In December 2013 I moved my husband to a nursing home. It's a day I will never forget.
We parted with tears; never again to live together. Max could no longer cope with everyday life without total care. Only those who have endured this situation can fully understand. For three months, I cried myself to sleep at night.
I visited Max every day, attending to his needs and staying as long as possible, only to shed a flood of tears as I reached the car to go home. Without my man.
A year passed. On Christmas Day a nurse suggested I have lunch at the nursing home. My daughter Tammy then suggested that we take Max to her home for what could well be our last Christmas meal together.
As we drove through familiar home territory memories flooded Max's waning mind and he suddenly uttered, "My home, my home, my home."
I drove up the orchard-lined driveway through the carport and parked on the back lawn.
Elation shone on Max's face. He was repeatedly saying, "Oh my home, my home." But I could not lift him to go inside so we drove and parked under the shade of some big trees before heading to my daughter's home.
Vivid memories of little things that are so meaningful. The more happy times of the past. But Max had a one-track mind. "Oh my home, my home."
A good meal was had by all. Family is so important and my dear husband ate more that day than he had for a long time. Like many a Christmas gathering, Max had his afternoon rest and awoke to his cold Milo and home-made biscuit. He soon slipped into a long sleep and on waking was welcomed by yet another tasty home-cooked meal.
Why do I remember with such clarity these little, otherwise everyday events? Because I so miss them. And I miss my husband.
Back to the nursing home. Back to reality. A few days later my eldest son and daughter-in-law visited Max. With his eyes fixed on his son he pleaded, "Get me out of here." These two life-long friends embraced each other.
Even when father and son had to say goodbye, Max, a man now of only a few words, again uttered, "Get me out of here." It was a sorrowful scene. Tears were plentiful. Love was unrestrained.
Max's sister's last memory of her brother were his words, "Get me out of here."
Another four weeks and it was all over.
We brought his casket to the front lawn of our home—the longed for "his home" where the funeral service was celebrated. Max now awaits the coming of his Lord.
Lord come and get us out of here.
We want to go home.