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Tough Guys Cry

Updated on December 18, 2016
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He is a former journalist who has worked on various community and college publications.

"Timothy struggled to open his eyes. Visiting time’s over, he thought. Can’t a guy get some rest around here?"
"Timothy struggled to open his eyes. Visiting time’s over, he thought. Can’t a guy get some rest around here?" | Source

“Timmy-Boy.” A dignified voice spoke, seemingly near the foot of the bed.

Timothy struggled to open his eyes. Visiting time’s over, he thought. Can’t a guy get some rest around here?

He couldn't see much. The morphine and darkness conspired against him, shutting out a clear view of the hospice room and of the visitor who called upon him by a name he had not heard in 60 years.

"Timmy-Boy” said the voice again, "Mr. Timmy-No-Tears.”

The realization shot through his clouded mind. Only one person ever called him Timmy-No-Tears.

"Dad?"

"A ball of light appeared. It stretched and took the shape of a man in his thirties. The vision was clear: it was his father -- as he wanted to remember him. "
"A ball of light appeared. It stretched and took the shape of a man in his thirties. The vision was clear: it was his father -- as he wanted to remember him. " | Source

A ball of light appeared. It stretched and took the shape of a man in his thirties. The vision was clear: it was his father -- as he wanted to remember him.

Timmy struggled to prop himself up in his bed. Not even the numbing effects of the morphine could stop him. His dying eyes lit up like a child staring at big Christmas gift.

"Nobody's called me Timmy-No-Tears or Timmy Boy in years."

His dad smiled: "You were the most determined of us all. You never had time to complain or cry. You just lived your life to the fullest. I’m proud to say I raised the toughest man around.”

Wow, Timothy thought, I’m getting affirmation from my long dead father. It didn’t matter when it came. It was something that made his heart swell with pride.

Timothy managed to crack a smile. His father’s compliments always had that power.

His father continued in his strong, steady voice: “Your mother always called you her boy. Which reminds me that someone is here to see you.”.

Another ball of light appeared and quickly morphed.

"Mother?"

Mother was young and beautiful, despite having passed away at the age of 85.

"Look at my little Timmy Boy," she said.

"Nobody's called me Timmy-No-Tears or Timmy Boy in years."

"Mother, Dad, and Timmy-No-Tears-Boy walked to the light to join the others."
"Mother, Dad, and Timmy-No-Tears-Boy walked to the light to join the others." | Source

Timothy felt a surge of joy. It was a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time. Immediately, the lingering thoughts being diagnosed with terminal cancer had drifted away.

“Why?” he asked.

A brilliant light seared in the middle of the hospice room’s wall. It melted away to show a brightly lit path. Along it, he saw family and friends who he had lost over the years.

“Timmy Boy,” Mother said. “It’s time to go.”

Mother and Dad beckoned him. Timothy forced his weakened hands out, only to discover they were those of a seven-year-old. He grabbed their hands. They pulled him out of the bed and away from machine he was hooked up to.

Mother, Dad, and Timmy-No-Tears-Boy walked to the light to join the others.

The dream ended.

********************************************************************************************************

Morning came and Nurse Marion made her rounds. Timothy, or Tough Timmy as she nicknamed him wasn’t her most favorite person to visit. He was cantankerous and rigid. Emotions and empathy was something he truly lacked.

She took a deep breath and entered his room. The constant tone of the heart monitor reverberated throughout the room. It didn’t’ take much for Marion to realize what happened.

Still, she rushed to his side. As much as she despised the man – and how much pain he was in – she didn’t want him to die, just yet. Although it was futile, she checked his pulse only to confirm the obvious.

Death was never an easy thing; especially when you had to care for a person for so long. But, in her dread and sorrow of the situation she noticed something peculiar. It was something that she never saw from him.

She saw an impish smile chiseled on his face, and remnants of moisture that came from his eyes.


“Tears,” she said aloud when she realized what it was.

For the first time…and the last, she realized that Tough Timmy actually had some emotions. And for the first time, Nurse Marion felt a sense of sorrow for him.

Dante's vision of heaven
Dante's vision of heaven

© 2014 Dean Traylor

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      An enjoyable story Dean with a sad but satisfying ending. (tip: just re-read your last couple of paragraphs) Delete this comment if you want.

    • Gawth profile image

      Ron Gawthorp 2 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

      good construction, nice story

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 2 years ago

      A journey we will all take sooner or later.

      Ghaelach

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