Home for the holidays… at last

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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — The holiday season may have come and gone, but for a homeowner in Parchment, the Christmas season has just begun.

Michael Rice left his 3,000 Christmas lights burning bright all for his wife and promised to leave them up until she returned home from the hospital.

It's a story we first brought you last month and this week FOX 17 was there when Laura Rice made the happy homecoming.

Laura returned home with flowers in her hand a smile on her face after spending two months in the hospital. She finally got to spend Christmas with the love her life.

"[It] feels so good to be home, said Laura, "I didn't know until I looked at the date that I was in the hospital that long," she said.

It was just days before Christmas when Laura came down with pneumonia and was later placed on life support. She reflected on the times during those difficult days.

"It was white and sterile in there... it was tiny, " Laura remembered, "I thought I was dead."

Laura spent the holiday in a hospital bed, while so many were spending it at home with their families.

Her husband, Michael, made her the promise the Christmas decorations wouldn't come down until she came home.

"He's wonderful, he's my best friend."

On Friday, February 19, Laura finally came home.

"Christmas has arrived," said Michael.

She got to open her gifts in the presence of true love.

"To leave it all up for me, I feel very important," Laura said. "I'm not surprised he did something special for me because he always has."

A promise is a promise this loving husband was intending to keep.

The most important thing for Michael is that his wife is home at last.

"It still feels like forever, I’m just glad she’s home," said Michael.

Michael said he plans to leave the lights up until Sunday, so Laura can enjoy the Christmas season a little while longer.

We'll be sure to keep you posted on Laura's condition. She's doing better, but doctors said therapy will be necessary to help get her back on her feet.

Michael plans on leaving the lights and decor up until Sunday so Laura can enjoy the Christmas season a little while longer.

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