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TMF Poster bundoriyagyu has gratiously given me permission to cross-post this story from the Cafe L'Eff Board.

We can kid around all we want about "manly" qualities, (and I fully intend to), but this is his story about a real REAL man:

Many people here know I work in Oncology nursing in a local hospital. I often run across a lot of very "human" stories in my practice. I was pondering a question, at work,that had been put to me by a young male friend earlier in the week....he had asked me "What makes you a man?". And I wanted to give him a fitting answer.Yesterday, I helped take care of a young woman, perhaps earliest 20's(not my patient so I wasnt privy to all her details). She was in the next to last stage of Ovarian cancer. Beautiful lass. Even though the pain marred her face she was still exquisite. Her young man, tall, slender, well built, virtually never left her bedside. He was perhaps 2-3 years older. He was trying so very hard to smile and keep a brave face on the whole situation. But I could tell it was killing him inside, to watch the woman that he loved in the place she was at, suffering. He and I stepped out of the room, at about the same time, and I noticed him slump against the wall and bury his face in his hands....I walked up to him(I have no idea what possessed me) and simply hugged him. He broke down and put his head on my shoulder(no mean feat as I am 5'9" and he was at least several inches taller than that) and wept like a baby. I told him "why dont you go down and get a bite to eat and rest a bit"...his response was "She needs me, I can't". I listened to him pour his heart out, how they had hoped to be married, how they hoped to have many children. How she dreamed of college and a career. Sigh...And it occured to me, how easy it would be for him to avoid the pain of this, to avoid the emotional burden and impact of having someone he loved in extremis, by simply turning tail and slinking away under some pretext, and few people would have blamed him. But then it struck me. I was sitting with a MAN. He felt and honored his responsibilites to the woman he loved, the little girl he had pledged his heart to. I felt humbled and honored to be in the presence of such a man. I learned much yesterday.

The only thing I can add is that this story is really about two REAL men.

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