Chris Salvatore was in his late 20’s when he realized that Norma, an interior decorator in her late 80’s, was going to be his best friend. Before their introduction, he would wave to her from across the hall as he passed by her kitchen window on his way to work. She seemed like such a sweet woman that one day he just asked if he could come in and chat for a minute.
She offered me a glass of champagne, and it was like this immediate friendship.”
They got to know one another and began to spend time together each day. They would cook, talk, and play with her cat, Hermes.Now, Salvatore is 31 and Cook is 89, and she has moved into his apartment for the remainder of her life.
The aging woman became ill after being diagnosed with leukemia and spent two months in the hospital with pneumonia and breathing problems. While doctors gave her just a few more months to live, she knew exactly how she wanted to spend that time. She wasn’t allowed to be released from the hospital unless she had 24-hour care. Salvatore worked quickly to become her primary caretaker and brought her to live in his apartment for her final months.
I’m giving her a gift of passing on and being at peace and having a good time in her last few months. I’m so lucky to have her. She’s changed my life. she’s made me a kinder more compassionate person. I feel honored to spend her last moments with her.”
He wants to use their story to encourage others to take an interest in the elderly in their own communities.
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