Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Helping Attitude

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 details, the

man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine

this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade

passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it

in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it

with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months 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 besides the bed.  

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his

deceased roommate who had described 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.'

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