Just Stay
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 lighted ward,

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 patients.

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 night.

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.\'

The next time someone needs you … just be there.. Stay.


(love this line)

1 Comment
  1. Loki 13 years ago

    OK Congratulations Lori, you just made me cry!

    I sat with my dad the last three nights he was alive…On the third night they talked me into going home to get some sleep while his youngest son from his first marrage sat with him…It was that nigh that my dad passed….I still wish I had been there, but I’m I’m comforted that someone else he loved was there…Thanks for this story….

    0 kudos

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