Striking up an unlikely friendship, a man in this 30’s bonded immediately with the sassy older woman across the hallway. However, after spending nights making food together and talking, a devastating reality rocked their world.
In 2017 a beautiful story touched many hearts. It all began when actor and singer Chris Salvatore waved at his friendly neighbor and 89-year-old interior designer Norma Cook across the hallway from his apartment.
He eventually invited himself over to her house. With glasses of champagne in their hands, the two immediately clicked, with Salvatore referring to her as his best friend.
A SPANNER IN THE WORKS
Sadly, a few years into this friendship, Cook, diagnosed with leukemia, chose to stop treatment, with her lifespan cut short to an estimate of 2 months.
The interior designer refused to be put in a frail care facility, but doctors were adamant that she needed care 24/7. Initially, her best friend set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for at-home care.
However, eventually, the money from these donations ran out, so he decided to become her caretaker instead.
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.