Friendship.

Today on the blog, we at 2020 Vision Quest would like to bring you a story. It is one of those “found” stories of uncertain origin, and we hope it will provide a bit of inspiration to your day. Enjoy!

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Two men, both seriously ill, shared a 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 each day, about their wives and families, their jobs, where they had been on vacation. They shared their lives’ successes and disappointments, even their fears that they might never leave the room again.

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 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 these picturesque scenes.

The man on his back 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.

Weeks passed.

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 man by the window painted it with words. And he looked forward to the day that he might leave the hospital, even if just to sit in the park on a sunny day, or once again taste cotton candy while a parade passed.

The next morning, the nurses arrived to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

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 carefully moved his bed and array of monitors next to the window.

He was eager to enjoy his new window on the world, and over his nurse’s objections, slowly, painfully propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. He strained, slowly turning to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a brick wall.

The man was shocked to think that this man who he had grown to consider a friend — with whom he had shared his most personal feelings! — had lied to him.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

And then she said, “Perhaps he was a better friend than you ever realized.”

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