A beautiful story !
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 US Army soldier standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The soldier wrapped his war toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the soldier could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young soldier 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 soldier move away and rest awhile. He refused.
Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the soldier 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 soldier 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 soldier interrupted her. “Who was that man?” he asked.
The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.
“No, he wasn’t,” the soldier 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.
I’ve seen too many dying men who needed their mothers, girlfriends, or wives, and watched as nurses held their hands. 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 yesterday day, 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 … Stay.
This is a beautiful, touching and inspiring tale of a young soldier who spends a night comforting a dying stranger in a hospital in the place of his son. After the man passes away, the soldier tells the nurse that the old man was not his father and he simply stayed with him to comfort in his last moments. Again, to his surprise, the soldier realizes from nurse that the man who died, Mr. William Grey was the father of a soldier killed in Iraq whose death intimation he came to convey. The short story is definitely sad and touching, but it is not a fact!
The story of this soldier who comforts the dying old man in hospital has been popular online for more than a decade now, through email forwarding and sharing on many other social networking sites – as true and inspiring story. There were few versions of the story titled “Just Stay” and “He Needed a Son“.
The truth of the matter is, the original story, titled ‘Night Watch‘, has been shared in a number of chicken soup for the soul stories, as touching and inspirational one. The original source of the story is a short fictional write of Roy Popkin in 1964. Roy Popkin retired as Red Cross Disaster Relief expert. Over the years, this fictional tale has been modified by people who wanted to make it more interesting. In the current story, the account of “Mr. William Grey” and that the soldier has come to inform the old man about the death of his son in Iraq are not a part of the original tale, which ends with the sentence “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.”
Although the story ‘Just Stay’ is a hoax, it became so popular that Philip Paz, a retired military veteran and Police Officer wanted to bring the touching story to life. He made a short film on it titled ‘The Messenger‘ that you can watch in the video above.
There’s a definite power in the touch, care and comfort of love from friends and family. An example of it is a real story when a twin sister’s helping hand became the Rescuing Hug. So as mentioned at the end of the story, the next time someone needs you… Stay! You will be glad you did.
Hoax or Fact:
Night Watch by Roy Popkin: A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen