Roy

What is Preventing You From Letting Love In?

Roy said, “Women talk too much, they cackle like nervous chickens every damn chance they get!” I smiled at Roy as I silently rearranged the pillows under his head in the hospice room at the nursing home. He crossed his arms over his barrel chest, turned his head towards the wall and harrumphed, “I never had the patience for that noise.” Roy was a classic grumpy old man, he dying of colon cancer. He was “curmudgeon” personified.

I met Roy the moment he arrived at a nursing home where he was to finish out his days; fifty-two of them to be exact.

Roy lived the life of a angry hermit. He had moved thirty-six times in his life. He said he chased quiet. Roy bellowed, “Quiet feeds me.” But even with a dense forest as his backyard he said, “My front yard was noisy and disruptive.” He said, “If it wasn’t the barking dog at dawn, the frustrated mother yelling at her shrieking kids to come inside at sunset, it was the guy with the chain saw in the evening.” He took long walks in the forest to find respite and still found distraction in braying donkeys and wild peacocks. Noise followed him wherever he went. He couldn’t escape it.

As the weeks quickly passed, Roy shared a regret that was growing. Even though he was in a private pin-drop quiet room at the end of the hall at the nursing home, he had a very loud persistent thought, louder than any barking dog, shrieking child, or chainsaw. He regretted, “Not letting a good woman in. I will never know what it’s like to deeply love a woman, cackle and all.”

I knew that he had a sister he hadn’t talked to in over a two decades. I gave Shirley a call. She said, “He shut me out of his life because he didn’t like being around my five children. He didn’t have patience for them.

Shirley and her five adult daughters arrived at the nursing home the next day. Roy was thrilled.

What loud persistent thought needs your undivided attention while you have time to act on it?

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