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.
The origin of this letter is unknown, though it reminds me of dad!
He used to ask me to open the curtains for him… “I want to see the sky“, he used to say, “I’ve counted the squares in the ceiling fan! Let me see the sky!”
I regret many things when it comes to dad! I wish I had done some things differently! But I was too caught up with myself, with my studies, with my problems. All he wanted was some more care, a bit more attention while he was sick!
Aren’t we all some selfish creatures!
Two years after he died I listened to this song; it’s called “open my window”
“افتحوا نافذتي” by Samih Shukair.
Here are the lyrics;
افتحوا نافذتي كي تدخل الشمس إلي
أو فأخرجوني يا أصدقائي ضاقت الجدران
افتحوا نافذتي ليدخل الهواء إلي
فضاء غرفتي حجر
محاصرٌ ومكسور الجناح أنا
فأدخلوا الأشجار والمطر
أذوي هنا في الصمت والكآبة
ولا ترف روحي
من ينتشلني من أسى الرتابة
ويعيد لي جموحي
سواكم .. سواكم
فلتحضروا صباحكم عسى
تبددون عتمة المساء
أو فأخرجوني يا أصدقائي
ضاقت الجدران في غرفتي عَلَيّ
This song showed me the real situation, dad was living! And I regret not trying to understand. He needed us, he needed me and I wasn’t there…
Express your love, your affection, your feelings.. whenever you have the chance… maybe you’ll regret holding back someday.