His wife is in a home, he tells me, though he's told me before. Yes, she's in a home, and they take real good care of her. Oh, yes, he visits, every day at least once. She's getting used to it, someone else tending her, and they're learning what she needs and wants. But yes--yes, he misses her. Maybe he'll make arrangements, bring her back home. It was just too hard, being with her all the time, night and day, no time to really rest.
He tells me this, talking fast, eyes flickering away from mine, and I understand suddenly.
He needs me to tell him it's okay. He needs me to say that no one else is angry at him, not like he's angry at himself. He needs to know that he hasn't failed in letting her go to live somewhere else. He needs to know that it really and truly is all right for him to need help.
I cannot do that for him, cannot convince his aching heart of the truth. So I listen, and nod, and cluck with sympathy, and murmur how I'm praying for them both. But I know that next time, his eyes will flicker the same way, and he'll tell me the same story.
Yes, she's in a home.