Tuesday, April 5, 2011


A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
"Your son is here," she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's
eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he
dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen
tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened
fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of
love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside
the bed.All through the night the young Marine sat there in the
poorly lightedward, holding the old man's hand and offering him
words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested
that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine
was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital -
the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff
members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man
said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the
now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the
nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy,
but the Marine interrupted her.
"Who was that man?" he asked.
The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.
"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in
my life."
"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"
"I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I
was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."
I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey.
His son was Killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him.
What was this Gentleman's Name?
The Nurse with Tears in
Her Eyes Answered,
Mr. William Grey.............
The next time someone needs you ... just be there.


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