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Hospital Windows

This article came across my desk sometime ago. I thought it might help you to know, that there is a tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situation.


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 would talk for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes and their jobs. They spoke of their involvement in the military service. They even talked about where they had been on vacation.


Each afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time of day by describing 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 enlightened by all the activities and color of the world outside.


The window over looked 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. 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, then 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. He had died peacefully in his sleep. She was sadden 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 was a blank wall. The man called the nurse and asked what could 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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