Ron was grumpy, he was grumpy every single day and he complained about everything and everyone. He complained about his neighbour nearly every day, about children playing outside his house and if his newspaper was late and even if it is was too early. Everyone just thought he was a crazy neighbour, what everybody didn't know, was that Ron had a secret, a secret he had kept for many years.
Everyone believed Ron didn't like people and when his neighbours put their house up for sale, Ron immediately bought it. He just left the house empty and people believed even more that Ron didn't like having people around him. Ron had a secret and he was not going to share that secret and he had got to the point he didn't care what people thought.
One of the few things Ron liked to do was walk, he loved nature and would be seen walking around the village and he loved walking in a nearby park. Nobody ever approached Ron when he was walking, they had tried in the past, but he had just ignored him. So when they saw him, they just ignored him and he ignored them. That's how it stayed for a long time, until a little girl called Pam moved into the area.
One sunny afternoon, Pam was out walking in the park with her mum and her mum recognised Ron and said "Pam that's the man who lives 3 doors up from us." Pam walked up to Ron and said "Hello my name is Pam and that's my mum, we live 3 houses from you, what's your name?" Ron did not respond and just carried on walking, this made Pam angry and told her mum, he was very rude and will tell him he is rude next time she saw him.
Pam and her mum carried on with their walk and an hour later were approaching their house, when Pam saw Ron's front door was open, so she immediately marched through his front door and found him in his front room. "Excuse me, you are a very rude man." Ron didn't answer and Pam shouted "hello" behind him and he still says nothing. Pam realises Ron can't hear, she grabs his hand and looks at him and says "you can't hear me, can you?" Ron sits on his sofa and Pam sat next to him and tells her he can't hear her very well.
Ron carried on and said he had some very old hearing aids, but they didn't work and that he was a proud man and didn't know how to ask for help. Pam told him to wait and went and got her mum and with her mum's help, they convinced Ron to make an appointment with his doctor. Pam and her mum promised to go with him.
The day of the appointment arrived and Pam and her mum went to Ron's house. They knocked on the door and rang the bell, but Ron did not answer. Pam's mum said" oh Pam he can't hear us", but Pam knew he could actually hear the door bell. So she went around the back of the house and found Ron hiding in the back garden. She said "Hello Ron," Ron had not actually heard her come into the garden and jumped. Pam told him it was time to go and see the doctors about his hearing, she could see Ron was scared, so she grabbed his hand, led him through the house, to her mum.
At the doctors after getting Ron to sit down, his name was called and Pam told him it's time to see the doctor, instead going into to see the doctor, he ran out of the door, Pam ran after him and told him it was okay to ask for help and that nobody was judging him. "Thank you," said Ron and walked back in and went in to see the doctor. Later that week Ron got his new hearing aids and from that moment, he was smiling from ear to ear, as he could hear everything from birds singing, to the wind blowing through the trees in his garden.
Suddenly you couldn't stop Ron, out of his garage he pulled out a car and caravan from the 1950's, he told Pam, he used to go caravanning every weekend. Pam looked at the car and caravan, they were gleaming in the sun, Ron told her every weekend he had washed and polished them both. He asked if Pam and her mum would like to go for a ride in his car. Pam said yes and said could they take the caravan too and park up somewhere and have a cup of tea. Ron laughed and said of course they could and that's exactly what they did.
From talking to Ron, Pam and her mum discovered that before Ron retired he was a aircraft engineer and used to build aircraft. He admitted he missed working on aircraft, Pam mum's said "give me a minute, I want to make a phone call." So while Pam and Ron continued to talk, she made the call, after 10 minutes, she came back with a big smile on her face. She told Ron she had a friend, who also was retired and 2 days a week went to a restoration group, who restored old military planes and they would love to invite Ron to join them. Ron was so excited, he danced all around the room and said to Pam, " you were so right, it really is okay to ask for help."
On the following Tuesday they went with Ron to where they were restoring these planes. The group were very excited that Ron wanted to join them, as he had so much experience. It wasn't very long before Ron got to work and it made Pam so happy to see Ron so happy.
Life was very different for Ron, he could hear people when they spoke and he chatted with them. Soon everyone heard the story about Ron, about his old hearing aids and his reluctance to ask for help, that he was not crazy or rude, that previously he could not hear them. People started to also hear about his amazing car and caravan and his career in aircraft building and people flocked to his house to see him and speak with him and hear his stories. He became a celebrity overnight and he admitted to Pam, he loved being able to speak to people again.
One afternoon Pam was in Ron's garden with him and Ron said, "Thank you so much Pam, for making me see sense and to ask for help. I was too proud to ask for help and also thought I was not worth bothering about, so if there is anything I can do for you, let me know." Pam thought for a moment and said, "well, you could play statues with me." Ron looked at Pam and laughed and said, "okay, but don't tell all my new friends, I mean I have an image to keep now." They both giggled and started to play statues and Ron smiled because he no longer was that crazy neighbour.