The Hospital Window : A short story about the importance of encouragement.

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!

And 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.

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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 of the rainbow.

The terrain was blessed with grand ancient trees, and a beautiful view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. The man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the lovely landscape as the man near the window recounted everything in fine detail.

The man near the window described a parade going by one hot afternoon. Even though the other man couldn’t hear the band, he could picture it in his mind’s eye thanks to the gentleman at the window’s vivid words.

The day nurse came to bring water for their baths one morning, only to discover the lifeless body of the guy by the window, who had died quietly in his sleep. She was heartbroken and requested that the body be removed from the hospital.

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The other man begged to be moved near to the window as soon as it looked proper. The nurse was glad to make the switch and left him alone after making sure he was comfortable.

He raised himself up on one elbow, slowly and painfully, to get his first glimpse of the world beyond. Finally, he’d get the chance to see it for himself. Slowly turning to see out the window beside the bed, he struggled. It was up against 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. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy.

Here is a different video version of the story. Still beautiful and powerful.

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