years ago.  Following the angelic voice, Nancy was

led to a trunk rusted with age and hard to get open.  After minutes of tugging and pulling

Nancy was able to pry the trunk lid open.  The contents were neatly organized and

sitting on the very top was a small wooden box.  Nancy wanted desperately to open the

box, but could not.  The box was not locked or rusted, but Nancy was unable to open it.

Sadly, Nancy placed the box carefully in the trunk, knowing whatever was inside was

not for her to discover.     Years and years later, long after Ben and Nancy Adams were gone, their oldest son Mark was living in the O'Kelly mansion.  He missed them greatly.  His mother, Nancy

had died suddenly one morning of a possible heart attack when Mark was only 13 years

old.  She was found outside the door to the attic.  Mark had never entered the attic.  No

one had, because it had always upset Nancy.  The fact that his mother had died at the

foot of the attic stairs was one ?nal reason to never enter the mysterious attic.  Later

Mark came back to the mansion after living in Europe where he met and married an

Irish girl. He and his wife had a little boy and a little girl.

     This little girl, while sleeping in the pink room, was awakened one night to a soft and

beautiful sound.  The voice of a child's singing drew her to the attic.  The little girl knew

she was not to enter the attic, but the pull of the angelic voice was over powering.  She

walked slowly and peacefully through the attic until the singing stopped.  There in front

of her was a picture of herself!  She was stunned and surprised but not frightened.

Under the picture was a trunk which she easily opened.  In the trunk was a small

wooden box.  The little girl sat down on the ?oor and carefully opened the box with

ease, as if it belonged to her.  In the box was a letter which read.

My Darling,

     If you are reading this, you have found your way home.  Before I married Patrick

O'kelly, I left behind in Ireland a baby girl I was unable to care for.  I have prayed every

day since, for either my baby girl or granddaughter or even a great granddaughter would live in my pink room and ?nd my secret.  If you were able to open the box, you

are the little girl I have always dreamed about.  Welcome home my baby girl.


                                                            Mary Riley O'kelly

     After reading the letter, Mary Adams picked up the picture, the box, and the letter and

went back to her pink room.  There she placed the picture next to her grandmother's

picture---- Teresa Riley, adopted at birth.


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