The Hospital Window

Man looking out a window

Two men were hospitalized and shared a hospital room. One of the men was confined to his bed and not able to sit up, much less get out of bed. The other man was ill enough that he could only get up from his bed for one hour each day to allow fluids to drain from his lungs. The man who could sit up once a day had the bed by the only window in the room.

It didn't take long for the two men to form a bond and would spend hours throughout the day talking. They talked about their wives, their children and grand children. They talked about their jobs and also shared intimate details about their lives. Then, one day during one of their long conversations, the man who was totally bed ridden said how envious he was of the man who's bed was by the only window. From that day forward, the man by the window, when he was allowed to sit up, started describing all the things he could see outside the window.

Kids playing by lake with ducks Couple walking hand-in-hand

The window overlooked a lovely park with a lake. Ducks swam on the lake while children sailed their model boats, played in the water and fed the ducks. Young lovers walked arm in arm. There were flowers of every color, and birds of every variety. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour moments where he could hear and visualize the world outside the hospital room. That one hour of every day would broaden his world and be enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world.


One fine afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could visualize it as vividly described by the man by the window.

Days and weeks passed by...

One morning, the attending nurse arrived to examine the condition of the two men. She found the lifeless body of the man by the window. The man had peacefully passed in his sleep. The nurse sadly called the hospital orderlies to take the body away.

The other man grieved the death of his roommate. But, as the days passed, he started missing how his roommate described the view he saw while looking out of the window. In the hope of having a peek out of the window and the beautiful world outside that was described to him, he asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse happily made the switch. As soon as he was comfortable in his new bed, the man, with the assistance of the nurse, slowly and painfully propped himself up in bed for the first time in a very long time. He needed to look at the world outside the window that had been described to him. But as he strained to turn to look out of the window he was stunned to see a blank wall outside the window. He became agitated and asked the nurse what could have made his roommate lie about the view outside the window?

Brick wall

“There is nothing to see from here. Where are all the wonderful things he saw? He described everything so vividly. Is this a new and recent wall? Why did he give me such vivid details that don't exist?” He asked.

The nurse shook her head and answered his questions, “perhaps he just wanted to encourage you and make you happy."

"You see, your roommate was blind."


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jtodora ⇔ Last updated: May 04, 2023