This is a story of Oldman McGoo, who is known as a crotchety old hermit. However, it’s sad to say maybe they judge him too quickly. You see, there’s no one left that left living in the village that knows the old man’s story.
One dark and dreary night outside the winds were howling angrily and there came a rap tap-tap on old grouchy McGoo’s front door. He muttered to himself, “who’d be fool enough to be out on such a blastedly stormy night,” as he went to see who was at the door. Peeking out the window he saw a woman clothed in a tattered cloak, drenched to the bone.
His heart melted a little bit at the sight of this poor woman seeking shelter from this dreadful weather. He opened the door to let her in. However, before he could offer her refuge she collapsed in his arms. He noticed her complexion was ghostly white and her body was ice cold.
He cradled her small frame in his arms and laid her gingerly on a blanket in front of the fire. All the while flashbacks spun in his mind haunting him. Forcing the fear and anxiety back into the lurking shadows of his dusty memories, he removed her wet clothes from her limp body knowing there was no time for modesty.
His rusty physician reflexes came flooding back as he wrapped her in blankets in front of the fireplace and applied warm compresses to her face. He felt relieved to see some color slowly returning to her face as he stayed by her side attending to her the whole night.
As the dawn was breaking and the sun began to peak through the windows, he saw the first signs of responsiveness, her once ragged breaths returned to a normal rhythmic rise and fall. His heart leaped with much joy and gratitude as the young girl began to open her eyes.
He hadn’t failed this young woman, the way he’d failed his own sweet Melody 40 years prior. Tears began to stream down his cheeks for the heartbreak that had condemned him for so long. His inner voice spoke, whispering to him that his wife’s death wasn’t his fault. Finally, in his heart, he knew it to be true.
He brought over a fresh mug of tea for the girl to sip on. He helped her sit up to drink the soothing spiced ginger tea he’d brought her. Once he was sure she was stable and had a strong hold on the mug, he decided to formally introduce himself.
“I’m John McGoo.”
But he couldn’t seem to stop himself there, her kind eyes were like a balm for his aching soul.
I was the former town physician until my kind, gentle, and beautiful wife Melody passed away from catching pneumonia 40 years ago. One day I’d been out attending to the needs of some very sick folks in the village, while my wife Melody was out bringing homemade remedies to those in need. She had a heart of gold and a gift for herbal medicine.
I’d returned home just before it began to storm, much like last night, but Melody had not made it home. Hours into the storm, I was so sure she’d taken refuge for the night at one of the homes in the village.
The next morning came and the storm passed, but by midday, there was still no sign or news from my wife, a sinking feeling began to grow in my stomach. We put together a search party to look for her.
The baker’s wife found her cold, wet and unconscious along the river. Her foot was caught in a hunting trap. There were was no one nearby to hear her cries for help. She’d gotten stuck in the awful storm and taken ill. I tried everything I could to save her. I stayed by her side for several nights taking care of her until she took her last breathe.
John was crying wholeheartedly by the end of this story, the young woman, reached out and squeezed his hand her blue sapphire eyes moist with empathy and understanding for his loss.
Years of self-inflicted defeat melted away as he told his story for the first time. The darkness and guilt that had eaten away at his soul for so many years slowly evaporated as his tears subsided. As fate would have it, the universe heard Oldman McGoo’s cries and sent this gentle young woman to calm the storm that had consumed him.
It’s easy to get consumed by the storms of life and have difficulty finding our way back to the light. Remember your not alone, we’re all experiencing our own personal life struggles. Where there’s darkness, there’s also light. It might start out as just a small flicker, but if you have faith and hold onto that spark it’ll ignite and grow. The light once again will shine through and balance out the darkness within that threatens to consume you.