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Suffering. Suffering fogs the air before this man. It clogs his pores. Turned ninety on Easter, he once said he hadn't felt alive since his first marriage.

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Introduction

Suffering is a word both pedestrian and peculiar. Common in the sense that every human experiences it at one point or another, yet interesting in the fact that suffering alone will not necessarily bond two people. Rather, it is an internal battle and individual struggle. Take that aged man for example. You know, the one who sits alone at dinner in Southbury's finest unassisted living facility. His eyes are slightly glazed as he looks dreamily in the direction of the wall, and he is never without a bottle of Absolut Vodka. Ask him if he's ready to order his dinner and he'll grunt "Give me ten minutes, honey, I want to have a drink first." Inquire as to whether he will be dining alone and he'll insist that his lady friend will be arriving shortly. ...read more.

Middle

This man is never questioned as to whether anyone will be joining him for dinner, as everyone knows his story. Knows that he's saving that empty seat across from him for his wife. Knows that she's in hospice care. Knows that he still has hope. Together since their twenties, they were the couple everyone aspires to be. Always friendly to other residents, yet too wrapped up in each other to really need friends. So when she could no longer make it down to the dining room, condolences were offered to her husband, but never a seat for dinner. Not that he would have taken it anyway; he's still waiting for the only life he knows to recover. This is a man who hurts. But you'd never know it from his smile. ...read more.

Conclusion

This girl is me. I suffer. Suffer, yes, yet I survive. Sometimes that's all you need. Look at the aged alcoholic; he takes it a day at a time. Every day there's new hope that his lady friend will arrive. That she'll be everything he wishes she was, and he'll be everything she dreamed of. Glance back at the man with the sick wife. He suffers now, but understands he lived a fairytale. He appreciates his happiness. He is what is keeping his wife alive, so he knows he must be strong. We could all learn a lot from him. Borrow some of his strength; he's got enough of it to go around. When it comes down to it, that's all humans need. Hope, strength, and an open heart. Trust in others. Love. Laughter. Because, at the end of the day it's not our sufferings that defines us, but rather how we deal with them. ...read more.

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