The Character That’s the Strongest
Prior to his death in 2001, actor Carroll O’Connor’s final role was in the film Return to Me, a comedy written and directed by actress Bonnie Hunt in 2000. One of O’Connor’s lines in the movie stemmed from something Hunt’s father used to say before he passed away: “It’s the character that’s the strongest that God gives the most challenges to.” O’Connor could relate, having been devastated by the loss of his son, Hugh, to suicide in 1995.
The release of Return to Me coincided with O’Connor receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bonnie Hunt attended to pay tribute to her colleague. As recounted in Entertainment Weekly magazine, Hunt hugged O’Connor after the ceremony and asked, “Were you thinking of Hugh a little?”
O’Connor looked startled and said, “Thank you for saying his name. People never want to talk about Hugh, because they think I’ll become upset or depressed, but just the opposite is true. I love to think about him; I love it when people remember him.”
Thanks to Hunt’s insightfulness and compassion, O’Connor’s bittersweet day was made just a little sweeter.
Clothe yourselves with love. (Colossians 3:14)
Help me reach out in kindness to those who suffer, Lord.