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Two Hospital Patients

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man
> was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
> drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only
> window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The
> men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families,
> their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service,
> where they had been on vacation.
> Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he
> would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he
> could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live
> for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and
> enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
> The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played
> on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers
> walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the
> city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window
> described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of
> the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
> One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
> Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his
> mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive
> words.
> Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
> water for their baths Only to find the lifeless body of the man by the
> window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and
> called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it
> seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to
> the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making
> sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
> Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first
> look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out
> the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the
> nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such
> wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man
> was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just
> wanted to encourage you.”
> Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite
> our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when
> shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things
> you have that money can’t buy.



November 20, 2009 - Posted by | spirit

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