Monday, January 15, 2007

Night Watch

I was feeling in a reflective mood today when someone sent me this, so I thought I'd share it with you too.
'The 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 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 lit 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.

We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.
May you all have a peaceful and safe week.'


anna said...


That was lovely... thank you :))

A moving story and a comment that I'll remember at the end... :))

I don't know if you read novels or not but I've just finished a book called 'The Naming of Eliza Quinn" by Carol Birch. It is set in the west of Ireland and moves from the late 60's to the 1840s and the time of the famine. Its a good read... I enjoyed it.

I'm very interested in the 'Great Hunger' anyway... and I have a few non-fiction books about it... so when I saw the 'blurb' of this novel in the library it sparked my interest.

I've also been reading 'In Search of Ireland' by H V Morton which is about a journey he took around Ireland in the 1930s... very good, well written and highly evocative of the Ireland of the time. I found an old copy in a charity shop ... but I think you can still get 'new printed'paperback copies in various places.

Speak to you later :D

Talking Bear said...

PJ, I loved this post fro several reasons. One, the tenderness shown to one at their passing is huge to me. I have seen,been at that moment more times them I care to talk about. Second, It has a Marine in it doing something other than destroying something :). Which I might add , The tender warrior is an attitude that is taught in bootcamp at times, duty comes in all forms. And thrid, the closing statment is very powerful. Which I am going to post as a link back to the story on my post. Thank you for sharing, you may have to change you blog title now. A story like this can not be labeed "little cause."

Peajay said...

Thank you both Anna and TB for your thoughts. I just felt a little depth in amongst the fascile would be a welcome change.

Melanie said...

Well, Peajay, my friends here summed up some of what I felt in reading this....incredibly beautiful, moving, heartfelt is what came to mind...and a wonderful and thoughtful reminder of what it's really all about!

Anna, the books sound interesting, thanks...

Talking Bear said...

well, OK. I have waited for days for someone to say something. So I guess I will post something. PJ how are you doing? Is eveything OK?

Peajay said...

Hi TB, I'm doing not to bad, just the usual cold etc but you know how it is, thanks for asking though. How about you, Mel said you had a bad back? Are you over doing the blogging activity, it can be strenuous! :)

Talking Bear said...

The bad back is from her riding me to hard about the honey do list...LOL just kidding. I had a head on car wreck several years ago and the back is the only injury I walked away with.

anna said...

Hi Peajay

Hope you're OK?

KK has been off school all week with a bad cold .... its obviously going around.

Mind you, he was just as well kept off because apparently the sickness bug was laying them off like flies at his school as well :(

Hope you feel better soon .. :))

Peajay said...

Hi TB, I know where you're coming from with the back bit, but if that's all you gained then I guess the deal was a good one. Just think we could have been robbed of your words of wisdom.

Hi Anna
This cold business is a bit pants, plus had to work today at a Craft fair. ;/ The sickness bug is doing the rounds and is most unpleasant I hope KK doesn't get it when he goes back. They just get over one thing and another comes along at this time of year.

storyteller said...

This one took my breath away. I'll remember and share it often.

I know it's been a while since you posted it, but I'm new and catching up ... thanks to Talking Bear for giving me a link to your site and to Annie for telling me about Google Reader. Such lovely gifts.

I'll return often.
Hugs and blessings,