Since most of us will never be famous, graffiti is one of the quickest and easiest ways for us to leave our mark on the world. We want to let future generations know that we existed, by carving our initials into a tree, or scratching out “I was here” on a random boulder in the mountains. However, our chicken scratch graffiti tends to fade away with time, which means that our legacy will forever be lost, unless an archaeologist happens to discover the words we left behind.
Donna Hurry probably felt a little bit like an archaeologist when she came across something unusual in the alcove of her fixer-upper house. Donna was peeling off a piece of wallpaper within her home when what looked like writing caught her eye. Curious, she kept tearing off piece after piece of the fascinating puzzle, until the entire cryptic message was finally revealed. The house had been waiting for 50 years to let this cat out of the bag!
Donna was renovating her home on Prince Edward Island in Canada, when she found a sweet message that had been hidden for decades. She didn’t realize it at the time, but Donna was about to connect the literal and proverbial “writing on the wall” with someone that she already knew.
Ornery little kids have been scribbling graffiti onto walls ever since writing utensils like crayons, markers, and even mom’s favorite red lipstick, were invented. But, Donna didn’t uncover childish nonsense or stick-figure dogs underneath the peeling wallpaper. Instead, she found a heartfelt message written by a then 15-year-old boy, who wanted the home’s future inhabitants to know something. Thankfully, he signed his name, and Donna was able to track him down.
These simple musings were actually written by now 65-year-old Cyril Beverley Armstrong, a Canadian author. In a strange twist of fate, Donna actually knew the Armstrongs who used to live there, which made it pretty easy to find Cyril. She invited the author inside, so that he could see what his teenage alter ego had done, right above the door frame.
Cyril doesn’t actually remember taking his penmanship to these new heights. But, he imagined that he must have been helping his mother put up new wallpaper, and when she went to make supper, he would have used that opportunity to hide a secret message in his beloved childhood home.
For Donna, the last three words of the message impacted her greatly. It was so simple, but very profound. She could see why Cyril wanted people to know just how special the word “home” really is. Donna told the author:
“It really touched my heart because you’re so sincere and I know when you wrote it so many years ago, you were sincere then, too, and you put a lot of thought into it.”
Donna is so impressed with this little treasure, that she’s decided not to paint over it. People actually pay for decorative wall hangings that say the same thing, but this writing on the wall is the real deal. Donna proudly displays the beautiful cursive text like artwork, and it’s become a permanent fixture in her charming old house.