The machines attached to Lincoln Masters beeped and chirped. He had led a good, long life, but this was where it would close; attached to a hospital bed surrounded by family, friends, doctors, one guy in the room no one recognized, but it had grown increasingly awkward to ask their name.
Lincoln looked upon the faces of his children and grandchildren and smiled.
“You’ve been absolutely the light of my life. Thank you for all that you, each of you, have become. I am proud of you all,” Lincoln told them. Tears welled in every eye in the room.
Lincoln looked upon the faces of his friends gathered round him.
“My life was richer for having known you. Thank you for challenging me, asking more of me, and letting me be part of your story. I love you all,” Lincoln said. Sobbing ensued.
Lincoln looked to his doctors.
“You have been perfect. I am comfortable, I am content. I am surrounded by love. Thank you,” Lincoln addressed the staff. In twenty years of practicing, Dr. Meadows said she had never cried in front of a patient. That streak ended at that very moment.
Lincoln locked eyes with the unrecognized figure in the back corner.
“You, well, what can I say,” Lincoln said. He gave an approving nod and the figure nodded back.
“I love each and every person here,” Lincoln told the group, “leave here knowing that. Thank you all. Goodbye.”
The machines attached to Lincoln Master screeched for a moment then made no sound at all. The family, friends, and one guy in the room no one recognized, filed out of the room as the doctors ensured Lincoln’s next step was taken care of properly. Outside of the room, no one spoke. No one could speak. They had each been made better by the experience of being in Lincoln’s life and the man’s final moments had encouraged them all to do their best. Wordlessly, they all moved off in their own directions.
Except for the one guy in the room no one recognized. The guy waited for the doctors, and when the opportunity arrived he pulled Dr. Meadows aside.
“Doc, hey, I was in the room during that incredible moment. Thing is, I’m here visiting a buddy who broke his leg and went into the wrong room. Like, the most wrong room I could have possible wronged room, you know? No good way to leave that situation, you know? Any chance you know how I can send, like, flowers or sympathy cards to the family? They seem like a good group,” the guy asked.
Dr. Meadows jotted down instructions on a small piece of paper and handed it to the guy.
“Thanks,” the guy stood there for a few seconds too many before heading off to find his broken buddy.
Thanks for reading!