Earlier this week, an old friend stopped by my office for a visit. He's in his late 80s. His wife is in her mid 80s. They are a lovely, active couple. I know him from my days of volunteering at the soup kitchen and kiwanis. I've always admired how active he was in his elder years.
I greeted him in the style of "NORM!" from Cheers. But, he had a long face. He told me it had been a hard year. That his wife had suffered a stroke earlier this year. That, after months of rehab, she was finally able to walk with a walker again. He and she were so happy to be able to check her out of nursing care and bring her home. As she walked, slowly, from the car to the front door, her leg gave out on her.
My friend tried to care for her at home for a day or so, until he realized that he couldn't do it alone. They decided that she had to go back into care, and this time probably for good. As they waited for a transport back to the nursing facility, she said quietly, "Well, at least I got to be at home for a little while."
This all hit just a little too close to my little monkey heart . . . next thing I know he and I are sharing a box of tissues and doing an ugly cry together.
It reminded me of when our neighbor died suddenly, and Phenom commented "men never expect to be left alone."
Tonight, I showed Phenom how to turn the dial on the dryer and push the start button. I totally forgot to tell him about cleaning the lint trap. Oh well, that will be the next lesson.