The Present

A friend emailed me the story below, and I would like to share it with all of you.

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.

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 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.

Days, weeks and months 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 outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides 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 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.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can ‘ t buy.

‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .’


Cleffairy: Too bad these days, people take pleasure in making other people’s life miserable…


  1. warrior2 says:

    Clef, a wonderful story. Thanks.

    Help if we can and able yes! Make life a wonderful experience for all.

    I sent my daughter back to the UKM last Sunday and after dropping her off at her kolej, I drove away. 5oo meters later, I saw this chinese familly of 3 walking and I guessed they were going to the busstop. I saw them earlier when they were leaving the kolej.

    I stopped near them and asked if they wanted a lift. They gladly accepted. There is the father, the mother (both 50s) and the daughter , a first year student. Apparently, the orientation week was over and that the daughter missed home and familly so much that the parents came to pick her up and go back to Melaka for a night stay home.

    The father asked whether I could send them to the commuter station at the sg besi area (near the Mines). Although it was a deviation to where I was heading, I told them I didnt mind and was happy to send them. We talked about familly stuffs and i got to know that when they arrived at the same commuter station earlier from Seremban (they took a bus to seremban and the commuter from seremban), they asked around for the way to UKM and they happened to asked a UKM senior who happened to be on his way back to the UKM and had left his car at the station when he went somewhere earlier. He asked them to join him.

    They must have been from a poor familly, they looked poor but the parents must be so proud of the daughter and love her so much to come all the way to take her back even for 1 night because the daughter misses home and familly.

    And it was a pleasure driving them to the station and when we reached the station, they thanked me profusely. A small act on my part, but I think they will be forever be thnkful to god that 2 strangers offered them a lift. They could be spending hours waiting for the right bus to and fro, walking, and lost the time to be able to take thier daughter back.

  2. KevinP says:

    From time to time we come across stories that arouse our imagination. Stories that stir us to remind us humanity is still alive and kicking. That is good aint it?

    Yeah.. that phrase I remembered well in Kung Fu Panda. “Yesterday is past, that is why its called history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today…. is a gift. That is why its called present.” Wise words to remind us of our time on earth.

    Today… it was raining rather heavily and when I sent my kid to school, I see how lucky… or rather unlucky they have grown up to be. Maybe its because we now do a lot for them… that they are so dependent. I handed my kid an umbrella. He ran out of the car… carrying the umbrella without opening it into the shade. I dashed out… asking him why he did not use the umbrella. He replied.. “I dont know how to use it!”

    As I was driving to work, I realized that I have never seen him using the umbrella on his own before as long as I can remember. It begs the question, “Have I failed?” I know I have not… where I can let them be independent I have given them the room… I think its my WIFE! all protective and all.. when I raised the issue, she will retort.. “Its mother’s instinct… you will not understand..” I wonder what have I not understood.. LOL… Are husbands always this clueless?

  3. cleffairy says:

    Wow. It’s been quite a while since I read something that is touching. I mean, these days words around are pretty depressing. Well done, warrior. You’re a true warrior indeed. I’d say, by giving the girl’s family a lift to the station not only spares them the fares and the agony of shuffling in the bus, but also gives them more quality time to spend with their daughter,though not that much time has been spared. And yes, of all the ‘thank you’ that people say to us, it’s the ‘thank you’ that is really genuine that melt our hearts. Feels good to be nice to people, isn’t it? While we enjoy scrutinizing others on gossip on certain topics, it’s the ‘human’ stories that touches our heart.

    Haha, trust me on homesickness. I got homesick too when I first went to college. I live in a hostel, and at the moment, I did not have any friends or room mate yet. I’m not exactly a mummy or daddy’s girl, but the first week I lived in hostel…i run back home….LMAO…and my folks almost had heart attacks,seeing their daughter suddenly on the doorsteps.

    😛 Actually, I believed that I missed the fridge, the pc, and the tv more than I missed my mom, dad and sis, i practically gone bonkers without those stuff…haha…thankfully, i got over of homesickness, and now it’s hard to even get me back to hometown even once a year. Da handphone spares me the traveling.

    LOL, Kevin, husbands are not ALWAYS that clueless. Sometimes wife/ mothers are just more nurturing. Most wife/mothers will teach her kids to grow up strong and independent, and teach our offsprings almost everything that we know , but there are certain things that we will not allow our kids to just yet…let’s just say we’re more protective of our young than our other half. You see, sometimes, when a child falls down and hurt himself slightly, the father will tell his son to stand up and told him not to cry because it’s just a graze on the knees. But mothers, will tell the son to stand up on his own and tend to the wound… that’s the way we women do our things, I guess. men and women do things differently.

  4. cleffairy says:

    LOL, pamina…it’s quite rare if you ask me… but there are good samaritans everywhere… we need more of kind hearted people in the midst of economic havoc, do we not?

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