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The Man by the Window

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 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."

Epilogue: There is tremendous  happiness in making others happy, despite our own  situations.


Contributed by Leon. Thanks, dad.


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Last updated: 08/15/08

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