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 detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks 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 beside 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's why it is called the present.
The irony of this post, is that I’m not in a happy place right now. My first cousin (in Jamaica) got washed away in hurricane Gustav and has been declared dead, though his body hasn’t been found yet. A very close family friend died and was cremated on my birthday. Another first cousin’s husband was killed in a car accident. My granny had a mini stroke and was hospitalized. My male BFF’s father just passed away after a long illness. And my dude gave me a ration of drama over semantics. So, needless to say, the sparkle in the jewel is a little dim right now. In fact, to sum up my emotions, I’m feeling rather pissed off, tearful, lost, hurt, offended, and even a little angry, but I do know that it’s a passing phase. I will not allow myself to wallow or have a pity party. I know this all shall pass and life continues in spite of. I also know life is too short to watch it pass me by. I have life and I plan to live it and live it well. I know the Lord didn’t bring me this far to leave me, so like the blind man who saw the beauty in the world, I, too, shall seek and find all the joy, beauty, and happiness that exists around me and appreciate it all.
Excerpt from It's Gonna Rain by Kelly Price...
Count it on joy (Oh...yeah)
Mornin' will come (After the rain)
The sun will shine (So keep your head up)
Keep your head high ('cause God will take care of you)
It will rain (Oh, yes, He will)
There'll be pain (Some times there will be pain)
Trouble will come (Oh...whoa...ho...)
Understand (Count it on joy)
And today, I shall count it all joy!