There’s no place like home . . .
This week’s column is republished from December 12, 2019 with slight editing.
Home, a simple word that strikes a chord deep inside of us. Sometimes home isn’t a physical place any longer. It’s a place in time we long to return to again. It’s forever in our memory. People in prison, hospitals, nursing homes, kids away at camp, anyone physically away from their home place rely on their memory and recognize that deep desire for home.
Every once in a while I meet someone whose story touches me in such a way that I can’t stop thinking about them. One such person was someone I met this time last year at the nursing home; a gentleman in a wheelchair sitting in the lobby with dust fairies dancing in the sunlight about his shoulders. The bright lobby was juxtaposition to the slow tear trailing down his cheek as he sat with his hat brim low on his face. He spoke of his wife, who had passed and how he had been in the Corning Therapy and Living Center for about a year. “I just want to go home,” he said. The ache in his voice was palpable. I patted his shoulder as he started to cry. There were no words I could say that could ease his heartache. Sometimes just listening and being there is all we can do. Anyone who has ever been homesick knows that painful ache.
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