Can I hold your hand?

I read this in a Reader's Digest at the Dr.'s office last week.

Thank goodness there are old magazines to read.

The story was set at a Veteran's hospital.

A nurse went to the waiting area and upon finding the young Sgt. took him

to the room where he was needed.

The tired serviceman looked a bit anxious but went with the Nurse to the bedside.

Quietly the nurse announced to the old man in the bed, "Your son is here."

She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes finally opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart surgery, the old man dimly

saw the young man in the Army uniform standing outside the oxygen tent.

He than reached out his hand.

The young Sgt. reached out as well.

He wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's  hands, squeezing

a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse left the room and came back with a chair so that the soldier could

sit alongside the bed.

Nights are long, especially in a hospitals, but all through the night the young soldier

sat there in the poorly lighted ward.

He held the old man's hand and offered him words of love and encouragement.

Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the soldier move away and rest a while.

But the young man refused.

Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the soldier was oblivious of her and of the night

noises of the hospital including the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter

of the night staff members exchanging greetings, as well as the cries and

moans of the other patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words to the old man.

The old man said nothing, only held tightly to his son's hand all through the night.

Sadly around dawn, the old man died.

The soldier released the lifeless hand he had been holding all night long

and went to tell the charge nurse.

While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned.

She started to offer words of sympathy, but the soldier interrupted her.

"That's not necessary... Who was that man?" he asked.

The nurse was startled, "Why he was your grandfather" she answered.

"I am sorry, no, he wasn't," the soldier replied.

"I never saw him before in my life."

The nurse was astonished, and asked, "Then why didn't you say something

when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away that there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed

his grandson, and his grandson just wasn't here.

When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his grandson,

and I knew how much he needed me. I stayed."

The next time you get an amazing opportunity be there for a stranger.

Think twice before turning it down.

You will be glad you did.

Make it a great día!

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