Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One manwas allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to helpdrain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's onlywindow. 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 andfamilies, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the militaryservice, where they had been on vacation.Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, hewould pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things hecould see outside the window.The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periodswhere his world would be broadenedand enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.Ducks and swans playedon the water while childrensailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidstflowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could beseen in the distance.As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, theman on the other side of theroom would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passingby. 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 withdescriptive words.Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bringwater for their baths only to findthe lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully inhis sleep. She was saddened andcalled the hospital attendants to take the body away.As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could bemoved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, andafter making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take hisfirst look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn tolook out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceasedroommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see thewall.She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.
"Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy,despite our own situations. Sharedgrief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have thatmoney can't buy.

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