When I was 13 and my older sister turned 16, she got her driver's license and our dad purchased her an old "beater". To my sister and me, who lived in the suburbs and rode our bikes everywhere, this was too cool having a car to bomb around in.
My sister and I were about to head out the door one Saturday to do our cruising when my dad said, "Wait a minute. While you two are out and about today, you will go to 5 p.m. Mass and bring home a church bulletin, and you will also go visit Grandma."
We got in the car and instantly started squawking about having to go to Grandma's and church. We came up with this plan to sneak into the back of the church and grab the bulletin and then go visit Grandma real quick.
After we pulled off the bulletin heist, we headed over to Grandma's house about 10 minutes away. My Grandpa had passed away six months prior and had caused my Grandma to go into a irreversible deep depression. She sat alone at home all day every day in utter sadness.
We went to Grandma's door and waited and waited for her to open up her dozen dead bolts (exaggeration) to finally be able to let us in. Grandma and Grandpa had lived almost all of their married life in this tiny two-story bungalow in the outskirts of Milwaukee.
She let us in and we all went and sat down in the front room. The upstairs to this home was my grandparents' bedroom-loft. The stairs to the loft led outside the family room door and also had a door at the end of the stairs.
My sister and I started chatting, which led to a lie about church. My Grandma innocently asked about the sermon, which led to a lie that was snow balling and now making my sister and I feeling like total jerks. That's when my Grandma's hearing aide starting beeping, which meant that battery was low. She was fiddling with it, and that's when we heard some slow footsteps from the loft. I first dismissed it, but as we continued to talk, the footsteps upstairs became more pronounced.
I glanced over at my sister, who was glaring at me to not say anything in front of Grandma. Both of us knew there was no way on Earth that a living being of any kind was up there. We both tried to ignore it and continued on with this lie about church and, yes, the footsteps turned into full walking back in forth up there. We could tell by the creaks that it was directly above us upstairs. My Grandma was oblivious to these noises with her dying hearing aid.
Then we heard the stairs start to creek. That's when my Sister said, "Well, Grandma, I suppose we should get going now." We said our goodbyes and ran out of there. When we got in the car, my sister was frantically putting the keys in the ignition and ordering me to look up at the windows and tell her if I saw anything. I was scared to look, but did and I saw nothing.
On the way home, my sister said, "You know that was Grandpa up there, right?" I just sat there, she went on: "Grandpa is really disgusted with us lying to Grandma and skipping out of church."
Then on top of it, we got home and I gave my dad the bulletin and he said, "I know you never went. And from here on out, I guess you two will go with me at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning."
From that day forward, I had a clear understanding that death is not the end of us and someone is probably watching you at all times.