This is a story of a young man who spends the night by a dying old man’s bed to comfort his last hours on Earth.
But this is just a fiction not a true story written in 1964 by Roy Popkin. It was published under the title “Night Watch” in the September 1965 edition of Reader’s Digest.
It was published many times since then under different names because of the strong feels that you feel when reading this story. And it is still in rotation online.
It’s a sad story be aware, but there is a surprise ending with a big twist.
“The nurse got the serviceman to the bad and said to the dying man that his son has arrived.
He didnt open his eyes right away and she had to repeat it several times.
He was heavily drugged because of the pain of the heartattack. And he couldn’t see well so he just saw an outlining of a man in a Marine’s uniform.
He reached with his hands to the man and he took his hand firmly with love.”
“She brought a chair so the young man can spend the night beside the dying man.
And he stood there whole night comforting him and giving him encouraging words.
She told the Marine to rest for a couple of hours but he strongly refused.”
“The Marine was like hypntozied he didnt hear the nurse, the oxygen tanks, the talks of the night staff at the hospital.
From time to time he said a few gentle words to the man.
But the old man didn’t talk back just held his hand all through the night.”
“Right before dawn the old man died and the Marine slowly put down his hand, and went to tell the nurse that he is gone.
When she got to the room she was trying to comfort the young Marine, but he asked her “Who was the man”.
She was in awe- she told him he was your father, but he stopped her and said that he wasn’t and he saw this man for first time in his life.
‘Why didnt you say a word when i brought youto his bed?’”
“‘I realized that you made mistake in the begining, but the dying man needed his son and he wasný by his side. So when i realized that he can’t recognize if i was him i stood by his bed for his last hours.
I was sent tonight to mr William Grey to inform him that his son was killed during a serving in Iraq. What was the name of this man?’”
She barely got to say , ‘Mr. William Grey…’”
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