A man in his 30s linked with the spunky older woman across the corridor, forging an unusual connection. A sad truth, however, struck their life after they had spent nights conversing and preparing food together.
Many hearts were affected by a touching story in 2017. It all started when Norma Cook, an 89-year-old interior designer who lives across the hall from actor and singer Chris Salvatore, waved back.
Finally, he extended an invitation to visit her home. The two struck up a friendship while holding champagne glasses, with Salvatore referring to Maria as his best friend.
A SPANNER IN THE WORKS
A few years into their acquaintance, Cook was sadly diagnosed with leukemia and decided to forego treatment, cutting her life expectancy to only two months.
The interior designer resisted being placed in a nursing home for the elderly, but the physicians insisted that she required round-the-clock care. Her closest friend initially started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for in-home care.
But when the money from these donations ran out, and he made the choice to take care of her himself.
The two spent their days watching the news together and drinking champagne. Speaking about his decision to become his neighbor’s full-time caretaker, the performer expressed:
“I believe that human kindness is a magical thing and can heal what doctors can’t.”
Salvatore stated that he couldn’t allow her to be taken to a facility as she played a significant grandmother-like role in his life.
A GRACEFUL GOODBYE
Although she lived longer than expected, eventually, the elderly lady’s disease caught up with her, passing away in the February of 2017. With tears in his eyes, Salvatore said:
“She was a beautiful human. She changed the world with her big heart and ability to speak with anyone, of any age.”
Taking to Instagram, where he shared his journey with Cook, he announced her passing, stating that her most significant legacy was that she embodied the importance of love.
CAPTURING THE MEMORIES
Throughout the years, he documented many of their beautiful moments. These instances included him with Cook’s brother and shared a picture of this brother visiting his sister after years of not seeing each other.
He also thanked his fans in one post, saying his neighbor is grateful for all the love they keep sending her way.
However, the most heartbreaking posts he has shared are of him stating that he still misses her, with the posts continuing over the years.
A WAVE HELLO AND GOODBYE
In 2017, he shared one about how she would make him laugh, and in 2018, he expressed how difficult it has been not to talk to her. In 2019 he posted a clip of Cook telling Salvatore she loves him. In the description, the vocalist penned:
“We were complete strangers with years between us but still were able to love each other through all of our differences.”
This beautiful friendship proves how two people that barely knew each other wholly changed each other’s lives – and it all started with nothing but a wave across a hallway.