Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One was allowed to sit up in his bed each afternoon to help drain 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.
They talked for hours. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service.
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 other man began to live, for those short periods, where his world would be broadened and enlivened by the activity and colour 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. Lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and the city skyline was seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described this in exquisite detail, the other man would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One afternoon the man by the window described a passing parade.
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it, in his mind's eye. Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the nurse arrived 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 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 him comfortable, she left.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the wonderful world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man later asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
Today is a gift, that's why it is called 'the present'.
How accepting of today's gift are you?
Who can you help today?
A Moodscope member.