The Man in the Hospital

One day, a man got sick and was hospitalized for about a month. He was craving for a box of chocolate chip cookies. He wished that his wife would think about bringing him some. Every day, his wife came to care for him in the hospital to cheer him up. Each time she brought something for her husband. One day, she brought some chocolate cake. On another day, she brought some chocolate ice cream. Other days, she brought some leche flan, some doughnuts, some brownies. She haven’t thought yet of bringing any chocolate chip cookies. The man was very disappointed.

Then one day, his wife came with a box and happily gave it to him. He excitedly opened it and found some chocolate eclairs. He threw it onto the floor and said angrily to his wife, “You don’t take me seriously! Why are you happy and smiling when I’m here in the hospital?”

Surprised, the wife said, “What do you mean? I’m smiling because I didn’t want to add to your ill feeling. I’m here to cheer you up, not amplify your sadness.”

The man shouted, “That’s the problem with you! All you do is come here and give me these rubbish! You don’t care about me! I never felt your concern! NEVER!!”

Calmly, the wife said, “Are you sure you want to use the word “never” with me?”

The man retorted, “Well, you show concern but your concern is just so superficial. I can barely feel it. I don’t remember you showing any real concern for me. You do come here and ask how I feel but that’s it. All I want is to feel your care and concern.”

The wife felt very hurt. She said, “Superficial? I’m very sad to know you think the care and concern I have for you is superficial.”

She started to turn and leave. Before she left, she said, “Next time please tell me specifically what it is you want. I’m not a mind reader. Please tell me how I should show my concern so it would correspond to how you want to be cared for because as far as I can see, the way I do things, the way I show my concern is not enough for you.” Then, she closed the door gently behind her.

As soon as she got out into the hospital parking lot, she broke into tears. She cried like she always did every day out of worry for her husband’s health. It was here in the parking lot that she let out her emotions. It was here that she kept on praying to Jehovah to help her husband get better. She kept on bugging his nurses to take good care of him. She kept on bugging his doctor to do whatever he can to cure her husband. She never showed him how worried she was about him. She never showed him her sadness. She didn’t want to add to his pain and worry. She just wanted him to be happy whenever they were together. She kept on bringing him sweets because she knows her husband likes sweets. But now, she’s sitting on the cold concrete floor of the parking lot, crying her heart out, thinking about what made her husband think she doesn’t care about him, thinking what she did wrong to deserve what her husband said.

She just cried there.

by: Michelle B. Joy Protacio

25 October 2010