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

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 th! e 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
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


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