This was his fourth year in the hospital, and his family had by then spaced out their visits to see him. Though he was suffering from ventilator dependent respiratory failure, failure to thrive, recurrent pneumonias and heart failure, his real suffering was being stuck in those four walls of a hospital room for the rest of his life.
His condition was not always such that it kept him hospital-bound. At one point, he was ready to go home but his wife could not muster enough will and support. At other times, he was hoping to get better than he already was before going home. His plans never came through, as so often happens. He was a permanent resident of those four walls by the time I took over his care.
By nature man is a creature of four walls; it can be a room in a house, home, hospital, prison or grave. Our struggles to build a life outside of four walls ultimately bring us back to some type of four walls, like that patient was in the hospital room.
Some people live this life with the goal of leaving it wisely. They live in walls of four seasons knowing that one season won't last forever, as will not the other seasons. Life goes on and this time will pass, and the four walls of our dwellings change names from a room to a grave in a matter of time. The wise make a permanent dwelling wisely.