In Jefferson Memorial hospital, two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. It was a small room, no bigger than 10 by 12 feet. 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, all he could see was the ceiling, curtain track and the face of the nurse when she bent over him. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service and 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 colour of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans moving swiftly through the water, while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour 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.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. 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. One hour a day may not seem a lot but for both men it was an hour that sustained them throughout the sleepless hours of the night. Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived, her rubber soles squeaked on the tile floor as she put on the brakes next to the men that was beside the window to bring water for his baths only to find the lifeless...
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