Don is to be discharged and will be coming home in a few days.  They are ordering some equipment (electric lifter, special chair) and also arranging for community nurses to come and help at various times.  The geriatric doctor who made the assessment — well, he’s not a geriatric himself, but you know what I mean — can authorise what sort of assistance, or level of care, a patient needs.  He knows more about multiple sclerosis than most other doctors we have seen, and he gave us advice on how best to manage at home.

Then he said, “There’s something else I need to do.  With your permission, I will put your name down, Donald, for a high-care facility” — jargon for nursing home — “so that when the time comes that you can no longer manage at home, we can make a smooth transition.”

After he left, Don was very subdued.  We just sat together, and finally he said, “Did you hear that, Barb?   I’m going to end my days in a nursing home.”  Another silence, then he added, “Not just end my days; I’ve got my name down to go in now.”

“Not for ages,” I said.  “We can manage at home for ages.”

He sat silently for a while, then in a tight, quiet voice he said, “Would you get the Bible?  Read me Psalm 46.”

My voice was thick as I read: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  …  Be still, and know that I am God!  I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us…”

Don said quietly, “Though the mountains shake.  We will not fear.”