All of my life, until I was fifteen years old, I had a misunderstanding of true sorrow and pure love. These feelings were something I had not experienced or witnessed before. For that reason I had no right to understand them. My misunderstanding changed the day Roy was hurt.
I had known Roy all of my life. We went to the same church, but he was more than just a person you would just say hey to one day a week. He and his wife Joyce were two of our family's greatest friends. They would come to our house, and we would go to theirs. We would have Thanksgiving together and exchange gifts at Christmastime. He was like a second father to me. I remember one time he took me fishing. It was the first time I had ever been. He sat there patiently in the boat while I tried, without much luck, to learn how to cast. Roy was like that. He was always relaxed and carefree. We didn't catch anything, but it gave me a good memory.
It was a Friday when Roy got hurt. I had just got off the school bus and had gone into the house when we received the call. My mom answered it; she said "OK" a couple of times and then hung up. She looked at me and somehow I could sense that something was wrong. "That was your Grandma. Roy's been hurt in a farming accident. He's been taken to the ER. The doctors think he's broken his neck, and don't know if he'll last the night." I couldn't convince myself to believe it. I kept saying in my mind, "She's wrong. There's no way that could've happened to Roy." But by the time, I had gotten to the hospital and stepped into the ICU room, I was brought back to reality: a reality where death was the only future.
Roy died the next day. I had gone home for the night, and while I was sleeping, Roy was seizing. His blood pressure was low, and his temperature high. The doctors gave him all kinds of drugs, but nothing seemed to relinquish his violent seizure. As the doctors pushed the family out, Roy flat lined. He had had a "do not resuscitate" order, so the doctors respected his wishes.
The funeral was held at Abilene Church of Christ. As I walked down the aisle, all I could think about was how awful it was for someone to leave this world before they were ready. When the last of the two hundred and fifty friends had been seated, the family began to walk in. As we sang "Farther Along" Joyce began to cry and tremble so that she had to be helped seated. I began to realize what love Joyce and Roy had for each other: a love that would even defy death. A love as pure as God's love. I prayed somehow that I could ever experience a love like theirs. I realized that in each of their souls was a part of each other, and that Roy would live on in the heart of who loved him and who he loved. As my family and l left, I knew that I would see him again, and that all would be well in the end.
Roy's death is a significant chapter in the story of my life. It has changed the outcome of my plot. I will never be the same. I learned the imminence of death, and that living is the privilege of those who will eventually die. I try to live my life so that people might remember me as I remember Roy.
I think of Roy often. He seems to be everywhere. When I make an important decision, I wonder what Roy would say about it. Whenever I enter a relationship, I ask myself, "Will she not only become someone I love, but will she become my friend?" Roy has affected me, and I am glad because I am for the better.
Sometimes I go and sit under the towering oaks near our pond and watch. I watch things that people normally do not see. I see the beauty that lies in the natural earth (Roy made me observe life). I feel the wind brush my face, and I wonder what heaven is like, but I don't wonder if Roy is there. I know he is.