The View

They carted James into that part of the hospital where they send people with no family who are expected to die. With his broken body, he was forced to lie on his back and stare at the ceiling. His room was cold and sterile, but he had a bright and cheery roommate named Stan. 
Stan was bedridden as well. He had the bed next to the window and for one hour each day the nurse would raise his bed so  Stan’s lungs could drain. During that hour, Stan would look out the window and spend the entire time telling James about the world outside. 
As James lie there, unable to move, he would close his eyes and let his mind fill with the beautiful imagery that Stan painted with his words. Each day was uniquely described in perfection and that time became the most important hour in James’ day.
“Just past the giant cypress trees, I can see the cliffs. When I lean to the left I can see just a sliver of the sandy beach. To the right, I watch as the setting sun begins to dip into the ocean. The sky is electric and changes from red to orange. It’s reflection bounces off of the white caps.” 
Over weeks and months, there were stories of whales, sailboats, surfers, joggers, moms with strollers and every day ended with a sunset. It was so magical that James could smell the ocean; he could taste the salt in the air; he could hear the crashing of the waves; he could feel the sand between his toes; and if he squinted just right,  the ceiling would come alive for just a few moments. 
Then one day, without warning, death came and visited poor ailing Stan. James was saddened by the loss and missed his friend dearly. Lying in his room, he beckoned for the nurse. He asked if he could have the bed next to the window and if, just once, the nurse could prop him up so he could see the view. 
The nurse looked puzzled but granted James his one request. James peered out the window and was shocked to see that the window faced a blank wall. He looked at the nurse in disbelief and asked her why Stan would have lied to him for all those months. 
She explained that Stan was blind and that he had no way of knowing what was outside of the window. She suggested that, just maybe, Stan was reminding him of how beautiful the world is, despite the suffering we all face everyday…
When grief is shared, there is half the suffering; but when beauty is shared there is twice the joy. 
What is the view you will share today?
~S.D.

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